South Tyne Rider
South Tyne Rider Posts: 76
edited February 2017 in Commuting general
Guys, I cycle every day along a road where there's an adjacent cycle lane shared with the pavement. Using that cycle path would probably be safer but it would mean unclipping constantly, and stopping at every junction. Using the road means a fluent path to my workplace but it's busy and cars and lorries just hate the fact that I'm not using the cycle path.

Does anyone have a similar problem? I'm just sick of the abuse in the mornings now, it's not as if I can politely ask them to step out of their vehicle so I can explain every single decision I make


  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Tricky one.

    I don't use a cycle path on my commute as going it's on the opposite side of the road - so I'd need to cross the main road twice and generally it is slower - although only one driveway to consider, the surface is not brilliant, it's narrow, runners sometimes use it and it's just not as quick. Plus, it's less than 1/2 mile long - out of a >9mile ride it's not significant
    Fortunately for me it's not obvious it's a shared path so drivers don't give me hassle.

    I'd suggest that unless you're going a reasonable pace (depending on general traffic speed) then perhaps the path is a better bet - and if the road is very busy and the path would enable the traffic to flow better then you should consider it - also, if there are loads of other cyclists on the path then it becomes harder to justify not using it - only morally though - legally you're entitled to ride on the road (unless designated a no-cycling road).

    TBH, you've said you're sick of the abuse - so that means you're not enjoying it - I'd change route if possible because first and foremost, you should enjoy your riding.
  • prowlbass
    prowlbass Posts: 159
    It's very common unfortunately. Keep your zen and just smile at anyone that chucks abuse - they're frustrated and grumpy, don't let them pass it on to you! If they've slowed to the point you can converse with them, politely point out you're legally entitled to use the road and the path isn't suitable for the type of riding you're doing due to the lack of priority at side roads and shared use.

    You are legally in the right - hopefully their frustration venting won't lead to any actual altercations, but if it does, the law will be on your side (although unlikely to actually lead to anything being done about it). I'm afraid it's just one of those realities of a world where cycling infrastructure is poorly designed and drivers aren't held to particularly high standards.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Are there other cyclists around ? What do they do ?

    A lot of cycle paths are not fit for purpose. Would a motorist put up with that ?
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Don't forget you pay the same 'road tax' (VED) as a £28K Toyota Pious.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Does anyone have a similar problem? I'm just sick of the abuse in the mornings now

    as much as you have every right to cycle on the road ..... I don't think that that is the issue to debate, we all know you have the right.

    however you will not stop the abuse .. its just not possible (unless you get an e-bike and modify it to do the same speed as the traffic)

    so you have to decide whats more pleasurable .. being abused, using the cycle path, finding a whole new route. ... Personally I would use the cycle path or find a new route ....find ways of enjoying the path, buy a single speed and divulge in the delights of stop start out the saddle quad exercises.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    There's only one bit of cycle path anywhere near me that I'll consider using, the rest are just too dangerous. Some because they are never swept or treated, and so I'd be dicing with rotting fallen leaves/dogsh1t/black ice and broken glass, and some because they are so badly designed / implemented. Many bring frequent and often sudden conflict with pedestrians or drivers emerging from side roads, some just disappear abruptly and spit me back out into the traffic without warning. There's one in Fordham that's about 10 feet long FFS.

    So I'll happily ride on the road where it's safer.

    Having said all that, I rarely commute, so nearly all my riding is outside of rush hour. Can't remember the last time I encountered an impatient driver...
  • Some good and sensible replies. Thanks. It's hard to describe the road in question. I suppose pride comes into it. Using the path would be significantly less convenient for me and would add on a little bit of time to the journey. I have to use that road eventually anyway further down.
    As for other cyclists, some use it, some don't. Road bikes tend to stay on the road, and everything else keeps to the cycle path merged with the pavement.
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    You don't need to describe it, just provide a GSV link for the road and we can presumably see it running alongside.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • The Rookie wrote:
    Don't forget you pay the same 'road tax' (VED) as a £28K Toyota Pious.

    I would find it much more satisfying to say "At least I dont pay road tax. I would hate to have to pay excessive fuel duty, insurance and expensive vehicle maintenance, all of which also come with VAT. Insurance also comes with insurance premium tax which is going up this year. Plus I am not affected by speed cameras and can get away with other minor offenses such as jumping red lights, you cant because you have an identity plate on your vehicle. Also getting points on your license will likely increase your insurance too, we dont need insurance or licenses us cyclists".

    Nothing quite like rubbing it in their face that you have it better than them :mrgreen: . For extra satisfaction, while they are mouthing off, snot shoot or urinate on their car.
  • awavey
    awavey Posts: 2,368
    well on my commute route theres a pretty long section where a shared cycle path runs alongside the road, but I stick to the road because all the driveways are blocked by hedges and noone bothers to check to carefully before driving out of them, there are multiple junctions you have to at least slow to check its safe to ride over, and the path is often full of dog walkers, joggers all of whom are oblivious to the presence of a cyclist, and occasionally some idiots even drive along the path to get to houses, shops etc, the path surface is pretty rotten too, full of thorns from the hedges,broken glass or worse :(

    so I feel "safer" on the road on the whole, its quicker, more direct and Ive less obstacles to worry about, doesnt mean its all plain sailing, yes I occasionally get abuse for it, thankfully very rarely do some people actually try and deliberately drive into you, people will always close pass you and squeeze you through sections where theres a pedestrian island, and I hate being passed by the buses and trucks sometimes as they leave no room at all. oh and it often seems to make no difference if I stick my arm out to indicate turning right, Ill get passed usually by at least 1 car, who MGIF & feigns they didnt see me then stops 20 metres further up the road at the next set of lights.

    but its not as bad as the path, so I stick with the road unless the road is mega congested, and then I use the path and wave at all the motorists fuming in their traffic jam :)
  • Interesting dilemma. Would like to know the route that you take. I live in Tyneside too (albeit the north side) of the river.
    I ride along the Coast Road cycle route - lots of stopping to cross slip-roads. However, I would never dream of riding along the actual road. Far too dangerous for a cyclist, although I have seen a couple of people risking it.
    2007 Felt Q720 (the ratbike)
    2012 Cube Ltd SL (the hardtail XC 26er)
    2014 Lapierre Zesty TR 329 (the full-sus 29er)
  • benws1
    benws1 Posts: 415
    I wouldn't worry about it OP. Some motorists don't want you on the road full stop. They see cyclists as enemies, even though cyclists do not cause traffic jams and queues.

    I was out on the hybrid last night. Full night gear with reflective bits all over it, flashing light on the front of the bike and the rear of my jacket, extra front light on so I can see where I'm going and a red bar light on the rear. There is no reason for anyone to miss me. The lights are all pointed down and when I'm around traffic, set to a low output.

    I was riding along a badly maintained back road that runs along a river. The main road on the other side of the river was closed due to roadworks. This road is a small one out the back of where I live so isn't that busy.

    Anyhow, a car was heading towards me with full beam headlights on. As they got closer, the driver didn't dip the headlights. As they got even closer (to the point where I struggled to see where I was going), they still had them on. They finally dipped as they were nearly on top of me and because I was waving at them, they decided to point the car at me. They drove at me and then swerved away just as they got near me.

    It's quite obvious that the driver is a moron and wasn't paying attention to where they were going. Driving at me didn't achieve anything. I guess it probably made them feel good. Must be a big hard person behind the wheel though if they want to point a tonne of metal at someone on a bike.

    I didn't get the plate, but know it's a 2013 BMW Mini of some vintage.

    Sometimes, you can't win. Try explaining why you won't use certain cycle paths to some motorists. Watch them foam at the mouth and become agitated because they think they are clever. They seem to forget that driving isn't something we are all entitled to do and isn't a right.