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TT A46 Dual Carriageway WTF?

Finesilver24Finesilver24 Posts: 140
edited April 2017 in Amateur race
While driving home on the A46 between Leicester and Newark, I was surprised to see about 30 TTers at 3:40pm. I watched in amazement as a cars on the busy road swerved to avoid the cyclists or slammed their brakes on because there was a car in the outside lane and they couldn't pull out to overtake. At one point 2 cyclists were riding side by side in a long-winded overtaking manoeuvre while the traffic passed at 70mph. A couple of 'Warning Cyclists' signs were the only indication of the cyclists; far too small for traffic passing at 70+mph.

I always thought that events were supposed to be at quiet times (Sunday mornings, for example) to minimise the chance of accidents. I have TTd a couple of times, but never on a dual carriageway and I can't think of anything more dangerous. Is this really the way we want motorists to experience cycling? Don't we already have a bad reputation for ignoring the rules of the road, without ignoring the rules of common sense and self-preservation.
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  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    Wrong forum. Try http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/

    Put your flameproof pants on first though. Not that I don't agree with you on some of your points but you probably want to come across asking more than telling when you post there about this.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Clubs, eh ....
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Melton Olympic CC was the organising club. Why not get in touch and share your thoughts with them. Don't be surprised if they then share their thoughts with you as well...
  • I watched in amazement as a cars on the busy road swerved to avoid the cyclists or slammed their brakes on because there was a car in the outside lane and they couldn't pull out to overtake.

    Sounds to me more of a case of extremely bad driving. Swerving ? Do they not have vision good enough to see far enough up the road? Slamming on of brakes because there was a car in outside lane - so waiting until the last second then trying to change lane. Just bad driving and using the cyclists as a scapegoat.
  • Sounds to me more of a case of extremely bad driving. Swerving ? Do they not have vision good enough to see far enough up the road? Slamming on of brakes because there was a car in outside lane - so waiting until the last second then trying to change lane. Just bad driving and using the cyclists as a scapegoat.
    This was normal driving from normal drivers, and no, it's not always easy to see a cyclist (or any other near-stationary obstruction) if it's obscured by the vehicle in front.

    It's difficult to take the moral high ground when cyclists are choosing to use a busy 70mph road in the middle of the afternoon. My question is whether it's sensible to put unprotected cyclists in the path of fast-moving traffic on a busy dual carriageway. To me, it's not sensible because the inevitable accident is out of the cyclist's control. Is there not a better location? How about a disused airfield?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Is there not a better location? How about a disused airfield?

    You claim to be a cyclist and you claim to have ridden a couple of time trials - and then you go and suggest something like that...
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,219
    A50 near me gets used regularly with no problems, I do wonder though when it's wkday evenings.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Sounds to me more of a case of extremely bad driving. Swerving ? Do they not have vision good enough to see far enough up the road? Slamming on of brakes because there was a car in outside lane - so waiting until the last second then trying to change lane. Just bad driving and using the cyclists as a scapegoat.
    This was normal driving from normal drivers, and no, it's not always easy to see a cyclist (or any other near-stationary obstruction) if it's obscured by the vehicle in front.

    It's difficult to take the moral high ground when cyclists are choosing to use a busy 70mph road in the middle of the afternoon. My question is whether it's sensible to put unprotected cyclists in the path of fast-moving traffic on a busy dual carriageway. To me, it's not sensible because the inevitable accident is out of the cyclist's control. Is there not a better location? How about a disused airfield?

    How many cyclists are killed in the single lane 30mph roads of busy cities? Barely a month goes by without a fatality in London. So tell me. How are dual carriageways which I don't remember hearing of too many casualties on in recent times any more dangerous?
  • Why are you comparing commuting to a TT? You seem to be making the case that TTers have to use A roads, which they don't. You also seem content to discount sensible alternatives, such as a disused airfield (Dishforth?) or an unused car race track. Much safer.
  • Why are you comparing commuting to a TT? You seem to be making the case that TTers have to use A roads, which they don't. You also seem content to discount sensible alternatives, such as a disused airfield (Dishforth?) or an unused car race track. Much safer.

    I am saying Dual Carriageways are not as dangerous as you seem to think they are. There is no such thing as a dangerous road - just dangerous road users . And they could be anywhere on any road at any time.

    I've raced on Dishforth. It's not ideal for TT. Plus if you are doing a longer than 10 mile TT closed loops are not practical. If anything the road running parallel to the A1(M) near Dishforth is perfect for TTing. I use it a good few times a week. Runs all the way from Thirsk to Catterick. Straight as a die too. Never had any swerving cars around me.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Why are you comparing commuting to a TT? You seem to be making the case that TTers have to use A roads, which they don't. You also seem content to discount sensible alternatives, such as a disused airfield (Dishforth?) or an unused car race track. Much safer.

    Unused race track, FFS. Do you have any idea what it would cost a club to hire a motor circuit? Your intentions seem a little suspect to me.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    I can't think of anything more dangerous.

    TTing down Mosul high street with a skin suit which is the american flag and your phone playing The Star-Spangled Banner?
  • I am saying Dual Carriageways are not as dangerous as you seem to think they are. There is no such thing as a dangerous road - just dangerous road users . And they could be anywhere on any road at any time.

    I've raced on Dishforth. It's not ideal for TT. Plus if you are doing a longer than 10 mile TT closed loops are not practical. If anything the road running parallel to the A1(M) near Dishforth is perfect for TTing. I use it a good few times a week. Runs all the way from Thirsk to Catterick. Straight as a die too. Never had any swerving cars around me.
    That's a great road, and lots of TT events on it seem successful. Nice and safe. Way better than a dual carriageway.
  • I am saying Dual Carriageways are not as dangerous as you seem to think they are. There is no such thing as a dangerous road - just dangerous road users . And they could be anywhere on any road at any time.

    I've raced on Dishforth. It's not ideal for TT. Plus if you are doing a longer than 10 mile TT closed loops are not practical. If anything the road running parallel to the A1(M) near Dishforth is perfect for TTing. I use it a good few times a week. Runs all the way from Thirsk to Catterick. Straight as a die too. Never had any swerving cars around me.
    That's a great road, and lots of TT events on it seem successful. Nice and safe. Way better than a dual carriageway.

    It's still a 60mph road with dikheads on it.
  • Imposter wrote:
    Why are you comparing commuting to a TT? You seem to be making the case that TTers have to use A roads, which they don't. You also seem content to discount sensible alternatives, such as a disused airfield (Dishforth?) or an unused car race track. Much safer.

    Unused race track, FFS. Do you have any idea what it would cost a club to hire a motor circuit? Your intentions seem a little suspect to me.
    What does it cost? Before you disregard it as an option,if it makes sense, then why not? If it's prohibitively expensive, then maybe not. The point I am making is that there are sensible alternatives to A-roads. Maybe times would be a little slower, but it's a level playing field for all riders.
    I have done several TTs around RAF Linton on Ouse (ace), a couple outside Preston (quiet roads, quite safe) and one in Lincolnshire (fecking stupidly dangerous on narrow busy roads with a stupid roundabout at half-way).

    My intentions? Maybe I own a really expensive race track and this is a one-man crusade to get TTs of the public roads. Or maybe, as a concerned cyclist outside the TT fraternity, I see how stupid TTing on A-roads really is.
  • I am saying Dual Carriageways are not as dangerous as you seem to think they are. There is no such thing as a dangerous road - just dangerous road users . And they could be anywhere on any road at any time.

    I've raced on Dishforth. It's not ideal for TT. Plus if you are doing a longer than 10 mile TT closed loops are not practical. If anything the road running parallel to the A1(M) near Dishforth is perfect for TTing. I use it a good few times a week. Runs all the way from Thirsk to Catterick. Straight as a die too. Never had any swerving cars around me.
    That's a great road, and lots of TT events on it seem successful. Nice and safe. Way better than a dual carriageway.

    It's still a 60mph road with dikheads on it.
    Yes, but when the event is over, most of them drive home! :wink:
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    What does it cost? Before you disregard it as an option,if it makes sense, then why not? If it's prohibitively expensive, then maybe not.

    I guess it varies, but my 'local' race circuit can be hired for the day for around £1500. So yes, it is prohibitively expensive. As someone pointed out earlier, I would rather see driver behaviour change, not rider behaviour. You seem to think different, which is unusual.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Did you not see any of the cyclist ahead warning signs that have to be there? How good is your vision if not?

    The police are made aware of the race too. If they don't have any issues...
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,033
    oxoman wrote:
    A50 near me gets used regularly with no problems, I do wonder though when it's wkday evenings.


    Apart from a couple of fatalities in the last 14-15 years.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Police policy over racing on the highway is sometimes very obtuse.
    Yes, riding on a very busy DC does not seem to cause any ripples.... route a road race through a couple of 40mph zones and a couple of constabularies are on the case quoting danger to life and limb.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    lol, do you know how many time trials are run on dual carriageways every weekend?
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I occasionally encounter a TT on the A11 near me. Usually summer weekends. There's a dangerous mix of HGVs, holiday traffic with caravans and cars full of kids and overloaded bike racks, plus faster moving cars. Hardly any of them allow sufficient space, and there is a lot of last minute braking and swerving. I've also seen a cyclist nearly taken out by a car joining from a slip road. The obligatory Cycle Event signage is there, but I get the feeling that few drivers appreciate the significance of the signs, and there's little evidence of them being extra vigilant for cyclists.

    It looks dangerous to me. I never ride on the A11, even when I'm knackered and it's the flattest, straightest way home.

    Having said that, the 2 cycling fatalities in Newmarket this year were people commuting, and on roads I often do ride...
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,033
    To be fair there seem to be fewer fatalities on DC TTs in recent years. I seem to remember a few spikes with half a dozen one year maybe not all DCs but most. As I say the A50 has had two TT fatalities during my time in the sport, I have ridden it and felt safe, I've also marshalled it and driven past events and thought it looked dangerous. I'm ambivalent about whether we should continue to use courses like that - part of me says it's personal choice and part of me says it's too big a risk for a hobby like cycling. Would I ride one now - if I got right into TTing and had stellar form yes probably.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    My club runs open meetings on the local DC - in the past (I've no idea for this year) they've had a 10 on a weekend afternoon - I've marshelled for it having seen the way quite a number of vehicle drivers behave, I've considered it too dangerous to want to participate in - but I do respect the opinion of the organisers who have more experience than me.

    For me to ride that course I'd need an important footie match with England playing at the time - because the roads are usually dead during that time.

    I've not heard any accidents or fatalities on that particular course, however there have been a couple in the area on other DCs - one life changing, one fatality which, considering the number of TTs held is a very small statistic. So that flys in the face of my "too dangerous" view - but I've heard riders comment on "inches to spare" so I'd rather not risk it.
    I have ridden single carriageway TTs which some argue are more dangerous due to the lack of space - however, because the cars travelling along it are not expecting an unimpeeded journey, they're (mostly) doing less than 70mph and I can "take the lane" when appropriate I consider it safer - both opinions are subjective!

    Closed road or race track TTs would be ideal, but hard to come by for a reasonable cost - it's a shame we can't easily close one lane of the DC for TTs - probably similarly expensive even if we were allowed ...

    For the OP - if you didn't notice any warning signs then you SHOULD communicate that back to the organising club - it may have been an oversight or they may not have large enough signs - sometimes the limitations of their signs are not obivous as they're expecting them to be there - they need to be obvious for people NOT expecting them to be there.

    As for the Saturday afternoon timing - personally I'd agree that daytime is no longer a quiet time on many DCs - but that should form part of the the risk assessment the club is required to carry out for each event.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    More traffic faster times!

    Whilst the speed differential is a bit unnerving, I honestly always felt safer on a DC than an SC, the latter usually having places where people could pull out on you. Riders are spaced 1 minute apart so unless you are in the first few then you are not likely to be a surprise. You encounter far more potential for danger on an everyday ride imo.
  • Imposter wrote:
    What does it cost? Before you disregard it as an option,if it makes sense, then why not? If it's prohibitively expensive, then maybe not.

    I guess it varies, but my 'local' race circuit can be hired for the day for around £1500. So yes, it is prohibitively expensive. As someone pointed out earlier, I would rather see driver behaviour change, not rider behaviour. You seem to think different, which is unusual.
    So, assuming £750 for a half day, and 75 riders, that's £10 per rider. This seems reasonable to me, and would require fewer marshalls. What's a normal TT? About £7-8.

    So, by your response, you seem to think that it's all the drivers' fault, which is probably usual for a cyclist.
  • cougie wrote:
    Did you not see any of the cyclist ahead warning signs that have to be there? How good is your vision if not?
    It's not about my vision, I was commenting on the drivers that were forced (for whatever reason) to a near-stationary object they weren't expecting. I saw the signs, but as an experienced cyclist, I knew what I was looking at as I passed the small signs at 70mph. Normally warning signs are speed-related; the faster the traffic, the larger the sign. Not for cycling warning signs, it seems.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    So, assuming £750 for a half day, and 75 riders, that's £10 per rider. This seems reasonable to me, and would require fewer marshalls. What's a normal TT? About £7-8.

    You've clearly never been involved with running an event. Of any kind.
    So, by your response, you seem to think that it's all the drivers' fault, which is probably usual for a cyclist.

    No, but the onus is generally on motorists to follow the highway code, which usually means anticipating what is in front of you and allowing plenty of time for manoeuvre. But you don't want to hear that, because it seems you are really just a motoring supremacist intent on trolling cycle forums.

    Talking of which, we can ignore matthewtrolle's comments for now. Something in the club scene has clearly tipped his fragility in the direction of absurdity, as opposed to reason.
  • slowbike wrote:
    For the OP - if you didn't notice any warning signs then you SHOULD communicate that back to the organising club - it may have been an oversight or they may not have large enough signs - sometimes the limitations of their signs are not obivous as they're expecting them to be there - they need to be obvious for people NOT expecting them to be there.
    There were some signs but, as I say above, I know what I am looking for. A lot of drivers may not because they are small and not common or in the Highway Code.
  • Imposter wrote:
    So, assuming £750 for a half day, and 75 riders, that's £10 per rider. This seems reasonable to me, and would require fewer marshalls. What's a normal TT? About £7-8.

    You've clearly never been involved with running an event. Of any kind.
    Well, rather than just trying to throw out insults, why don't you educate me on the costs of organising an event, and how £10-15 for a TT entry is prohibitively expensive.
    Imposter wrote:
    So, by your response, you seem to think that it's all the drivers' fault, which is probably usual for a cyclist.

    No, but the onus is generally on motorists to follow the highway code, which usually means anticipating what is in front of you and allowing plenty of time for manoeuvre. But you don't want to hear that, because it seems you are really just a motoring supremacist intent on trolling cycle forums.
    And again with the insults. As you know nothing about me, calling me a 'motoring supremacist' makes you look a bit silly.
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