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Chelsea Embankment alternatives

SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
edited January 2018 in Commuting chat
I seem to have developed a strong and irrational fear of cycling along the pavement on the Chelsea Embankment. My wheel has got caught in the gaps in the paving stones a few times and I now worry about losing a wheel. Also the pavement at Battersea Bridge is broken and unstable.

So has anyone changed route since all the works have started? Destination is Putney.
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Posts

  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 6,041
    Where are you starting from Sewinman?
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    Sorry, from the Waterloo area.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,602 Lives Here
    Faster you ride, the easier the pavement is.

    Give smashing it down there a go.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    None of the gaps are more than a couple of feet long. Go with the flow, let the bike move around a bit under you; it's a bit like riding rutted sand or mud off-road, don't try to over-control the bike...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • RhodrichRhodrich Posts: 870
    I'm happy smashing it down there on my 28c tyres, but I wouldn't fancy doing it on anything narrower. There also seems to be a lot of flint from round the trees on the path - I'm sure my double puncture that I got a few weeks ago was due to flint from there.

    The most dangerous bit for me is at Chelsea Bridge itself, where you have a lot of traffic wanting to turn left, and everyone on the cycle lane wanting to go straight on. Accident waiting to happen.

    I'll stick to that route for the moment, as the alternatives (South of the River, or the Mall - Sloane Square - King's Road) suck even more
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1978 Dawes Chevron Fixed
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    *Currently on this
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,602 Lives Here
    Rhodrich wrote:
    I'm happy smashing it down there on my 28c tyres, but I wouldn't fancy doing it on anything narrower.

    It's fine.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Rhodrich wrote:
    The most dangerous bit for me is at Chelsea Bridge itself, where you have a lot of traffic wanting to turn left, and everyone on the cycle lane wanting to go straight on. Accident waiting to happen.
    It's trivially easy to avoid that hazard. If you get there early enough, stop in the ASL ahead of the traffic; if you don't, just slot into a gap between two cars in the left-hand lane, and approach the junction in primary.

    Thinking about it, I do this approaching almost any junction where vehicles can tun left; many people don't bother, but seems like basic common sense to me...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • RhodrichRhodrich Posts: 870
    tgotb wrote:
    Rhodrich wrote:
    The most dangerous bit for me is at Chelsea Bridge itself, where you have a lot of traffic wanting to turn left, and everyone on the cycle lane wanting to go straight on. Accident waiting to happen.
    It's trivially easy to avoid that hazard. If you get there early enough, stop in the ASL ahead of the traffic; if you don't, just slot into a gap between two cars in the left-hand lane, and approach the junction in primary.

    Thinking about it, I do this approaching almost any junction where vehicles can tun left; many people don't bother, but seems like basic common sense to me...

    Ah - well that's the problem. I agree with you if you get there early enough. However, if you get there when the traffic is already flowing, you have a problem. Because ALL the cars in the left hand lane are queuing to turn left, waiting for a stream of cyclists who are in the cycle lane going straight on, there are no gaps to pull into between the cars. You either have to go with the flow - with the other cyclists, hoping that a driver doesn't get frustrated, and try and turn left in front of you anyway (which I've seen, along with a lot of hooting), or you have to wait until the lights go to red, and get to the front of the ASL, wasting 5 minutes until they turn green again.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1978 Dawes Chevron Fixed
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    *Currently on this
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 6,041
    So, either:

    a) take your chances with filtering through the insane traffic jams and smash it over the cracks/cobbles/chasms like the hardmen of Flanders above :wink:
    b) I'm assuming you are already south of the river - head towards Lambeth North from Waterloo, down the B300, onto the A23 Kennington Road, follow that onto the A3, stay on the A3 (CS7) until Clapham Common, where you bear right, staying on the A3, down and then up Battersea Rise, keep going, drop down into Wandsworth, where, depending on where you are in Putney, you can bear right onto Putney Bridge Road, or carry straight on the South Circular past East Putney tube towards Putney High Street.

    You might hear tall tales of dragons and gangs of feral crack dealing youths out to nick your wallet and bike. They are all fake news. I have only been singed by the dragon twice and been murdered once by a small mob of pitchfork-wielding nutters.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    In that scenario I just wait for the next phase of lights. The phase for turning left is comically short anyway; if I can see the light turn green I know it's going to be red by the time I get there (thinking about it, it might just be that I'm comically slow).
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    edited January 2018
    Rhodrich wrote:
    Ah - well that's the problem. I agree with you if you get there early enough. However, if you get there when the traffic is already flowing, you have a problem. Because ALL the cars in the left hand lane are queuing to turn left, waiting for a stream of cyclists, there are no gaps to pull into between the cars. You either have to go with the flow - with the other cyclists, hoping that a driver doesn't get frustrated, and try and turn left in front of you anyway (which I've seen, along with a lot of hooting), or you have to wait until the lights go to red, and get to the front of the ASL, wasting 5 minutes until they turn green again.
    That's not how it works for me. If I'm too late to get into the ASL, one of three scenarios applies:
    1. Lights change to green as I'm approaching the front of the queue. I stop alongside the next gap between stationary cars. As the car in front of the gap moves off I pull away into the gap, and then move into primary.
    2. Lights change to green when I'm further away. Here I continue along the bike lane a bit further, pick a gap as I'm approaching the point where cars are starting to move, and then proceed as (1) above.
    3. Lights changed to green ages ago. Much like (2) except that I'm looking for a gap pretty much from the railway bridge. Chances are I'm not going to make it to the junction before the lights turn red anyway.
    If you're riding along the bike lane with moving cars alongside you, and you're less than 50 yards from the junction, you've already gone wrong.
    Edit: If the cars in the left-hand lane have ground to a halt because the stream of cyclists is stopping the front one turning left, the best option is often to get into the right-hand lane and ride primary in that.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    hopkinb wrote:
    You might hear tall tales of dragons and gangs of feral crack dealing youths out to nick your wallet and bike. They are all fake news.
    Not so - Greg took a photo of the dragon from a plane, and posted it on this very forum...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 6,041
    tgotb wrote:
    hopkinb wrote:
    You might hear tall tales of dragons and gangs of feral crack dealing youths out to nick your wallet and bike. They are all fake news.
    Not so - Greg took a photo of the dragon from a plane, and posted it on this very forum...

    If you know where to look, there were some subtle hints that he'd photoshopped the dragon in. :lol:
  • RhodrichRhodrich Posts: 870
    tgotb wrote:
    Rhodrich wrote:
    Ah - well that's the problem. I agree with you if you get there early enough. However, if you get there when the traffic is already flowing, you have a problem. Because ALL the cars in the left hand lane are queuing to turn left, waiting for a stream of cyclists, there are no gaps to pull into between the cars. You either have to go with the flow - with the other cyclists, hoping that a driver doesn't get frustrated, and try and turn left in front of you anyway (which I've seen, along with a lot of hooting), or you have to wait until the lights go to red, and get to the front of the ASL, wasting 5 minutes until they turn green again.
    That's not how it works for me. If I'm too late to get into the ASL, one of three scenarios applies:
    1. Lights change to green as I'm approaching the front of the queue. I stop alongside the next gap between stationary cars. As the car in front of the gap moves off I pull away into the gap, and then move into primary.
    2. Lights change to green when I'm further away. Here I continue along the bike lane a bit further, pick a gap as I'm approaching the point where cars are starting to move, and then proceed as (1) above.
    3. Lights changed to green ages ago. Much like (2) except that I'm looking for a gap pretty much from the railway bridge. Chances are I'm not going to make it to the junction before the lights turn red anyway.
    If you're riding along the bike lane with moving cars alongside you, and you're less than 50 yards from the junction, you've already gone wrong.
    Edit: If the cars in the left-hand lane have ground to a halt because the stream of cyclists is stopping the front one turning left, the best option is often to get into the right-hand lane and ride primary in that.

    I do try and do the above, but what I would say is that it's not easy, and hoards of other cyclists do 'go wrong'. Serious hardcore commuting filtering skillz™ needed that most cyclists just don't have. As I said - an accident waiting to happen.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1978 Dawes Chevron Fixed
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    *Currently on this
  • BikequinBikequin Posts: 402
    If you want to head west you can always turn left over the bridge and then right into Battersea Park. Once you're through the park go straight on at the next 2 sets of lights - then turn right towards the helipad and onto the path by the Thames - follow this underneath wandsworth bridge and on into putney - its not the quickest route but a lot of it is traffic free and quite pleasant.
    You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quin.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Rhodrich wrote:
    I do try and do the above, but what I would say is that it's not easy, and hoards of other cyclists do 'go wrong'. Serious hardcore commuting filtering skillz™ needed that most cyclists just don't have. As I said - an accident waiting to happen.
    I agree completely about the hordes of cyclists endangering themselves (and screwing it up for the cars in the process). What I really meant is that it's trivially easy for anyone to avoid being that accident statistic by positioning themselves differently (even if relatively few riders actually do so).
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    hopkinb wrote:
    So, either:

    a) take your chances with filtering through the insane traffic jams and smash it over the cracks/cobbles/chasms like the hardmen of Flanders above :wink:
    b) I'm assuming you are already south of the river - head towards Lambeth North from Waterloo, down the B300, onto the A23 Kennington Road, follow that onto the A3, stay on the A3 (CS7) until Clapham Common, where you bear right, staying on the A3, down and then up Battersea Rise, keep going, drop down into Wandsworth, where, depending on where you are in Putney, you can bear right onto Putney Bridge Road, or carry straight on the South Circular past East Putney tube towards Putney High Street.

    You might hear tall tales of dragons and gangs of feral crack dealing youths out to nick your wallet and bike. They are all fake news. I have only been singed by the dragon twice and been murdered once by a small mob of pitchfork-wielding nutters.

    Thank you, will give it a try.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    Sewinman wrote:
    hopkinb wrote:
    So, either:

    a) take your chances with filtering through the insane traffic jams and smash it over the cracks/cobbles/chasms like the hardmen of Flanders above :wink:
    b) I'm assuming you are already south of the river - head towards Lambeth North from Waterloo, down the B300, onto the A23 Kennington Road, follow that onto the A3, stay on the A3 (CS7) until Clapham Common, where you bear right, staying on the A3, down and then up Battersea Rise, keep going, drop down into Wandsworth, where, depending on where you are in Putney, you can bear right onto Putney Bridge Road, or carry straight on the South Circular past East Putney tube towards Putney High Street.

    You might hear tall tales of dragons and gangs of feral crack dealing youths out to nick your wallet and bike. They are all fake news. I have only been singed by the dragon twice and been murdered once by a small mob of pitchfork-wielding nutters.

    Thank you, will give it a try.

    I did that route one evering, in the interests of science. Wasn't worth it.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    There's also the quietway along Larkhall Rise.

    Very chilled out and there's an enjoyable mix of very fast dragstrips and tight corners.

    Not sure how best to connect down to Putney, though.
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 6,041
    asprilla wrote:
    I did that route one evering, in the interests of science. Wasn't worth it.

    :D

    To give a bit of balance - I used it when riding to SCR Xmas drinks in Richmond. For someone who only uses the Super Highway/Parliament Sq/Millbank/Embankment/NKR/Putney Bridge route infrequently and therefore isn't "attached" to that route, this one is way less of a pain in the @rse at the moment. It's probably a little bit longer, but the road surface is better. It's not as choked with traffic either.
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 6,041
    inbike wrote:
    There's also the quietway along Larkhall Rise.

    Very chilled out and there's an enjoyable mix of very fast dragstrips and tight corners.

    Not sure how best to connect down to Putney, though.

    Brings you out by Clapham Common - follow the A3 to Wandsworth as before.
  • dyrlacdyrlac Posts: 739
    I've been taking Royal Hospital Road. The illegal turns across traffic required eastbound (of the tedious faffing about in pimlico) and about half the pavé westbound (from the dolphin) make this less than ideal, but I rather like RHR itself.
  • london-redlondon-red Posts: 1,266
    From Waterloo to Lambeth Bridge, keep south of the river to Vauxhall, use the bike lane that goes north of the gyratory to meet Nine Elms, this to Battersea Park, through the park, over to Battersea Bridge Road, Battersea Bridge... Badabing.

    Done it a couple of times and it was a good route apart from light sequences at Vauxhall, but I don't mind the cobbles - keeps things interesting...
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,602 Lives Here
    TBH, if you can get your nose in front and there aren't too many pedestrians, it's about as much fun as I've had on a commute.

    It's basically cobbles-lite & no cars to worry about. Faster you go, the better they are.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,925
    hopkinb wrote:
    tgotb wrote:
    hopkinb wrote:
    You might hear tall tales of dragons and gangs of feral crack dealing youths out to nick your wallet and bike. They are all fake news.
    Not so - Greg took a photo of the dragon from a plane, and posted it on this very forum...

    If you know where to look, there were some subtle hints that he'd photoshopped the dragon in. :lol:
    Not sure there was anything as fancy as Photoshop involved. :?
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    In the dry, that section I find great fun, I keep a high gear (chain constantly under tension to avoid bouncing it off) and smash it along if there are no peds.

    In the wet, it's a whole different kettle of poissons. I have 23mm tyres at 105-110psi, and like whatleytom I've had a couple of front-wheel "moments" catching edges of wider-than-normal gaps. As such in the wet, especially the not-quite-dry salty uber-slippery-wet, I keep to 10-15 mph.
    Dolan Titanium ADX 2016
    Ridley Noah FAST 2013
    Bottecchia/Campagnolo 1990
    Carrera Parva Hybrid 2016
    Hoy Sa Calobra 002 2014 [off duty]
    Storck Absolutist 2011 [off duty]
    http://www.slidingseat.net/cycling/cycling.html
  • dizzydanedizzydane Posts: 335
    Bikequin wrote:
    If you want to head west you can always turn left over the bridge and then right into Battersea Park. Once you're through the park go straight on at the next 2 sets of lights - then turn right towards the helipad and onto the path by the Thames - follow this underneath wandsworth bridge and on into putney - its not the quickest route but a lot of it is traffic free and quite pleasant.
    I'm riding this route home at the moment (also live in Putney). Feel free to PM me if you want to ride back this way one evening.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Comfy 33mm tyres and plenty of padding on the thighs make for an easy ride along the Embankment pavé.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,162
    40km/h and 38c @ 45PSI.

    Catch me if you can :mrgreen:
    Specialized Allez Sprint Disc --- Specialized S-Works SL7

    IG: RhinosWorkshop
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,107
    Just browsing this thread thinking 'when did I do this route? ' -and realised the answer was 30+ years ago. God that makes me feel old.
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