Bristol - cycling mecca

So, is Bristol the cycling mecca it purports to be? It's been 30+ years since I lived there, and I'm considering a return.
PS: where are all Bikeradars, Road.ccs and so forth based? They must all know each other.

It's just a hill. Get over it.

Comments

  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901
    Not when I last went there with the bike, but that was a few years ago now.

    It's hilly, as you'll know, and without the space to put in cycle superhighways, so I suspect bike-friendly routes are circuitous and need to be learnt.

    Would be happy to be wrong.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,533
    From a commuter point of view it has improved massively from when I first started working there in 1998 until I stopped working there late last year. From a leisure cycling point of view I don’t know as I’ve only ridden around there on a few races 30 years ago.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,098

    It's hilly, as you'll know

    Only the hilly bits... :D


    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901
    Pross said:

    From a commuter point of view it has improved massively from when I first started working there in 1998 until I stopped working there late last year. From a leisure cycling point of view I don’t know as I’ve only ridden around there on a few races 30 years ago.


    That's good to know. When they ban cars from 'The Centre' and rip up the road part covering over the Frome, then I'll know they are serious.

    I was slightly taken aback when accosted by a random French person in the south of France telling me that of all the places in England they'd like to visit, it was Bristol, because it is the 'green capital of Europe', or something similarly unlikely. If nothing else, their marketing department is obviously doing a good job.
  • If you are into the hill climbing scene… Bristol is a good place to live… lots of races and of course lots of hills to train on. Bath is even better
    left the forum March 2023
  • Bath is even better


    Is it Bath where Andrew Feather and all the GCN lot live? Not together obviously :)
  • What's Oxford? Chopped liver?
  • I think with the cycling in the UK you need to think along the lines of "least bad" rather than "good"
  • Bath is even better


    Is it Bath where Andrew Feather and all the GCN lot live? Not together obviously :)
    yes

    left the forum March 2023
  • I think with the cycling in the UK you need to think along the lines of "least bad" rather than "good"

    I would disagree… Somerset is excellent for cycling… Yorkshire is excellent too. The problem with the UK are the very damp winters. Roads are crap from November to March. If you head to Italy, winters are cold but dry, you don’t need mudguards. But in terms of roads and scenery, with the exception of a few places Unesco worthy, the difference is not so much.
    left the forum March 2023
  • Bath is quite compact though really so it's fine to just walk, especially with all the tourists adding to the human conjestion. Take in more of the architecture that way too.
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,416
    Bristol and Bath have both good and bad points where it comes to cycling infra. Bristol has more but Bath is building more segragated cycle lanes on main routes. However, most designs are based on what they 'think' people want after some basic consultations. Honestly, it's us cyclists own fault these schemes don't work as intended as we don't get involved enough in the responses to consultations. In Bristol there are plenty of Bus Lanes and the traffic is so slow it's a lot safer.
    The best part is when you get outside of Bristol/Bath and into the surrounding countryside. There are some beautiful routes around here. Also a traffic free route between Bristol and Bath that is virtually flat. You can go beyond Bath through the Two Tunnels (longest cycling tunnel in UK) and on towards Radstock and beyond so a return trip is around 62 miles mostly on cyclepaths. There is also the Avon Cycleway that takes in a 100 miler route. Plenty of hills. Everywhere. Lakes too.

    Here are the two routes I mention.





    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • I think with the cycling in the UK you need to think along the lines of "least bad" rather than "good"

    I would disagree… Somerset is excellent for cycling… Yorkshire is excellent too. The problem with the UK are the very damp winters. Roads are censored from November to March. If you head to Italy, winters are cold but dry, you don’t need mudguards. But in terms of roads and scenery, with the exception of a few places Unesco worthy, the difference is not so much.
    Sure, the UK is great for longer road riding and the variety of terrain is also good. My comment was based around driver attitude and cycling infrastructure

  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,314
    Cycling mecca certainly feels like a bit of a stretch.
    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901

    I think with the cycling in the UK you need to think along the lines of "least bad" rather than "good"

    I would disagree… Somerset is excellent for cycling… Yorkshire is excellent too. The problem with the UK are the very damp winters. Roads are censored from November to March. If you head to Italy, winters are cold but dry, you don’t need mudguards. But in terms of roads and scenery, with the exception of a few places Unesco worthy, the difference is not so much.
    Sure, the UK is great for longer road riding and the variety of terrain is also good. My comment was based around driver attitude and cycling infrastructure


    It's getting better, for sure. Devon has put in some really good shared-use paths - for instance the ones either side of the Exe that make commuting possible from quite a number of villages. They are proposing to do one up the Teign.

    But with a proper shedload of money - which would just be a small percentage of the road budget - they could do some really ambitious stuff, such as buying back abandoned railway lines like the Exe Valley, which would make Tiverton a cyle-commuting town easily, and the Teign Valley line would be a very popular tourist route avoiding lumpy busy roads.

    Comes down to money and priorities, and still roads are seen as the big ticket item to focus on, for the time being, at least. Wales has moved the dial, a bit, but a lot more needs to be done.

  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,314
    This is my route home. Heading into town is great, I can use that bus lane on the other side. Going back it's a cycle path ending just as the road gets squeezed, then either stay on a 50mph road that shortly becomes 2 lanes wide full of frustrated commuters, or just stick to the extremely lumpy shared use path.


    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,314
    They did a consultation on this road recently actually, I submitted some thoughts. Will see what they do. https://www.ask.bristol.gov.uk/a4-portway-transport-engagement?tool=news_feed#tool_tab
    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901
    pangolin said:

    This is my route home. Heading into town is great, I can use that bus lane on the other side. Going back it's a cycle path ending just as the road gets squeezed, then either stay on a 50mph road that shortly becomes 2 lanes wide full of frustrated commuters, or just stick to the extremely lumpy shared use path.



    Yes, remember that one... I think I might have mentioned it on CS before... its that point in the road where they just said "Oh fxxk it, it's too hard to work out what to do with the bikes, so we'll just stop and let them work it out for themselves."
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901
    Haha, no, I see you mentioned it in September.
  • pangolin
    pangolin Posts: 6,314
    Yeah I found I still had a screenshot of it :D
    - Genesis Croix de Fer
    - Dolan Tuono
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901
    pangolin said:

    Yeah I found I still had a screenshot of it :D

    I thought the traffic had been stuck for quite a long time...
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,533
    pangolin said:

    This is my route home. Heading into town is great, I can use that bus lane on the other side. Going back it's a cycle path ending just as the road gets squeezed, then either stay on a 50mph road that shortly becomes 2 lanes wide full of frustrated commuters, or just stick to the extremely lumpy shared use path.


    Did that one a few times. The shared footway is horrendous with all the lumps and bumps from the tree roots. I don’t think the on carriageway lane was there when I did it.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,533

    I think with the cycling in the UK you need to think along the lines of "least bad" rather than "good"

    I would disagree… Somerset is excellent for cycling… Yorkshire is excellent too. The problem with the UK are the very damp winters. Roads are censored from November to March. If you head to Italy, winters are cold but dry, you don’t need mudguards. But in terms of roads and scenery, with the exception of a few places Unesco worthy, the difference is not so much.
    Sure, the UK is great for longer road riding and the variety of terrain is also good. My comment was based around driver attitude and cycling infrastructure


    It's getting better, for sure. Devon has put in some really good shared-use paths - for instance the ones either side of the Exe that make commuting possible from quite a number of villages. They are proposing to do one up the Teign.

    But with a proper shedload of money - which would just be a small percentage of the road budget - they could do some really ambitious stuff, such as buying back abandoned railway lines like the Exe Valley, which would make Tiverton a cyle-commuting town easily, and the Teign Valley line would be a very popular tourist route avoiding lumpy busy roads.

    Comes down to money and priorities, and still roads are seen as the big ticket item to focus on, for the time being, at least. Wales has moved the dial, a bit, but a lot more needs to be done.

    Problem in Wales is they’re doing things backwards and cutting road schemes before improving cycling facilities or public transport.

    They have finally done some consultation for a cycle route between Cardiff and Newport on the A48 with the ‘full’ option being basically what I suggested was an obvious solution about 30 years ago i.e. making the carriageway one lane in each direction and reallocating the other 2 lanes.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901
    edited February 2023
    Pross said:

    I think with the cycling in the UK you need to think along the lines of "least bad" rather than "good"

    I would disagree… Somerset is excellent for cycling… Yorkshire is excellent too. The problem with the UK are the very damp winters. Roads are censored from November to March. If you head to Italy, winters are cold but dry, you don’t need mudguards. But in terms of roads and scenery, with the exception of a few places Unesco worthy, the difference is not so much.
    Sure, the UK is great for longer road riding and the variety of terrain is also good. My comment was based around driver attitude and cycling infrastructure


    It's getting better, for sure. Devon has put in some really good shared-use paths - for instance the ones either side of the Exe that make commuting possible from quite a number of villages. They are proposing to do one up the Teign.

    But with a proper shedload of money - which would just be a small percentage of the road budget - they could do some really ambitious stuff, such as buying back abandoned railway lines like the Exe Valley, which would make Tiverton a cyle-commuting town easily, and the Teign Valley line would be a very popular tourist route avoiding lumpy busy roads.

    Comes down to money and priorities, and still roads are seen as the big ticket item to focus on, for the time being, at least. Wales has moved the dial, a bit, but a lot more needs to be done.

    Problem in Wales is they’re doing things backwards and cutting road schemes before improving cycling facilities or public transport.

    They have finally done some consultation for a cycle route between Cardiff and Newport on the A48 with the ‘full’ option being basically what I suggested was an obvious solution about 30 years ago i.e. making the carriageway one lane in each direction and reallocating the other 2 lanes.

    Mind you, that might make the cycle schemes an easier sell - trouble is when they spend a lot of money on a cycle scheme which isn't well used to start with, all the anti-cycling trolls come out to play. They even came out to play when they built an extra cycle/walkway over the Exe on the bypass *so that the cars could still have four lanes* on the main bridge: all they did was moan about the walkway.

    At least if you've got snarl-ups first, and then a cycling solution comes along, it's more likely to be used from the get-go.

    But not ideal, no.
  • gethinceri
    gethinceri Posts: 1,517
    edited February 2023



    "They have finally done some consultation for a cycle route between Cardiff and Newport on the A48 with the ‘full’ option being basically what I suggested was an obvious solution about 30 years ago i.e. making the carriageway one lane in each direction and reallocating the other 2 lanes."


    Surely that only needs to be a one-way, Westwards? Nobody in their right mind wants to go to Newport.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,533


    "They have finally done some consultation for a cycle route between Cardiff and Newport on the A48 with the ‘full’ option being basically what I suggested was an obvious solution about 30 years ago i.e. making the carriageway one lane in each direction and reallocating the other 2 lanes."


    Surely that only needs to be a one-way, Westwards? Nobody in their right mind wants to go to Newport.


    Unfortunately some have to go back through Newport to get home. A cycleway bypass would be nice though!