Why do riders refuse to use cycle paths?

by allaboutadam   January 6, 2012  

Usual local media rubbish, but really wound me up so thought I'd share.
The irony is most cycle traffic goes faster along there at peak time anyway - so its pretty unlikely he ever has a problem of overtaking a cyclist, more like getting overtaken by too many!

http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/riders-refuse-use-cycle-paths/story-143336...

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There's a "cycle path" close to home that I could use, runs along the side of a country "A" road so in theory would be an attractive option. However:

- its other name is "the pavement", so straight away you're sharing with any pedestrians (or more likely runners) who happen to be around
- the state of the tarmac is atrocious and does not appear to undergo maintenance.
- there's always glass on it...can never fathom how it gets there, but its there

so I take my chances on the road. Not pleasant being passed by a Tesco lorry doing 60mph, but there you go.

My experience also of the cycle lanes in London is that in general there is so much ironwork that in the wet they are treacherous (not to mention bumpy in any weather).

These things are great ideas but as usual in this country the implementation is all screwed up.

I was at first tempted to say that the guy writing this blog is an idiot. Except he's not, really. Everything he says should be correct. But he is ignorant of just how impractical these "facilities" can be.

Pete

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posted by PeteH [159 posts]
6th January 2012 - 14:08

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"Exeter's answer to Jeremy Clarkson". Enough said.

The worst bit is that billious, ignorant, self-serving crap as this will allow the small-minded dickheads who read it to think they are given license abuse and threaten anyone on a bicycle.

There is a simple reason: cycle paths can occasionally be pleasant to ride on but a lot of the time they are NOT.

Some pedestrians appear to deliberately choose to walk on the 'cycle lane' side of a shared path. I often wonder whether it's deliberately done to annoy cyclists, start an argument or simply that they're stupid and spend the whole time staring pathetically at their mobile phone.

Then there are the dog walkers with retractable leads. The leads, the owners and the dogs themselves can each be a menace, and on top of that you get to ride through or swerve round the dog sh*t.

Some people think it's fine to park their car or van illegally on a pavement or cyclepath because it's 10 yards nearer to their destination than where they can park legally.

Cycle paths are not salted in winter and often don't drain well when it rains. In Autumn one near my house gets covered in several places by piles of fallen beech leaves. When wet these are a real hazard. After the windy week we've had I expect the same stretch to have a large number of fallen branches too.

And let's not forget the broken bottles, wires and goodness knows what else on the track: http://road.cc/49882

If you're not swerving parked vehicles, dog poo, posts and drains then you are confronted by 'Cyclists Dismount' signs at every dropped kerb you reach. Stop, start, stop, start.... That is, until the cycle route suddenly disappears at a junction, where the road narrows, or the pavement ends so you're having to hop into the road (quite possibly on the wrong side) or walk. Grrrrr!

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
6th January 2012 - 15:13

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wrote:
As a responsible citizen I slow down. I fume. And I add fumes. Slow-moving traffic wastes fuel and adds to carbon emissions. Idiots who ignore cycle paths should appreciate that future generations of children will drown as global warming wipes out Lympstone. And it's their fault.

Right. It's the fault of the cyclist, not of the person responsible for the gas guzzler spewing out the fumes in the first place.

A very special kind of tool...

posted by step-hent [672 posts]
6th January 2012 - 15:17

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Too many drivers have forgotten that we are not "in their way".

Cyclists are traffic - we use the road, just as they do.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
6th January 2012 - 15:44

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What a complete tit of a man his guy must be

big mick

posted by big mick [176 posts]
6th January 2012 - 17:13

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Because they're ALWAYS strewn with broken glass for some reason ... I do tend to use them on real busy stretches but if I spot glass I'm back on the road ....

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [300 posts]
6th January 2012 - 17:22

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I have a 25 mile round trip commute and use a cycle path for around 4 of it

To be fair there is a marked NCN route the whole distance - which takes you through back streets with blind corners, shocking junctions and un-necessarily steep drops & climbs - that's where you are not on sections of incredibly short cycle paths created by people who have obviously never commuted by bike in their puff!

The road on the other hand is mostly dual-carriageway, largely junction free and a treat to hammer along keeping a tad above 20 mph as much as I can manage

Not a hard choice is it?

posted by mad_scot_rider [546 posts]
6th January 2012 - 17:37

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Is he on about cycle 'lanes' or cycle 'paths'? I nmay be being perdantic here but in my experience the 'path' is nowhere near the road and is usually shared - I avoid these due to the fact that it goes nowhere near where you want to go and is littered with glass. Lanes - I also avoid as they have all the crap of the road and never get cleared and are also full of potholes due to the council's creating a lane that they do not need to maintain!! I'm usually travelling fast enough to not create a huge tailback and stay on the puncture free part of the carriageway - damn it I've now invoked the wrath of the pp's

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posted by giff77 [1048 posts]
6th January 2012 - 18:59

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As Simon E posted
Everytime i use the 'cyclepath/pavement' where i live i always end up getting punctures due to the debris/crap left on them

posted by Adey [98 posts]
6th January 2012 - 19:45

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Just posted the following response (on thisisexeter) to that guy's post.

Legally speaking, you should probably be aware that a cyclist has every right to be on the same road as your car, regardless of any other facilities that may be available. Morally speaking, you should be aware that most cyclists are also motorists, therefore will pay road tax just like you.

I would suggest that if you get in a car and contemplate deliberately knocking people over, or blasting them with your horn (presumably such that they come off their bike), the person unfit to be on the public highway is YOU.

I've also contacted the police about this to see if there are grounds to make a complaint - I doubt it but you never know. Its all very well dismissing the guy as an idiot but its scary that he's admitting driving his car contemplating whether or not to attempt to kill people.

Pete

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posted by PeteH [159 posts]
6th January 2012 - 22:55

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I live in West Cumbria and we are not overly blessed with cycle paths but what we do have is pretty crap. There is a nice route near me which will be familiar to anyone who's done the coast to coast, starting at Whitehaven. A truly lovely route next to the sea but used by dog walkers who mostly have them off the lead. They look at you as if you have no right to be there. I also share the puncture problems of the others above. I have now more or less crossed this off my routes although we are lucky to have plenty of nice back roads here! The other issue I have is one share with a poster above, they have obviously been laid out by a non cyclist!

posted by johnboymitchell [10 posts]
7th January 2012 - 10:52

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>that most cyclists are also motorists, therefore will pay road tax just like

If you feel you have to use this argument, *please* do the rest of us a favour and get it right - it's 'car tax', not 'road tax' (since it's Vehicle Excise Duty). Tho' I suspect the distinction will escape the recipient anyway...

posted by JonD [180 posts]
8th January 2012 - 0:39

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@jonD - I use the phrase "road tax" very deliberately because that is how it is perceived by many motorists, who think that because they pay this tax they have more right to be on the road than cyclists who do not (have to pay for their bikes).

Also, when you say "do the rest of us a favour", do you not think it is a little presumptuous of you to be claiming to be speaking on behalf of the cycling community?

I for one would not dream of claiming that anything I posted on here was anyone's view except my own.

Pete

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posted by PeteH [159 posts]
8th January 2012 - 13:00

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Guy is a complete idiot. Round here, 'cycle paths' are either pavements or derelict pathways full of potholes and assorted debris. Unfortunately, too many other road users share this guy's mindset.

posted by paulfg42 [374 posts]
8th January 2012 - 15:50

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PeteH wrote:
@jonD - I use the phrase "road tax" very deliberately because that is how it is perceived by many motorists, who think that because they pay this tax they have more right to be on the road than cyclists who do not (have to pay for their bikes).

When told by some gobby ignoramus that you don't pay Road Tax it would make more sense logically to say "Neither do you".

By saying you pay Road Tax you are perpetuating the myth that it even exists. That might be why it was suggested that you 'do us a favour'.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
8th January 2012 - 18:30

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As a cyclist I would quite gladly pay vehicle excise duty.

I assume that my bike would fall within the Band A category due to its CO2 emissions being below 100 g/km.

So, let's see, that would mean I have to pay....absolutely nothing, just like all the other vehicles that have low CO2 emissions!

Mr Nero can stick that in his exhaust pipe and smoke it.

Edit: I was so irritated by this article that I've now written a response on my site: http://www.bikingadventures.co.uk/why-cyclists-refuse-cycle-paths

Check out my blog at www.bikingadventures.co.uk

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posted by CraigTheBiker [11 posts]
8th January 2012 - 23:31

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CraigTheBiker - actually I think your figures for possible vehicle excise duty for bicycle riders are wrong.

Anyone registering a bicycle under the scheme should be paid by the DfT, as using a bicycle actually reduces CO2 emissions by removing the need for each engine-powered vehicle movements. In this way bicycle owners could earn credit points to offset the cost of their annual vehicle tax. It would encourage vehicle owners to use bicycles instead of their vehicles and reduce congestion and emissions.

Point that out to Mr Nero and tell him to shove it up his exhaust pipe.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2187 posts]
9th January 2012 - 11:09

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