Cyclists go too fast on Bristol-Bath railway path, says cyclist injured by speeding cyclist

Woman hit head-on by "reckless" cyclist on blind corner

by Sarah Barth   October 6, 2012  

Bath Bristol Bike Path- riding in the snow.JPG

A female cyclist who suffered cuts and bruises when she was hit by another cyclist on the Bristol to Bath railway path has said that riders should slow down to avoid potentially life-threatening injuries.

Kim Tanner, 28, was involved in a collision with a female cyclist on the Clay Bottom bend of the path. 

She told the Bristol Evening Post: "I was involved in a head-on collision with another cyclist who was wearing full racing gear and standing up on her pedals.

"She was hurtling towards me on the wrong side of a blind bend despite there being signs clearly warning cyclists to slow down and keep left. I had no time to avoid her.

"Despite my protests that she was travelling too fast and on the wrong side of the path, the woman simply said, 'these things happen'.

"I began to shake, and burst into tears. I had to phone my husband to come and pick me up as I was too shaken up to cycle home."

Mrs Tanner said that she still finds it hard to get on her bike.

She said: "The trauma of the incident is still causing me to shake and feel physically sick at times.

"I consider myself a pretty strong person. But when I got back on my bike to cycle to work on Monday, I was jumpy and anxious when anything came into my vision.

"As I approached the bend where the incident occurred, I began to feel nauseous, and slowed down to an almost complete stop.

"I feel my confidence may take some time to return and I hope that the woman who caused the collision will have learnt something from it. I hope she will refrain from such reckless cycling in future – especially if she could see the photo of my injuries."

The 13 mile off-road path has 'slow' signs at points along its length. It is open to walkers and cyclists, and becomes very busy during commuter rush hours and on sunny weekends. It was built more than 30 years ago by Sustrans on the site of the former Midland Railway.

Most of the path is owned by Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council or Bath and North East Somerset Council.

46 user comments

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Jaltham wrote:
andybwhite wrote:
Rule #5 !

I agree! As we don't have the other side of the story we can't point the finger at anyone! Accidents happen guys!

I wonder if people would say that if it was a car on the wrong side ?

But your right we dont have the full story.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2667 posts]
6th October 2012 - 16:07

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I blame Strava

Skardy's picture

posted by Skardy [96 posts]
6th October 2012 - 16:45

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fred22 wrote:
I find it a bit depressing that commentators are in turn knocking pedestrians. Surely the duty of care and consideration extends from the 'stronger' to the less strong. So in general, motorists should yield for cyclists, and in turn cyclists should yield for pedestrians.

There's actually nothing wrong with dogs off the leads, or children playing. Slow down -if you want to speed along get on the road or a non shared use path

Probably right, in a way, about dogs off leads, but dogs on those extending leads?! They make life 'interesting'.

posted by pwake [280 posts]
6th October 2012 - 18:10

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I blame strava too. completely ridiculous to have a segment along the path. it should be removed. in fact i've tried to report it in the past

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7252 posts]
6th October 2012 - 18:51

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on a separate note, strava is the fucking pits. i hate it.

posted by pj [138 posts]
6th October 2012 - 19:27

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fred22 wrote:
I find it a bit depressing that commentators are in turn knocking pedestrians. Surely the duty of care and consideration extends from the 'stronger' to the less strong. So in general, motorists should yield for cyclists, and in turn cyclists should yield for pedestrians.

There's actually nothing wrong with dogs off the leads, or children playing. Slow down -if you want to speed along get on the road or a non shared use path

How is it okay to have a dog off the lead close to people on bikes? How slow should a cyclist go to pass a dog ?
This rankles as I used to commute on this type of path but was increasingly frustrated at having to slow every few hundred yards to walking speed for people or dogs. On one occasion a guys dog jumped out of the hedge and nearly took me down at which point the dog owner shouted at me!
I wasn't speeding - I was on a hybrid riding conservatively on a dead straight path.

Anyway I now ride on the road to work instead but its annoying that this path has been funded by money designated to improve cycling facilities but instead its a dog exercise track and toilet.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
6th October 2012 - 20:30

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pj wrote:
the path has been full of mamilnodders stomping on the pedals on their hugely expensive sportive weapons for a few years now.

it's like the thunderdome in mad max, but with a crazed weekend warrior on a lapierre, busting out some high-end dhb armour, on a collision course with a hapless family on tagalongs, rather than a bemulleted tina turner.

On a separate note I really hate the term 'mamilnodder'. What is exactly wrong with middle aged men in Lycra riding expensive (or indeed any) bikes? Is cycling only a pastime that's to be reserved for specially 'pure' cycling types who were born to it or something and ride their bikes in an approved keepers-of-the-true-flame style?

Sorry to go off on one, but terms like 'nodder' and 'fred' piss me off… but you might have guessed that already Wink

On a separate, separate note you're right about it being like Mad Max down there… the most stressful ride I ever did was on the bike path one May bank holiday more than 10 years ago now when my then five year old daughter and a hundred or more other kids took part in the Blue Peter Ride for Life. They weren't so much the problem, nor were the families and dog walkers out on the route, but then add in all sorts of other people on bikes with lane disclipline and handling skills on about a par with the kids and top it off with blokes on race bikes and in various club colours, and who weren't Johnny-come-lately cyclists, barrelling through the throng at breakneck speeds heading home from training rides I'd guess and accidents were bound to happen. And they duly did. I've never been so glad to finish a bike ride. Oh, and that was a good decade before Strava existed.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
6th October 2012 - 20:38

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point taken regarding mamil/nodder - it was a flippant comment. however, i think you're overly defensive here. it's not like it's inaccurate - the middle aged man in lycra is one of the singular defining features of the current bike boom - or offensive. we're getting our fair share of mamils and nodders into the bristol clubs these days and they are all entirely welcome. if we were keeping the flame we'd be riding fixed over the tourmalet and whispering 'assassins' at the organisers.

anyway - club cyclist, nodder, chopper, racing whippet, etc - they all need to ride slowly and considerately on the cycle path or ride on the road. unfortunately it just doesn't happen.

posted by pj [138 posts]
6th October 2012 - 20:56

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TheHatter wrote:
fred22 wrote:
I find it a bit depressing that commentators are in turn knocking pedestrians. Surely the duty of care and consideration extends from the 'stronger' to the less strong. So in general, motorists should yield for cyclists, and in turn cyclists should yield for pedestrians.

There's actually nothing wrong with dogs off the leads, or children playing. Slow down -if you want to speed along get on the road or a non shared use path

How is it okay to have a dog off the lead close to people on bikes? How slow should a cyclist go to pass a dog ?


On a shared use path? As I say, to me there's an unspoken hierarchy of sharing with the other sections of users. id suggest you be prepared to slow to a halt if you see pedestrians ahead, its just good manners, as mentioned if you're out breaking speed records then try the road?

posted by fred22 [207 posts]
6th October 2012 - 21:07

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pj wrote:
anyway - club cyclist, nodder, chopper, racing whippet, etc - they all need to ride slowly and considerately on the cycle path or ride on the road. unfortunately it just doesn't happen.

Yes, totally agree that's the way it should be, but too often it isn't.

And sorry wasn't meaning to have a pop at you, just one of my pet hates that I haven't had the chance to sound off about,(being middle-aged and not averse to donning Lycra*) and you gave me the opportunity to unload.

*Sometimes even to go cycling

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
6th October 2012 - 21:49

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Have to say I resent dogs off the lead on a shared path, and ts got nothing to do with strava or speeding. Why does curtious behaviour only sit on the shoulders of the cyclist? Whetger you are riding at ten or twenty mph, a loose dog is a damn right pain in the arse. If they arent trying to run under your wheels, they are trying to bite you.
A shared path is after all a public highway of sorts, and no dog owner would let their dog loose on a road with cars hey?
I say, want rag along on your bike... Find a road, want to let your dog off the lead, find a footpath or field.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [211 posts]
6th October 2012 - 21:58

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andybwhite wrote:
Rule #5 !

Agreed. Also see rule #81.

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
6th October 2012 - 22:18

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I've been ridden into by a rather large gentleman travelling at speed squeezed into his race gear on the Railway Path. He blamed me for being in the way when he was coming the other way. Still, I'm sure having several holes in my ankle from my chain-ring puncturing it, shredding my shoes and ripping a pair of jeans was worth it if it meant he got nearer the top of the Strava leaderboard!

As has already been said, there's a time and a place, and blind corners and intersections with schools and local neighbourhoods on a shared use path isn't it.

posted by Adam Ef [4 posts]
6th October 2012 - 22:45

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Near sunderland there is a hardpack path among trees with a few blind turns and while it is very fun to fly past them at top speed, once you actually think of what could happen it's not hard to slow down.

etc etc etc

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ValentinKokorin

London2Paris24: 450km, 24 hours, 5th-6th July 2014

I will miss TdF in Yorskhire!!! Please donate! Big Grin

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posted by koko56 [312 posts]
7th October 2012 - 0:16

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Bottom line; be considerate

posted by Beaufort [118 posts]
7th October 2012 - 7:45

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Hmm, I am a very considerate cyclist and I love Strava, It doesn't make me rush through zebra crossings, traffic lights etc, it's the poor cyclist that chooses to do that.

To anyone who would fly around a blind bend too fast, just think how you would feel if you hit some mothers toddler because you were going too fast to avoid the collision and now slow the f*** down.

posted by kie7077 [425 posts]
7th October 2012 - 10:24

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Just sounds like a one-sided story. I have no idea what the relevance of the cyclist wearing 'full racing gear' is, nor that she was out of her saddle.

I have to say that the 'victims' complaints don't make her sound strong at all. A better argument would be made if it was combined with facts and data about other cyclists and the likelihood of a fatal crash. It looks like a colourful bruise, but hardly life threatening.

Hopefully this nice young lady will get a better perspective on it all and begin to enjoy cycling again.

Would love to hear the alternative perspective.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1085 posts]
7th October 2012 - 12:17

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
...nor that she was out of her saddle.

I spend huge amounts of time out of the saddle, a bad habit from many years of single speed mountain biking.

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
7th October 2012 - 16:47

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Dogs this, people that..............you would think they were trespassing on a cycle only path. Its open to all so we just have to live with it and stop saying everyone else is in the wrong. Thinking

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2667 posts]
7th October 2012 - 19:26

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shared dogs on leads racing for strava segments are the REAL problem. when will someone take down these sick, segment-chasing stray hounds.

posted by pj [138 posts]
7th October 2012 - 20:11

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We live on a cul-de-sac that backs onto the path. At weekends it fills up with cars with bike racks on, overspill from the car park at the steam railway. The path is rammed at weekends with people who just want a quiet place to ride their bike, and rammed at commuter time with people who want a traffic- and hill-free ride to work.

The solution isn't white lines down the middle of the path (you can still see the faded remnants of these in places) or nagging laminated notices, it's more high-spec traffic-free paths to cater to this demand.

It would also help if they were a bit more direct than the Railway Path; there's a tendency for commuters to ride as fast as they can in order to try and make up for the extra distance, and the fiddly way it links into town at the Bristol end.

posted by Mr Agreeable [131 posts]
8th October 2012 - 10:04

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I'm out of the saddle now. Unfortunately.

posted by mbrads72 [115 posts]
8th October 2012 - 12:59

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Mr Agreeable wrote:
The solution isn't white lines down the middle of the path (you can still see the faded remnants of these in places) or nagging laminated notices, it's more high-spec traffic-free paths to cater to this demand.

Argh! No! You can't do that! If you build more paths, you'll only encourage more cyclists and Bristol doesn't want that. It's not like it's a cycling city. Oh, hang on a minute Wink

Anyway, there's no more money. Bristol isn't building any more roads at the moment. It's not like they're building the missing south-western Bristol link road between the A38 and the A370. Oh, hang on a minute Wink

Also... traffic-free??? Car-free maybe...

Oh well, there's no political will. It won't change. It's not like any of the candidates for Mayor of Bristol are pro-cycling. Oh, hang on a minute Wink http://www.jonrogers.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id... (other candidates may be pro-cycling, but I've yet to find them: the greens want to build a bus station at Temple Meads, but don't mention anything for cycling in their plan for Bristol, which has attracted some comment)

posted by a.jumper [681 posts]
8th October 2012 - 13:14

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Strava. Hmmmm. It's only a matter of time before the press get hold of this and paint it as illegal road racing and paint all cyclists as TT nuts with no regard for others safety.

Aside it being anti-social for other road users to be honest I can't see the point of Strava. When I go out on my local training run it's me against my clock and the weather that day. I don't what to know what time someone else is doing on another day.

Advertisers keep pushing social media links to these Apps because they hope to grow their client lists in order to sell the company for a profit - it has nothing to do with all being together in a happy racing fraternity.

Risking your life to beat the time of someone you don't know and will probably never meet who set the time on a different day with different conditions and different gearing just seems pointless and a bit sad.

Go join a club, meet people you don't like and kick their arse in person each week. It's much more satisfying believe me. Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
8th October 2012 - 13:20

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a.jumper, you can read cycling-focused interviews with all of Bristol's mayoral candidates here:

http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/node/154

Jon Rogers is a big supporter of Bristol cycling. Unfortunately he's also the sole mayoral candidate who supports the Council's ill-thought-out scheme to drive a high speed bus route through South Bristol, which would involve degrading or even removing a lot of the semi-decent cycle infrastructure there:

http://stopbrt2.org.uk/

posted by Mr Agreeable [131 posts]
8th October 2012 - 13:58

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It's only a matter of time before the press get hold of this... and paint all cyclists as... nuts with no regard for others safety

Ahem. I take it you don't read the local papers much? Wink

Not a fan of Strava, but isn't it just the latest manifestation of the long-standing phenomenon of competitive urges being indulged outside a formally organised and marshalled race?

See also speedometers, Cat 6 racing ("The Game"), alleycats, and various other things that have failed to bring about the end of cycling. Even the sole organised TT I've done was held on open roads without a marshall in sight.

posted by Mr Agreeable [131 posts]
8th October 2012 - 14:08

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Mr Agreeable wrote:
http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/node/154

Jon Rogers is a big supporter of Bristol cycling. Unfortunately he's also the sole mayoral candidate who supports the Council's ill-thought-out scheme to drive a high speed bus route through South Bristol, which would involve degrading or even removing a lot of the semi-decent cycle infrastructure there:

http://stopbrt2.org.uk/


Thanks for those. Sadly, pro-cycling does not mean infallible. Also, it's interesting which candidates are pro-cycling when interviewed about cycling, but don't think it's worth putting in their online manifesto! (Green, Labour...)

posted by a.jumper [681 posts]
8th October 2012 - 15:22

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Bit more on the mayoral candidates' attitudes to cycling here:

http://www.greaterbristol.com/pages/75questions.html#eleven

All of them seem fairly wishy-washy to be honest, but Jon Roger's invocation of antisocial cycling is worrying, and he seems to be promoting the feeble (and blame-shifting) "let's all be nice to each other" ethos over actual street level improvements for walkers and cyclists.

There's a mayoral hustings on transport and active travel on 30 October. You have to pre-register but if you're interested in cycling it might be good to go along and ask them a few awkward questions. Smile

http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=498

posted by Mr Agreeable [131 posts]
8th October 2012 - 16:27

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The growth in cycling is a wonderful problem to have and we know a little about this! Nerd

http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/see-and-do/cycling/share-the-space-drop-yo...

It's vital that everyone uses Greenways with consideration for others.

Greenways, such as this one, which are spaced use spaces - often with a pedestrian priority - are becoming more heavily used, especially for commuting, as many people perceived the road networks around them are not safe enough.

This isn't really what they are designed for, however, and routes like this can only do so much to absorb this growth. Highways agencies MUST do more to cater for the changing demands of road users and provide range of suitable safe routes for all.

This is why we, at Canal & River Trust, are actively working with TFL and London boroughs to promote alternative routes around Towpath Greenways.

http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/4518447/strategic-cycle-routes-coordinator/

The Regents' Canal - for example - can sometimes experience 500 cyclists in an hour at peak commuting times (The towpath is less than 2 meters wide in places and often overwhelmed) and there is evidence that many people no longer feel safe to walk or cycle there as a result.

Our fantastic Volunteer Towpath Ranger team work hard to encourage considerate use by all towpath visitors and with TFL's help we have implemented a wide range of physical measures on the towpath (including signage, speed bumps, chicanes, better surfacing, widening and more subtle design features) to improve the experience for all users of the towpath. (Over the past 5 years we have invested some £4 million across the 100 mile London network in this way.)

Dick Vincent
London Towpath Ranger

posted by Towpath Ranger [4 posts]
8th October 2012 - 19:50

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Mr Agreeable wrote:
http://www.greaterbristol.com/pages/75questions.html#eleven

All of them seem fairly wishy-washy to be honest, but Jon Roger's invocation of antisocial cycling is worrying, and he seems to be promoting the feeble (and blame-shifting) "let's all be nice to each other" ethos over actual street level improvements for walkers and cyclists.

There's a mayoral hustings on transport and active travel on 30 October. http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=498


Sadly I'm away that day, but I hope other readers can go.

being nice is no protection, sadly. I've been abused just for riding on the road. Enforcement is needed, else some will ignore the rules because it benefits them in the short term. Some of all modes of transport. And the ones with big metal will win, until enough do it to cause chaos.

posted by a.jumper [681 posts]
9th October 2012 - 13:28

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