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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 01:08 
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Rural cycling poses one or two problems and new skills.

However, statistically cycling accidents are less frequent inthe countryside - but whenthey do occur - they are mushc more severe.

Now there are of course no "correct answers" for this - but just to open hopefully a good debate for cyclists and drivers and cyclist/drivers on our forum - why do you think this may be the case?

Debate idea inspired by one of Ru88ell's posts elsewhere. :wink: :bow:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 09:26 
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Location: middlish
i'm assuming this is rural road cycling... ?

no 'cycle' lanes
narrower roads
generally less visibility (twisty + hedges etc)
lower traffic density
higher vehicle speed (NSL)

how do i score? :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:36 
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ed_m wrote:
i'm assuming this is rural road cycling... ?

no 'cycle' lanes
narrower roads
generally less visibility (twisty + hedges etc)
lower traffic density
higher vehicle speed (NSL)

how do i score? :D


Not bad - but could you expand on one or two to explain why you think this is a part of the "dangers?" What are common errors, for example, with the narrow roads and bends?

In what way is the vegetation a "mixed blessing"

What other problems could you expect - and why would they be potential hazard?


Naturally percieved "safer" and less prone to collision because less traffic - but the rural traffic can be faster and far too many drivers, (tourist traffic - perhaps :? ) for some unfathomable reason, do not expect to see cyclists and horseriders in the country side (based on what they say to us :roll: if something happens... :roll: )

Also too many cyclists do not plan properly - underestimating hills or even in some cases sticking to flats only. (More triring - you are pedalling more at constant!)

What else should you consider when planning a long ride in the counryside?

(Lots of things to consider - so - thjis is now very open and loose! :wink: :lol: )

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Take with a chuckle or a grain of salt
Drive without COAST and it's all your own fault!

A SMILE is a curve that sets everything straight (P Diller).

A Smiley Per post
FINES USfor our COAST!


Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon - but driving with a smile and a COAST calm mind.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 01:54 
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Just a quickie - the danger of narrow lanes is in cyclists trying to hug the side of the road.
Drivers approaching are late in seeing them, and then try to pass inappropriately, and the cyclist has nowhere to go.

Ride FURTHER out into the road - to the left on right hand bends, and the right for left hand bends - this maximises the view ahead, and the chances of being SEEN from ahead.
Be aware of the potential view ahead from any bend/dip you have just exited, and allow for a driver being distracted by an attractive view!
Keep an ear out for traffic from behind, and as long as it is safe to do so, pull over to allow the vehicle to pass.
If it is NOT safe, then maintain your position until it is safe, OR if that might be some distance or time, then be prepared to STOP and allow the quick passage of traffic. Especially important if there are several vehicles, or several bikes.
Pedestrians can be as much a danger to cyclist on narrow lanes as cars, because they dont hear you coming, and may well be wandering in the road - obstructing your passage, or suddenly stepping in front of you.

Ring your bell/toot your horn in GOOD time, not at the last minute, which might startle them.
A pack of walkers can make matters worse by dividing to different sides of the lane, impeding your progress. However, always remain courteous - they might be picking you up off the road a bit further on!! :o

How am I doing so far on this one IG? :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 02:05 
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Ernest, that's all excellent stuff.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 03:58 
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Sorry - I forgot to mention homicidal sheep which dart out in front of cyclists.... deliberately! :o

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 04:46 
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My rural roads are probably different to others, due to geography and nature of users (Grockles especially).

In what way is the vegetation a "mixed blessing" Can overgrow the lanes, reducing views, and put down wet leaves in Autumn. However it can be cooling, provides shade and soft landing where verges are wider.

What other problems could you expect - and why would they be potential hazard? We have "Drystone walls" with no cement - stones get dislodged and lie in the road.
Drivers watch the view rather than the road, or park awkwardly to stop and photograph the same. :bunker:
Cow/horse muck on the road is both unpleasant, and slippery. However if fresh, it provides a warning as to what may lie around the next corner. :scratchchin:
OTHER cyclists - often you dont hear each other approaching, and might well be badly positioned if encountered suddenly around a corner. Being narrow, cyclists often have a choice on which side thay can pass in such an emergency - and it's not always the right one! :oops:

Rural roads are often poorly maintained, and ruts and potholes are a problem - especially in hilly descents. Watch out for drivers following too closely behind!

:tank:

Naturally percieved "safer" and less prone to collision because less traffic - but the rural traffic can be faster and far too many drivers, (tourist traffic - perhaps ) for some unfathomable reason, do not expect to see cyclists and horseriders in the country side (based on what they say to us if something happens... ) Driving slowly can lead some drivers to underestimate their stopping distances - wet roads, or agricultural debris, and small undulations in the road can all reduce stopping distances. Just imagine driving over a surface which resembled an egg tray instead of a baking tray! Each bump throws the wheel up against the weight of the vehicle, momentarily reducing the grip.

Also too many cyclists do not plan properly - underestimating hills or even in some cases sticking to flats only. (More triring - you are pedalling more at constant!) Not a problem around here - it's rarely flat for more than a few yards!! Ings is a slight incline - I never knew until I cycled it!!

What else should you consider when planning a long ride in the counryside?
Location of suitable routes to enable journey to be cut short in the event of inclemment weather, or breakdown of machine or rider!! Suitable places (Hostelries!) to stop for rests/nourishment. :drink: :drink2:
:drink: :drink: The ability of the POOREST rider if accompanied, so as not to over exert any of your party. Communications should anything untoward happen, and at least basic first aid. Suitable clothing for the terrain, AND the weather.
LAST but not least, LIGHTS in case the journey is extended beyond lighting up CONDITIONS (not time!).


(Lots of things to consider - so - thjis is now very open and loose! )
A bit like your typing IG - are you sure you dont want an introduction to Mavis Beacon, or low alcohol wine? :typing: :lol: :D
Always consider doing a reconnaisance drive in the car if the ride is extensive - if you dont know the area.:steering: Take a suitable map under the same conditions.
Finally watch out for Postman Pat - his driving on narrow rural roads is appalling - I hope that it has improved for the latest series, or I will be pushing for a police operation :stop: in Greendale!


Did you know John Cunliffe (the writer of Postman Pat) lived in Kendal, and much of the scenery in the original series was based around the area?
Pencaster is a derivative of Penrith and Lancaster.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 22:28 
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Ern :clap: :bow: superb answer :clap: :bow:

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Take with a chuckle or a grain of salt
Drive without COAST and it's all your own fault!

A SMILE is a curve that sets everything straight (P Diller).

A Smiley Per post
FINES USfor our COAST!


Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon - but driving with a smile and a COAST calm mind.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 23:40 
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In Gear wrote:
Ern :clap: :bow: superb answer :clap: :bow:


:bib: you're :welcome: :popcorn:
Of course it's all easily understood - not like my postings in to merge or not to merge!! :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 15:08 
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Ernest: what you say about not riding on the edge of country roads is fine - avoiding punctures and general cr*p from Farmer Giles's antics - but the problems come with faster B-roads and their ilk. As a cyclist you need to be well aware of both following and approaching vehicles, a not uncommon scenario being of a following vehicle whose engine note doesn't change as another approaches. You just know what's going to happen - the driver will pass without crossing the white line and without reducing speed. You need to ready to take avoiding action which may mean stopping for your own protection, for example. Just being visible won't protect you.

Sheep - I learnt how to deal with them on a motorbike where there is less time to react. You have to watch them closely and they usually give you clues which way they are going to go. However not belting down hill on an unfenced road is a good idea as a high-speed off is not a pleasing thought on a bike.

Mud on road - the present mixture of days of application of rock salt and the moisture it attracts is very slippery especially on white lines so don't lean over crossing them. Solid iron drain covers are especially slippery at the moment. Hanging off the bike GP-style can help you avoid a spill.

But don't forget in all of this: cycling in the country beats cycling in town any day. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 19:55 
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Like I said - your roads are probably different to mine!! :lol:

Here in the Lakes, we have lots of narrow hilly side roads, and relatively few B roads - one exception being the "Crook Road" which has a universally ignored 40 limit for most of it's length, and has some fast stretches.
I did qualify my keep out from the kerb, with the instruction to keep left for right hand bends, and right for left hand bends. This keeps you in view from further back, for longer, but leaves you with a safety space in the case of left hand bends.

My comment about the view from a bend you have just exited applies to car drivers too.
If as you round a bend, you see the view ahead is poor or difficult in some way (hollow in the road etc.) you should realise that as you progress, any vehicles coming up behind will be less liable to see you. It could even apply to a spectacular view which distracts the attention.

As a last resort, if a situation arises where a vehicle should NOT attempt to pass, then a rider should position him/herself to obstruct the road so as to make a hasty overtake impossible. However this should not be attempted lightly. With the twists and turns we have here, this is not so uncommon on the narrower lanes. In general, I have found motorists on these lanes more cooperative.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 20:05 
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A Cyclist wrote:
You just know what's going to happen - the driver will pass without crossing the white line and without reducing speed. You need to ready to take avoiding action which may mean stopping for your own protection, for example. Just being visible won't protect you.


Yup - it's these halfwits that need sorting out. It would be great if there was an independent motoring organisation that campaigned about this kind of ignorant nonsense. I've been bombed like this by a car doing about 80mph. It is no fun.


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