Author Topic: Silly cyclepath obstructions  (Read 15379 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
Silly cyclepath obstructions
« on: July 26, 2013, 03:30:24 pm »
Inspired by this post.

Tragically I don't have photos of my real favourites (first person to post a picture of that spiral gate on the Wandle Trail wins), but I'm thinking:

Silly Sustrans Gates:


Ministry Of Crap Design:


Obstructive wildlife:


Dense undergrowth:


Impossible surfaces:
 

Portals to hell:


Strategically spaced bollards:


As well as:
Ludicrous gradients and/or steps
Broken lifts (Greenwich wins by default)
Navigational ambiguity
Badly parked vehicles (preferably interesting ones, or badly-placed designated parking spaces)
Amazing feats of fly tipping
Flooding
etc, etc.


Let's see what you've got...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 08:11:15 pm »
Diamond Geezer has some images of the Wandle Trail, including these two, which may be what you're referring to.  That does look like a spectacularly stupid design.



Actually, it is rocket science.
 

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 08:21:32 pm »
Dash it all!  I rode over the twirly bridge tonight, but took no photo.  It's been amended since TimO's photo.

Gate 74 has now been replaced, and, to be fair, is at the end of a section of footpath, where the cycle route diverts.
Getting there...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 10:08:41 pm »
The spiral bridges are wonderful. There should be one in ever kids' playground. But they do not belong on cycle paths.

What do the numbers on them refer to?
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

jogler

  • mojo operandi
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 10:54:49 pm »
I've always been pleased that the video of Basil having a sudden lie down terminates when it does 'cause it's me behind him;still upright at that moment  ;)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 07:33:20 am »
The spiral bridges are wonderful. There should be one in ever kids' playground. But they do not belong on cycle paths.

What do the numbers on them refer to?
Fatalities in the last 12 months, usually.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 07:59:19 am »
Or the numbers of people trapped inside.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2013, 08:06:05 am »
It all depends on whether you'd rather share the path with spotty 17 year olds doing 50 mph on nicked motocross bikes.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 08:17:48 am »
It all depends on whether you'd rather share the path with spotty 17 year olds doing 50 mph on nicked motocross bikes.

Not really.  They lift the bike in the way that many legitimate path users can't.  Or use the gap in the hedge, or enter the path from the other end or simply ride across the grass or whatever.

I've encountered them on paths from time to time, and tbh, they're less hazardous than the average dog.  By their nature, they want to avoid the busy sections of path, and I don't believe that illegal motorcycles do significant damage to surfaces that are actually appropriate for cycling on anyway.  The solution to such abuse is policing, not disproportionately inconvenient barriers that don't actually stop the problem.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2013, 01:14:55 pm »
... The solution to such abuse is policing, not disproportionately inconvenient barriers that don't actually stop the problem.

This, exactly.

I've very rarely seen motor vehicles of any description where they shouldn't be.  The only place I've seen them with any regularity, is on Tooting Bec Common, where once or twice a year caravans will appear for a few days.  The cycle paths there can actually be partially closed off with gates to stop this, but the council workers often leave these gates open to make it easy for them to get their vans through when emptying the bins, or doing maintenance.

The spiral ones shown on the Wandle Path are excessively stupid examples of such, they're far more involved and complicated than they need to be for this purpose, and look to have been made because someone liked the attractive design, which is tolerable on a path where you'd use them occasionally, but not really appropriate on a route which could be used by a lot of people regularly.  As we all know, they aren't just annoying for regular cyclists, they fail to work for tandems, tricycles, recumbents, trailers, pushchairs, and wheel chairs, all of which are legal and generally responsible users of the routes.

The perception that there will be vast numbers of illegal motorcycles is often far larger than the reality of the situation.  Most motor cyclists don't want to go down narrow, ill surfaced routes with poor visibility.  Cyclists use those routes because the limitations are tolerable given the distances that they can often shorten their travels by.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Kim

  • Timelord
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 02:54:43 pm »
Diamond Geezer has some images of the Wandle Trail, including these two, which may be what you're referring to.  That does look like a spectacularly stupid design.





I don't see Wobbly John complaining about this one.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 02:58:48 pm »
How the f*ck are you supposed to get a bike+trailer around that?
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2015, 03:15:22 pm »
What a ridiculous question, Mr Charly. Frankly, I'm ashamed that we have anyone on YACF who can consider such an absurd scenario.  ::-)


It's a cycle path, that means it's for solo bikes only, with tyres suited to muddy conditions and riders blessed with outstanding coordination, balance and nerves. They will also have the strength to ride up a grassy one in four slope but the self-restraint to never exceed 12mph. It's not meant for anything like practical bike usage. That's what we have roads erm, cars for.

(Alternative answer: on a unicycle)
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2015, 03:24:55 pm »
As for the problem of motorcycles on cycle paths, if these are really a problem* then why not adopt the design used on rural bridleways of the muddy, horsey type: a padlocked gate which can be swung open for maintenance access, but in its closed position has a large cutout with a lip a few inches high. Just high enough to stop a motorbike (or other wheeled vehicle) crossing it, but easy for a horse to step over. Obviously, you can't cycle over this - but it's quite easy for most people to lift most cycles over, even a tandem. It would, of course, still be a problem for many disabled people unless they had an able-bodied companion, and might require unhitching a trailer. It's far from perfect, but it's got to be a lot better for cyclists (and cheaper to install) than those spirals (or even lots of bollards and chicanes currently in use).

*Having used the Bristol-Bath path off and on since 1986, I've only once seen a 'live' motorcycle on the path, and that was chugging along slowly and respectfully with a fisherman on its back (might have been a bit lost, actually). OTOH, I've seen lots of scooter-shaped charred tar areas - always in the same districts, too.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2015, 03:42:48 pm »
As for the problem of motorcycles on cycle paths, if these are really a problem* then why not adopt the design used on rural bridleways of the muddy, horsey type: a padlocked gate which can be swung open for maintenance access, but in its closed position has a large cutout with a lip a few inches high. Just high enough to stop a motorbike (or other wheeled vehicle) crossing it, but easy for a horse to step over. Obviously, you can't cycle over this - but it's quite easy for most people to lift most cycles over, even a tandem. It would, of course, still be a problem for many disabled people unless they had an able-bodied companion, and might require unhitching a trailer. It's far from perfect, but it's got to be a lot better for cyclists (and cheaper to install) than those spirals (or even lots of bollards and chicanes currently in use).


Silly Sustrans Gate by Nikki Pugh, on Flickr
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2015, 04:34:01 pm »
Exactly the thing. How much of an obstacle was it for you - and your companions? Was it worse or better for a recumbent than a knupwrite? I can see you're pretty laden there - was that a big problem? And how did Barakta cope with it, if she was with you?

ETA: Odd, but I don't recall ever having used one of those myself.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2015, 04:59:01 pm »
As for the problem of motorcycles on cycle paths, if these are really a problem* then why not adopt the design used on rural bridleways of the muddy, horsey type: a padlocked gate which can be swung open for maintenance access, but in its closed position has a large cutout with a lip a few inches high. Just high enough to stop a motorbike (or other wheeled vehicle) crossing it, but easy for a horse to step over. Obviously, you can't cycle over this - but it's quite easy for most people to lift most cycles over, even a tandem. It would, of course, still be a problem for many disabled people unless they had an able-bodied companion, and might require unhitching a trailer. It's far from perfect, but it's got to be a lot better for cyclists (and cheaper to install) than those spirals (or even lots of bollards and chicanes currently in use).


Silly Sustrans Gate by Nikki Pugh, on Flickr

There is a very real chance that if I was cycling along there I would not have seen that gate and taken a flyer.   

Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2015, 06:09:51 pm »
Exactly the thing. How much of an obstacle was it for you - and your companions? Was it worse or better for a recumbent than a knupwrite? I can see you're pretty laden there - was that a big problem? And how did Barakta cope with it, if she was with you?

ETA: Odd, but I don't recall ever having used one of those myself.

I was the sole accompaniment on that one. Trans Pennine way somewhere in the region of Selby, I think. I don't remember it being a barrel of laffs on a (similarly loaded) Sustrans standard hybrid, but we also had to cope with a muddy singletrack section around the edge of a field as part of that bit too, so the whole experience for that bit was generally a bit ARGH!

I enjoyed the airfield bit, though.

There is a very real chance that if I was cycling along there I would not have seen that gate and taken a flyer.   

We had enough trouble getting you moving again after the last incident...

(click to show/hide)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2015, 06:15:42 pm »
As for the problem of motorcycles on cycle paths, if these are really a problem* then why not adopt the design used on rural bridleways of the muddy, horsey type: a padlocked gate which can be swung open for maintenance access, but in its closed position has a large cutout with a lip a few inches high. Just high enough to stop a motorbike (or other wheeled vehicle) crossing it, but easy for a horse to step over. Obviously, you can't cycle over this - but it's quite easy for most people to lift most cycles over, even a tandem. It would, of course, still be a problem for many disabled people unless they had an able-bodied companion, and might require unhitching a trailer. It's far from perfect, but it's got to be a lot better for cyclists (and cheaper to install) than those spirals (or even lots of bollards and chicanes currently in use).


Silly Sustrans Gate by Nikki Pugh, on Flickr

There is a very real chance that if I was cycling along there I would not have seen that gate and taken a flyer.
Probably worth making that point to Sustrans etc, as I doubt it's occurred to them.

Clarification: Clearly they've considered visibility of the barrier, because they've put some yellow-black tape on part of it; but they probably haven't thought of someone with a visual impairment cycling there (other than as a tandem stoker). PB, what would help you notice that? Would it work for you if the yellow-black tape extended all the way down and along the ledge? Or if the wooden part of the ledge was painted a brightly contrasting colour?
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2015, 07:14:40 pm »
The twirly gate is avoidable by going a different way which I used to do when I had the trailer.

As for the problem of motorcycles on cycle paths, if these are really a problem* then why not adopt the design used on rural bridleways of the muddy, horsey type: a padlocked gate which can be swung open for maintenance access, but in its closed position has a large cutout with a lip a few inches high. Just high enough to stop a motorbike (or other wheeled vehicle) crossing it, but easy for a horse to step over. Obviously, you can't cycle over this - but it's quite easy for most people to lift most cycles over, even a tandem. It would, of course, still be a problem for many disabled people unless they had an able-bodied companion, and might require unhitching a trailer. It's far from perfect, but it's got to be a lot better for cyclists (and cheaper to install) than those spirals (or even lots of bollards and chicanes currently in use).


Silly Sustrans Gate by Nikki Pugh, on Flickr

This is a right pain with a child trailer, or a tandem with a child stoker and a babyseat or for those with mobility issues. It is not, however, any use for stopping motorcycles. I've met motorbikes on stretches of path where I had to remove all my panniers to negotiate gates. Most barriers are more of a problem to those with mobility issues, children or luggage than to young fit chaps on motorbikes.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2015, 07:40:46 pm »
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pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2015, 08:05:31 pm »
Heading into Birmingham.



I noticed quite a few motorcycles roaring up and down the cycle path (having their own access at other places...)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2015, 08:28:48 pm »
Most barriers are more of a problem to those with mobility issues, children or luggage than to young fit chaps on motorbikes.
While most of the motorbikers causing problems probably are young fit chaps, I doubt you have to be particularly fit to get a motorbike over most of those barriers - after all, it has far more power than any cyclist, and in effect a barrier in that style is just a kerb. Width-based restrictions won't keep out a trailie bike unless they're so narrow they also cause problems for everyone else legitimately using the path. I expect what seems to keep motorbikes off the Bristol-Bath path is its popularity and the availability of more attractive off-road options (equally illegal, such as Purdown) nearby.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Silly cyclepath obstructions
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2015, 11:13:23 pm »
Exactly the thing. How much of an obstacle was it for you - and your companions? Was it worse or better for a recumbent than a knupwrite? I can see you're pretty laden there - was that a big problem? And how did Barakta cope with it, if she was with you?

I was able to waddle over it, lifting the front wheel with the handlebars to mount it.  On an upright, Id' probably have dismounted properly, because of stand-over issues.  Requires enough height and arm strength to lift the front end your bike a few inches off the ground, obviously.  With a small-wheeled bike, you'd probably just carry the whole thing across.

The ICE trike would have had more of a problem.  You'd have to dismount, rotate the trike and pull it over in reverse (this is the standard way to wheel a tadpole trike).  If it's a Sprint (or equivalent) there wouldn't be enough clearance on the low point of the cruciform, so you'd have to lift the rear wheel high enough that it wouldn't scrape.  If you've got panniers (or one of Mr Ping's finest LiFePO4 batteries) on the back, that would mean unloading if you're not very strong/tall.


Nikki may not remember, but after some of the rutted off-roading further down the track, we encountered another one of these gates.  This had acquired a sufficient accumulation of mud up against the step that it was pretty much ridable.  It's one of the easiest forms of barrier to defeat, in that respect.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...