Author Topic: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on  (Read 19708 times)

RichForrest

  • T'is I, Silverback.
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2008, 12:23:21 am »
I'd have to say the A74 as well, it was ok from Abington and down past Beattock (before the motorway was built) but the bit across the bridge towards Carlisle was horrendous exspecially as it was chucking it down when we rode it, the spray from the lorries made it worse.

Rich.


Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2008, 12:39:46 am »
The A65 near Kirby Lonsdale, no contest.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2008, 08:59:48 am »
A40 Gloucester at 5 pm on a winter Saturday, on an audax.  Just a really bad idea.

I'd say the A40 between Cheltenham and Gloucester, not because of any particular levels of traffic, but because it's an extension of the M4 in every sense.  Going across the junction slip roads was lethal, literally.  Traffic leaves and enters at 70mph (at least!).

I think I cycled it twice, when it wasn't all that busy, before I decided it was a really really bad idea.

It was later signed up "No Cycling", and I assume it still is.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2008, 10:47:14 am »
B4011 between Thame and Bicester a beautiful road and country side, but the amount of signs saying something like this ...

Drive carefull as in the last 3 years over the next 3 miles 85 people have died here !!

or

the next 250 yards 5 motorcyclist killed in the last 2 years !!!

Scares the shite out of me.

#bollockstobrexit

LEE

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2008, 11:08:33 am »
What I noticed whilst riding LEJoG was the length of (dual carriageway) slip-roads onto some of the ' motorway-like roads that have been mentioned.  Not only do you have cars missing you by inches on your right, now you have 2 lanes of cars cars joining from your left doing 70mph.

In a car, doing 70mph+, you don't even notice cars joining from the left, on a bike however, it suddenly becomes apparent that you are now in the middle lane of a 'motorway' and have to figure out the safest way of getting to the far left and the (relative) safety of the hard shoulder.

I reckon some slip roads are half a mile long.  Scary stuff.

One day I'll do LEJoG again I reckon.  I won't be doing it on main roads though, give me gnarly Cornish lanes any day.

gonzo

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2008, 11:46:29 am »
Just past Exeter on my way to Plymouth, I can't remember which road. I had to get from the 1st to the 4th lane of a multi lane carriageway to turn off.

I was shocked that I was still alive when I was done!

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2008, 01:56:21 pm »
What I noticed whilst riding LEJoG was the length of (dual carriageway) slip-roads onto some of the ' motorway-like roads that have been mentioned.  Not only do you have cars missing you by inches on your right, now you have 2 lanes of cars cars joining from your left doing 70mph.

In a car, doing 70mph+, you don't even notice cars joining from the left, on a bike however, it suddenly becomes apparent that you are now in the middle lane of a 'motorway' and have to figure out the safest way of getting to the far left and the (relative) safety of the hard shoulder.

I reckon some slip roads are half a mile long.  Scary stuff.

One day I'll do LEJoG again I reckon.  I won't be doing it on main roads though, give me gnarly Cornish lanes any day.

When you get to an entry slip road, stop, check it's clear, then cross the slip road at 90 degrees.  Yes it's slower for a cyclist, and no I don't normally advocate stopping/dismounting, but it's the only safe way.

Quite often when I ride major roads I'll exit on the slip road for the junction, go round the roundabout and then ride back on at the next sip road.

gordon taylor

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2008, 02:02:39 pm »
Quote from: nuttycyclist link=topic=9750.msg170559#msg170559

When you get to an entry slip road, stop, check it's clear, then cross the slip road at 90 degrees.  Yes it's slower for a cyclist, and no I don't normally advocate stopping/dismounting, but it's the only safe way.


IIRC, the A5 near Milton Keynes has hard surfaced bike lanes that cut through the grass arrow-shaped bits just before the slip road so that cyclist can do exactly as Nutty suggests - cross the slip road at right angles.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2008, 02:07:18 pm »
For me I think the Maltese motorway and associated slip roads myself, TT, Regulator and Valiant found ourselves on one day has to feature.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2008, 03:50:04 pm »
Just past Exeter on my way to Plymouth, I can't remember which road. I had to get from the 1st to the 4th lane of a multi lane carriageway to turn off.

I was shocked that I was still alive when I was done!

That would be at the turnoff for Torquay?  Just after that you have the slog up to the racecourse (the old car I had then only managed the climb in 4th gear if atmospheric conditions were ideal) so you'd be doing under 10mph, being buzzed by traffic doing 80mph.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

folkdevil

  • Francis
  • I've only got one bike, and it's only got one gear
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2008, 04:48:18 pm »
A40 Gloucester at 5 pm on a winter Saturday, on an audax.  Just a really bad idea.

I'd say the A40 between Cheltenham and Gloucester, not because of any particular levels of traffic, but because it's an extension of the M4 in every sense.  Going across the junction slip roads was lethal, literally.  Traffic leaves and enters at 70mph (at least!).

I think I cycled it twice, when it wasn't all that busy, before I decided it was a really really bad idea.

It was later signed up "No Cycling", and I assume it still is.

Yes, it's "no cycling", although I have seen one person cycling it. It does present a problem - there is no good way to get from Glos to Chelt by bike, because the cycle path along the B road through Churchdown is shocking, the B road itself isn't great and it is a really big detour compared to the nice and straight A40. I have used the A417/A46 route instead and it's not too bad - depends where  you need to get to in Chelt.

M5 btw fwiw.

A40 west of Gloucester is generally ok, but not pleasant in rush hour I would agree. Again there is no other good option by bike unless you want a massive detour via Highnam or somewhere.

jane

  • Mad pie-hating female
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2008, 05:19:06 pm »
Once, after a solo ride in Kent I was looking for a new back way round Dartford and, having a very dated map on me, ended up on what I though was a country lane but was in fact a slip road. It took me to what I can only describe as a motorway.   I have no idea to this day if I had ended up on the M25 or that bit of the A2 which is a motorway in all but name because I was so terrified, I rather foolishly put my head down and rode about 1 mile along the hard shoulder to the next turn off, (rather than doing the sensible thing and heading back down the slip road) without registering where I was exactly. 

The only other road that really scared me was when I tried to ride a fully loaded touring bike DOWN the Rosedale Chimney Bank in North Yorkshireand and learned very quickly why they had CYCLISTS DISMOUNT signs at the top.

Really Ancien

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2008, 05:41:54 pm »
True terror is when you get the sound of an articulated lorry changing down through the box just over your right shoulder as you ride into yet another ill-conceived bit of traffic calming. So the A59/ A 1079 between Preston and Hull takes a lot of beating.  This video from 58 seconds <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ah85hs8dJhE&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/ah85hs8dJhE&rel=1</a> sums up the special charm of the A82.

Damon.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2008, 05:42:04 pm »
... depends where  you need to get to in Chelt.

The other way around for me, I used to live in The Reddings, and sometimes needed to get to somewhere in Gloucester.  I think I generally used the B4063 through Churchdown, which as you say, is not a very good road, and past a Tewkesbury Borough sink estate, near RAF Insworth.   Supposedly it was the estate that was as far away from Tewkesbury as you could get, and still be in the borough, so all the troublesome cases got dumped there.  Prime Frod Escrot territory.

M5 btw fwiw.

Oh bugger, after living a good part of my life near the M5, when I moved to London I kept on referring to the M4 as the M5.  Now I'm starting to do it the other away around. >:(

A40 west of Gloucester is generally ok, but not pleasant in rush hour I would agree. Again there is no other good option by bike unless you want a massive detour via Highnam or somewhere.

I used to cycle along the A40/A48 towards the Forest, and as you say, it could be busy, but as long as you avoided rush hour it wasn't too bad, although I seem to recall a lot of the A48 had been "resurfaced" with that technique where they just chuck a load of gravel down onto something tacky, and rely on the cars to scrunch it into a vague representation of a good road.  Horrible to cycle on for very long.  This was almost 10 years ago, so they may have put down a decent surface by now.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2008, 05:46:27 pm »
True terror is when you get the sound of an articulated lorry changing down through the box just over your right shoulder as you ride into yet another ill-conceived bit of traffic calming. So the A59/ A 1079 between Preston and Hull takes a lot of beating.  This video from 58 seconds <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ah85hs8dJhE&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/ah85hs8dJhE&rel=1</a> sums up the special charm of the A82.

Damon.

I've mentioned it before, but the tyre of a lorry *touched my shoulder* when overtaking me on the old A34 from Newtown up the hill to Newbury.  It wasn't scary at the time, but it seems pretty terrifying in retrospect.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2008, 05:55:38 pm »
The A34 Western Bypass by Oxford is fairly unpleasant. Occasionally a car will pass that's only doing about 75mph.
The old Legion hand told the recruit, "When things are bad, bleu, try not to make them worse, because it is very likely that they are bad enough already." -- Robert Ruark

marcus

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2008, 05:55:51 pm »
A40 Gloucester at 5 pm on a winter Saturday, on an audax.  Just a really bad idea.

I'd say the A40 between Cheltenham and Gloucester, not because of any particular levels of traffic, but because it's an extension of the M4 in every sense.  Going across the junction slip roads was lethal, literally.  Traffic leaves and enters at 70mph (at least!).

I think I cycled it twice, when it wasn't all that busy, before I decided it was a really really bad idea.

It was later signed up "No Cycling", and I assume it still is.

Yes, it's "no cycling", although I have seen one person cycling it. It does present a problem - there is no good way to get from Glos to Chelt by bike, because the cycle path along the B road through Churchdown is shocking, the B road itself isn't great and it is a really big detour compared to the nice and straight A40. I have used the A417/A46 route instead and it's not too bad - depends where  you need to get to in Chelt.


I cycled along the A40 btwn Gloucester & Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon. Didn't seem too bad to me although crossing the slip roads required some care. Didn't notice any "no cycling" signs, tho that may well just show how unobservant I am.

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2008, 05:57:23 pm »
For me I think the Maltese motorway and associated slip roads myself, TT, Regulator and Valiant found ourselves on one day has to feature.


It wasn't that bad....   ;)
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

border-rider

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2008, 06:08:31 pm »
The A34 Western Bypass by Oxford is fairly unpleasant. Occasionally a car will pass that's only doing about 75mph.


It's fine at 5 am on a Saturday :)

last time I did the Dean 300 I was running late (riding it from home so I had to be at Peartree well before 6) so I just main-roaded it down the A34 from the Botley Rd to Peartree. No problems :)

I used to ride that road every day further South, from Chilton to the W Ilsley turnoff.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2008, 06:11:40 pm »
I cycled along the A40 btwn Gloucester & Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon. Didn't seem too bad to me although crossing the slip roads required some care. Didn't notice any "no cycling" signs, tho that may well just show how unobservant I am.

It was OK at weekends, although you still have to watch out at the slip roads.  I wouldn't have gone near it at peak rush hour times mid-week.

The slips roads are really the only hazard on there, there are pretty big clear hard shoulders most of the way, the bridge used to be one exception, the kerb came out almost to the road, although there was a big "footpath" bit, which was totally unused.  Unless you can hop a road bike sideways, not a lot of use.  The trouble with the slips, is that you can't even use Nutty's approach of going down to the roundabout, since the traffic going around that is moving damned near as fast as on the Motorway/A40.  I think they put some cycle crossing bits in at the slip roads, shortly before they made the entire road No Cycling.  Sensible use of expenditure there. :-\
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

gonzo

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2008, 06:20:42 pm »
Just past Exeter on my way to Plymouth, I can't remember which road. I had to get from the 1st to the 4th lane of a multi lane carriageway to turn off.

I was shocked that I was still alive when I was done!

That would be at the turnoff for Torquay?  Just after that you have the slog up to the racecourse (the old car I had then only managed the climb in 4th gear if atmospheric conditions were ideal) so you'd be doing under 10mph, being buzzed by traffic doing 80mph.

Yup, that's the one!

The incident that scores higher on the sustained risk to life came after cycling back from Dover after a trip to france on the A20 out of Dover. It was full of drivers from the continent and not used to that side of the road. That is about the only time that I've ever felt that my life was really in danger.

Talking of Dartford, there was one near Bluewater that was interesting too; going up a 7% hill and getting from the slow lane to the middle lane of a 3 lane carriageway.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2008, 06:33:26 pm »
There's a line from a Smiths song involving bicycles: "I smelt the last 10 seconds of life".

I know that smell.  It's a bit like blood.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2008, 09:26:06 am »
I've had a few... er... invigorating experiences on the UK roads, but for sheer dull, spirit-sapping terror I'd have to nominate the Yungas Road, in the rain.  :o

I'm glad I did it - Mainly because it means I don't have to do it again...  ;D
Life is too important to be taken seriously.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2008, 09:34:36 am »
Hells bells, I think you win.  Looking at some of those shots, it appears that the road is barely wider than some of the vehicles on it.  The thought of trying to get two of those lorries past each other ... :-\

Interestingly, most of the posts in this thread relate to the scariness of the traffic.  Up to this point, Jane has been the only one who had posted on the sheer dangerousness of the road itself, although I think PhilO's post manages to combine a road which is quite gob smackingly dangerous, with traffic that would appear to significantly add to the "experience".
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

LEE

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2008, 09:37:06 am »
True terror is when you get the sound of an articulated lorry changing down through the box just over your right shoulder as you ride into yet another ill-conceived bit of traffic calming. So the A59/ A 1079 between Preston and Hull takes a lot of beating.  This video from 58 seconds <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ah85hs8dJhE&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/ah85hs8dJhE&rel=1</a> sums up the special charm of the A82.

Damon.

I've mentioned it before, but the tyre of a lorry *touched my shoulder* when overtaking me on the old A34 from Newtown up the hill to Newbury.  It wasn't scary at the time, but it seems pretty terrifying in retrospect.

The time to worry is when it's touching your left shoulder