Author Topic: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on  (Read 15161 times)

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #75 on: January 18, 2020, 05:14:27 pm »
We did a very short stretch of the A66 out of Kendal. It was most unpleasant, but there were 5 of us on 4 bikes so we made a car-sized knot and occupied the full lane for about 200 yards before turning right.

A507 heading west towards Baldock. It's a narrow winding A road full of fast vehicle-sized rats running between the A10 and A1.
The A507 from Flitwick to Shefford was pretty grim.
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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #76 on: January 18, 2020, 06:38:43 pm »
Algeciras to Gibraltar, for most of the way you have to cycle the Autovia (Motorway). As there is no alternative road you are allowed to cycle.
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pdm

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #77 on: January 18, 2020, 11:53:52 pm »
A82 between Fort William and Corran Ferry. HGVs passing at 50mph inches away. Was supposed to ride to Oban but took Corran Ferry and island hopped in preference to dying.


It seems you chose the very worst bit of the A82! Once you cross the Ballachulish Bridge just south of Corran Ferry, there is a superb off A Road cycle route all the way to Oban.
About the bit you mention, I did that with a couple of friends northbound about 4 years ago in the late afternoon. Not many lorries at that time of day, I suspect, and didn't feel as threatened as you did but then I was in the lead with my head down and we averaged more than 20mph for the whole stretch...
BTW, crossing the Ballachulish bridge was "fun" - the wind really gets funnelled through the narrow entrance to Loch Leven - we were almost blown over a few times crossing!

IanDG

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #78 on: January 19, 2020, 12:07:36 am »
I used to commute Streetly to West Brom - Queslett Rd, Scott Arms and Sandwell Valley.

hellymedic

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #79 on: January 19, 2020, 01:15:37 am »
A VERY long time ago, I did the Great Eastern 1000km Audax.

The (mandatory then) route took me on the A road between Hertford and Ware at (for me) 9am on Monday of the third day of riding with scant sleep. I was VERY tired, but not too tired to detour via Cold Christmas.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2020, 09:11:02 am »
The A47 Acle straight between Acle and Great Yarmouth.

It was near the end of a week long cycling holiday around East Anglia with a friend and his dad (we were only 13/14 so needed an adult with us). Started the day in Kings Lynn so what nicer way to end a 70 mile day than having huge lorries roaring past you for 5 or 6 miles - I hadn't had any input on the route planning (I did the next trip we did).
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Wowbagger

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #81 on: January 19, 2020, 09:34:45 am »
I used to commute Streetly to West Brom - Queslett Rd, Scott Arms and Sandwell Valley.

Yes, but none of the motorised traffic could keep up with you.
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ElyDave

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #82 on: January 19, 2020, 09:36:41 am »
The A47 Acle straight between Acle and Great Yarmouth.

It was near the end of a week long cycling holiday around East Anglia with a friend and his dad (we were only 13/14 so needed an adult with us). Started the day in Kings Lynn so what nicer way to end a 70 mile day than having huge lorries roaring past you for 5 or 6 miles - I hadn't had any input on the route planning (I did the next trip we did).

Whoever planned that for kids is a bloody moron, accidents are very frequent on that stretch.

For me,
A40 Witney bypass as a foolish yoof
A10 from waterbeach to the next junction, only a mile but that was long enough
Crossing J41 of the m6 and then the A6 into Penrith
The single lane with passing place that was the main road between Tobermory and the ferry port, not frightening, but five tour buses in a line behind me just made me feel very uncomfortable.
Should I add the A142, site of my smidsy? Difficult to entirely avoid fast a roads round here, even if just to cross them. The roundabout at Cambridge airport being a great example where you have to cross the fast moving traffic to stay on the segregated cycle path because its only on one side of the road. Further back there's an excellent underpass to cross the A14.

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #83 on: January 19, 2020, 09:39:06 am »
The A47 Acle straight between Acle and Great Yarmouth.

It was near the end of a week long cycling holiday around East Anglia with a friend and his dad (we were only 13/14 so needed an adult with us). Started the day in Kings Lynn so what nicer way to end a 70 mile day than having huge lorries roaring past you for 5 or 6 miles - I hadn't had any input on the route planning (I did the next trip we did).

Whoever planned that for kids is a bloody moron, accidents are very frequent on that stretch.

My 14yo friend did. It was 1989 though, all we had was an OS map.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #84 on: January 19, 2020, 09:41:58 am »
One that comes to mind from a couple of years ago is a normally very quiet B road in Northumberland, unfortunately on that day the A1 was closed for a serious accident and all the A1 traffic including the HGVs had decided to use this B road.  And possibly due to all the frustration they were behaving more mentally than normal. I tried to get of and push but they started to come even closer and blowing their horns more, after a mile of this crap I did manage to get onto another road,  a few miles later I had to cross the B road with all the diversion traffic, by this time it was grid locked, apparently there had been another accident.

Wowbagger

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #85 on: January 19, 2020, 09:52:52 am »
In 1984 I cycled from Southend to Cheltenham via Pontefract. Day 3 involved King's Lynn to Grantham. I used the A17. I recall Chris S making a comment about my sanity, but I don't remember it being all that bad. It helped that I had a massive tailwind and was keeping up almost 20mph most of the way.
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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #86 on: January 19, 2020, 11:28:11 am »
A couple of years ago I did a few miles along the A17 near Cranwell and made a 'never again' mental note.

bludger

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #87 on: January 19, 2020, 11:29:58 am »
I rode from the Enigma factory to a nearby hotel. Fairly large group of us.

The motorists absolutely lost their fucking minds. Long angry honks, deliberate close passes, it was very frightening and there was nowhere to get off the road. I ended up using the rail trail to get to the train station in the dark I was so unnerved.
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ElyDave

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #88 on: January 19, 2020, 12:31:07 pm »
A couple of years ago I did a few miles along the A17 near Cranwell and made a 'never again' mental note.

I don't even like driving on the A17, particularly the section around the Wash that is three lanes wide and ends up in a game of chicken at 150mph closing speeds.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Kim

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #89 on: January 19, 2020, 03:05:24 pm »
It was 1989 though, all we had was an OS map.

That's usually what leads me astray, too.  Generally when using just-in-time planning and paying particular attention to the contours.

Google Streetview is utterly brilliant for establishing whether a given bit of A-road is likely to be horrid or not.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

hellymedic

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #90 on: January 19, 2020, 03:26:46 pm »
The A47 Acle straight between Acle and Great Yarmouth.

It was near the end of a week long cycling holiday around East Anglia with a friend and his dad (we were only 13/14 so needed an adult with us). Started the day in Kings Lynn so what nicer way to end a 70 mile day than having huge lorries roaring past you for 5 or 6 miles - I hadn't had any input on the route planning (I did the next trip we did).

This was notorious when I worked in A&E at the Norfolk & Norwich.

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FifeingEejit

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #91 on: January 19, 2020, 03:48:52 pm »
A82 between Fort William and Corran Ferry. HGVs passing at 50mph inches away. Was supposed to ride to Oban but took Corran Ferry and island hopped in preference to dying.


It seems you chose the very worst bit of the A82! Once you cross the Ballachulish Bridge just south of Corran Ferry, there is a superb off A Road cycle route all the way to Oban.
About the bit you mention, I did that with a couple of friends northbound about 4 years ago in the late afternoon. Not many lorries at that time of day, I suspect, and didn't feel as threatened as you did but then I was in the lead with my head down and we averaged more than 20mph for the whole stretch...
BTW, crossing the Ballachulish bridge was "fun" - the wind really gets funnelled through the narrow entrance to Loch Leven - we were almost blown over a few times crossing!

The road from Ballachulish to Oban is all but deserted most of the day it somehow manages to be off the tourist trap routes.
I do wonder why they spent so much on the cycle path on that when clearly the section of shared use between the bridge and the ferry could be extended up to the fort, and also there really could do with being an alternative up and over to Crianlarich, but then the traffic surveys show only 1 or 2  cyclists a day... probably because everyone knows or is told to avoid.


Worst for me was somewhere near Truro IIRC, the NCN route signage was typically poor at Calenick (I've now checked my gps track) and I ended up climbing Arch Hill on the main road with a full; speed traffic density that would mean a 5mph crawl on the Glen Coe road.


Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #92 on: January 19, 2020, 06:39:21 pm »
The A34 from Bicester to Oxford... at 5pm on a weekday.  :facepalm:
The traffic was still flowing at full speed, but dense as it could be.
...

OK, Solocle wins.    ;)

Arguably, via Wendlebury, Weston OTG, Islip->Oxford is 15 mins extra well spent.  :)
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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2020, 06:52:25 pm »
The A22 between Purley and the M25 is bad enough. Narrow in places (sometimes with no pavement to bail out if heading south), lots of lorry traffic, all the usual stuff. If you're not in the gutter, it's a chorus of aggressive beeps. If you're in the gutter, it's endless close passes. Pedestrian was killed in a hit and run last week.

It doesn't improve post M25. Fast and aggressive. The sort of road you cycle on once and then offer thanks that you've learned not to repeat the exercise.
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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #94 on: January 19, 2020, 09:28:38 pm »
Cycling from Calais to Dunkerque Town requires going round the back of the sprawl of Dunkerque port. The road suddenly turned into a thundering dual carriageway filled with trucks, with no shoulder at all and no exit for a couple of miles.

Coming into Paris from Dieppe by the shortest possible route, as traffic gradually gets heavier and heavier and you have trucks passing you like you’re not there. Now I understand why everyone else’s route does a big detour to approach from the SW.

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2020, 10:50:05 pm »
The A34 from Bicester to Oxford... at 5pm on a weekday.  :facepalm:
The traffic was still flowing at full speed, but dense as it could be.
...

OK, Solocle wins.    ;)

Arguably, via Wendlebury, Weston OTG, Islip->Oxford is 15 mins extra well spent.  :)

Yes. That is grim in a car.

Makes my A40 Witney bypass look soft.
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Kim

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #96 on: January 19, 2020, 10:50:58 pm »
Smalldean Lane  ;D
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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2020, 10:55:26 pm »
For me, easily the A303 and A36 intersection. The A303 sweeps pass Stonehedge - along with lorries, white vans and cars...All these vehicles thundering pass you, really have to watch the drafts/washes else get sucked into the maw that is the A303.

Frere
I was riding on the 303, close by Stonehenge, about 35 years ago, when I was passed by a skip lorry with a full load. On top of the load was a a sheet of corrugated iron/steel/whatever, which got caught by the wind, flew off the top of the skip, and damn near decapitated me. The sheet landed roadside, the lorry continued on its way, and I breathed a sigh of relief and followed in its wake.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #98 on: January 19, 2020, 11:37:57 pm »
Smalldean Lane  ;D
Don't tell me - you rode down it?

fboab

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Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #99 on: January 20, 2020, 07:20:14 am »


I have noticed Pat Kenny riding his trike occasionally on the A38 between Lichfield and Derby (dual-carriageway)
This is very sad, in the light of subsequent events.


I stopped riding home to Guisborough on the A171 dual carriageway, it gave me panic attacks. Into Boro I was always early and therefore quieter in the morning, but coming back there'd be enough idiots for me to fear for my life. Being regularly closed due to collisions didn't help much.
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