Author Topic: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on  (Read 15168 times)

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #150 on: February 02, 2020, 08:43:15 pm »
The Clyde Tunnel terrified me when I used it in 1989. It was isolated, devoid of CCTV at the time and muggers were reputed to lie in wait at its deepest points. I was TERRIFIED  of being unable to ascend into the light and safety...

It's improved a lot since then. 
But it's gated now, to protect it.  So you wait at the entry after rinigng the buzzer for what seems a huge wait. Huge. The guy is probably watching you in the rain. You get in and down the very brightly lit, whitewashed, clean swept tunnel you go, and near the bottom you realise your locked in a tunnel.  This plays with your head on the drag back up to the gate out, and the guy then takes even longer to respond to your ring.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #151 on: February 03, 2020, 01:09:26 am »
So you lose momentum at both ends as a trade-off for security? How nice!

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #152 on: February 03, 2020, 08:56:16 am »
Because i live in Holland, and have done on and off for 30 years, its hard to relate to a lot of the stories here. We are simply not
allowed to ride on trunk roads or there is a suitable (sometimes poor) seperate bike path.

Don't despair, farfetched! This is why Belgium exists. Especially in Liège, you can find loads of busy, potholed roads with car drivers who are happy to run you over. Also recommended: the N89 between Bertrix and Libramont. A dual carriageway, the road shoulder littered with glass and other debri, and cars overtaking you with 100+ km/h

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #153 on: February 03, 2020, 04:50:19 pm »
Yep. Belgium. I've had some 'interesting' Belgian experiences - I was shocked at the time, because I thought "Belgium? That's just like that nice cycle happy place next door" - how wrong I was.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #154 on: February 03, 2020, 08:01:01 pm »
The westbound North Circular, from Brent Bridge to Hanger Lane, was on my 5.30am summer 'fast commute' route. Would not have touched it later in the day but it was great for speed!
Oh yes, that reminds me, I think I 'did' Hanger Lane once (I think that's what it was, underpasses etc)..  Once was enough.
Shepherds Bush roundabout was pretty horrible until the bedecked it with traffic lights which was a great improvement.
I used to do the A2 regularly, Canterbury to London.  Eventually I worked out a quieter route.
I think the scariest is a not so busy and thus fast road with slipways eg Western Avenue extension in London, I didn't dare cross the slip roads so kept going down and up again, and then the A11 between Newmarket and Red Lodge.  It was dark and I wimped out at the next exit.

On hols in Stockholm with a 5yo on the childback tandem, ended up going into this myseterious tuynnel with traffic going seemingly ever faster.  I hopped off and started retracing.  Some nice woman slowed down and said it was OK, the tunnel was in fact very short and I was better off keeping going.  We did and it was.  Terrifying from a parent pov, would have been fine with just me.
In the dark, all views are the same.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #155 on: February 04, 2020, 12:51:10 pm »
Someone OTP ended up on the M4 in Wales - on a 200k - due to this particularly nasty roundabout exit in Port Talbot:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5981732,-3.7857771,3a,75y,339.09h,71.65t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_rD9HYHGCCSDrkD-dGIynA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

You have to take the exit and immediately fork right, or you're on the M4 slip road. IIRC the route sheet was "Follow A48" for several miles.



Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #156 on: February 04, 2020, 03:00:22 pm »
The Clyde Tunnel terrified me when I used it in 1989. It was isolated, devoid of CCTV at the time and muggers were reputed to lie in wait at its deepest points. I was TERRIFIED  of being unable to ascend into the light and safety...

It's improved a lot since then. 
But it's gated now, to protect it.  So you wait at the entry after rinigng the buzzer for what seems a huge wait. Huge. The guy is probably watching you in the rain. You get in and down the very brightly lit, whitewashed, clean swept tunnel you go, and near the bottom you realise your locked in a tunnel.  This plays with your head on the drag back up to the gate out, and the guy then takes even longer to respond to your ring.

I never used it before it was gated, but I hate it even now (there's always a puddle at the bottom), and do an extra couple of miles to avoid it.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #157 on: February 04, 2020, 04:50:45 pm »
Very early on in my London cycling career I ended up somewhere in the middle of the widest, fastest part of the North Circular - westbound approaching Staples Corner flyover. I have no recollection of how or why or what I was up to, though I remember thinking it was rude I was being honked at.

Having since driven that way regularly I can't imagine anyone even considering cycling there now.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #158 on: February 04, 2020, 04:58:53 pm »
I remember when I first started cycle commuting in London I got lost and ended up going through the Euston underpass in rush hour. That wasn't much fun.
I've ridden the A34 from Oxford to Bicester and the A421 from Bicester to Milton Keynes (and the reverse route), but that was 20 years ago and on the weekend - I wouldn't like to do that now.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #159 on: February 04, 2020, 05:00:39 pm »
Having grown up in Golders Green, this was usually a road to avoid. There's a riverside path parallel near much of it. Cycling permission varies with the mood of the politicians.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #160 on: February 04, 2020, 05:18:46 pm »
I remember when I first started cycle commuting in London I got lost and ended up going through the Euston underpass in rush hour. That wasn't much fun.
I've ridden the A34 from Oxford to Bicester and the A421 from Bicester to Milton Keynes (and the reverse route), but that was 20 years ago and on the weekend - I wouldn't like to do that now.

I prefer Euston Underpass westbound to turning left then right then right again onto Tottenham Court Road, stuck amongst the buses and HGVs. Eastbound, staying at surface level is fine, and I've never used the underpass.


Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #161 on: February 04, 2020, 11:18:19 pm »
I remember when I first started cycle commuting in London I got lost and ended up going through the Euston underpass in rush hour. That wasn't much fun.
I've ridden the A34 from Oxford to Bicester and the A421 from Bicester to Milton Keynes (and the reverse route), but that was 20 years ago and on the weekend - I wouldn't like to do that now.

I prefer Euston Underpass westbound to turning left then right then right again onto Tottenham Court Road, stuck amongst the buses and HGVs. Eastbound, staying at surface level is fine, and I've never used the underpass.

Euston and Hyde Park Corner underpasses are both fine IMO, though there can be a knack to matching speeds on the exit.

Kingsway was fine too the couple of times I've done it, though it suffers from the minor disadvantage of being prohibited.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #162 on: February 04, 2020, 11:40:42 pm »
I remember when I first started cycle commuting in London I got lost and ended up going through the Euston underpass in rush hour. That wasn't much fun.

I prefer Euston Underpass westbound to turning left then right then right again onto Tottenham Court Road, stuck amongst the buses and HGVs. Eastbound, staying at surface level is fine, and I've never used the underpass.

Depends entirely on the speed of the traffic.

When it's dark I don't like merging with faster traffic on the left when it's in my blind spot, so if it's flowing and I'm on a 'bent, I'll go the long way round.  Uprights are easier, even if the speed differential is worse, because it's easier to look over your shoulder.

Eastbound, generally easier to stay at ground level unless the underpass allows you to avoid a jam.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #163 on: February 05, 2020, 09:17:54 am »
I should add a dishonourable nod to the Purley Way, which is signposted as a 'cycle route' evidently by someone who's certainly never cycled down it.
!nataS pihsroW

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #164 on: February 05, 2020, 10:18:03 am »

Euston and Hyde Park Corner underpasses are both fine IMO, though there can be a knack to matching speeds on the exit.

Kingsway was fine too the couple of times I've done it, though it suffers from the minor disadvantage of being prohibited.

Hmm. This is the same jsabine who, returning from one of the ACME Audaxes one evening, persuaded me that the best way from Stratford to the Isle of Dogs was to pick up the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road at the Bow Roundabout.

Not THE most terrifying road I've cycled on - I think that may have been the A420 from Swindon towards Oxford, when a group of us took a wrong turn on the Poor Student a few years ago - but still high on my list of experiences I would prefer not to repeat.

(I agree, though, that the underpasses are fine if you can maintain a good speed on the incline outwards. When I used to use the Euston one on my commute the traffic was almost always stationary in any case.)
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #165 on: February 05, 2020, 11:00:16 am »
Not a single road but I'd like to recommend the whole of Silver End in Essex. I actively avoid it as for some reason the driving is awful.

It may be as its on a rat run but last time I went through got called a c@#t by a driver who was over taking parked traffic fully on my side of the road and then the car behind me overtook while I'm still passing the parked cars. I could have knocked his mirror of with my elbow without letting go of the bars

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #166 on: February 05, 2020, 11:04:37 am »
, and then the A11 between Newmarket and Red Lodge.  It was dark and I wimped out at the next exit.

I've ridden TTs on that bit of road on Saturday afternoons and felt OK.   Not sure I would ride as an audaxer, though.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #167 on: February 05, 2020, 11:16:48 am »

Euston and Hyde Park Corner underpasses are both fine IMO, though there can be a knack to matching speeds on the exit.

Kingsway was fine too the couple of times I've done it, though it suffers from the minor disadvantage of being prohibited.

Hmm. This is the same jsabine who, returning from one of the ACME Audaxes one evening, persuaded me that the best way from Stratford to the Isle of Dogs was to pick up the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road at the Bow Roundabout.

Not THE most terrifying road I've cycled on - I think that may have been the A420 from Swindon towards Oxford, when a group of us took a wrong turn on the Poor Student a few years ago - but still high on my list of experiences I would prefer not to repeat.

(I agree, though, that the underpasses are fine if you can maintain a good speed on the incline outwards. When I used to use the Euston one on my commute the traffic was almost always stationary in any case.)
Having done the A420 a couple of times, last was a good few kms on the Full Fat Festive 500... I'd agree with it being grim. However, I've hit the A420 at 5 pm on the way into Swindon... and I was overtaking everything!  :thumbsup:

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #168 on: February 05, 2020, 11:20:50 am »
, and then the A11 between Newmarket and Red Lodge.  It was dark and I wimped out at the next exit.

I've ridden TTs on that bit of road on Saturday afternoons and felt OK.   Not sure I would ride as an audaxer, though.

I've ended up trying to cross the A11 there riding from Mildenhall direction towards Newmarket trying to get onto the back roads. I can't remember how I crossed the A11 traffic, whether by walking or riding aroudn the r/about, but it is very intimidating fast traffic at times
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #169 on: February 05, 2020, 04:39:40 pm »
The most terrifying road and the most terrified on a road can be two separate things.

I used to ride around Hyde Park Corner quite happily, while it is scary I don't think it qualifies as the scariest road. Then one day I was rear ended by a car who probably was looking where to go rather than where he was going. As I was going at a reasonable clip and the speed difference wasn't immense I was just pinged forward, held it together somehow or the other and didn't come off. The NEXT time I rode around it, though, I was absolutely terrified. I stopped riding around that, as you really don't need to.

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #170 on: February 05, 2020, 04:44:52 pm »
Not THE most terrifying road I've cycled on - I think that may have been the A420 from Swindon towards Oxford, when a group of us took a wrong turn on the Poor Student a few years ago - but still high on my list of experiences I would prefer not to repeat.

(I agree, though, that the underpasses are fine if you can maintain a good speed on the incline outwards. When I used to use the Euston one on my commute the traffic was almost always stationary in any case.)
Having done the A420 a couple of times, last was a good few kms on the Full Fat Festive 500... I'd agree with it being grim. However, I've hit the A420 at 5 pm on the way into Swindon... and I was overtaking everything!  :thumbsup:
It depends on the bit of the A420 - there is a timetrial course on it near Kingston Bagpuize and it's pretty good. Some of it is horrible though.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #171 on: February 05, 2020, 05:50:56 pm »
Kingsway was fine too the couple of times I've done it, though it suffers from the minor disadvantage of being prohibited.

Hadn't noticed that and I come over Waterloo Bridge most weeks  :o It is a popular route for Critical Mass though!
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #172 on: February 05, 2020, 05:52:31 pm »
Not THE most terrifying road I've cycled on - I think that may have been the A420 from Swindon towards Oxford, when a group of us took a wrong turn on the Poor Student a few years ago - but still high on my list of experiences I would prefer not to repeat.

(I agree, though, that the underpasses are fine if you can maintain a good speed on the incline outwards. When I used to use the Euston one on my commute the traffic was almost always stationary in any case.)
Having done the A420 a couple of times, last was a good few kms on the Full Fat Festive 500... I'd agree with it being grim. However, I've hit the A420 at 5 pm on the way into Swindon... and I was overtaking everything!  :thumbsup:
It depends on the bit of the A420 - there is a timetrial course on it near Kingston Bagpuize and it's pretty good. Some of it is horrible though.
Just after I started cycling properly I did Bessel's Leigh - A338 - Cumnor on the A420. I think it's one that generally falls in the category of "grim, but not utterly terrifying", just like the A44. At least on the bit out of Oxford, I've taken the A44 to Chipping Norton a couple of times! Pear Tree Interchange gets particularly interesting, especially as outbound you're dumped into the outside lane of a DC...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #173 on: February 06, 2020, 09:53:51 am »
Not THE most terrifying road I've cycled on - I think that may have been the A420 from Swindon towards Oxford, when a group of us took a wrong turn on the Poor Student a few years ago - but still high on my list of experiences I would prefer not to repeat.

(I agree, though, that the underpasses are fine if you can maintain a good speed on the incline outwards. When I used to use the Euston one on my commute the traffic was almost always stationary in any case.)
Having done the A420 a couple of times, last was a good few kms on the Full Fat Festive 500... I'd agree with it being grim. However, I've hit the A420 at 5 pm on the way into Swindon... and I was overtaking everything!  :thumbsup:
It depends on the bit of the A420 - there is a timetrial course on it near Kingston Bagpuize and it's pretty good. Some of it is horrible though.
Not just which bit, but which A420. The A420 from Bristol to Chippenham is completely different from the A420 from Swindon to Oxford. And the A420 from Chippenham to Swindon? Doesn't exist. UK road numbers are weird.

Even greater contrast (but continuous) is the A417 from Cheltenham to Cirencester – a "para-motorway" – and the A417 from Cirencester east through Fairford etc, which is a pleasant, rural and quiet. Similarly the A419 from Cirencester to Swindon and from Cirencester to the A38 junction.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: The most terrifying road you've ever cycled on
« Reply #174 on: February 06, 2020, 10:04:09 am »
.... And the A420 from Chippenham to Swindon? Doesn't exist. UK road numbers are weird.

(checks on 1947 map....)

That section used to be the A420, but is now A3102 and B4069.