Not riding to work

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  • Not riding to work
  • Following my ‘argh I’m going to be unemployed’ thread from a while back, after 5 lovely weeks off with the family started my new job a week ago. It’s great – nice people, interesting work and best of all (or so I thought) at about 7 or 8 miles from home, the perfect commute distance.

    After a couple of days driving I had my first ride in last Thursday. The morning was lovely – not too much traffic cos I was up nice and early, and I made it there in a nice steady 36 minutes, with only a mild back sweat cos I’d had to take a backpack.

    The way home? Not so much.

    The first few miles was grand – nice shared paths alongside the road. Great. Then there’s a big roundabout to get across. There’s a bike track around the outside, crossing the entries and exits which is a great idea in theory, but in practice about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. Because the traffic is so heavy but constantly flowing it’s virtually impossible to get across. Took me ages, and I only got across as a kind chap stopped, then I had to kind of edge out into the next lane til someone stopped, then the same in the third lane. Not ideal.

    From there, it’s a horrid busy road all the way back. Most of it has either bus or cycle lanes, but it’s that badly designed I felt hugely unsafe (hi vizzed up and riding assertively) at pretty much every junction, with cars cutting across left right and centre.

    The final straw came when I had to get across three lanes of traffic to turn right at a set of lights, which again felt like I was taking my life in my hands.

    I’m looking at alternate routes but there aren’t really any without going a long way out my way (and none of the alternatives are that great really, I don’t think). So it looks like riding to work is on hiatus for now.

    It’s a shame, but there you go.

    ton
    Member

    my direct commute to work is straight into sunny leeds on one of the main roads( a61 ) and through to the other side on another main road ( a58 ). it is 5 miles.

    i ride 10 miles each way to keep away from the traffic.if you want to, you will find a way.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Sure there’s no alternative? Maybe the forum can help?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Another one who adds miles to avoid traffic. Direct route is 10 miles, usually do 12. 19 mile option takes me from the office to within half a mile of the village without touching a road.

    I’m currently scouring Google maps for options. @ton you’re completely right, there are some nice scenic routes I could take – but they would at least double the time taken which I don’t want to do cos MiniMonkey would be in bed before I got home, if I drive or take the short route then I get to do bath time. There’s a good mostly traffic free route but it has the same problem (plus it’s muddy as heck in winter).

    If anyone knows the area, work is in Beverley, home is off Newland Ave in Hull.

    oreetmon
    Member

    In instances like this I find pavements the safer option and I’m sure the traffic behind me appreciates it as well. AFAIK it is not unlawful to cycle on footpaths as long as you are riding safely.

    There is a 2 mile-ish blind corner/uphill/narrow A road stretch on my commute that only a loon would Cycle especially this time of year. when in the car it’s a bind getting stuck behind a cyclist using said route and I wince when I see how close some drivers get to riders on this stretch.

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Subscriber

    Same here, direct route into work in Leeds is either Otley Road or Meanwood Road then out on the York Road. Doesn’t sound quite as bad as the OP but horrible traffic, cut & thrust, too many people not paying attention. Direct route is 9.5km, the shortest quietest route is 13km. Fortunately lots of extending options, taking in some parks, bike paths, urban Singletrack etc. It’s worth persevering and trying to find quieter alternatives.

    submarined
    Member

    9 miles on the roads here. Bought a gravel bike to expand my options, now regularly go the 11 mile canal path way to avoid cars and shitty busy roads.
    Take the long way and enjoy the ride. Love your commute 🙂

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Get off and cross as a pedestrian if needs be.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    my commute is 5 miles, i usually do 15 to ride in the countryside to work instead. i only do the short route if i’m late or its raining

    ton
    Member

    If anyone knows the area, work is in Beverley, home is off Newland Ave in Hull.

    you are not far from TPT.
    so TPT to swine, the b/w to fairholme then to wawne
    then b/w across to weel. weel to beverly.

    22km. perfect

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Subscriber

    Try the koomot app.it found a better way in for me

    Premier Icon spencertrials
    Subscriber

    Not sure what bike your on. But I used to ride daily from Beverley to bricknell ave via cottingham on Route 66.

    It is a gravel track from the substation to long lane though. But doesn’t get that bad in winter from memory and is traffic free.

    Might be abit rough on a road bike but anything with half decent sized tyres shouldn’t be too bad. I used to do it on 1.5 inch slicks on a old mtb.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Subscriber

    When I have time I take a 9 mile route instead of 4.5 in Bristol. The 4.5 still takes in a little bit of tow path along a river which is pleasant on a sunny day but does go along a very busy main road which can be home to lots of unnecessarily close passes no matter how far from the kerb you ride and how many lights / sets of high viz you wear.

    The 9 mile route has a bit of road to get to the Bristol – Bath cycle track then it’s no traffic most of the way in. Although there do seem to be some kamikaze cyclists emerging the last few years and I’ve seen paramedics attending crashes a couple of times in the last year which is ludicrous. Society is so impatient these days – it’s just unnecessary.

    I’d try to sort a quieter route for days when you have time – maybe make sure you’re home for bedtime 3 times a week and ride the longer way twice a week as a compromise?

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Worth playing with routes on cycle.travel as that tries to avoid busy roads

    Aidy
    Member

    In instances like this I find pavements the safer option and I’m sure the traffic behind me appreciates it as well. AFAIK it is not unlawful to cycle on footpaths as long as you are riding safely.

    It absolutely is illegal to cycle on the pavement.
    Rule 64: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82

    Footpaths (as in, public rights of way) are a different story.

    geomickb
    Member

    I ride on both. just DBAD.

    I ride on the pavement where I think it is the safest thing to do. Busy/dangerous road junction on my old commute is a good example, hardly any pedestrians so I used the pavement. Currently use the pavement and pelican crossing on the school run (bike with trailer), I’m not sure how I would access the school if I didn’t do this.

    Public footpaths are fine, it’s our outdated rights of way designations which are wrong, not us.

    ton
    Member

    I ride on the pavement all the time in sunny leeds.
    I can ride 5 miles to work and don’t see anyone walking at all.

    TheBrick
    Member

    Never use the cycle oaths that run round the outside of a roundabout. They’re a terrible design and unsafe. Either find a walk way or filter with the traffic.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I used to feel I should take the most direct (and busiest) route available almost on principle; I’m allowed to use these roads, so I’ll bloody well use them!, I wasn’t going to be bullied off of my bike.

    But TBH while the indirect commute I eventually adopted added a couple of miles and some rougher unlit roads, the reduction in stop/starting and multi-lane shenanigans actually meant it was actually about the same journey time and, most importantly, a more enjoyable, less stressful experience.

    Plot the journey on google maps, do some weekend reccy’ I bet there’s some options to avoid dancing with Range Rovers you’ve not spotted.

    coppice
    Member

    Route 66 from Park Lane Cottingham to Beverley Minster?

    stevehine
    Member

    I’d go Cottingham -> Dunswell -> Woodmansy -> Beverley. Dunswell road goes under the A1079; so you avoid the worst of the big junctions + Busy roads but it’s also not too much of a diversion.

    Route 1 / Route 66 Sustrans is a good shout actually. I’ve ridden that a couple of times on the gravel bike, as long as it’s not too much of a mudfest it’ll be a nice slightly longer route.

    Looking closer it looks like I can detour through Kingswood and down Sutton Road to get within a mile or two of home all on off road shared paths, that’s definitely worth a try. Should only add a couple of miles too.

    I know bits of Ton’s route too (used to ride the TPT to work in Hornsea) but some of the bits after that might be a bit of a bogfest in winter.

    I’ll have an explore tomorrow or Thursday I think.

    *edit* I did look at Cott – Dunswell, have to have an explore that way too.

    Premier Icon Harry Tuttle
    Subscriber

    As above, riding on pavements is illegal, however, the guidance to the police is that they should exercise discretion. ie. you should be ok on an empty pavement as long as you’re not being a dick.

    https://road.cc/content/news/108119-transport-minister-responsible-cyclists-can-ride-pavement

    https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/goodwill-reiterates-footway-cycling-guidance

    nbt
    Member

    Cyclestreets sometimes gives you a good starting point. I’m not familiar with Hull, does this look reasonable?

    https://www.cyclestreets.net/journey/66631568/#quietest

    stevehine
    Member

    Nice try @nbt; but unless I’m mistaken that takes him directly across the roundabout he’s trying to avoid…

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Yes, turning right onto Dunswell Lane just north of the dodgy roundabout (which does look a bit crap on Streetview) looks better. Goes under the A1079 and only adds a couple of miles.

    Or this way through the lanes. Not that I know the area at all, just like maps!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I used to do a 25-26 mile commute. There were some horrible sections on it but either:
    1) i got a “gravel” bike and found alternative routes that missed the worst bits.
    2) after riding accross a busy junction with the traffic a few times, its not too bad. Just make sure you get the right lane ASAP then channel the guy in the southern comfort adds and DGAS about the cars behind you. Big roundabouts are only impossible if they dont spiral properly (marble arch in london is impossible by bike ive concluded).

    +1 for komoot and similar apps and websites that create sensible cycle routes.

    I tried Komoot, it was surprisingly useless and determined to send me the way I didn’t want to go.

    Turning right in Dunswell to Cott is ok when it’s quiet, but it’s quite a narrow lane and pretty busy – it’s a bit of a rat run.

    I need to car to be at a different site tomorrow, but I’m gonna try a different route on Thursday and report back. Thanks all!

    ibnchris
    Member

    Go old school and get some Os maps out on the kitchen table and plot an unnecessarily circuitous route. That’s what I did and now I have a very pleasant 15 mile commute with some country lanes, farm tracks and bridleways. Means it takes me 10mins longer than going on the a21 and I get covered in crap when it’s wet but it’s all good!

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