Time Trials, on a dual carridgeway, at rush hour, in the fog?

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  • Time Trials, on a dual carridgeway, at rush hour, in the fog?
  • Does sound a little daft.

    (Beef with red peppers, mushroom and black bean sauce stir-fry)

    crikey
    Member

    Hmmm. Timetrialling in the UK is very, very odd. All this use of dragstrip courses to get good times, traffic assisted records and so on, yet other than Chris Boardman, every international competition as far as I know sees the brits get hammered…

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Messers Miller & Wiggins might have issue with that list.

    I agree though, does not have much appeal to me any more.

    crikey
    Member

    Messers Miller & Wiggins might have issue with that list.

    I meant other than professionals…

    Odd folk, testers…

    uplink
    Member

    I’ve seen them a couple of times on the A19 [Saturday Tea-time] when the conditions were far from ideal IMO
    Very low visibility and only a handful of them with any sort of light

    yunki
    Member

    when I was an ‘orrible little chav.. many many years ago.. if I was getting on me mums nerves she would tell me to go and play in the traffic…

    nice cuppa rosie lee.. chinese special fried rice and sweet potato dhansak FWIW

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    Is it anymore stupid than the various mountain bike activities that have resulted in the despatch of air ambulances as detailed on some recent threads?

    TT’s course are all risk assessed for safety and traffic flow, the organiser or timekeeper will and do stop tt’s if conditions warrant it. It may be the organiser and timekeeper weren’t aware of conditions down the course and weren’t expecting afternoon fog – I don’t know. I do know that if conditions are poor on the events I organise they get stopped
    It may seem counterintuative but dc courses can be safer than courses through country lanes as drivers have clear views and should be able to see a large cyclist with a bloody great fluorescent number on their back, sometimes what looks odd from a car is fine.

    Unfortunately as a depressing aside it seems that most of the testers killed in the last few years have been murdered by motorists in clear conditions;

    http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=58084&hl=tragic+death

    http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=46838&hl=tragic+death

    http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=48872&hl=tragic+death

    http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=42622&st=0&start=0

    http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=42622&st=0&start=0

    At what point should the organisers have said, “hang on a minute, this might be a bit silly sending a load of wobbly middle aged men down the A19 right now*”.

    Now being Saturday afternoon, but I didn’t have internet access at the time to vent my thought on how silly it seemed watching cars swerving to avoid them. I’m all for the “we’re allowed to be there” stance, but come on, riding on those kinds of roads just to get the average speed up is just plain stupid.

    PG tips, jammy dogers chicken tika, lamb madrass and peshwari nann, and fireproof suit at the ready.

    Not wanting to be callous or anything,

    The driver allegedly never saw us

    Is perfectly feasible. There was no way I was expecting a cyclist doing ~22mph to be on the road where I’d happily been cruising allong at ~70mph for the last 3 hours,

    But every time I came up behind one I had my heart in my mouth, and I’m a slow driver, god knows what kind of shock some of the repmobiles doing 90 would be getting coming accross either cyclists or car drivers that have braked to 30 and swerved out into the fast lane to avoid cyclists?

    It just struck me as incredibly stupid, selfish and iresponsible. If you did anything similarly dangerous at work it’d be banned and I’d be lucky not to get fired for gross misconduct!

    Curry was very nice BTW.

    mrmo
    Member

    tinas, so if a cow, sheep, child etc runs out, and it does happen what do you do, your driving pay attention if your on a motorway you wouldn’t expect to see bikes, but i have seen fence panels, dropped exhausts etc. you can’t just switch off and assume nothing is going to happen.

    On the point of TT’s never really appealed, particularly fast dual carriageways. Although i would agree that a dual carriageway can be safer than a single carriageway because they tend to have better sight lines.

    I would never do a TT on a dual carriageway. The speed differential is just too great.

    antigee
    Member

    well if it is foggy and visibility is that poor then people should be driving like there could be a stationary, broken down, glass coach full of kids with haemophilia but no it is rush hour and tv is waiting

    was on A19 (driving) weekend of Royal Wedding and must admit a bit surprised to see a time trial as was pm and thought early morning the norm – despite sunshine and excellent sight lines many drivers couldn’t deal with this unexpected hazard in a safe way – very very late braking/tailgating and procratination/squeezing by and late lane changes whilst those in outside lane maintained (excess) speed irrespective

    question i have is at what point did it become unacceptable to ride on a particular road? recall a death last year on the A20 and consensus was that it is a road you shouldn’t ride on (and personally i wouldn’t) but is the number of roads that are dangerous for walkers and cyclists actually increasing? – i think so – attitude seems to be that on any through route (irrespective of classification) motorised vehicles have an absolute priority. (that is a full stop) all other users have to keep to the grass and bushes or be demonised for using or as is happening simply accept this intimidation and drive with the kids in the back and the bikes on the roof

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    “have been murdered by motorists”

    Now i’m all for harsher penalties for dangerous / careless / selfish-aggressive driving, but murder charges need proof of intent. There have been a disproportionate number of deaths among time triallers in recent years but i’m not aware of any of them involving actual intent, they’ve been caused by downright carelessness or failure to read the conditions and poor awareness.

    I wouldn’t advocate banning riding on a-roads, but i do wonder why people do it, i’d prefer a quieter road and a ‘sporting’ tt rather than chasing sub-20s. Riding among 80mph traffic seems bonkers.

    Brownbacks
    Member

    Is it anymore stupid than the various mountain bike activities that have resulted in the despatch of air ambulances as detailed on some recent threads?

    we organise mtb races that see riders needing medical attention, including ambulance trips to the local A&E, their injuries are always due to rider error/ mechanical failure.

    The biggest “risk” on our risk assessment is vehicle movements on the site, the max likely speed is 20mph

    deaths in TT events are tragedies and my thoughts go to their families

    fisha
    Member

    The nearest time trial route is a dual carriageway route on a 3 lane road … i dont cycle the road normally and wont do it for a TT.

    I’m not a fan of using such roads for TT events personally.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    Notaspoon, Glad the curry was ok, manflu and haddock down here, now back to debating.

    . There was no way I was expecting a cyclist doing ~22mph to be on the road where I’d happily been cruising allong at ~70mph for the last 3 hours,

    … god knows what kind of shock some of the repmobiles doing 90 would be getting coming accross either cyclists or car drivers that have braked to 30 and swerved out into the fast lane to avoid cyclists?

    I don’t know this course but I’ll be out this evening doing the warning signs on a dc course, you can’t get onto the course without passing a warning cycling event sign, I would hope it is the same there, so why aren’t motorists looking at road signs?

    car drivers that have braked to 30 and swerved out into the fast lane to avoid cyclists?

    Back to poor driving, if you can see cars swerving, brakelights why are other motorists not able to adapt their driving plan for a perceived hazard. As has been mentioned there is always a risk of debris etc so why are people driving with little room for error.

    It just struck me as incredibly stupid, selfish and iresponsible. If you did anything similarly dangerous at work it’d be banned and I’d be lucky not to get fired for gross misconduct!

    So doing something, which is legal, has been risk assessed, has warning measures put in place and which the participant & organiser feels is safe to do is s,s&i because motorists can’t drive properly and use fairly basic observation skills? Bit of a transfer of responsibility. At work I do things which normal memebers of the public, and indeed myself on occassion might think are dangerous things but the risks are minimised and up until recently I loved my job and nowadays I am paid to do it so i get on with it. Life is full of risk.

    I would never do a TT on a dual carriageway. The speed differential is just too great.

    As has been mentioned the speed difference may be a little greater – not that that’s going to make any difference if they’re trying to remove a 40 tonne Scania from just behind your ear if you get hit – but dc course have better sight lines and more room for overtaking. The cheekiest tt course I’ve ever done was a single carriageway course in Surrey – I wouldn’t go on it again and I ride dc course throughout the summer with no qualms because they’re safer roads.

    jameso – I was being a bit provocative but if you want to off somebody running them over seems to be the way to go for minimal payback.

    i’d prefer a quieter road and a ‘sporting’ tt rather than chasing sub-20s. Riding among 80mph traffic seems bonkers

    Jesus I wish I was chasing sub 20’s, i’m there for the post race cake. I’ve no problem with sporting tt’s our club runs a sporting 14 as it’s open tt but where I am the vast majority of open TT’s in summer are on safe DC courses. I think I’ve covered perceived risk on dc course v sporting courses.

    Brownbacks. My point was not to have a dig at mtb races or people injured but as to what society accepts as acceptable risk taking, if people are being airlifted or stretchered off hill sides at potentialy considerble cost through either rider error or mechanical failure there might be an argument from non-participants as lumping that in as an activity that is stupid, selfish and irresponsible. However as you say it’s risk assessed, actualy reasonably safe otherwise your risk assesment would call for the activity to cease, down to the organiser / individuals choice and presumably legal which is what I’m saying about tt’ing

    A’m now going to shave my legs and get my lycra skinsuit and bike ready for tonight if the manflu disipates, if you’re driving along the Holmwood bypass / A24 tonight look out for a safe 2up club TT, feel free to wave, point, etc

    yunki
    Member

    My point was not to have a dig at mtb races or people injured but as to what society accepts as acceptable risk taking

    if someone falls off on the mountain they hurt no-one but themselves and their family..
    if a cyclist is killed in a TT on a foggy a-road.. the poor driver will have all sorts of emotional issues to deal with..

    I don’t like the idea of grown men inflicting themselves on the public this way personally.. pocket billiards would be fairer

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    My name is convert and I am a reformed dual carriageway time trialist….

    My rule of thumb now is – “would I ride on that road for pleasure?” If not I don’t ride it in a race. Partly for safety reasons, partly for reasons of enjoyment.

    I don’t hold much by the risk assessment argument – I do enough of them at work to known that subjective judgement about the categorisation of the risk and consequence could make anything seem justifiable if you really want it to be. Until the worst actually happens in any case.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    “if you want to off somebody running them over seems to be the way to go for minimal payback.”

    too true.. the biggest danger we all face on any road comes from a lack of accountability from drivers and the legal system is the cause of it. the cycling silk’s blog had a legal review of the year a while back where his basic point came down to ‘there but for the grace of god go i’ – in other words everyone who drives, the judge, the lawyers, the police, can relate to that ‘momentary lapse of concentration’ that results in death on the roads, so they’re unwilling to lay down a real deterrent level of penalty. one day it could be them.

    You’re probably right about DC TTs being more of a perceived risk, i’m just thinking of the kind of roads that from experience i avoid at all costs. strength in numbers i guess. and signage, if enough drivers pay attention or moderate their driving because of road signs.

    anyway, just ride safe..

    stevemtb
    Member

    Doesn’t matter if it’s a TTer or a commuter whose been caught out by the conditions, everyone has to drive/ride to the conditions.

    If it’s foggy and the visibility is really poor the cyclist should probably be moving around the same speed as the rest of the traffic. No one should be going faster than a speed they could stop from if they come across something unexpected.

    I get what you’re saying about the event organisers should have looked at the conditions but not being there can’t comment on whether it should have been run or not.

    But, drivers having to swerve because they never saw the cyclist through the fog is p!ss poor driving and not adjusting speed to conditions.

    I actually think a quiet stretch of dual carridgeway seems like a decent place to run a TT, gives drivers somewhere to go to overtake.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    But, drivers having to swerve because they never saw the cyclist through the fog is p!ss poor driving and not adjusting speed to conditions.

    Really?

    Hitting them would be piss poor driving, but seeing them in time to take avoiding action sounds like good driving to me. If you are riding in conditions where the cars around you are electing to use their lights and you are a bike and don’t have a rear light you are not making the job of the driver any easier.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I don’t know the road in question but many DCs are actually pretty safe. Most traffic is only going 10-15% faster, but you often have a big hard shoulder in which to ride so you end up with far more room than on a SC. A driver can not notice you at all and you’ll be safe, which is not true on an SC typically.

    I got stopped by a copper once riding down the A470 towards Cardiff (the bit where cyclists are allowed). She was apparently just concerned for my safety, but I explained my case and told her that this road was safer provided I handled the sliproads appropriately. That is, go down the slip road, and then cross it back onto the carriageway when no-one’s coming.

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    you know how dirt jumpers go to great lengths to build jumps in forests and stuff.
    Couldn’t TT organisers just get their s**t together and start tarmacking fields next to DC’s?

    retro83
    Member

    The thing is with riding on a DC is that it moves slow drivers, lorries and so on into the overtaking lane.

    This has the effect of slowing down and bunching up traffic in that lane making it increasingly difficult for drivers catching the cyclists up to get into a decent gap and overtake.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    yunki I agree don’t do tt’s in the fog, I think I had mentioned that already and someone else mentioned the need to reduce speed increase braking distances in fog, the debate seems to have moved on to don’t tt on dc’s.
    Convert, the dc courses I ride – i’d ride along them if I had too at the times I race, indeed the h10/8 quite often has cyclists on it but they’re obviously not as pleasurable as tootling along lanes. Re risk assesmnets I find tt organiser’s tend to be more considered than “employers” in risk assesments, plenty of courses have been lost over the years. TT courses still have traffic counts, unfortunately you can’t risk assess for eejit river who is not paying any attention at all otherwise all roads would be out of bounds

    I’ll put my point a different way. As soon as people dont need to conentrate on keeping their car between the white lines to avoid oncoming traffic they switch off.

    Ro5ey
    Member

    I agree with the OP.

    People playing private games, in a very dangerous public places…. I’m very uneasy with it.

    Others have mentioned broken down vehicles etc all very well, but those things are not their out of choice are they?

    As people cycling on the road for FUN you are involving other non players in your games… doesn’t seem very fair to me.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Re risk assesmnets I find tt organiser’s tend to be more considered than “employers” in risk assesments, plenty of courses have been lost over the years. TT courses still have traffic counts, unfortunately you can’t risk assess for eejit river who is not paying any attention at all otherwise all roads would be out of bounds

    You see that’s exactly my problem with RAs – the RA is being done by the tt organiser (and approved by rttc) both of whom have a vested interest in slowing the inevitable march of time and hanging on to courses for as long as possible. Also, I’d say poor driving is exactly what you are risk assessing for (similar to RAing a piece of machinery in a workshop to limit hazard to a worker who looses concentration with the addition of guards etc) – if everyone is on top of their game virtually anything is possible. You are right, if you took it to the nth degree bikes and cars would never mix but it is that subjective judgement as to where to draw the line that creates the problem.

    uplink
    Member

    They sometimes use a motor racing track for TTs around here – seems a better solution all round TBH

    It allows the riders to concentrate on what they’re doing without worrying about traffic.

    pdw
    Member

    The sad truth is that people treat DCs like motorways, and with the vast majority of traffic doing well over 55mph, drivers switch off to the possibility of stopped or slow moving traffic.

    On a number of occassions I’ve driven past TTs on quiet DCs. As a cyclist, I see the signs, know exactly what’s going on and there really is no danger. Unfortunately, there are enough drivers who managed to miss the signs and then get surprised by the cyclists.

    The right answer would be proper driver training, pointing out the obvious differences between a DC and a motorway (possibly even raising the motorway speed limit to underline the distinction) so that people actually think a bit harder about what hazards they might encounter on a DC.

    Unfortunately, the “right” answer is a bit academic after you’ve been wiped out by a car.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    ro5ey – good troll (by good I mean rubbish)

    Convert I see your point and having written risk assesments where results are massaged am fully aware of the issue. But with regard to tt’ing most of the courses I ride are low traffic count during the day or ridden at 06.00 to avoid traffic, by doing so one is limiting ones interface with traffic and reducing the odds of being hit so steps are taken by District Committees and RTTC. However poor driving can happen anytime anyplace, if you’re off at 06.00 will you meet someone still over the limit from a session the night before, like you say it’s a subjective desicion.

    I feel I should point out that the vast majority of tt’s, including dc’s, are incident free and a good way to experience racing and the camaradarie of club riding. Fatalities are probably more striking because they are infrequent and often so stupid – insofar as it’s drivers on safe, clear, empty roads hitting highly visible cyclists that they should have seen.

    Uplink, a nice idea but there are hundreds of tt’s during the year and not enough suitable venues to cater for the demand

    tinas, so if a cow, sheep, child etc runs out

    We’re not talking a 2 lane carridge way with house on one side and fields on the other or a town center where I’d happily ride.

    We’re talking a dual carridge way with slip roads, no roundabouts, crash barriers etc. Basicly 2 lane motorway linking the M1 and Teesside for anyone heading to/from the South.

    As for the broken down vehicle. That would likely be on the hard shoulder, or at least be bigger (and more visible) than a cyclist, and have its lights on, and hazzard lights, and probably a warning triangle if the drivers got one.

    I don’t buy the risk assessment argument for one simple reason.

    Risk number 1: Poor driving by drivers not expecting cyclists on that road.

    Mittigation to risk 1: ??????????????????

    You can’t decide to hold an event then blindly ignore the risks in the assessment to allow it to take place. I wouldn’t even say you needed to be a poor driver to hit a TT’er, plenty of cars were coming up behind them, registering them at the last minute, pulling over without indicating, then the car behind’s suddenly having to brake sharply (he can stop in the distance he can see, and suddenly theres a cyclist in it).

    How many of the TT supourters in this thread genuinely drive on DC/motorways and genuinly drive for hours on end convinced the car in front will suddenly stop. You’d be;
    a) having a nervous breakdown before you get anywhere.
    b) causing an accident as you’d run out of mental capacity to process any other infomration.

    Even the 2 second rule doesn’t account for cyclists/kids/balls suddenly appearing within your braking distance. Accidents happen, the driver might have done everything by the book. The TT’er was legaly allowed to be there, but the TT’er is still dead, and the car driver and the riders family still have to live with that.

    Premier Icon boriselbrus
    Subscriber

    I’m with the OP. I ride thousands of road miles a year and generally won’t touch DC’s. It might be legal, and there might be a small shoulder, but how often do you drive on a motorway and see a truck just drift onto the hard shoulder and drift back again.

    I also have an issue with the huge selfishness of SOME TT’s. I was driving in the Midlands last summer and came across a TT on a section of DC. The course involved several roundabouts and the chaos the riders caused as they went for gaps on roundabouts that really weren’t safe just to get a good time was frankly terrifying. Lots of damage done to the reputation of cyclists by drivers that day.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    if a cyclist is killed in a TT on a foggy a-road.. the poor driver

    completely missing the “safe driving” point fail

    I’m not arsed about the TT races but plenty of people ro5ey in particular seem to be saying cyclist shouldn’t be there at all. Well cheers fellas, cycling forum and all that.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    TINAS Sorry that sounds like poor driving;

    “plenty of cars were coming up behind them, registering them at the last minute, pulling over without indicating, then the car behind’s suddenly having to brake sharply (he can stop in the distance he can see, and suddenly theres a cyclist in it).”

    Unless the cyclist came from the side the distance he can see to be clear isn’t clear because theres a cyclist in it. Pulling over without indicating – do their brakes not work?

    “Even the 2 second rule doesn’t account for cyclists/kids/balls suddenly appearing within your braking distance”

    The two second rule relates to gaps between moving traffic – leave two seconds between vehicles which you can gauge against fixed points by saying “only a fool breaks the two second rule” (say it twice in the wet). However the overarching rule is that you drive at a speed that enables you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear whilst remaining on your side of the carriageway and that does allow for other road users and debris in your carriageway and is more appropriate in this example.

    How many of the TT supourters in this thread genuinely drive on DC/motorways and genuinly drive for hours on end convinced the car in front will suddenly stop.

    When I drive I am constantly evaluating the conditions and formulating an ongoing driving plan based on this, I try to leave sufficient breaking distance so I can stop and if possible enough distance so that those who stop behind me won’t pile into me. I’m not expecting the vehicle in fron to stop but I make allowances for sudden halts. I’ve seen a multi-car pile up happen in front of me and seen cars that were behind me go sailing past me in the outer lane and hit other vehicles

    It’s not difficult but it something that requires attention and thought, I don’t tootle along at 40mph either and have used the techniques for very high speed driving.

    Took a while for this topic to heat up didn’t it – might have to go and buy some biscuits with my nurofen cold and flu.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Stabiliser has a good anatomy of a crash post, basically showing how, otherwise inoffensive, ignorant drivers team up to kill cyclists. Certainly worries me.

    For those who don’t want to read the full article, idiot A drives along see’s cyclist but either from just being a tool or because there isn’t a space in the next lane waits till the last minute to swerve around him. Idiot B who was driving to close to idiot A and hits the cyclist.

    Idiot A could have slowed and overtaken safely, Idiot B could have left more space. Both at fault, both contributed to someone dying, both probably walk out of court with their licences intact, cyclist blamed for lack of helmet.

    ebygomm
    Member

    I remember being very surprised to see some sort of cycling event ( not sure if it was a time trial, one guy was on some sort of trike ) on the A50. Struck me as madness.

    Premier Icon boriselbrus
    Subscriber

    The thing is KILO, you might drive safely and leave sufficient gap, but many (most?) don’t.

    If I’m killed when riding on the road, it’s no consolation to me/my family that the person that killed me should have left a bigger gap and been more alert.

    When I was doing my motorbike training 20 years ago the instructor taught us this rhyme:

    Here lies the body of Edwin Grey
    Who died while defending his right of way
    He was right, dead right as he sped along
    But he’s just as dead as if he was wrong

    And on a separate note, don’t even get me started on cyclists who wear dark clothes when riding on the road and just rely on a tiny strip of reflective material. Brilliant. That works really well on a cloud day under tree cover doesn’t it. Morons.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Good point boriselbrus, being right doesn’t matter if you’re dead but you’re helping perpetuate it all with that attitude. People get killed whilst out for a drink at night, people get killed walking round the shops, people get killed (by cars) whilst on the pavement. Are you going to stop doing those things too?

    Ro5ey
    Member

    Kilo… If you think I’m troll presumably you don’t consider my argument at all possible.

    You are out on your bike doing a TT, having fun, playing a game, having a bit of a laugh really. But all those people in cars aren’t messing about. If one hits you, they have broken the rules of YOUR game…. They didn’t even know they were playing!!

    RichPenny
    Member

    If one hits you, they have broken the rules of YOUR game…. They didn’t even know they were playing!!

    Agreed, would be better if roads were closed for TT events to go ahead. Surely the “game” a driver is playing is getting to their destination safely tho?

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    As people cycling on the road for FUN you are involving other non players in your games… doesn’t seem very fair to me.

    logical conclusion don’t cycle on any road for fun – well thought out and well presented argument.

    boris you seem to have missed the point running through this thread that dc courses are risked assessed, safe and fine for tt’ing on. You went ahead with motorcycle training but motorcycles are a more dangerous transport mode than cars presumably you carried out your own 2risk assesment” and were happy to gon ahead. Take your ditty to logical conclusion and one would never cycle on the road if cars are present.

    Ro5ey
    Member

    “logical conclusion don’t cycle on any road for fun”

    So riding on the road is fun, is it?

    Ask any driver the same question.

    Ask yourself as a driver the same question… Do you find driving fun?

    uplink
    Member

    So are DCs chosen for courses because they are the safest roads for cycling on?

    Idiot A could have slowed and overtaken safely, Idiot B could have left more space. Both at fault, both contributed to someone dying, both probably walk out of court with their licences intact, cyclist blamed for lack of helmet.

    SHHHHHHHHH you’ll wake TJ!

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