Re: A different world, 5 blocks away

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Jeremy Parker, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. "Andy Gee" <[email protected]> wrote

    Anyone else have any
    > neighborhoods where the biking goes from wonderful to miserable by
    > crossing a street?


    Here in London the character of the city is very fine grained, finer
    than any US city , even NYC or Boston, but I haven't noticed that in
    people's driving. Some streets are nicer to ride on than others, of
    course, but that's the street, not the people.

    I like riding in London. It's a big city, of course, so you won't be
    alone, and people like you to be decisive about what you are about to
    do, though they will make allowances if you are obviously a
    bewildered tourist. If you look as if you are local, but still
    bewildered, then they get more irritated. That's independent of
    whether you are in a car, on a bike, or blocking the entrance or exit
    at the tube's ticket barriers. On the whole, though, the good
    humoured cockney character does still survive.

    London has a bewildering street pattern, but that means that there
    are lots of fairly quiet back streets. That's not the thing for a
    fast training ride, of course, but makes for interesting exploring.
    Thanks to London's free bike maps - it takes nineteen maps to cover
    the whole of London - exploring is even easier nowadays. There's
    London's Journey Planner, on the Internet, which can be set to make
    the bicycle your only allowable mode of transport. The Journey
    Planner isn't perfect, but which is at least worth consulting when
    you are wondering how to get somewhere. [The rival journey planner,
    by the London Cycle Network, has a much poorer reputation. I can't
    speak from personal experience, since it crashes when I try to use
    it]

    The congestion charge for cars is up to eight pounds now - about
    $13.60 US - and the area covered will expand in a few months time.
    When it first came in I thought that the charge's main effect would
    be to leave nobody but white-van-man trying to meet impossible
    delivery schedules, and yuppie Porsches, now with space to speed, and
    the drivers saying, "Yes, I do own the road, I paid for it.". On the
    whole, though, driving got more sedate. The bad side was the
    increase in motorcycles. They can't be charged a fee, since there is
    no way to photograph their tags. Thus there was a big increase in
    motorcycling, and big decrease in the average motorcyclist's
    competence. They are letting motorcycles in bus lanes, too, alas.
    The bike activists didn't notice this was coming, owing to it being
    in the motorcycle chapter of the transport plan, not the bus or
    bicycle chapter.

    Taking bikes on trains is degrading somewhat owing to new rolling
    stock with less space, and the number of passengers increasing. My
    lines are still ok. With flow bikes are banned on my line during
    rush hours, but allowed counterflow.

    The question is, though, will we get the Tour de France in 2007?

    Jeremy Parker
     
    Tags:


  2. Jeremy Parker wrote:
    >
    > Taking bikes on trains is degrading somewhat owing to new rolling
    > stock with less space, and the number of passengers increasing. My
    > lines are still ok. With flow bikes are banned on my line during
    > rush hours, but allowed counterflow.


    I wish Toronto and Governement of Ontario Transit would allow bikes on
    counter-flow trains, but they've deemed it too hard to administrate so
    effctively ban bikes inside trains and transit vehicles entirely for
    about 6 hrs a day. I've never seen an official answer to the question
    of folded bikes, however. (I'm contemplating getting one, as my job is
    about to move from the financial district to out beyond the end of the
    subways and trains.)

    Do the London Underground and the remnants of British Rain allow folded
    bikes? Folded and bagged bikes? Tiny little 150mm-wheeled bike-like
    objects? Anything larger than a pair of in-line skates to be carried
    aboard during rush hours?

    > The question is, though, will we get the Tour de France in 2007?


    Close the Chunnel for the day! Talk about a time trial! (Assuming
    there's no exposed sleepers.)
     
  3. POHB

    POHB Guest

    "Brian Huntley" wrote
    > Do the London Underground and the remnants of British Rain allow folded
    > bikes? Folded and bagged bikes? Tiny little 150mm-wheeled bike-like
    > objects? Anything larger than a pair of in-line skates to be carried
    > aboard during rush hours?
    >


    The short answer is sometimes and some places.
    The long answer is enormously complex, and getting worse.

    Generally you can always take bikes that fold small like a Brompton.
    Unfolded regular bikes are almost never allowed on trains into town in the
    morning rush or out in the evening, but often otherwise.

    "Bicycles can be taken free of charge on some sections of the underground
    network outside peak times. Peak times are 07.30 - 09.30 and 16.00 - 19.00,
    Monday to Friday, except for public holidays."
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/using/getting-around/bicycles.asp

    But for most values of the tube, it is quicker to cycle than take the train
    anyway.
    In fact that applies to most journeys in greater London.
     
  4. POHB wrote:
    > But for most values of the tube, it is quicker to cycle than take the train
    > anyway.
    > In fact that applies to most journeys in greater London.


    Interesting. Here in Toronto (Canada) I'm typically faster than
    street-cars (trams) and buses at almost any distance and cars up to
    about 15 km, but not the subway (unless I were to stage some off-hours
    race between two sections of the routes where there are no actual
    stations.)

    I'm interested because my job is being relocated soon, and it'll be
    about 25 km farther away. I'd like to think the extra 50 km a day might
    be covered by mass transit and going multi-modal sounds like fun.
    Accent on "sounds", it would seem, though.
     
  5. Here in Ottawa we have bike racks on the front of the buses, though
    they get removed for the winter (which is too bad, because I'm far more
    likely to use them then). The racks have proven quite popular, and on
    the major transit routes like the bus-only Transitway they are often
    full, making you wait for the next one.

    A guy I know solved that problem by getting a Bike Friday for his
    commute. He told me that if he's in a hurry, and the two rack spaces on
    the approaching bus are full, he just folds up the bike and carries it
    on. The occasional driver has tried to stop him, but these bikes are
    allowed if they fold small enough and don't look like they might hurt
    people. (Meaning my old Raleigh Twenty does not fit the bill.)

    Mark
     
  6. [email protected] wrote:
    > Here in Ottawa we have bike racks on the front of the buses, though
    > they get removed for the winter (which is too bad, because I'm far more
    > likely to use them then).


    They take them off? Strange. So far, I've only used the Toronto ones
    when there's been snow and wind galore. Sure cut a lot of time off my
    Christmas shopping this year! (We only have them on selected routes,
    but my nearest bus route was one selected - I feel so honored.)
     
  7. Yes, here they unbolt the racks every Fall and they're are off all
    routes by mid-Novmeber.

    The main reason given is that the rack extends the overall length of
    each bus, meaning they then can't fit them all into the garages. And of
    course any diesel bus left outside during a -20C night may not start in
    the morning.

    Also, since we get so much snow here a lot of salt gets put down, and
    there is a concern that the racks would just slowly dissolve and
    become unsafe, thus requiring much more frequent replacement (of course
    they could look into stainless steel racks, no?). Couple that with the
    huge drop-off in cyclists when the snow hits the ground and they seem
    to have every justification for this procedure (though Ottawa does have
    a remarkable number of winter cyclists).

    I'm car-free, and almost never ride the bus here. I cycle everywhere,
    even during winter, and usually only use the bus on those days when I
    need to cover some distance, but don't feel like cycling through all
    the slush / freezing rain, etc. That's when *I'd* like a bike rack...

    Mark
     
  8. Mark D

    Mark D Guest

    When I was a kid, and lived in Chicago, on Chicago's near west side,
    yep, it certainly was a "different world" 5 blocks away!

    When we were kids 8-9 years old, we used to ride our little 20" bikes to
    the lakefront often (About 4-1/2 miles one way). Well, 5 blocks away,
    east of my house was the black projects.
    Essentailly, there was no way around them.

    I can't tell you how many times, we'd have a 1/2 dozen older black kids
    running after us full tilt, trying to jump us, and steal our bikes,
    yelling 'hey white boy, gimme your bike"! lol

    I can certainly state the unbelieveable bursts of high speed I developed
    on a bike was due to that unique "training"! :) Mark
     
  9. Brian Huntley wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > Here in Ottawa we have bike racks on the front of the buses, though
    > > they get removed for the winter (which is too bad, because I'm far more
    > > likely to use them then).

    >
    > They take them off? Strange. So far, I've only used the Toronto ones
    > when there's been snow and wind galore.


    They seem to remove them here (Kingston ON) too. Pity since Kingston
    is fairly small and the only time I am likely to use the racks is in
    the winter.

    John Kane, Kingston ON Canada
     
  10. Brian Huntley wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > Here in Ottawa we have bike racks on the front of the buses, though
    > > they get removed for the winter (which is too bad, because I'm far more
    > > likely to use them then).

    >
    > They take them off? Strange. So far, I've only used the Toronto ones
    > when there's been snow and wind galore.


    They seem to remove them here (Kingston ON) too. Pity since Kingston
    is fairly small and the only time I am likely to use the racks is in
    the winter.

    John Kane, Kingston ON Canada
     
  11. Mark D. wrote:

    When I was a kid, and lived in Chicago, on Chicago's near west
    side, yep, it certainly was a "different world" 5 blocks away!
    When we were kids 8-9 years old, we used to ride our little 20" bikes to
    the lakefront often (About 4-1/2 miles one way). Well, 5 blocks away,
    east of my house was the black projects.
    Essentailly, there was no way around them.
    I can't tell you how many times, we'd have a 1/2 dozen older black kids
    running after us full tilt, trying to jump us, and steal our bikes,
    yelling 'hey white boy, gimme your bike"! lol
    I can certainly state the unbelieveable bursts of high speed I developed
    on a bike was due to that unique "training"! :) Mark
    -------------------------------------------------

    Sorry, but the Politically Correct Gong has been rung and you have
    been removed from the stage.

    Steve McDonald
     
  12. Mark D. wrote:

    When I was a kid, and lived in Chicago, on Chicago's near west
    side, yep, it certainly was a "different world" 5 blocks away!
    When we were kids 8-9 years old, we used to ride our little 20" bikes to
    the lakefront often (About 4-1/2 miles one way). Well, 5 blocks away,
    east of my house was the black projects.
    Essentailly, there was no way around them.
    I can't tell you how many times, we'd have a 1/2 dozen older black kids
    running after us full tilt, trying to jump us, and steal our bikes,
    yelling 'hey white boy, gimme your bike"! lol
    I can certainly state the unbelieveable bursts of high speed I developed
    on a bike was due to that unique "training"! :) Mark
    -------------------------------------------------

    Sorry, but the Politically Correct Gong has been rung and you have
    been removed from the stage.

    Steve McDonald
     
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