Rough Guide to Cycling in London

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Elyob, May 8, 2003.

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  1. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    Anyone else picked up one of these booklets from your LBS?

    http://www.londontransport.co.uk/streets/pn_sm_121.shtml

    Only quickly flicked through it, will spend a bit longer later, but it certainly looks good from all
    angles of cycling.

    It includes maintenance, facts & figures about London, security, buyers guide and more ...

    I'm sure someone'll pick something wrong in it, but it certainly reads like it was written by
    a cyclist.

    A pretty good and welcome effort IMO.

    Nick
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  2. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Thu, 08 May 2003 19:34:52 +0000, elyob wrote:

    > Anyone else picked up one of these booklets from your LBS?
    >
    > http://www.londontransport.co.uk/streets/pn_sm_121.shtml
    >
    > Only quickly flicked through it, will spend a bit longer later, but it certainly looks good from
    > all angles of cycling.
    >

    There were hundreds of copies given out at Herne Hill on Good Friday. A bit of preaching to the
    converted though :)

    I thought it was good too, and resolved to pass my copy onto someone who can really make use of it.
     
  3. > Anyone else picked up one of these booklets from your LBS?
    >
    > http://www.londontransport.co.uk/streets/pn_sm_121.shtml

    I did, and I wasn't so enthusiastic.

    In the first page of ch 1, it starts of by saying, in effect, that TfL supports cycling as a way to
    making driving on the road faster for motorists. On the next page it talks about cyclists as
    potential organ donors. The stat's on the page after that, quoted from the Economist are fatalities
    per mile, not per person. They should be on the web somewhere (DfT site). Then, further down that
    page, it talks about dangerous HGVs, but without saying what the danger actually is - read the TfL
    leaflet instead, if you want to stay alive. The page after that it advises you, in effect, to break
    the law at junctions, although without explain how or why. The whole first chapter seems to be
    written by somebody who can concieve only of travelling round London by car, and is aimed only at
    the car driver.

    All the advice about riding in traffic is pretty bad, except for the little box featuring
    comments from Patrick Field. On p6 it says that you will inevitably get a "thorough soaking"
    about once a month if you commute by bike, which isn't true unless you forget your rain gear, or
    buy the wrong kind.

    About half the book seems to be the standard stuff that you get from the British bike industry,
    revealing well why that industry went down the tubes.

    The book seems to have a good selection of web sites to look at. Web sites are the only kind of
    reference that it does give. It doesn't seem to mention Sheldon Brown, though.

    A book put out by TfL should at least know what a bike lane is. Judging by pp16-17, the
    authors don't.

    A book about cycling in London, ought to tell you about riding in traffic.

    * It should, but doesn't, tell the difference between a wide kerb lane and a narrow lane, and where
    to ride in each

    * it should, but doesn't, tell you how to change lanes.

    * it should, but doesn't, tell you where to position yourself if you want to straight and there is
    considerable left turning traffic

    *it should, but doesn't tell you how to turn right

    * it should, but doesn't, tell you how to tackle roundabouts

    The 'position on the road" advice on p 15 is a disaster. Beginners always stay too close to the
    edge, not too far out, so their advice to **never** (my emphasis) to get too far out is exactly
    wrong. In any case, their advice to position yourself relative to distance from the kerb is wrong -
    you should travel parallel to the tyre tracks of the cars, not parallel to a wiggly gutter.

    The whole tone of the book is that cycling is uncomfortable and and dangerous, and the way the
    authors do it, it probably is.

    Jeremy Parker
     
  4. I said:

    > The stat's on the page after that, quoted from the Economist are fatalities per mile, not per
    > person. They should be on the web somewhere (DfT site).

    Er no, sorry. They are per trip. The original Economist article has them per trip, per km, and
    per hour. If you look at the Economist table, that means taking a bus is slower than walking -
    2.5 kph by bus,
    3.8 kph on foot.

    Bike assumes a 2.8 km journey at 14 kph Car, 11.25 km at 37.5 kph.

    Jeremy Parker
     
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