Discussion in 'Commuting' started by LOGAN 5, 2 Aug 2007.

  1. LOGAN 5

    LOGAN 5 New Member

    This morning will be the last time I ever cycle through Streatham and Brixton!

    Streatham's dual carriageway is like a motorway but with twisty bits, buses, parked lorries, turnings and pot holes. It's really scary negotiating it on a bike. Then there's Brixton Hill with even more potholes and all the while the motorbikes are sharing the bus lane too - at speed. Any of you who know Brixton Hill will know that it's not particularly steep but you can get quite a speed up on the descent so you don't want to be hugging the kerb. I cycle two thirds into the bus lane to discourage buses and taxis from squeezing past (of course I can then be undertaken by the motorbikes!) between the often slower moving outside lane (and also because there are some really serious holes by the kerb which could take you out particularly in the wet).

    So this morning an irate bus driver objected to having to overtake in the outside lane so cut in really close forcing me to brake and swerve to avoid him as he then slammed on his brakes to stop at the bus stop only yards ahead of him. The stupid thing is there wasn't a lot of traffic so it wasn't a problem for him to overtake safely which he didn't choose to do. It's just so dangerous and so pointless. Why do they do it?

    Got to work and thought what a miserable ride that was despite the lovely weather this morning.

    From now on I'm going to take the slightly longer but definitely less dangerous route via Clapham Common.;)
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    It's just occured to me that yet another advantage of cycling is that it can be relatively easy to just take another route - even if it's a bit longer. In a car, a slightly longer route might well involve more twists and turns and junctions - more effort in a car I think than for a good cyclist. And much less predictable in terms of journey time in a car.

    For me to drive to work, (if I had a car, and a baby elephant to wash it), I'd be restricted to one route, due to pedestrian zones etc. On my bike I have a choice of two or three - one shorter than the car route, one the same length, one about the same, but handy for passing the cash point. Variation in timing, I'd say, no more than 4 or 5 minutes.

    I know mine is a very short ride, but it must be the case in most towns and cities that there are various ways to do the same trip...
  3. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    I have plenty of choice but I take the most direct/fast/simple route, natch

    that does sound crappy, the buses and motorbikes I see are well behaved, the motorbikes do dip in and out of the bus lane but it's all well done

    Sarf London badlands init
  4. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Logan, don't let the b'stards grind you down.
  5. TimO

    TimO Veteran

    Brixton Hill has some quite mind bogglingly huge potholes in it on the way down. I only use it once in a blue moon, and it's normally to pick up a parcel from the sorting office, but I noticed one pot hole that would probably throw you off whatever speed you were doing, if it was on my regular route I'd probably have moaned to the council about several of them, because they are quite gob smackingly lethal.

    I'd still go with Arch's suggestion of a different route. Streatham Hill is also pretty horrible, I've only ever cycled on it on a couple of occasions and it's not pleasant.
  6. Wobbles

    Wobbles Senior Member

    Very bike-unfriendly bit of road indeed. Don't let the feckers drive you off your beaten route tho - you've got the right to be there......get back out and anticipate their dumb#rse moves even more next time if you can.
    I can never understand what goes thru their stupid little minds when they pull stunts like that. To gain, what, 2 nano seconds? To overtake then slam the brakes on and pull in is unforgiveable in my books.

    Good luck;)
  7. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Helmet Cam!!!!!

    get one off those people uploading mind numbing footage of them wobbling along pretty village high roads
  8. clefty

    clefty New Member

    Logan, Clapham common is a much nicer route anyway, I only ever do the Brixton hill route when I cant get down the Clapham Rd - which was once last year when that shop was firebombed and they closed it all off.
    They even resurfaced the road last night so its a lot nicer down near Clapham Common tube, just wish they would do the same on the bus lane and road heading towards North..which is frankly horrible.
  9. Amanda P

    Amanda P Veteran

    That'll be me then... Although I don't think I wobbled that much...

    I know how Logan feels. I used a Brompton to cross from KX to Waterloo a while back. Monster potholes, homicidal bus drivers.... I loathed every minute of it, and it only took a few minutes. Just one reason I plan never to live in London....

    Anyway, I'd be quite happy to loan my camera if it helps to, erm... encourage errant bus drivers to improve their driving.

    (Incidentally, mine's a perfectly ordinary, cheapie digital still camera, from Aldi I think. Many of these types of camera can record video, although you may need a bigger memory card if you want more than a couple of minutes).
  10. OP
    LOGAN 5

    LOGAN 5 New Member

    Thanks for the support folks. Did the Clapham route today and so much nicer too.

    Seriously thinking about getting a helmet cam though......
  11. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    I love London riding, it's exciting and demanding and edgy, riding along on my tod without nothing much to worry about would bore me

    if I filmed I could produce one or two emergency stops a week, easy and as many swerves to avoid cars driving through me like I wasn't there

    you lot should have a whip round
  12. clefty

    clefty New Member

    picking mine up tonight, although am slightly bitter about the whole thing.
    Picked it up for 70 quid all in from Ebay stateside, then stung with customs charges, still not bad at 7 quid - but then the real killer, parcelforce 'handling' fee of 8 quid and the fact that wiggle has put them down from 109 to 88 quid this week.
    So I made a grand saving of ..£3 and waited nearly a month for it..brilliant :-)
  13. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    yuk yuk

    you'll be more careful next time yeah?

    been there done that, the wait along takes the pleasure of it
  14. clefty

    clefty New Member

    I know, wont be doing that again.
    It had better bloody work ok, otherwise I will go seriously medieval on someone - not sure who yet - may be an unfortunate parcelforce employee...
  15. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    By and large I enjoy the thrills of riding in London, but the constant confrontations get me down occasionally I must admit, there is just no let up, ever.
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