Family Cycle Rides v Strava-ists!

Subotai72

Well-Known Member
Location
North Wales
Myself and the family frequently use the excellent traffic-free cyclepaths around Chester and along the River Dee (Route 5 & NCN 568). It great to see loads of other families using them too, whether it's pushing babies in prams, walking the dog or giving the kids a first taste of cycling in a safe environment, it all goes to help promote a healthy lifestyle.

I also like to use the cyclepath when I'm out for a more strenuous ride, particularly in the winter months. There's a good deal of long distance visibility on the route due to it's relatively flat elevation and so when the coast is clear I try and up the pace to get some intervals in but only if there's no one around. However, I've found that the cycleway is also frequented by a type of Strava-esque Time Trialist faction who seem to think thery're on the track at Manchester Velodrome and appear to have no thought for other users, other than a shouted "On your right!" or "Coming through" before whizzing passed at 30+km/h. As the path goes through Chester there are numerous entries to it from parks, roads, houses, schools etc increasing the chances of meeting a pedestrian or young cyclist and potential for a "coming together". I recently witnessed a young lad on a scooter appear up some steps literally seconds after a tool sporting tri-bars shot passed at heaven knows what speed. This was in the middle of the afternoon.

I always slow down and give a ping on the bell well in advance of pedestrians/dog-walkers/pram-pushers, most of whom appreciate the care and attention shown them although I have noticed a few scowled looks which I put down to some of my fellow cyclists usually regarding them as an inconvenience in their goal for Strava Immortality.

So take care out there, of yourself and fellow path users, (I've hit a pedestrian who unexpectedly veered in front of me and it hurt. Both of us), they could be the cyclists of the future.

Thanks

ps Next one who races passed me when I've with the kids demanding we clear a path WILL be making a quick trip into the river!
 
Last edited:

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Not clever admitting your assault ahead of doing it... but I agree that strava shouldn't be encouraging racing on such paths.
 

Katherine

Guru
Moderator
Location
Manchester
It's similar on the Bridgewater Canal path. There are some busier popular sections where you have to slow down.

I always ask nicely if I can get past when there is a family group in the way and thank dog owners who keep good control of their dogs and go carefully around the rest.

When I'm a pedestrian and I hear a ping of a bell, I keep walking but close to the side so a bike can easily get past but some expect you to stop completely so that they don't have to slow down which is a bit selfish.
 
A big problem is the fact that Strava have refused outright to block completely the ability to log times on any shared use paths, which would stop a large proportion of the racers, as they'd have no incentive. Sustrans tried to get them to block out the NCN routes and Strava refused.

What you used to be able to do was flag a path or road as dangerous, and then it wouldn't show up, but then earlier this year Strava changed their procedures, and provided you click to acknowledge you recognise the section has been flagged, you can still see the list & times of riders. Which is crazy, as it means effectively you can race on a flagged section and still log a time.
 
OP
Subotai72

Subotai72

Well-Known Member
Location
North Wales
Not clever admitting your assault ahead of doing it... but I agree that strava shouldn't be encouraging racing on such paths.
Not so much an assault more a refusal to move, resulting in them either stopping or exiting the path and entering the river via the relatively steep bank! But I take your point!
 
Last edited:

Big Dave laaa

Biking Ninja
Location
Flintshire
Myself and the family frequently use the excellent traffic-free cyclepaths around Chester and along the River Dee (Route 5 & NCN 568). It great to see loads of other families using them too, whether it's pushing babies in prams, walking the dog or giving the kids a first taste of cyclign in a safe enviroment, it all goes to help promote a healthy lifestyle.

I also like to use the cyclepath when I'm out for a more strenuous ride, particularly in the winter months. There's a good deal of long distance visibility on the route due to it's relatively flat elevation and so when the coast is clear I try and up the pace to get some intervals in but only if there's no one around. However, I've found that the cycleway is also frequented by a type of Strava-esque Time Trialist faction who seem to think thery're on the track at Manchester Velodrome and appear to have no thought for other users, other than a shouted "On your right!" or "Coming through" before whizzing passed at 30+km/h. As the path goes through Chester there are numerous entries to it from parks, roads, houses, schools etc increasing the chances of meeting a pedestrian, young cyclist and potential for a "coming together". I recently witnessed a young lad on a scooter appear up some steps literally seconds after a tool sporting tri-bars shot passed at heaven knows what speed. This was in the middle of the afternoon.

I always slow down and give a ping on the bell well in advance of pedestrians/dog-walkers/pram-pushers, most of whom appreciate the care and attention shown them although I have noticed a few scowled looks which I put down to some of my fellow cyclists usually regarding them as an inconvenience in their goal to Strava Immortality.

So take care out there of yourself and fellow path users (I've hit a pedestrian who unexpectedly veered in front of me and it hurt. Both of us), they could be the cyclists of the future.

Thanks

ps Next one who races passed me when I've with the kids demanding we clear a path WILL be making a quick trip into the river.
upload_2015-10-28_13-0-25.png

I find the route out towards Neston much better for faster cycling. Much better visibility and less access points to worry about. If the path is being used by families or walkers, there's much more time to slow and pass them safely, especially early on a Sunday morning which is when I usually use it. Like you I find the Chester route far too cluttered.
 
OP
Subotai72

Subotai72

Well-Known Member
Location
North Wales
It's similar on the Bridgewater Canal path. There are some busier popular sections where you have to slow down.

I always ask nicely if I can get past when there is a family group in the way and thank dog owners who keep good control of their dogs and go carefully around the rest.

When I'm a pedestrian and I hear a ping of a bell, I keep walking but close to the side so a bike can easily get past but some expect you to stop completely so that they don't have to slow down which is a bit selfish.
I noticed that most dog-walkers stop and restrain their dogs and I appreciate that to the point that I'll slow right down to walking pace; after all I don't want to hurt the dog. Or myself!
 
Last edited:

Jody

Veteran
but I agree that strava shouldn't be encouraging racing on such paths.
Most paths of this type round here have been flagged a dangerous on Strava.

Would people not just go back to a stop watch without Stava?
 
OP
Subotai72

Subotai72

Well-Known Member
Location
North Wales
A big problem is the fact that Strava have refused outright to block completely the ability to log times on any shared use paths, which would stop a large proportion of the racers, as they'd have no incentive. Sustrans tried to get them to block out the NCN routes and Strava refused.

What you used to be able to do was flag a path or road as dangerous, and then it wouldn't show up, but then earlier this year Strava changed their procedures, and provided you click to acknowledge you recognise the section has been flagged, you can still see the list & times of riders. Which is crazy, as it means effectively you can race on a flagged section and still log a time.
I noticed that the other night. I only have Strava set to default to my own PRs so I'm not interested in KOMs (not that I'd get one!) but on checking to see if I'd improved upon a segment (ironically enough it was on part of the path I mentioned in the OP, when I had a 5km stretch along the River Dee with not a single other person on!) only to find that I had to agree to some Hazard Policy to see the leaderboard. It kind of makes flagging any segments an exercise in futility.
 

Jody

Veteran
What you used to be able to do was flag a path or road as dangerous, and then it wouldn't show up, but then earlier this year Strava changed their procedures, and provided you click to acknowledge you recognise the section has been flagged, you can still see the list & times of riders. Which is crazy, as it means effectively you can race on a flagged section and still log a time.
Thanks for that. Just got a load of flagged segments back :whistle:

edit: Won't show them on the app but when you log into your dashboard. I can see why sections are being flagged. Some shared paths have KOM times over 30mph
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
Subotai72

Subotai72

Well-Known Member
Location
North Wales
Most paths of this type round here have been flagged a dangerous on Strava.

Would people not just go back to a stop watch without Stava?
I imagine people would just start using another application/website that doesn't offer the facility to flag segments.

I'm not having a pop at Strava either, it's just that I happen to use it. I've always found it quite useful to track my progress and enjoy a bit of competitive, virtual riding (distance in a month, biggest climbs etc) with work colleagues who live around the country.

:excl: Other cycling applications are available:excl:
 
OP
Subotai72

Subotai72

Well-Known Member
Location
North Wales
View attachment 108332

I find the route out towards Neston much better for faster cycling. Much better visibility and less access points to worry about. If the path is being used by families or walkers, there's much more time to slow and pass them safely, especially early on a Sunday morning which is when I usually use it. Like you I find the Chester route far too cluttered.
Great coffee shop at the Mickle Trafford end though!
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Shared use path generally means walking pace for me, or at least slow enough to stop on a sixpence. Children and dogs are unpredictable - be prepared to stop and wait.

There's a nice shared use path near me that I use as the final few km of long rides, just before I get home, so I'm knackered anyway and winding down. If I want to make quick progress, I ride on the road.
 
OP
Subotai72

Subotai72

Well-Known Member
Location
North Wales
Shared use path generally means walking pace for me, or at least slow enough to stop on a sixpence. Children and dogs are unpredictable - be prepared to stop and wait.

There's a nice shared use path near me that I use as the final few km of long rides, just before I get home, so I'm knackered anyway and winding down. If I want to make quick progress, I ride on the road.
I'll admit to not doing walking apce but I've ridden the route so many times I'm familiar with all the pedestrian access points and ride at a sensible, stoppable pace coming up to them. Kids & dogs are a definite snails-pace pass. It's great to see the kids out on their bikes and I wouldn't want to be responsible for putting them off cycling due to the terrifying spectacle of 15 stone of bike rider hurtling at them out of nowhere!
 
Top Bottom