FNRttC The Fridays 2017 Tour On Tour Thread

mmmmartin

Random geezer
After however many days of clean, efficient Northern Europe, this country is filthy and everything seems 'Temporarily Out of Order'.
Riding from L'poo St to London Bridge station in London traffic is a real eye-opener after a week on roads that, even in cities, were totally traffic-free. Because they're proper "cycle lanes". As opposed to a crowded road with a bit of paint on.
 

wanda2010

Guru
Location
London
Isn't it just turning left at the first roundabout on the way out of the port or have they farked that up for cycling too, like the high kerb you plummet off if you're daft enough to follow the cycle route from Harwich proper to the port instead of the direct and fairly quiet Station Road?
If I remember rightly, left at the first roundabout had no entry signs except for 'special people/transport' so we carried on a bit further swung a right and somehow found ourselves doing a loop that took us back to the roundabout. Went back to that left turn and TC spoke very nicely to the man in the box who let us through into a bit of a mess, then the station carpark. The lift to the station platform wasn't working and the directions were absolutely (not) clear cut for the alternative 'wheelchair friendly' route, but we eventually managed it. Ticket office was shut and didn't see any ticket machines, so bought online.

The train to L'street was so disgustingly dirty I actually felt unclean. God only knows what visitors think when they get on a Greater Anglia train after the ferry ride.
 

Glow worm

Legendary Member
Location
Near Newmarket
I think a dose of NL therapy should be NHS policy! I'm just back from a mini solo tour over there (in fact I think I was on the same ferry back to Harwich as some of you good peeps) and haven't stopped smiling since. Been going though a particularly tough time at work recently, so a week ambling about the Netherlands on two wheels was just the job.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
Today is sh*t. But yesterday was not. @jiberjaber put me on the right road to Manningtree (the B1352 not the A120). Thanks for that and this wonderful little gem along the way:

Mistley_towers_700.jpg


An amazing pair of gatehouses? Nope - the remains of a two ended Robert Adam designed church demolished in 1870. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistley_Towers

Good to meet up one last time with the usual suspects feasting at the Manningtree Station Buffet.
Till we meet again Maastricht style ...

 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
I have always considered Ghent to be underrated. But not as underrated as Antwerp. Bruges, generally, is rated correctly. Ypres overrated and Brussels Hors Category. Lille gets silver-gilt for being a Flemish city in France with an amazeballs Grand Place.

I feel a trip coming on.
 
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OP
srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
Is any government anywhere 'always wise'?
Not at all. But when it comes to building roads, the Dutch government appears to be extremely unwise.

It's a small country, much of which has been reclaimed expensively and with great effort from the sea. But they spray tarmac around with gay abandon as if they had as much land as the US. I can understand, and accept, the extra width given to just about every road other than motorways for cyclists and moped riders (although they seem very lightly used outside of the towns, and there's far too much block paving).

But the Dutch attitude to road junctions seems to be to add an extra lane if in doubt. The motorway around Rotterdam was horrible - jumping from two lanes to five to six to four plus four on a parallel carriageway going in the same direction apparently at random, and badly signed by British standards. And where we'd have a small roundabout or a simple four-way junction, even at the intersection of two main A-roads the Dutch seem to have a fascination with gigantic concoctions with multiple lanes. The typical roundabout we went around, for instance where a B-road style through-road bypasses a town and a local road goes off, has two fairly wide lanes around a large central circle. The two lanes are separated by concrete kerbs, so that if you want to turn right you have to get into the (kerb-separated) right-turning lane a hundred yards before the roundabout. We did come across roundabouts with three concentric kerb-separated lanes, one to go right, one to go straight on or right and one to go straight on or left. I still can't work out how that makes sense. Each kerb-separated lane on the roundabout demands a kerb-separated lane in the rundup, and there's no attempt to gently guide you into the new lane, it just appears.

All this could, of course, be simply the prejudiced observations of a non-native being forced to do something he's not used to.

My best guess is that the default in Dutch road design is segregation, to minimise the risk that one road user has to interact with another. Interestingly it doesn't translate into road safety, whether measured by deaths per billion road km:
upload_2017-7-11_21-19-38.png

or by population:
upload_2017-7-11_21-20-15.png


The picture when you look at serious injuries rather than just deaths is horrible (the presentation of data is eccentric - it shows that for every death in the UK there are 2.7 serious injuries according to a standard international definition. For NL it's nearly 12 times. Unless I'm badly misreading the data, or it's terribly unreliable, more people are seriously injured on the roads in the Netherlands in absolute terms than in the UK.)
upload_2017-7-11_21-22-32.png


http://etsc.eu/wp-content/uploads/PIN_ANNUAL_REPORT_2017-final.pdf
 
OP
srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I have always considered Ghent to be underrated. But not as underrated as Antwerp. Bruges, generally, is rated correctly. Ypres overrated and Brussels Hors Category. Lille gets silver-gilt for being a Flemish city in France with an amazeballs Grand Place.

I feel a trip coming on.
Antwerp was delightful. As were Gouda and Dordrecht. Delft was lovely too, but I could have done without the twee blue-and-white porcelain.
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
Antwerp was delightful. As were Gouda and Dordrecht. Delft was lovely too, but I could have done without the twee blue-and-white porcelain.
@wanda2010 and I had a very nice, and mostly waterside, ride from Delft to the Hook - we were extremely pleased with ourselves for having chosen to start from there instead of the sprawling grimness of Rotterdam. In accordance with your post above, I don't really share the widespread excitement about the Dutch road system - it's that monofunctional thang [don't make me post that video of Groningen roads again], and the fact that the my conviction that segregated facilities mean surrendering more space than we gain appears to be entirely justified. Plus, as you say, the madness of major junctions. What does work, however, is the abundance and connectedness in some areas of what are essentially small roads without unnecessary markings on which cars are simply not allowed - like those smoothly tarmacked ones of the Fietsparadijs Limburg, and the wide paths alongside canals. But the morning out of Leuven was easily my favourite riding of the tour. We didn't get around to twee porcelain, but can report that the khazis at Delft station are not just un-twee but uncommonly minging.
 
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