FNRttC The Fridays 2017 Tour On Tour Thread

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The typical roundabout we went around, for instance where a B-road style through-road bypasses aFa 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.

f
These are "turbo roundabouts"

http://www.turboroundabout.com/

Invented by a researcher at the university here in Delft.
 
OP
srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
These are "turbo roundabouts"

http://www.turboroundabout.com/

Invented by a researcher at the university here in Delft.
A solution in search of a problem....
 
OP
srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
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.
Oh yes.

But the morning out of Leuven was easily my favourite riding of the tour.
Oh no. That was the only time when just following the numbers (a) found us riding up a long and slightly too steep pavé hill, and (b) lost when we got to the top and the numbers vanished and we went round a churchyard on pavé and were about a quarter of the way down a very steep pavé hill (on foot) when we decided it would be sensible to consult Dutch Satnav Lady. And by trying to take a shortcut out of what looked like a sustrans special detour on the map we had to walk up a monstrous long steep hill.

Of course the smug will point out that if we'd left at 9:30 rather than 11:00 we could have joined the recced party, but that just wasn't going to happen.

the khazis at Delft station are not just un-twee but uncommonly minging
May I recommend you avoid the services outside Chelmsford on the A12?
 
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OP
srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
While I'm being Mr Grumbly, here a few of my unfavourite things.

Entrances to and exits from cities that go all around the houses (see Eindhoven, where the marked route to the city centre was as bad as some of the cycle routes I use to loathe into the centre of Oxford). Once you've got to the outer ring road, just find an arterial road and follow it to the centre - and vice versa for the exit. That's the utility bit of the ride - the fun starts in the countryside.

Sterile forestry plantations with no wildlife, especially ones where the cycle path is either completely rotten gravel, fit only for mountain bikes, or is a narrow single-track bit of blockwork which turns a ride into a procession. On the other hand I love a bit of heath, especially since it's rare in the southeast of England.

Bike paths which turn through right angles (see the forest track on the ride in to Breda). Even on a solo bike, but more so on a tandem, once you've slowed down to walking pace and hauled your bike through 90 degrees you're knackered and don't want to do it again in a hurry.

It's human nature to remember the salient points of any series of events - you remember the beginning and the end and the high- or low-point, and form your impressions based on those. Hence Bruges to Ghent was marvellous (high-point - Gekke Fietsen) while Eindhoven to Breda was grim (low point - forest outside Breda). It's worth making sure that potential low points are balanced by potential high points to get around this.

Yes, I know the answer is to get out there and organise my own routes. And if I manage to find a congenially part-time way of earning enough money to support the lifestyle we enjoy I will. This is in the spirit of constructive criticism to turn what I thought was a marvellous couple of weeks into a fantastic one.
 
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srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
And if anyone is interested in what we did on our holidays....

Gouda, Delft and Dordrecht are all sweet little towns for mooching around.

Numansdorp to Antwerp is a lovely ride, taking in heath, pretty villages and railway-line-side path as well as some circuitous town riding (could have planned that bit better).

Finding our way through the Antwerp roadworks was horrible, but with a tailwind or no wind the ride through the dock and industrial area has the potential to be fascinating. With a headwind it dragged. The trip along Zeeland to Middelburg is very pleasant, but again we could have done without flogging into a headwind all day. It's worth knowing that much of the route has two options - one keeps you on top of the dykes for full wind-force, and one shelters you on an under-dyke road. The numbers even have pictograms of erect and floppy windsocks to tell you which to take.

The ferry off Zeeland is lovely, and the route via Sluis and Bruges to Ostend wonderful (except for the fact that it dumps you in Ostend, which is a a monstrous place) - although again that wind made it tough.

And then we met you all.
 

mmmmartin

Random geezer
meanderings through little suburban streets; it was a chance to see how people like to design, embellish, and care for their houses and their locality.
Yes, and taking two dozen riders down a busy road, albeit a straight one, is risky and unpleasant whereas pootling through the quiet back streets did show us what these towns were like in all their guises.
A good example is the run into Dendermonde where we avoided the busy bridge and used the footbridge over the canal. This was safer, quieter and had the bonus of being quite amusing. Then we had the busy road south after lunch and the quiet countryside afterwards.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
Yes, I know the answer is to get out there and organise my own routes. And if I manage to find a congenially part-time way of earning enough money to support the lifestyle we enjoy I will. This is in the spirit of constructive criticism to turn what I thought was a marvellous couple of weeks into a fantastic one.
If you ever get around to doing that, I'm in!
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
But the Dutch attitude to road junctions seems to be to add an extra lane if in doubt.
It ain't just Dutch. I wonder if they do it for the same reason that certain parts of England do: to move some queuing traffic away from kerbside pollution monitors. I suspect we have international standard ways to measure pollution and this trick at least means motorists suffer more of the shoot they're shovelling out ;)

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.
IIRC international comparisons are at least slightly unreliable because of different methodologies - such as the UK headline figures are collected from reports of the scene by police officers, so tend to underestimate serious injuries that aren't obvious things like broken bones, as well as cycling casualties in general thanks to the "it's only a bike" effect. I don't remember how the NL does it, so I don't know if it's terribly unreliable to compare. There's also the simple fact that the NL with such a long land coast has a lot more cross-border traffic than our islands.

Ooooh I remember those. Is Bedford the only one we have here?
It's the only one with kerbs that I remember. There are loads of spiralised roundabouts without kerbs, which basically have most of the drawbacks of kerbed ones with the added bonus that half the traffic will jump lanes.

The ferry off Zeeland is lovely, and the route via Sluis and Bruges to Ostend wonderful (except for the fact that it dumps you in Ostend, which is a a monstrous place)
I agree! We rode that in the opposite direction but used the Ostend ferry to cross to the Bredene side and miss the more industrial areas of Ostend, which I'd heartily recommend as worth the extra distance.
 
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