Friday, 4 March 2011

No, we think the Dutch would still laugh

Part of the feedback from our coverage of the new "technical" bike path going up  was that we "didn't know the plan", and that to say the dropoff was going to be a disaster was slander.

Well, this week the fencing is all down, and the dropoff has been enhanced by a slope. As Frank told us last week "There is a fence across the cycleway showing it is not in use you blind git.". The absence of a fence must mean it is now open for use. Presumably the contractor will now notify S Gloucs council that whoever is putting up this path is ready for the bollards and the pillars to go in.

Another (deleted but in our archives) message said
Why should something which is not fucked up be repaired.

I pity your clients even when told your in the wrong you cannot see the solution.
Well. as we predicted, the solution coming from the road builders, -the romans- tries to resolve the 50 cm height difference in 1.5m horizontal, leading to a 33-50% gradient or thereabouts, just where it joins the cross route which is a popular walking/cycling route to the university.

This will be impossible for happy families to ride up
-and positively dangerous on the DH, on account of the cross traffic. That's even if you have -like anyone who has to cycle round this area needs- an MTB with good travel and fat tyres.

We have now attempted the descent, here is the video from the evening

As an experiment our rider did ride through the junction, having to carve right fast to avoid the vegetation, while retaining enough speed to avoid having the existing cyclist clip us. No braking until off the drop; didn't want to damage the earthwork. Look at the lights on the ground to track the placement of our rider and the other cyclist coming from the side and being forced to swing right to get past our successful attempt to descend without doing any tree-work.

Now, we were also told, "with your poor design perception and blinkered approach I am not suprised" for our criticism of the design. Well, we have been there, we have tested it. It doesn't work. If you put a layer of tarmac over the slope, it still won't work -it just makes it easier to brake as you descend. Most cycle path users will be unable to get up the slope, and as we've just shown, even commuters with 100mm of front travel and good brakes can't descend in control.

Frank, if you are in this project, and this was "your solution", we are sorry. It isn't a solution. It is, to use your own phrase "fucked up". A gentle gradient to the junction is a solution - replacing the step with a steep slope isn't. Please try cycling it and you will see.

Citizens of South Gloucestershire! Once the slope is metalled we are planning a mountain bike event here! It'll be a lunchtime friendly event with categories
  • Best manual/jump off it
  • 2x2 uphill challenge
  • Circuits
Adult MTB, CX and BMX only, too tricky for the fixies. Unless they are brave, in which case they can play too.

1 comment:

  1. I was going to say this is unbelievable but the problem is it's quite believable, in fact not unusual. I'm sure Frank and David have some plan to deal with the slope properly but the fact they built it like that in the first place beggars belief, and to now grade the slope with concrete after you brought it to our attention beggars even more belief - like that is any solution! I went digging for the plans just in case they shed any light on the path with a slope - they don't..

    So we await Frank (Spencer)and/or David's explanation. Perhaps all will become clear. Let's hope no one falls off and is injured on in the meantime. I wouldn't like to imagine the compensation payment they'd demand!