Not cycling to longevity

MEN’S increasing longevity compared to that of women has been the subject of an interesting news story this week.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the gap between male and female life expectancy is closing and, indeed, men could catch up by 2030.

The ONS’s Prof Les Mayhew said the difference between the sexes peaked at nearly six years at one stage in the 1970s.

Now, as life expectancy increases for all, we men are narrowing the gap.

But can you believe these sorts of report?

I remember once reading a study that suggested married men live longer than single men. I’d never heard such a load of nonsense - everyone knows it just seems longer!

Of course, one of the things men could do to extend their life expectancy is to take more exercise, like cycling.

But pedalling around on Britain’s roads could actually reduce your chances of reaching a grand old age.

On this I’m with London taxi boss John Griffin, who got into trouble a few days ago for blaming the rising popularity of cycling for the increase in accidents.

He also reckons cyclists should pay road tax, be insured and have more extensive training - and I’m with him on those points, too!

Mr Griffin is quite right when he says motorists travel in protected spaces while all cyclists have to protect them is a ‘padded plastic hat’.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m not convinced it’s a good idea for our national park authority to encourage more people to take up cycling while on holiday in the Lake District.

Proper mountain biking over the fells is a different matter, of course, and I reckon anyone who wants to take it up should be welcome to their mud-splattered existences.

But if you want to guarantee longevity for you and your family, I would steer your bikes well away from our death-trap country roads.

Comments (24)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:49pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Jasonbmiles says...

No such thing as road tax Allan.
Vehicle Excise Duty is based on emissions.
You should check this before you publish your opinion.

Another solution would be for more regular and extensive training for motorists, yes?
No such thing as road tax Allan. Vehicle Excise Duty is based on emissions. You should check this before you publish your opinion. Another solution would be for more regular and extensive training for motorists, yes? Jasonbmiles
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Thu 26 Apr 12

A Former Vistor says...

Allan, you are factually wrong. But why read the statistical evidence / research when you can make uninformed assertions ? After all, you're a journalist. http://www.cyclehelm
ets.org/1185.html
Allan, you are factually wrong. But why read the statistical evidence / research when you can make uninformed assertions ? After all, you're a journalist. http://www.cyclehelm ets.org/1185.html A Former Vistor
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Thu 26 Apr 12

bethandr says...

Oh dear Allan, seems you're well on the way to being a real tabloid hack by not letting the facts get in the way of an article that really should be titled 'Stuff what I reckon!'.

Road tax does not exist, roads are paid for out of general taxation and therefore by everybody. If you drive a car you pay vehicle excise duty which is based on the emissions your vehicle produces.

Suspect you might have been paid for doing this but if I was your boss I'd ask for my money back.

Very poor.
Oh dear Allan, seems you're well on the way to being a real tabloid hack by not letting the facts get in the way of an article that really should be titled 'Stuff what I reckon!'. Road tax does not exist, roads are paid for out of general taxation and therefore by everybody. If you drive a car you pay vehicle excise duty which is based on the emissions your vehicle produces. Suspect you might have been paid for doing this but if I was your boss I'd ask for my money back. Very poor. bethandr
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Thu 26 Apr 12

CyberslayerUK says...

Oh Allan Tunningley, you seem to have fallen out of the wrong side of bed this morning. Maybe your should try having another cup of coffee before starting to write.

This article is littered with mistakes and oversights. I strongly suspect that your throw away comments about Road Tax will come back to haunt you as an angry pack of road users (probably mostly cyclists) plague you with criticism.

Next time can you have a good hard think and try and formulate some opinions of your own instead of this re-hashed garbage.
Is it really too hard to check a few facts before you publish or are you trolling your readers?
Oh Allan Tunningley, you seem to have fallen out of the wrong side of bed this morning. Maybe your should try having another cup of coffee before starting to write. This article is littered with mistakes and oversights. I strongly suspect that your throw away comments about Road Tax will come back to haunt you as an angry pack of road users (probably mostly cyclists) plague you with criticism. Next time can you have a good hard think and try and formulate some opinions of your own instead of this re-hashed garbage. Is it really too hard to check a few facts before you publish or are you trolling your readers? CyberslayerUK
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Thu 26 Apr 12

keepontriking says...

What awful journalism.
Is this a local hack trying to jump on a perceived bandwagon to try and make a name for himself in Fleet Street?
So many factual errors its simply laughable. Instead the result is that the Westmorland gazette just joins the heap of papers with zero credibility.
Sorry, Allan - you have misjudged the readership.
What awful journalism. Is this a local hack trying to jump on a perceived bandwagon to try and make a name for himself in Fleet Street? So many factual errors its simply laughable. Instead the result is that the Westmorland gazette just joins the heap of papers with zero credibility. Sorry, Allan - you have misjudged the readership. keepontriking
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Thu 26 Apr 12

thereandbackagain says...

Hello, I'm a cyclist, so by playing up to the stereotype of obviously having no sense of humour I can at least focus on some facts.

1) No-one pays Road Tax. Cars pay VED, which are based on emissions. Bikes are my primary mode of transport, and I'm only a light car user. So I subsidise heavy car users through my overall tax contributions, which is where roads are paid from.

2) Like the majority of cyclists I have a driving license. How much more training do I need, exactly?

3) Most adult cyclists have some form of insurance. Anyone with a home is likely to have personal liability cover, for example. More to the point, the monetary damage caused by cyclists is so low there's no demonstrable need for insurance. What are you hoping to claim against?

Blaming the victim of someone else's lack of responsibility is pretty poor. Motorists need to look out for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. They're the ones in charge of machines that can easily kill at no risk to the occupant.

Other than that, it seems a pretty good article. Apart from your appeal to anecdote over a properly researched report created by the Office of National Statistics. That's not great either.

I once saw a mountain bike do a skid on a hillside. I'm pretty sure they're devastating our natural environment. The vandals.
Hello, I'm a cyclist, so by playing up to the stereotype of obviously having no sense of humour I can at least focus on some facts. 1) No-one pays Road Tax. Cars pay VED, which are based on emissions. Bikes are my primary mode of transport, and I'm only a light car user. So I subsidise heavy car users through my overall tax contributions, which is where roads are paid from. 2) Like the majority of cyclists I have a driving license. How much more training do I need, exactly? 3) Most adult cyclists have some form of insurance. Anyone with a home is likely to have personal liability cover, for example. More to the point, the monetary damage caused by cyclists is so low there's no demonstrable need for insurance. What are you hoping to claim against? Blaming the victim of someone else's lack of responsibility is pretty poor. Motorists need to look out for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. They're the ones in charge of machines that can easily kill at no risk to the occupant. Other than that, it seems a pretty good article. Apart from your appeal to anecdote over a properly researched report created by the Office of National Statistics. That's not great either. I once saw a mountain bike do a skid on a hillside. I'm pretty sure they're devastating our natural environment. The vandals. thereandbackagain
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Thu 26 Apr 12

justingrammer says...

I've been a bit slow on this, and so far respondents have covered, let's see, insurance, 'road tax' (whatever is meant by that) and training. So, what's left. Oh that's right, the assertion that cycling probably isn't good for your health. As it may get you killed. When I first read this article, I was hoping, Alan, that you were just indulging in some light hearted 'blokey' banter. You'd already set the scene with your top drawer pub gag about marriage not making you live longer, but just seeming so. Congratulations, I'm sure Bernard Manning is chuckling in his grave at that one. But the more I thought about it, the grumpier I got. Ultimately, if you're having a laugh about not cycling because you might get killed, you're laughing about people's mums, dads, kids, friends being killed. That's quite a fresh would in Kendal and I'm surpised that a) you would raise it and b) editorial would let it pass. Is it okay to have a bit of a laugh at cyclists' expense? Go a step further Alan. Far, far fewer british soldiers have been killed in combat in the last ten years, than cyclists have been killed on our roads. How about a bit of 'blokey banter' about that? "Heh, well, if they didn't go joining up and getting themselves posted to some godforsaken corner of the world to fight a war that that nobody can remember starting, they wouldn't get their bodies blown apart by some improvised explosive device would they? I mean would they? Eh? Eh? Heh" . "What? It's just a bit of banter". The problem is, Alan, families losing loved ones is not a bit of banter. It's shattering. It's beyond shattering.
Just to finish, here's a couple of links to stories from your own paper. http://www.thewestmo
rlandgazette.co.uk/n
ews/9529697.Kendal_B
ypass_crash_cyclist_
s_parents_pay_tribut
e_to__loving_son_/
and
http://www.thewestmo
rlandgazette.co.uk/n
ews/9397010.Tributes
_pour_in_for_Kendal_
cyclist_killed_in_A5
90_accident/
I'm sure your reporters still have contact details for the families. You may want to get in touch and let them know your thoughts on cyclists.

Sorry, I've gone a bit off track there, but to get back to the health benefits of cycling, here's a couple of really useful links.
http://www.ctc.org.u
k/resources/Campaign
s/CTC_Safety_in_Numb
ers.pdf
and
http://www.mayerhill
man.com/Home/Mayers-
Musings/EntryId/21/2
-Cycling-more-life-y
ears-gained-from-fit
ness-than-lost-from-
injury.aspx
It took me a few minutes to find them via Google. I wouldn't even call it research, but still, Alan, I'm guessing more time than you spent researching your article.
I've been a bit slow on this, and so far respondents have covered, let's see, insurance, 'road tax' (whatever is meant by that) and training. So, what's left. Oh that's right, the assertion that cycling probably isn't good for your health. As it may get you killed. When I first read this article, I was hoping, Alan, that you were just indulging in some light hearted 'blokey' banter. You'd already set the scene with your top drawer pub gag about marriage not making you live longer, but just seeming so. Congratulations, I'm sure Bernard Manning is chuckling in his grave at that one. But the more I thought about it, the grumpier I got. Ultimately, if you're having a laugh about not cycling because you might get killed, you're laughing about people's mums, dads, kids, friends being killed. That's quite a fresh would in Kendal and I'm surpised that a) you would raise it and b) editorial would let it pass. Is it okay to have a bit of a laugh at cyclists' expense? Go a step further Alan. Far, far fewer british soldiers have been killed in combat in the last ten years, than cyclists have been killed on our roads. How about a bit of 'blokey banter' about that? "Heh, well, if they didn't go joining up and getting themselves posted to some godforsaken corner of the world to fight a war that that nobody can remember starting, they wouldn't get their bodies blown apart by some improvised explosive device would they? I mean would they? Eh? Eh? Heh" . "What? It's just a bit of banter". The problem is, Alan, families losing loved ones is not a bit of banter. It's shattering. It's beyond shattering. Just to finish, here's a couple of links to stories from your own paper. http://www.thewestmo rlandgazette.co.uk/n ews/9529697.Kendal_B ypass_crash_cyclist_ s_parents_pay_tribut e_to__loving_son_/ and http://www.thewestmo rlandgazette.co.uk/n ews/9397010.Tributes _pour_in_for_Kendal_ cyclist_killed_in_A5 90_accident/ I'm sure your reporters still have contact details for the families. You may want to get in touch and let them know your thoughts on cyclists. Sorry, I've gone a bit off track there, but to get back to the health benefits of cycling, here's a couple of really useful links. http://www.ctc.org.u k/resources/Campaign s/CTC_Safety_in_Numb ers.pdf and http://www.mayerhill man.com/Home/Mayers- Musings/EntryId/21/2 -Cycling-more-life-y ears-gained-from-fit ness-than-lost-from- injury.aspx It took me a few minutes to find them via Google. I wouldn't even call it research, but still, Alan, I'm guessing more time than you spent researching your article. justingrammer
  • Score: 0

8:21am Fri 27 Apr 12

Soren says...

At the risk of being seen to support this ill considered, biased, anti cycling rant by the embarrassingly ill-informed Mr Tunningley; the point must be made that, for whatever reason, our rural roads and trunk roads do seem to be becoming less safe places for cyclists. I wouldn't take my young family out for a ride on many of the lake district roads, because they are simply too dangerous and unpleasant for a leisurely cycle.
That doesn't mean we should give up cycling in the lakes, but we should be looking at positive solutions that embrace the commercial, social and health benefits of cycling, and look at opening up leisure cycling opportunities in the way that has been done on the continent, in places like Bodensee, where cycling is an accepted tolerated, pleasant form of travel for all ages and abilities, which also brings millions into the local economy through tourism.
At the risk of being seen to support this ill considered, biased, anti cycling rant by the embarrassingly ill-informed Mr Tunningley; the point must be made that, for whatever reason, our rural roads and trunk roads do seem to be becoming less safe places for cyclists. I wouldn't take my young family out for a ride on many of the lake district roads, because they are simply too dangerous and unpleasant for a leisurely cycle. That doesn't mean we should give up cycling in the lakes, but we should be looking at positive solutions that embrace the commercial, social and health benefits of cycling, and look at opening up leisure cycling opportunities in the way that has been done on the continent, in places like Bodensee, where cycling is an accepted tolerated, pleasant form of travel for all ages and abilities, which also brings millions into the local economy through tourism. Soren
  • Score: 0

9:59am Fri 27 Apr 12

hexhome says...

What an excellent piece of well researched journalism. No wonder youth unemployment is so high, no well educated young person could match the years of 'life experience' that have gone into this article.
Maybe Mr Tunningley would assist me in persuading the Government to rectify this anomaly where many road users fail to pay for their use of the roads. Why only this morning on the one and a half mile drive to Greggs, I was held up by a 'Lollipop' person whilst several untaxed children crossed the road! I had only just restarted when my local farmer had the temerity to slowly walk his cows along the road. Do you know, not one of them was displaying a tax disc! How dare they hold me up, I pay 'Road Tax'. It's an absolute disgrace. I am a British tax payer (I even paid tax for my pasty this morning) and don't deserve to be held up by these 'freeloaders' who as has rightly been pointed out, risk their lives by trying to share the roads with me.
I suffer from a dicky ticker, and it's difficult for me to get about without my car. I've tried public transport, but the seats just aren't wide enough. And I've now just been informed that my pension isn't going to be very much because these **** cyclists and other of their ilk are living too long! Well not if I've anything to do with it they won't.
What an excellent piece of well researched journalism. No wonder youth unemployment is so high, no well educated young person could match the years of 'life experience' that have gone into this article. Maybe Mr Tunningley would assist me in persuading the Government to rectify this anomaly where many road users fail to pay for their use of the roads. Why only this morning on the one and a half mile drive to Greggs, I was held up by a 'Lollipop' person whilst several untaxed children crossed the road! I had only just restarted when my local farmer had the temerity to slowly walk his cows along the road. Do you know, not one of them was displaying a tax disc! How dare they hold me up, I pay 'Road Tax'. It's an absolute disgrace. I am a British tax payer (I even paid tax for my pasty this morning) and don't deserve to be held up by these 'freeloaders' who as has rightly been pointed out, risk their lives by trying to share the roads with me. I suffer from a dicky ticker, and it's difficult for me to get about without my car. I've tried public transport, but the seats just aren't wide enough. And I've now just been informed that my pension isn't going to be very much because these **** cyclists and other of their ilk are living too long! Well not if I've anything to do with it they won't. hexhome
  • Score: 0

10:50am Fri 27 Apr 12

Walney says...

Alan Partridge has moved to the Lakes.
Alan Partridge has moved to the Lakes. Walney
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Fri 27 Apr 12

WilliamT says...

Tunningley is just a twit so we can ignore his notions, but we ought to dispose of some of the other nonsense espoused here. The solution to the Lake District roads being too dangerous for cyclists is not to kill a few more cyclists and urge the rest to stay off the roads 'for their own good'. The solution is serious punishment for those who do kill/ injure cyclists- I include myself in that potential punishment, which is why I take to the wheel with trepidation.I can't remember if Soren was one the people urging us to resort to joke bike rides around Southport instead of real ones around the Lakes, but if he was I can assure him that we aren't going to. Comedy rides on flat paths round continental lakes are not on the agenda either. The attraction of cycling for most people does depend on the venue. We do not wish to be corralled into going round and round some daft track.
Tunningley is just a twit so we can ignore his notions, but we ought to dispose of some of the other nonsense espoused here. The solution to the Lake District roads being too dangerous for cyclists is not to kill a few more cyclists and urge the rest to stay off the roads 'for their own good'. The solution is serious punishment for those who do kill/ injure cyclists- I include myself in that potential punishment, which is why I take to the wheel with trepidation.I can't remember if Soren was one the people urging us to resort to joke bike rides around Southport instead of real ones around the Lakes, but if he was I can assure him that we aren't going to. Comedy rides on flat paths round continental lakes are not on the agenda either. The attraction of cycling for most people does depend on the venue. We do not wish to be corralled into going round and round some daft track. WilliamT
  • Score: 0

7:22pm Fri 27 Apr 12

life cycle too says...

Unfortunately William T, you presume that drivers carelessly mow down cyclists, and would be put off doing so by higher penalties.
In fact they no doubt thought they were driving safely, and would be unlikely to modify the standard of driving.

What is needed is better training. Driving schools, that took their pupils out on bikes first might be one way!
Better training would be more expensive - but it is a price worth paying - better training would benefit EVERYBODY, not just the cyclists who have to share the roads with vehicles of all types and sizes.

Allan Tunningley has said what he has with the best of motives.
I have contacted the people behind the Green Transport initiative and urged them to think more before simply bringing cyclists to the county and making them share our narrow roads.

I called for more paths that are completely divorced from the roads - but that WILL be expensive - and I am sure this is why Tunners thinks that cyclists should contribute in some way. There is also nothing wrong with considering getting insured if you ride a bike - I have looked into it myself, and for £75 a year, you get million pound cover against being sued for something you cause, as well as recompense in the case of theft and recovery if you break down!

I think Allan's bosses will view his opinion favourably, as it does seem to have been the cause of many of you not just reading his words, but "putting pen to paper" yourselves - always a help when selling the advertising slots!
Unfortunately William T, you presume that drivers carelessly mow down cyclists, and would be put off doing so by higher penalties. In fact they no doubt thought they were driving safely, and would be unlikely to modify the standard of driving. What is needed is better training. Driving schools, that took their pupils out on bikes first might be one way! Better training would be more expensive - but it is a price worth paying - better training would benefit EVERYBODY, not just the cyclists who have to share the roads with vehicles of all types and sizes. Allan Tunningley has said what he has with the best of motives. I have contacted the people behind the Green Transport initiative and urged them to think more before simply bringing cyclists to the county and making them share our narrow roads. I called for more paths that are completely divorced from the roads - but that WILL be expensive - and I am sure this is why Tunners thinks that cyclists should contribute in some way. There is also nothing wrong with considering getting insured if you ride a bike - I have looked into it myself, and for £75 a year, you get million pound cover against being sued for something you cause, as well as recompense in the case of theft and recovery if you break down! I think Allan's bosses will view his opinion favourably, as it does seem to have been the cause of many of you not just reading his words, but "putting pen to paper" yourselves - always a help when selling the advertising slots! life cycle too
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Soren says...

If Tunningley was trying to make the point that users should pay, he’s made a pretty poor fist of it. If he was trying to counsel cyclists to ride safely, his antagonistic posture ensured the point was lost.

William T, I don’t know where you gained your condescension skills, certainly not through superior knowledge.
Your rant as usual is dramatically one dimensional and ill-informed.

As Lifecycle has stated, the motorist who kills a cyclist is usually you or I, the average motorist who unfortunately and unintentionally makes a catastrophic observational error. He will be punished accordingly. The promise of life imprisonment or similar for killers of cyclists will make not a jot of difference to the number of cyclists killed. It may make you feel a little better, unless you were the offender.

There are many different types of cyclists who cycle for leisure or sport. William T is in one camp, and he clearly thinks it’s the only right one. Others may prefer their cycling to be less challenging and more leisurely, and it’s for those that segregated cycle routes would provide a solution.
I believe the opportunity to segregate cyclists and motorists would have a dramatic effect on cycle fatalities, and could introduce a significant new group of holidaymakers to our area.
If Tunningley was trying to make the point that users should pay, he’s made a pretty poor fist of it. If he was trying to counsel cyclists to ride safely, his antagonistic posture ensured the point was lost. William T, I don’t know where you gained your condescension skills, certainly not through superior knowledge. Your rant as usual is dramatically one dimensional and ill-informed. As Lifecycle has stated, the motorist who kills a cyclist is usually you or I, the average motorist who unfortunately and unintentionally makes a catastrophic observational error. He will be punished accordingly. The promise of life imprisonment or similar for killers of cyclists will make not a jot of difference to the number of cyclists killed. It may make you feel a little better, unless you were the offender. There are many different types of cyclists who cycle for leisure or sport. William T is in one camp, and he clearly thinks it’s the only right one. Others may prefer their cycling to be less challenging and more leisurely, and it’s for those that segregated cycle routes would provide a solution. I believe the opportunity to segregate cyclists and motorists would have a dramatic effect on cycle fatalities, and could introduce a significant new group of holidaymakers to our area. Soren
  • Score: 0

9:12am Sat 28 Apr 12

hexhome says...

Life cycle, the last one I bumped into (I did say 'sorry I didn't see you') paid only £24 a year through the CTC.
More proof that they are just not paying enough! I believe that many of them cycle to work as well. This must save them thousands, so they must be able to pay more tax.
Life cycle, the last one I bumped into (I did say 'sorry I didn't see you') paid only £24 a year through the CTC. More proof that they are just not paying enough! I believe that many of them cycle to work as well. This must save them thousands, so they must be able to pay more tax. hexhome
  • Score: 0

11:36am Sat 28 Apr 12

WilliamT says...

Unfortunately, hexhome, your efforts are wasted on some of those above. Their comments show that they are unlikely to notice. The statistic that would validate the view of a group commenting on cycling on roads would be the man-road-miles backing the view (perhaps that should be person-road-miles but it's almost the same number). While I don't have that number for the group who think that segregated cycle routes are an irrelevant side show compared to forcing safe driving on real roads, I'm pretty sure that it constitutes the great majority of man-road-miles in the UK. What we need is a way of reducing the 'crazed or careless nutter driving miles' statistic, as opposed to a pious wish for segregated routes that won't be built.
Unfortunately, hexhome, your efforts are wasted on some of those above. Their comments show that they are unlikely to notice. The statistic that would validate the view of a group commenting on cycling on roads would be the man-road-miles backing the view (perhaps that should be person-road-miles but it's almost the same number). While I don't have that number for the group who think that segregated cycle routes are an irrelevant side show compared to forcing safe driving on real roads, I'm pretty sure that it constitutes the great majority of man-road-miles in the UK. What we need is a way of reducing the 'crazed or careless nutter driving miles' statistic, as opposed to a pious wish for segregated routes that won't be built. WilliamT
  • Score: 0

11:16am Mon 30 Apr 12

life cycle too says...

I'm certain that the "crazed or careless nutter driving miles" are proportionally the same for drivers as for some cyclists.

It is usual for the actions of a few to affect the perception of the many!
I'm certain that the "crazed or careless nutter driving miles" are proportionally the same for drivers as for some cyclists. It is usual for the actions of a few to affect the perception of the many! life cycle too
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Tue 1 May 12

Spotty Fish says...

Surely a motorists training is much more extensive than a cyclists. After all, as a driver being held up on the road from Ambleside to The Low Wood Hotel, at least I know I passed a legally required driving examination, unlike the cyclist in front of me weaving in and out of pot holes with no proper lights on. Instead of ranting at Tunners why don't the cyclists lobby the council to mend the roads and build a proper cycle way along side the lake. And on the subject of cycle paths, why do so many cyclists not use the available paths on the A591 between Kendal and Ambleside?
Surely it would be safer for everyone?
Surely a motorists training is much more extensive than a cyclists. After all, as a driver being held up on the road from Ambleside to The Low Wood Hotel, at least I know I passed a legally required driving examination, unlike the cyclist in front of me weaving in and out of pot holes with no proper lights on. Instead of ranting at Tunners why don't the cyclists lobby the council to mend the roads and build a proper cycle way along side the lake. And on the subject of cycle paths, why do so many cyclists not use the available paths on the A591 between Kendal and Ambleside? Surely it would be safer for everyone? Spotty Fish
  • Score: 0

9:59am Wed 2 May 12

life cycle too says...

Spotty fish asked "And on the subject of cycle paths, why do so many cyclists not use the available paths on the A591 between Kendal and Ambleside?"

There are numerous reasons - for one, dog owners scoop up the poop from their animals, but horse riders don't - despite the horse leaving a far bigger deposit!
Another is the debris thrown onto them from the road - stones and broken windscreen glass, and they are not maintained - in several places the tarmac is being lifted by tree roots and weeds - and in summer, you risk overhanging brambles at head height!
I carry secateurs, but there is only so much time I can spend cutting back vegetation.

In Autumn, the leaves are not swept up and between Brockhole and Langdale Chase last year you could not see where the path was for dead leaves - and during the winter, they turned to a slippery mess!

The one time last year when I carried a broom and swept the worst parts of the path between Staveley and Windermere, it took me an over an hour and a half to get home, and I had to leave parts because it went dark!
I still prefer the path, but use the road in some places when I feel it is safer to do so.
Spotty fish asked "And on the subject of cycle paths, why do so many cyclists not use the available paths on the A591 between Kendal and Ambleside?" There are numerous reasons - for one, dog owners scoop up the poop from their animals, but horse riders don't - despite the horse leaving a far bigger deposit! Another is the debris thrown onto them from the road - stones and broken windscreen glass, and they are not maintained - in several places the tarmac is being lifted by tree roots and weeds - and in summer, you risk overhanging brambles at head height! I carry secateurs, but there is only so much time I can spend cutting back vegetation. In Autumn, the leaves are not swept up and between Brockhole and Langdale Chase last year you could not see where the path was for dead leaves - and during the winter, they turned to a slippery mess! The one time last year when I carried a broom and swept the worst parts of the path between Staveley and Windermere, it took me an over an hour and a half to get home, and I had to leave parts because it went dark! I still prefer the path, but use the road in some places when I feel it is safer to do so. life cycle too
  • Score: 0

10:37am Wed 2 May 12

CyberslayerUK says...

Spotty Fish wrote:
Surely a motorists training is much more extensive than a cyclists. After all, as a driver being held up on the road from Ambleside to The Low Wood Hotel, at least I know I passed a legally required driving examination, unlike the cyclist in front of me weaving in and out of pot holes with no proper lights on. Instead of ranting at Tunners why don't the cyclists lobby the council to mend the roads and build a proper cycle way along side the lake. And on the subject of cycle paths, why do so many cyclists not use the available paths on the A591 between Kendal and Ambleside?
Surely it would be safer for everyone?
Spotty Fish wrote:
...why do so many cyclists not use the available paths ...

We have zero maintenance and upkeep of cycle paths. They are often "built" (a white cycle painted onto an existing path) and left to rot.

During the winter the roads get gritted and the pavements get gritted but never the cycle paths. Often there is a white strip of snow between footpath and road as a nomination for the “Not My Job” award to the local council.

For the cost of a single mile of new motorway we could resurface every cycle path in England.
[quote][p][bold]Spotty Fish[/bold] wrote: Surely a motorists training is much more extensive than a cyclists. After all, as a driver being held up on the road from Ambleside to The Low Wood Hotel, at least I know I passed a legally required driving examination, unlike the cyclist in front of me weaving in and out of pot holes with no proper lights on. Instead of ranting at Tunners why don't the cyclists lobby the council to mend the roads and build a proper cycle way along side the lake. And on the subject of cycle paths, why do so many cyclists not use the available paths on the A591 between Kendal and Ambleside? Surely it would be safer for everyone?[/p][/quote]Spotty Fish wrote: ...why do so many cyclists not use the available paths [cycle lanes]... We have zero maintenance and upkeep of cycle paths. They are often "built" (a white cycle painted onto an existing path) and left to rot. During the winter the roads get gritted and the pavements get gritted but never the cycle paths. Often there is a white strip of snow between footpath and road as a nomination for the “Not My Job” award to the local council. For the cost of a single mile of new motorway we could resurface every cycle path in England. CyberslayerUK
  • Score: 0

10:58am Wed 2 May 12

WilliamT says...

You forgot to mention where they leave the hawthorn clippings on the cycle path- hilarious eh? There is no point in disputing with some of the people in evidence here because they are simply too simple- as far as they're concerned, anything that happens to a cyclist is his own fault for being on the road, instead of being in a car like respectable folk. However, that car is going to cost more and more with the inexorable rise in the price of petrol. It will be £2/ litre within a couple of years, and £5 within 10 for sure. When you use hydrocarbons to generate electricity, electric cars are daft. Eventually, only the very wealthy will be in private cars.
You forgot to mention where they leave the hawthorn clippings on the cycle path- hilarious eh? There is no point in disputing with some of the people in evidence here because they are simply too simple- as far as they're concerned, anything that happens to a cyclist is his own fault for being on the road, instead of being in a car like respectable folk. However, that car is going to cost more and more with the inexorable rise in the price of petrol. It will be £2/ litre within a couple of years, and £5 within 10 for sure. When you use hydrocarbons to generate electricity, electric cars are daft. Eventually, only the very wealthy will be in private cars. WilliamT
  • Score: 0

11:31am Wed 2 May 12

Spotty Fish says...

Thank you to life cycle and CyberslayerUK for your explanation. Obviously as a car driver I never really get to see the state of the cycle paths. How can our council and various other Lake District bodies hope to promote cycling and greener travel in The Lakes if they wont even look after the existing cycle paths? I shall still get frustrated by you all between Ambleside and The Low Wood, but I will continue to give you a wide berth. Stay safe.
Thank you to life cycle and CyberslayerUK for your explanation. Obviously as a car driver I never really get to see the state of the cycle paths. How can our council and various other Lake District bodies hope to promote cycling and greener travel in The Lakes if they wont even look after the existing cycle paths? I shall still get frustrated by you all between Ambleside and The Low Wood, but I will continue to give you a wide berth. Stay safe. Spotty Fish
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Wed 2 May 12

life cycle too says...

SF - I ride on the footpath along that part when I have to go to Ambleside - or if I have to take to the road, try to minimise inconvenience to drivers - I also drive a car sometimes!

I went to Ambleside this morning - by car, and the (woman) driver in front of me was paying little attention to the road - several times she was looking sideways at her passenger, not at the road ahead - and as we passed the Low Wood she was gesticulating with an outstretched hand while looking at the view over the lake on her left!

William T would like to see severe punishments for drivers who kill or maim. I would rather it never got to that point, and would like better provision for cycles, AND better training for drivers for the times when there IS NO provision.
There ARE severe punishments for available at court already for causing deaths etc. but this has not discouraged drivers who fail to appreciate the danger of their inattention.
Put them on bikes as part of their training, and they will become better safer drivers to the benefit of EVERY road user.
SF - I ride on the footpath along that part when I have to go to Ambleside - or if I have to take to the road, try to minimise inconvenience to drivers - I also drive a car sometimes! I went to Ambleside this morning - by car, and the (woman) driver in front of me was paying little attention to the road - several times she was looking sideways at her passenger, not at the road ahead - and as we passed the Low Wood she was gesticulating with an outstretched hand while looking at the view over the lake on her left! William T would like to see severe punishments for drivers who kill or maim. I would rather it never got to that point, and would like better provision for cycles, AND better training for drivers for the times when there IS NO provision. There ARE severe punishments for available at court already for causing deaths etc. but this has not discouraged drivers who fail to appreciate the danger of their inattention. Put them on bikes as part of their training, and they will become better safer drivers to the benefit of EVERY road user. life cycle too
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Wed 2 May 12

WilliamT says...

Punishments may be available, but my impression is that they are not used- there should be 5-10 year sentences, as it appears that only 1/3 of a prison sentence is actually served. Imagine a hypothetical case of a cyclist on a dual carriageway in the early morning dark, and a driver hurtles out of the slip road, hits him, smashes him into the outer lane of the carriageway where he's finished off by another car. If that were to happen, I would say it was a clear case of causing death by dangerous driving, but many drivers think 'could happen to anyone, punishing the driver won't bring the cyclist back, what does he expect cycling in the dark?' etc.
I agree with LC about female drivers who turn to look at passengers, as opposed to the mainly male trait of aggressive driving with delusions of race track driving capabilities on public roads.
There is no use harping on about things which are not going to happen- cycling will not form part of any driving tests as many of them wouldn't even manage 100 yards. Neither will there be any significant useful off-road cycle tracks- this is a small peripheral country in severe financial difficulties. They're even shutting most of the public toilets to save money!
Punishments may be available, but my impression is that they are not used- there should be 5-10 year sentences, as it appears that only 1/3 of a prison sentence is actually served. Imagine a hypothetical case of a cyclist on a dual carriageway in the early morning dark, and a driver hurtles out of the slip road, hits him, smashes him into the outer lane of the carriageway where he's finished off by another car. If that were to happen, I would say it was a clear case of causing death by dangerous driving, but many drivers think 'could happen to anyone, punishing the driver won't bring the cyclist back, what does he expect cycling in the dark?' etc. I agree with LC about female drivers who turn to look at passengers, as opposed to the mainly male trait of aggressive driving with delusions of race track driving capabilities on public roads. There is no use harping on about things which are not going to happen- cycling will not form part of any driving tests as many of them wouldn't even manage 100 yards. Neither will there be any significant useful off-road cycle tracks- this is a small peripheral country in severe financial difficulties. They're even shutting most of the public toilets to save money! WilliamT
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Wed 2 May 12

Spotty Fish says...

So many assumptions WilliamT. You seem unable to acknowledge that there are good drivers as well as careless. I would hazard a guess that most motorists are extremely wary of cyclists, because who would want the terrible guilt of accidently killing or injuring someone? As with drink driving, there will always be a small hardcore minority of drivers that drive carelessly and even dangerously, and maybe they should have their licenses taken off them for good if they commit three offences, and by that I don't mean kill or injure three people. But please don't put us all in the same category as this small minority. And in the same way that I don't understand how a 17 year old can pass his car test and then jump into a powerful sports car with no extra training, I still don't see why a cyclist, by law, shouldn't have to pass some kind of examination.
So many assumptions WilliamT. You seem unable to acknowledge that there are good drivers as well as careless. I would hazard a guess that most motorists are extremely wary of cyclists, because who would want the terrible guilt of accidently killing or injuring someone? As with drink driving, there will always be a small hardcore minority of drivers that drive carelessly and even dangerously, and maybe they should have their licenses taken off them for good if they commit three offences, and by that I don't mean kill or injure three people. But please don't put us all in the same category as this small minority. And in the same way that I don't understand how a 17 year old can pass his car test and then jump into a powerful sports car with no extra training, I still don't see why a cyclist, by law, shouldn't have to pass some kind of examination. Spotty Fish
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree