The traffic-free walking and cycling path that links England to Wales close to the city of Chester was only opened in July after talks between local councils, the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sustrans and local landowners.

But there are reports of a large volume of cyclists clashing with pedestrians, with some riders using the path to chase personal best times across segments. One popular portion has been labelled as “Firing Range to Burton Point Across Fresh Tarmac”.

“Some of the problems come from so-called ‘Strava-hunters’ racing along, chasing the best time on some segments,” said Craig Tabiner, captain of Port Sunlight Wheelers Cycling Club. “We hope cyclists consider their behaviour before this path is taken away from us. It would be a shame if it was ruined because of the behaviour of a minority.”

The RSPB has allowed the route to cross land on one edge of its reserve at Burton Point, but is 
concerned about the potential 
for a serious accident if cyclists don’t slow down and have even considered closing this section.

“The problem has come from road-rage type incidents involving some cyclists,” said Colin Wells, who runs the reserve.

“We’re hearing about lots of complaints concerning cyclists racing along the path, shouting at people and generally making a 
nuisance of themselves. As much as we don’t want to, we could 
close our section if we had to.”

A spokesman for American-based Strava said: “We believe it’s critical for cyclists and pedestrians to have respect for one another, especially on shared-use paths.

“Flagging the segment on the website as hazardous may be a good solution. By flagging it as such, all competitive aspects of the segment are instantly removed.”

This article was first published in the December 5 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!

  • gg/gg

    What a sad lot!!! Riding 18mph for 8 miles is not stamina cycling it’s a pathetic attempt at self gratification; I bet they also break the speed limit in their car.

  • glyn ward

    I flagged the a local canal tow path as people where setting times of 18+mph for a distance of 8 miles and it is a very narrow in places and crosses 2 roads, 2 cyclists fell in last year. it is time strava stopped a lot of these segments,i have asked them what they will do and all they said was flag the parts.

  • Wirral Cycling Guru

    What these pet owners don’t understand is that my thighs produce so much torque it takes over 1 mile to stop!

  • Colnago Dave

    To me STRAVA is for the type of rider who trains with the local chaingang, sits in and goes for the finishing sprint and brags about it. Strangely this type of rider never appears in the results of any races he takes part in.
    Guys get real and stop the bragging rights

  • Strava Issues

    The vast majority of cyclists who ride along the Burton to Deeside route are careful and slow down accordingly. It’s just a small minority who either chase a Strava segment or ride too fast without taking other people into consideration. Strava segments are supposed to be ascents ,hills, mountains or gradients over a certain percentage as KOM means King of The Mountain. So to anyone who thinks they have a KOM on a 0% gradient or descent they should think again.
    Sustrans have done a fantastic job to build a great cycle/walk path and also thank you RSPB for allowing us all to use it.

  • Alan Peery

    The problem is the behaviour of the cyclists — not that they are tracking their performance with Strava, or that there are segments defined on a particular path or road.