Sunday, July 31, 2011

The cycling craze

Although our local council often exhibits a spectacular and occasionally documented lack of foresight, once in a while they get it right. Admittedly their vision takes on an "Alice Through the Looking Glass" quality, but nothing is perfect. See when they marked out the roads they put in large bike lanes. It was a logical move in an area rich in leisure activities.
Now this is where the mirror wobbles just a little bit...

Firstly the few cyclists we have use the waterfront with its wonderful wide paths, which left the roads for motorists. You see the locals peddling along, often with groceries, small pets or fishing gear stuffed in their baskets... all very low key. All of this is done at a leisurely pace, which considering the climate is a sensible thing. Nevertheless it is a good way to get around for the more active citizens... fresh air, sea views, the gentle ting of bike bells so the walkers can move aside, nods and mornings all round... it's positively civilised.

Then this balance changed with the advent of serious cycling. The ones who ride bikes that probably cost as much as a car to maintain. They swarm and teem around like a cloud of brightly coloured insects. Bikes of every hue and colour, ridden by the super fit in lurid shades of lycra. Unfortunately rather like the insects they resemble, they are rapidly becoming a pest.

Not content to ride the bike lanes they spread across the road in a sea of defiance against the two abreast rule. On our winding roads there is no way to pass them. It results in them floating along with a convoy of cars behind them. Often the tail end cyclist will peer around nervously when he feels the warm breath of a car up his clacker, but there is no effort on their part to move over. Honestly is a miracle that more of them don't end up as a hood ornament L

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