30 September 2008

In only one day

In only one day, I've gone from shorts and sandals to lycra trousers and shoes. In only one day, from calm and sunny and dry to cold, wet, windy, dark and miserable. In only one day we are into winter mode (I know, it is autumn officially, but you get my meaning).

It's not that it didn't rain in summer - it did. But today the rain drops were icy, for the first time since perhaps March. The road is much noisier when it is raining hard - the cars, their tyres on puddles, the rain, the wind. The journey is much more tiring. The difficult, busy junctions much more intimidating.

Stand fast and take heart, spring will come again to rescue us all.


David Hembrow said...

Something similar has happened here. I've also gone into long trousers, fleece, gloves etc.

There are differences, though. It matters not what the cars are doing, I'm generally a distance from them. Junctions continue to give priority to bikes even in the mist and I'm looking forward to spotting the first cycle path de-icing machine of winter...

coco said...

Trully, brother, you live in paradise! Don't get me started on British cycle lanes. There's a school of thought that argues we'd be better off without any - forcing, so to speak, motorists to share the road. So to speak.

My question is: how does a country start this kind of revolution? What space do you carve the cycle lanes from? How do you get people to vote for you on that kind of 'platform'? How did the Dutch do it?

David Hembrow said...

Basically, it came about because they tackled the problems in a serious manner, not by merely giving lip-service to cyclists.

It started properly back in the 1970s, as a response to the oil crisis and a peak in road deaths, and policies have been pretty consistent since then.

We've collected a lot of English language articles, all of them worth a read.

The cycle paths that existed in the 1950s were in part turned into road lanes in the 60s, so the space for those was simply reclaimed in the 70s and onwards. However more dramatic action can be taken in city centres, and elsewhere the argument that streets are too narrow rarely holds water.

As for sharing the road... that's what happens where few people cycle, and leads to the low subjective safety that's the main reason why few people cycle.