Out for the first round trip of the year. (last weekend was just a trolly ride to the leisure Centre)
Such a different ride to the daily commute – out in the country, on roads (actual roads!), letting your body drive the bike and ride!
In comparison, “the daily commute” is a dodge-fest, a series of trolly rides between and around numerous obstacles, detritus, and incompatible structures and traditions.
It’s been a while since I rode out on the ‘open’ roads. I used to ride them on the commute but considered them too dangerous and so in September switched to the ‘cycle-path’ jungle.
Riding today brought me to entertain the old road again.
The problem with the cycle-path v mechanical-pedestrian v automobile route is that it seems a series of compromises:
- It seems to say as a cyclist you should be on the road not the pavement but you are not a motor so you need your own painted-line cycle-path to be in.
- Then they advise to “claim your road” you are a road user, and you should ride in the road like the other traffic.
- Some ‘authorities’ even advise caution about cycle-paths: “If there’s a cycle lane on the left, Owen advises caution: make sure before using it that the lane is sufficiently separate from the traffic?”
- Most routes are a combination of shared pedestrian path, cycle path, road and other. If it’s an unfamiliar route it’s near impossible!
- When you ride the pedestrian path you pass numerous people cycling on the road.
- On the Shared path you get daily comments and gestures to “get on the road!”.
- When on the road you get regular comments to “get out of the way”.
- When on the road you have to decide, am I compatible with the traffic or should I cut my losses and not risk death.
- Two or more driver’s vehicles in collision = insurance claim.
- Cyclist and driver’s vehicle in collision = serious injury or death.
As I say sometimes it’s near impossible – other road users do not have to constantly decide where do/should i fit in here?
Anyway the ride on the relatively open country roads of Leicestershire was again a joy.