Cycling Safely

 The Times Cities fit for cycling

So I thought I’d add this badge to this post in support of the campaign in the UK to improve cycling safety: Safer Cycling Although I had a good experience of cycling in the UK when I went back home for a visit last summer, there’s a disturbing number of cycling accidents there, a fair number of them fatal. Cycling numbers are on the upswing which is good news for the environment, health, congestion issues in cities etc. However, there doesn’t seem to be the necessary infrastructure needed for safe cycling. Separated bike lanes are, and make cyclists feel, safer as do alternate routes for bikes on less busy roads.

We cycled in London, following the bike route from Waterloo to St.Pancras where we packed up our bikes for their trip on the Eurostar. Taking our time to search out the route which does weave around the busier streets, and being hyper vigilant, we did enjoy the ride. I can see though that if you had to veer off that route, as you would do in a large, complex city to get to many destinations, the ride could be terrifying. As it was some of the junctions we had to get across were of course insanely busy (it is London after all) and chaotic. A couple of times for the sake of safety we just got off our bikes and crossed with pedestrians. 

Cycling in Devon was calmer. There’s been a lot of work building cycle lanes and separated paths. It’s actually really impressive and follows some gorgeous routes: Bicycling in Devon. So long as we kept off the busy main roads we felt safe, despite the blind corners on the exquisite country lanes. We hugged the traditionally steep sides of the roads thick with hedgerows. At one point we did find ourselves on a main road and it was a white knuckle time. Traffic did not slow down, no quarter seemed to be given. We couldn’t wait to get off onto a quieter secondary road. Cyclists have to take responsibility for their own safety as much as possible, not taking crazy risks or ignoring road rules. But, drivers need to remember that there’s no contest between a bike and a vehicle; slow down, keep a wide berth and everyone gets to their destination in one piece. 

Gorgeous devon hedgerows

Gorgeous devon hedgerows

Idyllic riding, at least until a tractor heaves into sight!

Idyllic riding, at least until a tractor heaves into sight!

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