Author Archives: Ben

K-Frame Barrier

K-Frame Barriers on NCN52 (Weddington Walk)

There’s a generally rather nice section of National Cycle Network (NCN) route 52 as it leaves Nuneaton called Weddington Walk. This is an off-road shared path running along the route of an old railway line, heading up to the A5. I say generally nice, because whilst it’s reasonably wide, mostly quiet and properly surfaced with tarmac, it is hindered by K-Frame barriers at a number of access points. Continue reading

Changing Nuneaton – Weddington Bridle Path/Church Fields

One of the reasons I record my rides is I like to see changes over time.

A little over a year ago, I took my bike along Weddington Bridle Path, from Saint James’ Church towards (and under) Weddington Walk. At the time, a new housing development (Church Fields) had only recently started development. Now, the area is very different with many houses complete, others well underway and the path itself unrecognisable from what it was in 2017. Continue reading

My Ride to Leicester

Today marked a milestone in my cycling adventures – I rode to Leicester for the first time, which also marked the first time exceeding 40 miles and the first time exceeding 70 kilometres! An exciting day, indeed.

Leicester has been on my radar for a long time, in fact, since before I got my bike. When I was first exploring cycle options in late 2016, early 2017, I was interested in electric bikes and came across the E-Bike Centre. I was wondering about the possibility of cycling back with a new bike at the time, but decided it was probably a bad idea for my maiden ride, even with electric assist.

So, why did the ride to (and back from) Leicester occur today? Well, two weeks ago I hit my then personal best for distance at 37.5 miles. I knew Leicester would be a bit over the 40 mile mark and so, it seemed like a good next step. Also, the city holds an Open Streets event on the last Sunday of every month which I’d seen advertised on Twitter. I thought it would be good to see what was going on (more later). So, with a nice sunny day, I set out on my expedition. Continue reading

New Cycle Clothing

New Clothing

With the weather becoming significantly warmer now, it’s become necessary for me to think again about clothing since my long-sleeved (and only) jersey is becoming a bit uncomfortable. This hasn’t been a particularly easy search though – I don’t want extra-tight fitting, heavily branded jerseys and shorts, but I did want clothing that was designed for cycling and had good wicking properties since I get hot very easily.

Continue reading

Left Hooked by Distracted Driver

Cycling along the A444 Weddington Road, Nuneaton when a driver cut across my path to turn into the petrol station, forcing me to brake heavily to avoid a collision.

Speaking to the driver, he admitted he was distracted by another vehicle. He was very apologetic, hence why I’ve blurred his registration and face. Hopefully it will be a mistake that he won’t make a second time.

This highlights the importance of drivers (and indeed all road users) to not get distracted and be fully aware of what is going on around the vehicle. Never overtake a slower moving vehicle when intending to turn left (in the UK, right in other countries) and always check mirrors to check it is safe to move before signalling and making the manoeuvre.

It also highlights the need for proper cycling infrastructure. With a protected cycle lane here, the entrance to the petrol station could be narrower and at a sharper angle, forcing a slower and more considered turn by drivers.

 

A5 Dodwells Roundabout to A47 Longshoot (Video Review)

I took a little ride out today which incorporated the section of the A5 proposed to become a dual carriageway. I noted last month about these changes which include a new shared pedestrian and cycle path, and wrote to Highways England expressing a desire for something better.

Here’s the video from today’s ride showing what is in place at the moment along that stretch of road. It’s also a shared pedestrian and cycle path, and has a number of significant issues.

 

 

A5 Improvements (Dodwells to Longshoot)

I’ve become aware of an upcoming Highways England project to upgrade the A5 between the Dodwells Roundabout at Hinckley, to the junction with the A47 Longshoot (Nuneaton). It is argued that this section of the road needs widening to become a dual carriageway, to address congestion. As part of this work, they’re proposing to incoporate a shared foot/cycleway.

I wrote to Highways England on that last point, as it’s not good enough to simply install a basic shared path such as is common throughout the country. A fundamental redesign of the stretch of road should incorporate cycle provision to best standards, with a segregated and level surface, priority over side and access roads and appropriate junction integration. £25m is planned to be spent here and it makes sense to provide high quality cycle provision at the same time, rather than wait until a later date when it would undoubtedly cost more to retrofit. Continue reading

Urban Cycle Ride – Bedworth, Coventry and Bulkington

An 8x speed-run of a recent cycle ride from Bedworth, to Coventry Canal Basin, to Bulkington.

This ride starts on the National Cycle Network route 52, which quickly fizzles out. It’s predominantly urban, but does visit the Coventry Canal, and ends after a stretch on the rural B4109 out of the city to Bulkington.

Consultation Response – North Warwickshire and Hinckley College

North Warwickshire and Hinckley College are proposing to redevelop part of its site with over 200 homes. This has understandably created a bit of local concern around the loss of sporting facilities at the college, and the potential for increased traffic levels in and around Nuneaton.

Whilst a drop-in meeting has already been held where the concerns of 200 people were noted, an online informal consultation is open until 26 February which I have responded to – but not in terms of objecting to the idea itself (I don’t feel qualified to comment on whether it’s a good idea for the area and the college long-term or not), but to ask that consideration is given to proper cycle provision within the area being developed. That is, any new roads be built with Dutch standard cycle provision, and that existing roads affected by the development be updated to the same CROW standards. Continue reading