Following my write-up of my personal longest bike ride from Nuneaton to Leicester and back, the highlights and comments from the outbound trip are available for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your views on these types of videos), the camera ran out of memory for the trip back!
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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
Despite having absolutely no need to commute to work, with it being Cycle To Work Day today, I took the bike out at just after 8am and went for a twenty minute ride in the spirit of the event.
Riding at this time of day – a work day (obviously), during rush-hour when schools are back after the summer break, and choosing busier roads – is a real eye-opener compared to my normal leisure rides. Drivers are rushed, impatient, inattentive or just plain bullish in their attitudes. I’ve experience this before, of course, but it seems much more so this time.
The weekend saw me pay a visit to the capital and rather than forego a bike ride, I decided to get pedalling on a Boris Bike – my first time since properly taking up cycling.
The last time I used one of these bikes was perhaps 5-6 years ago. I seem to recall it wasn’t the most straightforward process to hire a bike and the going was hard. This time around, with a phone app set up ahead of time, and some riding experience under my belt, things were a little different and an eight mile round trip ride from Fulham to Hyde Park was pretty easy-going. Continue reading →
The government have announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned from 2040 in an effort to improve air quality, and joining other European countries who have made the same pledge.
I’m pleased a date has been set, but I’m disappointed it’s not sooner. 2040 is still a long time away – 23 years – and I would have liked there to be a bit of ambition here, perhaps with a deadline of 15 years. After all, technological advancement is rapid and a lot can improve with electric vehicles in that time. Saying that though, with the increasing appearance of electric cars now, I’m hoping that market forces will make this deadline largely meaningless by the time it rolls around.
As I rode about on a fun ride earlier in the week, I passed a small parade of shops and it got me thinking about the practicality of using the bike for short trips, instead of the car.
Leaving aside the matter of cycling infrastructure on roads which is, of course, often cited as a big deterrent for new/unconfident riders to switch to pedal power for local trips, I wondered about how feasible it is to actually ‘park’ a bike at a destination. It’s all very well and good having wonderful infrastructure (which we don’t, but I can dream) but if you can’t safely leave your bike at the place where you’re going, people will continue to use the car.