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!
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.
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 →
It seems some days drivers can be the best in the world, other days they’re clueless morons. Today seemed to be the latter.
I decided to take a ride to the neighbouring town which involves a short stretch of 50mph dual-carriageway, which has two lanes for a significant portion. And it was in this portion that I suffered two close passes.
The worst of these was by the driver of a Royal Mail lorry who overtook at speed without making an attempt to cross over to the right-hand lane – presumably because there was a vehicle already there and the driver was incapable of adjusting his speed to accommodate that fact – he’d rather just squeeze past me. But hey, at least his left indicator worked which he flicked on as he completed the overtake – hardly worthwhile considering his vehicle barely crossed the lane divider.
The next pass was by a red van and whilst the smaller vehicle on the wide road was less intimidating, he still failed to make any effort to leave the required 1.5m gap between me and his vehicle by changing lanes. His mission was obviously to ensure he got to the red light as soon as possible, where I promptly caught up with him and congratulated his success with a polite ‘well done’ (he repaid my complement with the finger – charming chap!).
Drivers, remember to give those on bicycles as much space as you would do a car when overtaking. That means changing lanes. If you cannot safely change lanes and cannot leave the required 1.5m distance, do not overtake. Hang back and wait for an opportunity.
It has been six weeks since I bought my bike, and I’ve been clocking up the miles since then. It may not be a lot to many seasoned cyclists, but for me, the 170 mile figure I’m currently at (give or take a few) is something to be pleased with.
Rather too early on, on 1 June, after having the bike a little more than a week, I decided it would be a good idea to attempt the run from Nuneaton to Coventry and back – a round trip of what worked out as about 24 miles. Today, I decided to repeat the run, as a point of comparison, to decide whether I’m noticing any early improvements.