Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Cycling too and from work is a bit of a nightmare. The traffic in London, though not as bad as it was before the congestion charge was introduced, is a 'hazard' to say the least. No one ever leaves any space by the kerb for cyclists to pass so you end up being forced to weave through the traffic (at which point everyone accelerates without checking their mirrors) or onto the kerb to fight through it.

What's in some ways most insulting is the nature of the 'cycle lanes' that they've introduced. At best there's a 30 metre strip on the road leading up to the junction, where there's a space in front of the stop line. However this space is mostly populated by motorbikes. However, far more common is a short lane painted on the pavement that promptly ends at a driveway or bus shelter. So, right, I'm supposed to stop my bike (doing the "I'm stopping" arm signal of course), dismount, carry my bike onto the pavement, get back on, start riding along, then stop again, wait for a gap in the traffic (which is driving right up to the kerb), and finally continue up the road. Yeah right. I mean it would be fine if the lane was half - a - mile - or - so long, but at best they're about 30 metres long.

...And (while I'm at it), I then turn into a park and decide to ride along the river, to avoid the dangerous, lead and CO producing traffic, and I promtly get reprimanded by the parks police for riding my bike in the park - it's pedestrians only! Maybe I should just give in and go out and buy myself a big MPV to drive (alone) to work in like everyone else seems to do. One with bull-bars on the front in case any cyclists get in my way i think...

I dunno, you try to do some good... I mean I'm not anti - car or anything, I used to drive and loved it (until I moved to London and hit gridlock), but I just think everyone could be a little more considerate, and the government could build some proper cycle lanes.


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