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Cycling Survival

Cycling Survival

This week I’ve joined the bike club. Not the mid-life crisis Harley-Beardison type, but the kind with a fetish for spandex and an unhealthy obsession of weight. Why? Because it turns out that cycling half the way saves me enough money to buy a bike twice over; but enough money saving tips for commuters.

According to the DMRB bikers represent a low percentage of total trips taken in the UK, which might go some way to explaining this state of affairs.

As a consequence (and how many times have I said that!) today’s blog post has been severely truncated by my assertion that engineers don’t need instructions. I won’t tell you how long it took me to make the box I brought to resemble a bike…

Life in the cycle lane is a scary place. Often I look in exacerbation at the additional line haphazardly drawn centimetres from the kerb that’s been dignified with the title ‘On-Carrageway Route’. According to the DMRB (the standards which define UK transport infrastructure) bikers represent a low percentage of total trips taken in the UK, which might go some way to explaining this state of affairs.

Despite this low ranking, cyclists in the UK are guaranteed the following: they should never have to share a road where HGVs account for more than 15% of the total traffic, where the average speed is more than 50mph, of if 100 other cyclists are using it in a day. More than that, a cycle lane is defined as a minimum of 1.5m wide (recommended 2.0m), and a road considered cycle-worthy when the lanes are at least 4.5m wide (that’s 0.85m more than standard).

Those of you who have enjoyed a bike ride through this green and pleasant land will, by now, be shaking your heads in disbelief. Wherever I’m describing; it’s not the UK! The sad fact is that actually actioning such hopes is prohibitively expensive, and so the majority of these declarations and specifications disappear into the ether as  a ‘Departure from Standard’.

Of course, if more people took to their bikes…

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