Archive for February, 2014

Motorway cycling

Recent BBC article that ended up on the front page of the website raised two questions with me.

The first point, which is bound to come up everywhere else in the cyclosphere is the reaction / reporting of the incident.

“You didn’t notice him until you were right up close to him. He came out of nowhere.”

Aside from sounding very SMIDSY, this ignores the fact the cyclist shouldn’t be in a position to be run into given that this chap was riding down the hard shoulder.

I’ve also never seen a front page article such as: “Person drives like a fool, has a crash, took me 3 hours to get home”.

The second point is that maybe it’s time to get people cycling on motorways. Below is a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of using motorways for cycling compared to other roads:

Road type People driving really fast Huge segregated piece of tarmac people don’t drive on Lots of junctions / side roads (where most cycling accidents occur)
City road 😦 / 🙂 😦 😦
A / B Road 😦 😦 😦 / 🙂
Motorway 😦 🙂 🙂

[edit] My wife has verbally trolled me along the lines of “what about motorway junctions?”. Well, the junctions of major A-roads (which are legally cyclable) present a similar problem. Some I’ve seen use a scheme by which cyclists go down the slip road a little before crossing perpendicular to the traffic. Not sure this would work with 2-3 lane slip roads (maybe some investment in small tunnels / bridges?). However, I  stand by my “scoring” because motorway junctions tend to be further apart and the “junctions” I’m referring to are of the side road / roundabout type where SMIDSY occurs because the cyclist has right of way and is not seen / ignored.

Motorways may not be cycling Nirvanas, with slip road crossing introducing delays and getting onto motorways involving death defying roundabouts. However, once on, you would have a few miles of partially segregated “infrastructure” to ride on, so let’s not be so hard on this fellow who was finding a better way to get to work.

Bike Timeline

For fun, I recently put my bike “history” into pictorial form.

The columns represent the purposes of the bikes. Left to right: general purpose (now icy commuting & child pulling); race / commuting; recumbent and folding. I could probably justify 3 of the “strands”. The race bike I use to commute, the Brompton means I never have to use the Underground and the old MTB I use when it’s icy, fit really heavy child pulling racks etc and leave in places I’d never leave the others. The recumbents are an experiment. They look cool and may well be the best solution for a long distance, but  I don’t use them enough to really call them practical.

Bike life

Velokraft Tailbox

I took delivery of my Velokraft tailbox today (after only 4 months wait!), and a very nice piece of kit it is too. It’s about the same weight as the mudguard that needed to be removed to fit it! The nice people at Bikefix fitted it for me.

Here’s a picture of the assembled beauty, taking advantage of South West Trains’ bike space. Glad I didn’t try this at rush-hour!

Raptobike with tailbox

There was much appreciation of the box outside the shop from various recumbenteers, including a velomobile rider. Also, someone wandering about on his lunch break took the time to say, “that’s awesome” as I waited at lights.