Wednesday 30 March 2011

Cycle Superhighways - maybe not all that bad really

Last week, I went to The Vitality Show and decided that the best way to get there would be by bicycle. This meant a cycle in to The City in the morning, to work, then head West at around lunch time to Earls Court, then from Earls Court home again afterwards. Around 45km of cycling spread across the beautiful, sunny day.

You may remember I've been a bit cynical about the CS7 Super Highway of late, but my opinion may well be swinging back the other way again after the experiences of 24th March.

Holborn Viaduct is nowhere near as bad as people say, but in general the route West across London was pretty horrid in places. The road too narrow to be able to effectively filter through traffic never mind cycle freely in your own road space without White Van Man, BMW/Audi/Mercedes twat man, or London Bus Driver trying to tell you in no uncertain terms that you don't deserve that road space, usually by squeezing out, cutting across your line of travel or simply honking their horn at you WHEN THERE'S ACTUALLY NOTHING TO BE GAINED BY BEING IN FRONT OF YOU! *fume*

Some of the back roads are quiet, but a massive detour, with higher chance of getting lost , making the overall journey longer and there are still idiots who speed and honk at you. And the road surface in general is pretty damned awful. Pot holes, uneven manhole and drain covers, subsided and undulating concrete where the structure under the tarmac simply isn't coping with the physical weight of the traffic (Putney Bridge, oh god!)... it's all well and good the government saying that general policy is to leave road surfaces a bit rubbish in cities to encourage people not to speed in motorised vehicles, but what about the rest of us, eh?

So, while CS7 isn't as protected as it could be, it's hugely better than there not being any provision at all. The experience of cycling through town away from it brought that message clearly home to me.


  1. I've started to cycle to work for my day shifts now that the mornings are lighter and there is a stretch of road that is positively painful to ride on, I yelp and frighten the pedestrians when the potholes catch me by surprise as it's not always possible to move into the middle of the road to avoid them!

    so rest assured, it's not only London that has crappy road surfaces x

  2. Gawd yeah. Road surfaces just seem to be pants all 'round. And you get such a pummelling in the nethers when there's a particularly bad stretch of it. Ow!