Here’s a typical stretch of Stevenage cycle path. A proper tarmac path for bicyles (and, frustratingly, mopeds) and an entirely separate one for pedestrians.
Now it’s not at all unusual to find pedestrians using the cycle path. A minor annoyance, as there’s a perfectly good footpath for them, but not usually much of a problem. But today I was half way round my ride when I was suddenly confronted with a whole collection of Fairlands Valley Spartans ahead of me. Four or five abreast, for about twenty or thirty metres. Completely and utterly blocking the cycle path. And I was not impressed. It was on a stretch that I should have been cruising at 20-35mph on, and on which I understand I have right of way, but I had to slow right down, I had to swerve, I had to shout. It’s nor often I shout, you know, but shout I did. “It’s a CYCLE path!” “Move ASIDE!” Over and over again.
In fact, I used so much energy shouting that I had to stop round the corner to catch my breath. I feel a letter of complaint coming on.
Hey, but apart from that it was a great ride. First time out with my new pedals, and I didn’t fall over once. (I’m told it’s second time out you’re more likely to fall over, as first time you’re too aware of them.) Certainly I could tell the potential for more power. Pulling away from a slow bit or even up some hills, the ability to pull up at the back of the pedal stroke brings huge benefits – though I suspect it’ll be a while before I can do it for an extended period.
Because it was something of a trial run for my new pedals, I stayed in town so I could stick to the cycle paths and avoid venturing out onto the country lanes; you never know what you’ll meet out there.
Mind you, I guess you’d be unlikely to meet a mass of misplaced runners.
Bob’s bike is feeling more and more comfortable now. I think I will miss the handlebar mirror I have on mine. Maybe I’ll try one if those helmet-mounted ones I’ve seen. Anyone tried one?
Distance: 12.55 miles
Riding time: 51 mins.
Top speed: 30.8mph (and that was on the flat!)