A Tweet is but a Whistle on the Wind.
Many people have been enjoying the freedom of riding on quieter roads during lock down, and that has certainly been reflected in the instant success of the facebook Denbighshire Cycle Path Support group. As lockdown winds down and restrictions are eased, we have a golden opportunity to re frame the perception of “normal” patterns of use and behaviour on our roads.
I’ve lived in Denbigh for fifteen years. I’ve ridden all over North Wales for leisure as well as commuting to various locations in that time. In recent years there’s been a marked increase in the number of people cycling, and I’ve noticed a corresponding improvement in the way most motorists deal with vulnerable road users. It really does seem that the more cyclists other road users encounter, the better they get at anticipating their movements and dealing with the hazard in a safer way.
Cyclists Need to Be Seen Everywhere.
So, please don’t put your bikes away when the roads get busier. For several reasons:
1. We all need other road users to EXPECT to see cyclists – around every bend, on every corner.
2. That email you sent your councillor has been forgotten. But if they see cyclists every time they get in their car, the inconvenient truth doesn’t go away.
3. If there are enough cyclists on the road the other road users will join the campaign to provide segregated infrastructure.
4. Unfortunately, the message coming from many cycle path activists just isn’t effective – the “We would like to cycle if you provide a path for us” tag line, isn’t ever going to be as effective as getting out on the road and making ourselves a constant, visible presence for every other road user to encounter on every journey. In other words, we need to make the issue everybody’s problem.
My Pedalling CV.
My background is as a leisure / touring cyclist and Bikeability instructor. I’ve delivered cycle training in schools in Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham for the last fourteen years. I always try to arrive to training on the bike so I’ve commuted by bike to all corners of the three counties. I’ve also delivered cycle training to adults (including truck drivers on their SUD modules) in more urban environments.
Learn More About Your Cycling.
I would urge any cyclist who is nervous of being on the road to get a copy of “Cyclecraft” by John Franklin and this group to petition Denbighshire CC to provide cycle training to any adult that requests it. They already fund Bikeability in Schools.