This article was published in 2009, in Newsletter 85.
Guided bus cycleway
On page 20 of the Newsletter for June-July 2009 there is a short paragraph ‘Concern …… bus’. This passage dismisses any concerns about the guide wheels being a hazard for cyclists on the grounds that they project for only a few centimetres and if one were that close one’s handlebars would already have collided with the bus.
The problem with this comment is that it assumes that all cycles are bicycles. It fails to take into account tricycles or even bicycles with a trailer. I am an octogenarian and get around on a tricycle. Twice in the past I have had my rear off-side wheel rammed by another vehicle. By this I mean that on each occasion the other vehicle came alongside so close that its wheel was flat against my wheel and locked onto it by the force of friction. Fortunately in both cases this was in very slowly-moving traffic and I was able to extricate my cycle before the other vehicle moved forward. Also I was younger then and could nip off my cycle quickly in order to deal with the situation before being dragged forward or pushed over when the traffic started to move again.
The driver of a bus cannot see how close his vehicle is to a cyclist alongside. I am very concerned about the possibility of the projecting guide wheel coming into contact with my rear off-side wheel.
Cambridge cycling chic
I’m writing to fully endorse Matt Polaine after reading his article on Copenhagenzing Cambridge. I came across the CopenhagenCycleChic blog some months ago and have been mulling over it ever since. Why don’t we see many young women/teenage girls on bikes? Because the standard ‘safety’ wear is so grungey. Furthermore, as a driver and a cyclist (I cycle the 5 miles each way to work for 10 months of the year) I am appalled at the standard of driving around cyclists. I love cycling and prefer it to any other way of getting around, but I like my Dutch sit-up-straight bike and I don’t want to wear hideous clothes although I do wear brightly-coloured jackets on dull days – being visible is the most important aspect of being safe.
Why isn’t more being done to educate motorists? How about an online campaign to promote CambridgeCyclingChic? Now that’s a good use of modern technology without bringing down any more trees.
In the ‘Your streets this month’ section of Newsletter 84, someone asks ‘Has the last surviving gate onto cycle routes across the Cambridge commons now gone?’
Unfortunately not. There’s still a gate (and a very narrow one too) at the entrance to the riverside area from Granta Place (see right).