BOGOF…rides no 4 & 5.

ride

Had an extra ride on Sunday night (above). Explored some cycle paths along Royal Artillery Way and Fossetts Way. Ended up in Rochford using a stretch of Sutton Road that had no street lighting – this at least confirms the Hi Viz jacket does actually work….

Cycle paths seem to be really decent in high profile areas, eg the front or near the borough boundary (places where people outside the borough may see them…) but not so elsewhere. Couldn’t possibly comment as to why…27 1 15

My usual Tuesday night ride was back to the Front but wanted to go to Leigh. The Front is part of National Cycle Route 16 but it stops at Chalkwell because the coastal path becomes “no cycling” until you get to Old Leigh. This is quite sensible since it is a narrow pathway between the railway line and the sea. Being a law abiding citizen I duly walked along this stretch, almost being hit by two or three cyclists who ignored the cycling ban…. I remember a chat with a Councillor a few years ago about this path. The plan is to widen but logistically this is tricky: it would require purchase of land from the railway and/or building a raised platform which the sea would go under at high tide (like the beach huts at Thorpe Bay). But it will need to be done if Route 16 is to actually run all the way to Basildon as planned.

The problem with going to Leigh is the climb back up the hill…

I  ended up on the A13 which actually isn’t too bad to cycle on since it is fairly wide. The main issue is the number of parked cars along by shops etc and the potential for people opening car doors into my path.

Bike Ride no 3

ride 3

Went further than planned tonight. Wanted to check out the cycle paths along the A127 up to the borough boundary. Found myself at the Rayleigh Weir…

In some places some really nice cycle paths where one can get a good speed up and not worry about traffic and then it comes to an end and you either have to join the busy road or break the law and go the pavement, knowing that shortly there’ll be shared space or another path just up the road. It is particularly odd when that stretch of road has a large grass verge between the pavement and road – plenty of the space for a cycle path.

Just seems odd the paths have been constructed in a disjointed fashion. It is a bit like laying a road across a field which only covers part of the field and doesn’t join up with any other road.

Bike ride no 2

ride 13 1 15

Determined to get into the habit of my weekly bike ride. Weather was looking dicey Wednesday so went out on Tuesday. It was still a windy evening, with it blowing roughly west to east, resulting in having the wind in my face when going up the steady inclines after cruising along the front.

The front has an excellent cycle path which unfortunately doesn’t really join up with any other cycle lane. Many of the cycle paths in the borough are shared with pedestrians – though this isn’t too much of a problem at 9pm at this time of year . There isn’t much scope for cycle paths in some areas but some roads, eg Bournemouth Park Road, could easily have something installed off road and off pavement. If you build it, they’ll come…

Thinking of checking my Hi Viz jacket to make sure it isn’t actually an invisibility cloak.

Bike Ride no 1

Ride

I promised myself at least one “decent” bike ride a week. So, I put on my new Hi Viz jacket and braved the cold (gritters were out!). I aimed for 10 miles in an hour and managed 9.5….

Things learnt:

1. The Prittlewell Greenway is not lit.

2. Southchurch Boulevard is slightly uphill.

3. Even with a Hi Viz jacket I appear to be invisible to pedestrians.