Saturday, 13 September 2008

Autumn term

I can hardly believe it's been nearly a month since I last wrote here. It's been a busy period with many demands on my time resulting in little time for the cycle blog. Rest assured, commuting by bike continues, despite the damp and dismal August we've had. One of the major changes to the commute over the last couple of weeks is the dramatic increase in road traffic each day.

The relaxed commuting of summer drew to an end with the return of students and teachers to their schools after their long summer holiday. The difference is more noticeable in the morning when traffic queues have appeared where there weren't any for the last six weeks. The evening is also slightly busier as people are gathering their families and getting involved with after school clubs.

I'm hoping with the 'credit crunch' (don't you hate that phrase?) and the price of fuel, that more folk will be cycling. There isn't much evidence yet but there are one or two cyclists each way most days. They're not always the same because I, like them, cycle at different times.

There was a guy on the radio from Blackpool this morning. He was describing all the initiatives that will result from the near £6m investment from the town becoming a Cycling Demonstration Town. I also hope that, like Lancaster, this can improve awareness of not just the benefits of cycling but some of the fun and enjoyment that being liberated from cars can bring. A portion of the money is earmarked for training 10 year olds to pass their Cycling Proficiency. Maybe there should also be something to coax the middle aged back onto two wheels as well. The more normal cycling appears, the greater acceptance it will get. Then we can start emulating continental towns where cycling is so normal, folk happily go for a night out by bike - something pretty much unheard of round here.

What I like about the queue in the photograph is the space I have available to pass all the cars on the way to Brownhill. Very satisfying on a bike but very frustrating in a car.

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