Thursday, July 28th: After a run of some very pleasant cycle trips I had to go down to London for meetings. The weather was fine in fact too fine for easy cycling in semi-smart working clothes. So the solution was to set out earlier and cycle more slowly and where possible look for a bit of shade.
One of the shadier paths is probably The Tins, a shared use path from Cherry Hinton to Mill Road. It has recently been improved as part of a scheme of improvements. I can’t remember the last time I came this was (May), but it wasn’t long ago but it seems to me that this does provide a bit of shade on a hot sunny day. This is the view just after the bridge over the Cambridge – Ipswich railway line, which only a few years ago created some controversy when Railtrack asserted that “cycling across the bridge is an act of trespass”.
This country does like its rules and regulations, yet pavements can quite easily become shared-use paths when it suits the powers that be. The other flexible ruling seems also to apply to the speed limits – as reported in Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest.
A couple of Cambridge Guided Busway (CGB) snippets. A councillor (and former council leader) has been reported as suggesting the CGB legal wrangle “be settled out of court”. it seems strange since this public statement would seem compromise the Council’s ability to either “win” the case or agree a better compromise. Or does he know something we don’t?
The more positive CGB news is that you will be able to use a Smartcard ticket which will be accepted by both bus operators.
After The Tins, the route through to the Railway Station ducks and dives down various back streets, rather than take a more direct route via Mill Road. Although Mill Road now has a 20mph speed limit I still prefer the back route since it avoids the noisy, polluting and jamming cars and lorries. Apparently the speed limit is also self-enforcing, I must remember to take some “speeding tickets” to hand out the next time I use the road.
The back route then uses the Carter bridge to cross the railway line. The bridge is enclosed and has plastic windows and as I went up the slope the heat hit me. So after all my careful slow cycling I broke out into an immediate sweat. Perhaps next time I would be better taking Mill Road. Cyclists are never grateful are they.
The plastic windows are not the most transparent, but I did stop briefly to take a picture of the new platform that is being built. It seems to be making good progress, surprisingly there were quite a few workers dotted around the through tracks.
Regular readers will know that one of my pet hates (maybe one of too many) is the unbelievably poor provision for cycle parking at the Railway Station. The bicycles get packed in, some get trampled on and in the wet weather you trample along muddy paths rubbing against muddy wheels.
So it was a pleasant surprise to find a space
without looking too hard. It was at the bottom of the third cycle parking area I looked but there were actually a few open spaces and it was not wet and muddy.
On closer inspection it would seem that another purge is in place to dislodge “abandoned” bicycles. I think that one of the considerations is that bicycles are parked here by people who commute from the station as well as people who commute to the station. I know one person who kept a bike at both King’s Cross and Cambridge Railway Stations to facilitate his commute. It seems to me that the Railway Station bicycle parking facilities are a blight. The trouble is there is no real drive to improve them in fact the Station operators would lose revenue if they convert parking space to bicycle space. Yet as a society it is a no-brainer that we should be making it easier for greener means of transport.
The other reason for encouraging cycle transport is that you might get to pay of your mortgage more quickly by swapping from a car to a bike.
Look, my bike and there is a space next to it. I wonder if they will extend the purge to the many locks that also hang around. I have to say that saddle is really excellent, it is very comfortable even when I am in work clothes without any padding. Although Brooks is closing – but don’t worry only for a summer break.
The gap between the bikes was also not too either. It can be a real pain trying to wheel you bicycle through the gaps.
Whilst waiting for my train I took a picture of the new platform from a different perspective.
Whilst on the subject of trains a van driver running a level-crossing red light – he was fined £400 and received three points on his licence.