Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mid-Week Ride–The CGB cycleway is well flooded ;-(

Wednesday, 26th February 2014: After a lot of moaning about how I didn’t want to cycle up the CGB Cycleway (Cambridge Guided Busway) ‘cos it was blocked at far end, and I don’t like there and back trips on the same route trips, I changed my mind. The good news was that the wind wasn’t too unkind and almost behind me on the way back – sometimes. The other good news is that it was pretty sunny which always makes the CGB Cycleway run a rather pleasant excursion into the countryside. Even the very short hail storm whilst I was cycling of up to Milton Road didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. Although the hailstone that dropped down the back of my neck must have been the size of a golf ball – it was literally flippin’ freezin’.

The route has been flooded for nearly 8 weeks apparently. Well although I have paddled through the floods a few times (May 2012May 2012, July 2012) I didn’t give it a go this time. Instead I tweeted a picture and got the biggest response to a Tweet with quite a few re-tweets in my Twitter life. Here is the tweet.


I rather like my Galaxy Samsung S4, it makes a great backup camera and is useful for those about and about Tweets. Now I normally use a Lumix GH1 with a micro four thirds camera with an electronic viewfinder as well as a screen, which makes it much easier to take pictures with gloves and in sunlight (and without obscuring the picture).  This was the first picture I took for the Tweet, the sunlight was so bright I couldn’t actually work out what had gone wrong with the picture. It was only when I got home that I realised it was my glove (fluorescent yellow). I have cropped the picture shown here – the glove obscured a bit more of the picture.

The only problem is that I never seem to be able to send those Tweets until I reach civilisation, they spend for ever sending and then don’t go!  This isn’t really a Samsung problem, it demonstrates either the Twitter app has shortcomings when sending larger amounts of data or how unreliable data transmission is out in the sticks, or both?  For reference I am with Vodafone and it is great in a City – but my Tweets rarely send first time when cycling in more secluded places.

It is often said that transport facilities attract users. (cf. M25). Well the shared-use cycleway alongside the busway certainly has attracted users, both for leisure and transport. Which brings me to my second observation – once you attract users, you can’t just turn off the tap and expect them to go away (or another way). Whatever you might say about well-signed alternative routes.

This stretch is adjacent to the Trout Pond.  As you can see cyclists and walkers have worn a path  alongside the Concrete tracks. I don’t see this as some sort of mindless law-breaking – this is a practical protest against the crappy design that allows the route to be flooded for too much of the year. As I stood taking pictures and old boy came up, he had walked up from Swavesey. He told me that he and his wife have had a walk earlier and he reckoned that it was better to walk along the concrete track, keeping an eye out for oncoming busses and then to step aside briefly. Who would want to slip and tumble into the freezing water!

We both bemoaned the situation in which so much money could be spent on the Guided Busway and yet for a relatively small additional cost the shared use cycleway could have been made usable for pretty much all but the most extreme events as well.

Shared Use Path Flooding – Cambridge Guided Busway

Here is a more successful attempt at the picture. I couldn’t quite believe how much flotsam and jetsam (which apparently should really only be used in a maritime sense, but you know what I mean).  A little further behind I had cycled over some of this where the path had flooded but dried out. You have to keep you wits about you – it doesn’t make for pleasant cycling on my hybrid bike – I’d hate to cycle over it on skinny tyres.

I have been meaning to cycle along the path in the dark to see how well solar lights work – you can see on on the left side of the path in the picture. All the flooding put me off though. I wonder how waterproof the lights are?

Shared Use Path Flooding – Cambridge Guided Busway

I also took a similar picture with my Lumix GH1.

Shared Use Path Flooding – Cambridge Guided Busway

I reckon that this shows how bad the powers-that-be are at actually finishing anything cycling-related in Cambridgeshire. A massive compromise on what could have been one of the better cycle routes in the County. It is either contemptible of incompetence I reckon.

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