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My daily cycle commute is shown by the black line. It is a little over 5 miles (4
I have to turn right onto the busy A420.
This is a lot easier during the school
holidays, when I don't have to contend
with the extra motor traffic of the school
This is what I'm turning into. The cars
are queueing at 3-way traffic lights.
Invariably I can only turn when they're
After the lights I approach the Ring
Road crossing. This is a very busy
... made much more difficult and
dangerous by the bushes that some
bright spark thought to plant on the
approach, restricting views of traffic
from the right. The alternatives are
subways on either side - a great way to
make the journey longer and maybe
pick up a puncture.
After the roundabout, I ride along
Warmley High Street. It's slightly uphill,
but with a clear road I'll do 26mph+
along here. Usually cars get in the way
and I'm lucky to do 20mph.
I turn right onto the cyclepath at this
toucan crossing, where the path
crosses Warmley High Street. This is
the one place where I'll jump a red light
- I've suggested green filter arrows for
cyclists, but the council wasn't
There used to be barriers like this at all
the major cyclepath access points.
They were there to keep motorcyclists
out, but caused much more
inconvenience to legitimate users.
Thankfully most, including this one,
were removed towardsthe end of 2001.
Cyclepath art. This sculpture is also a
drinking fountain for filling bottles. It's a
bit too close to home to be much use to
me, but it marks the halfway point of the
cyclepath and is a great idea.
Approaching Victoria Road, and you
might just make out another barrier
coming up in the centre of the picture.
This one is still there, forcing me to
... then another one on the other side of
the road. I don't know how the guy I
sometimes see on a handcranked
recumbent trike manages. (Actually
there are radar gates here for disabled
access, but they're often chained shut.)
The cyclepath runs along an old railway
route. Part of the railway has been
rebuilt by local steam enthusiasts and
runs alongside the path. It starts just
under this bridge.
The path narrows dangerously for a
couple of hundred yards when the
railway starts. This section is also
particularly bad for broken glass, with
kids dropping bottles from the bridges.
Speed bumps ahead. The path bisects
a housing estate with 2 schools on the
left. There's a crossing point here,
heavily used by children on their way
to school. Bollards were installed here
on 9 October 2001, just to make life
The bollards, complete with a traffic
cone on the left (because the
contractors damaged the path surface)
and a loose dog on the right. Loose
dogs represent the greatest hazard on
the cyclepath for cyclists.
When I reach Bitton Railway Yard, I
have to cross the railway. The path
used to have "Cyclists Dismount"
painted on it (the resort of a local
authority that can't be bothered to build
or maintain a section of path properly),
but it's worn away and I always ignored
I have to turn at a right angle on each
side of the railway. The gates are a
little over 3' wide. It's an interesting
challenge on a recumbent where the
front wheel (and hence the steering) is
2' behind the bottom bracket, but I've
got pretty good at it.
Bitton Station car park, and the fourth of
5 barriers on my commute has
thankfully now been removed.
As has this one, rejoining the cyclepath
on the other side of the car park. Soon
after this the local authority changes
from South Gloucestershire to Bath &
North East Somerset. The path is
much better maintained from here on
(the vegetation gets cut and the leaves
This section was closed for 5 days at
the beginning of the 2001 foot & mouth
outbreak. When it was reopened, extra
signs were posted asking people to
keep to the tarmac and keep all dogs
on leads. With their usual routes
closed, people came from miles around
to ignore the signs and let their dogs
This bit's along an embankment and is
pretty exposed once the trees run out.
The prevailing wind is from the right.
Over the River Avon. On really windy
days (maybe 2 or 3 times a year) I
might have to get off and push across
The fields on either side are above the
level of the path. There's a hump ahead
to allow tractors and livestock to pass
between them. Because there's a slight
gradient, after heavy rain a deep puddle
builds up on the far side of this hump.
Like this one, in winter 2000/2001. This
puddle came up to the bottom bracket
on my mountain bike, making it 11"
deep. The puddle lasted up to 2 weeks
at a time and reappeared several times.
The same puddle from the other end.
At my suggestion the council laid a
pipe under the hump at one side during
June 2000, to drain the water. I
suspected they may have positioned it
too high, which was confirmed on
Leaving the path at Saltford I have to
squeeze through the gap at the left of
this gate. It's not usually a problem,
unless some thoughtless dog walker
has blocked it with his car.
Onto Avon Lane. Ironically this downhill
section is the slowest part of the ride.
Because it's down a narrow, twisty lane,
I want to make sure I can stop if I meet
something coming the other way. Pity
the few motorists I meet along here
don't seem to understand the concept.
Under the bridge and up the hill, which
is a lot steeper than you can see from
I turn into the car park...
... and lock my bike up, out of view of
the road and under the watchful eye of
the office CCTV.
Then sling the cover over it. I used to
have to clean and relube my mountain
bike chain 2 or 3 times a week in the
winter. Then I bought the cover (£5 from
Argos) and this immediately dropped to
once every 2 or 3 weeks.
The view from my office window.
This page was inspired by Simon Mason's|
Nigel Jones' Bath-Bristol pictures
CV Cycling Recumbents Unicycling Juggling Other Links
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