Real bicycle culture

Amsterdam: It’s billed as the cycling city of the best cycling nation in the world and it’s not hard to see why. There is simply a culture of cycling which is quite wonderful. It’s just a natural thing there for people to use a bike to get around.

A major part of this is the provision made for cycling – there are cycle streets, cycle paths – people are catered for on bikes. It’s part of the culture because it has been accommodated – there is space for cycling, so it becomes a pleasant way to get around. More people get moderate daily exercise just from cycling to and from places resulting in a healthier population and better air quality as there’s less pollution from cars.

Why can’t we aim to develop a similar culture by building and incorporating such infrastructure here in NE Lincs?

Click to enlarge the photos:

The bike parking near the central rail station.

The bike parking near the central rail station.

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A cycle road, separate to the walkway and the road for vehicles.

A cycle road, separate to the walkway and the road for vehicles.

 

In the queue of cyclists waiting for the change of lights on the cycleway in the busy centre of the city.

In the queue of cyclists waiting for the change of lights on the cycleway in the busy centre of the city.

A father with his children in their cargo bike. It's perfectly safe to travel this way because there is safe cycling infrastructure all over the city.

A father with his children in their cargo bike. It’s perfectly safe to travel this way because there is safe cycling infrastructure all over the city.

Another cargo bike.

Another cargo bike.

This is a minor quiet one-way road where cars are guests and are expected to give priority to cyclists.

This is a minor quiet one-way road where cars are guests and are expected to give priority to cyclists.

Steps in and out of a rail station with provision for wheeling a bike at the side. It's little things like these that add to the bicycling culture. Nice to see the bike being wheeled here is a Brompton! :)

Steps in and out of a rail station with provision for wheeling a bike at the side. It’s little things like these that add to the bicycling culture. Nice to see the bike being wheeled here is a Brompton! 🙂

Bikes everywhere!

Bikes everywhere!

You can ride right through the Rijksmuseum (State Museum), recently reopened with a cycleway through the middle of it!

You can ride right through the Rijksmuseum (State Museum), recently reopened with a cycleway through the middle of it!

And to finish with a nod to Cycle Chic, the ubiquitous 'girl on a bike'!

And to finish with a nod to Cycle Chic, the ubiquitous ‘girl on a bike’!

 

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Poor infrastructure leads to accidents

It’s simple: poor infrastructure leads to accidents. The pathway along Ploggers, between Love Lane Corner and Humberstone Rd in Grimsby is simply not wide enough. It’s supposedly a shared path between cyclists and pedestrians, but when it’s full of parents walking their children to school in the morning, there’s nothing else a cyclist can do but to ride on the grass.

Of course, council vehicles also drive along here to empty the waste bins and they leave ruts in the soft ground. As the weather warms, the grass grows and the ground hardens and these ruts become concealed and become a serious hazard to cyclists, as proved the case this morning:

The bike where it was brought down causing the fall onto the pathway along the Ploggers near Old Clee School and King Georges sports stadium.

The bike where it was brought down causing the fall onto the pathway along the Ploggers near Old Clee School and the King George sports facility.

In passing a group of people walking along this path this morning, my wife had to ride on the grass, but her wheel got caught in one of these ruts and this brought her crashing down, hitting the concrete pathway. She could easily have broken her arm in the fall. As it was, she suffered painful cuts and bruises.

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There's ample room for the necessary improvements to be made here.

There’s ample room for the necessary improvements to be made here.

I’ve written before about this pathway. There is ample space to put a separate cycle lane alongside the path, so that cyclists can actually have their own space. Having just been to the Netherlands and seen how much cyclists are cared for there, it’s disgusting to see how little provision there is made here. There’s simply no excuse for not giving space for cycling. It’s time the local authorities woke up to their appallingly neglectful attitude in this regard!

This is an example of what is needed along the Ploggers - it's not rocket science! (This stretch of pathway links Beverley Crescent with Weelsby Rd.)

This is an example of what is needed along the Ploggers – it’s not rocket science! (This stretch of pathway links Beverley Crescent with Weelsby Rd.)

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