What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!
This post nearly got called “Misgivings about cycling” after encountering a cyclist riding at speed on the pavement while out for two evening walks recently. While I accept that riding on the road can be forboding, going on the footway is illegal and these incidents happened when the road was quiet as well. It also peeves me a bit as I find it intrusive on narrow footpaths.
What lifted my spirits somewhat was the announcement of the following changes to the Highway Code:
Many of these help other road users as well and there is another thing that comes to mind regarding the mixing of cycling and walking. That takes me back to a bank holiday visit to Cardiff predating the pandemic. Then, there were so many cyclists that I felt vulnerable as a walker so it hardly was as relaxing as I had hoped. That the Highway Code tells cyclists to be aware of walkers is a good thing if it gets remembered and that also applies to those other changes.
While cyclists feel more relaxed away from motorised traffic, they also need to remember other users and this is for me as well since I also favour quieter places to ride. In this way, I see both sides of the proverbial coin and making walkers less relaxed is not great either. It is for that reason that I am cool when it comes to supporting the idea that cyclists should be able to use the public footpath network.
It always comes down to how people go about their respective activities and it is the speed that is the issue. Just as fast traffic is offputting, a bunch of cyclists going fast has the same effect and they may not realise the fact. Much is about the interaction between different modes of travelling but there also is an impact made by how people live their lives.
My preference is for slowing down and appreciating the moment and my surroundings at that time. Some are happier to be engrossed in activities instead and it can produce a clash that intrudes on an otherwise peaceful. All the rules in the world will not help if we do not remember to apply them and being more mindful of others negates the need for rules in the first place anyway. In short, we need to think about others and not just ourselves, letting go of a little relaxation for a moment to make everything go smoothly.
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