In yesterdays/ongoing threads about cycle safety, bike paths and the like I was advocating hard investment in pleasant, high-quality, wide, smooth, traffic-free, well-signed cycle paths both for existing cyclists and (mainly) to attract new cyclists.
A few people questioned whether such magical things can exist in the UK. Suggesting that they'd be unusable, crowded with pedestrians, force you to go too slow etc etc. Other suggested they were Satan's Testicles and any sensible cyclist would use the road.
Well I'm lucky enough to have just such a route as my commute, namely the Sustrans NCN72 from Wylam to Newcastle. So this morning I took my time and stopped for a couple of (ropey cameraphone) photos.
No high art, but hopefully it illustrates my point.
Route start at Wylam
Busy isn't it?
Sun-dappled, tree-lined, cycle-friendly route? Check
This runs parallel to a major A road - where would you rather ride?
Bit of shared pavement. Wide, smooth and no peds to be seen. Why would I ride on the road here (even though it has cycle lanes)?
"Us and them". Pleasant ride along the quayside or mix it with the lorries on that bridge?
Too busy on the quayside?
Looks okay to me!
The finally across the Tyne on the Millennium Bridge (shared use)
Remind me, why am I terrible human being for preferring this pleasant ride to 45 minutes of wondering whether I'm about to redecorate the wheelarch of an HGV?