City cycling clinic

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  • Why we need more cycle lanes

    As I pull out from the cycle lane on Amwell Street into the busy stream of traffic because of an illegally parked van, the news last week that the Olympic Development Authority will be pumping ‘multi millions’ into new cycle lanes in the capital couldn’t be more welcome. Although they will only concentrate on the areas to and from the Olympic sites, anything that improves the situation gets my seal of approval. Those thin green pathways visible on far too few roads are a woeful excuse for the joined-up network of routes to which cyclists should be entitled. Because nothing but a painted white line segregates the cycle lane from the rest of the traffic, it’s all too easy for motorists to drift on to them squeezing us cyclists into the gutter. What is needed is a fortification of low-level bollards to repel the invaders or at the very least a raised pavement-style trim beyond which their wheels cannot pass.A perfect example of how well a properly protected cycle lane can work is in gentle Bloomsbury, particularly on Montague Street and Bedford Place, where cyclists glide in single file on their side of the divide with motorists on the other. Here, with a place for everyone and everyone in their place, there is a natural harmony to which road users in other parts of the city can only aspire. Fiona McAuslan

    Route rating

    Miles 1.3 (Amwell St to Montague St)Calories burned 50Obstacles negotiated Four

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