New footage of the cycle lanes put down recently by Cardiff City Council. This one is from Wellington Street, through Cowbridge Road and along Castle Street, then Newport Road. This is one of the longest segregated lanes in Cardiff and you have a great feeling of security as you ride along it. The only negative, is at the traffic lights, these need to be prioritised for the cyclist, otherwise they won’t stop, and that makes it unsafe. Staying too long at traffic lights cools us down, better to keep the bikes moving, which helps remove traffic from the roads, freeing them up for everyone else. #CardiffCityCouncil #BikeWeekUK #Cycling
Filmed on an afternoon’s cycle home after a day in the office. The aim of the video is to show how easy it is to cycle now around Cardiff. In the last 12 months the Council have put in pop up cycle lanes and now recently, these have been converted into permanent segregated lanes in a number of streets around the city. The council are pushing through five main cycleways, more on this in another post, and though some are not yet fully connected, it’s only going to be a matter of time before they are and offer a safe space to cycle in.
This route that takes you from the City Centre to the outskirts of Cardiff in approximately 30 minutes. The elevation isn’t more than 80-85m, so it’s fairly gentle, except a last part that I end up pushing the bike up as the gearing is just not low enough to get me up the hill – going into Danescourt. Also, my bike is an old city bike that I’ve had about 20 years or so, and the gearing is the old-style Sturmey Archer, 3 x speed type, and probably not likely to withstand me pumping the pedals up this slope.
Future posts are going to look at some of these cycle lanes. So far, the most accessible ways are going into and out of the city. Perhaps new routes across the city will get a look in, in the future, but for the time being, the effort is going into making the cycle lanes into town safe, protected and welcoming.
For a long time I’d wanted to ride in a one day classic race, like the Milan-San Remo or Paris-Roubaix, but never imagined I actually would. Then in 2017 I was talked into riding the Tour of Flanders the following spring. So began some long-is days in the saddle in preparation for the race, which was going to total some 175km. On the morning of the race, looking at my fellow competitors, I figured I hadn’t prepared nearly enough and that this was surely going to be a long day to say the least.
Ahead of me was about 25 hills, including the world famous Koppenberg. A hill that has a great reputation in the world of Cycling. Famous because the average gradient is 11.6%, rising to a maximum gradient of 20%.
None of these hills are long, they are all short-ish, but sharp, and with wet cobbles and cyclists passing close by or stalling in front of you, it makes for a difficult, challenging climb. On some hills there was no way to cycle up as there were just too many people in front. Or on a couple of occasions the person in front had stalled and there was no way to pass. But there were a few hills that the road ahead was clear and I was able to get to the top without stopping, lungs nearly bursting though, with a great sense of achivement.
My bike was old, and like me knackered, but one saving grace was that it was a steel frame bike. Whilst that meant it was heavy, and going up some of the short sharp hills, I wished I was racing on a lightweight carbon bike, but the steel frame soaked up the cobble sections of which there were many.
I got round in the end, just over 6 hours and covered 175km. The rush of adrenaline crossing the line was something to be believed. It was a major sense of achievement and was flooded with happy feelings that I’d managed to get through in one piece and without either injury or mechanical failure.
The pictures here are all from the following morning, when the professionals raced. The main field had some of the big names and the day was won by Niki Terpstra of Team Quick-Step Floors.