Perfect Bike for North Tyneside
Our local council has tried to do the right thing for cyclists. They spent some money & put in quite a lot of effort to uncover & re-surface the old railway lines (”Waggonways”) that crisscross the area. These make for excellent cycling surfaces, being as they’re all pretty flat.
The council also fell into the trap that so many town planners do in the UK. Instead of cycling being part of their transport strategy, it’s filed away under Sports & Culture on their ‘getting active’ mini-site. What this means is that most of the cycling infrastructure is about leisure, and so the Waggonways routes tend to be circular go-for-a-nice-ride-in-the-countryside routes, rather than anything particularly useful when you want to get from A to B quickly and safely. They’re the kind of routes that you’d almost expect people to drive to in their cars, with their bikes on the back, go for a ride (”So good to be out getting some exercise”), ending up back at the car, so they could then drive home.
My problem with this is simple. Exercise for exercise’s sake is just too hard for most people (including me). So if getting people cycling is all about improving the health of the nation, cycling should be built in to everyday life - as a means of transport, and not sidelined as something you do in your leisure time (though you can do that too - riding your bike is after all just about the best fun you can have with your clothes on in public).
ANYWAY . . . a week or so ago, I posted an idea for a bike train. Hardly a totally original idea, but one with great potential. Especially if you live in North Tyneside, and follow Robers Wechsler’s logical next-step for the bike train. By linking the front bike right round to the back bike, you make a circular bike. Just perfect for those leisure rides on the Waggonways!