No - not that early ’80s thing with Hazel O’Connor, but the type that gets left all over the road. Actually it’s generally not left all over the road, and if it is, passing cars soon sweep it aside / grind it down to a harmless dust.
No. I’m talking about the kind that gets left all over the cycle paths. When these routes aren’t alongside main roads, they pass through the more scenic / secluded areas of town, and I think that’s where the problem lies. These places are also handy for your average underage drinker to hang out with their mates of an evening, and swig down bottles of alcoholic beverages . . . bottles that then get smashed over the bike path. It’s the bottles that get smashed - not the drinkers in any literal sense.
I used one of these paths today to get to Walker for a client meeting, and three times, I stopped, got off my bike and walked / carried it over a section of the path covered in glass shards. As I did so, I grumbled that the Council Should Do Something About This. Maybe I’m just approaching middle age or something.
As I rode on, I considered that glass strewn paths are just another symptom of how low down in public spending and social attitudes people who ride bikes are. And I grumbled to myself a little more about how this was just another disincentive for people to ride bikes at all.
After my meeting I was riding home with the wind behind me, and in a better, more reasonable frame of mind. I remembered that Gateshead Council do actually sweep / clean their cycle paths. I have the evidence of my own eyes for this, from cycling down the East Gateshead Cycleway that runs parallel to the Felling Bypass a couple of weeks ago. The path was glass-free, and you could see the scrub marks at its edge to indicate the passing of some mechanical scrubber thing.
Of course, while riding along the Cycleway, I’d had to cross five minor roads that join on to the bypass, and I’d had to give way to traffic on each of them. If I’d been on the bypass, I’d have had priority. But that’s a matter for another day.
And then I can across this, just as I was heading up towards Segedunum:
This is more like it!
Now, if only they can schedule in gritting / snow clearing for the winter too . . .