Mystery Cycle Infrastructure - Blyth
On days when I’m riding a Sensible Bike I take the route along the dunes path from Blyth Beach. On occasion I’ve been known to stop for an ice cream (it’s the proper, real deal stuff, and worth every penny!) and admire the view. But I’ve always been puzzled by these things:
Initially I thought they may be some sort of cycle route markers. But then I noticed the slot:
Ah, it’s some sort of bicycle parking facility that’s been designed to be in keeping with the very nice Blyth Beach hard landscaping:
Which is all very nice. But see how I’ve had to lock the bike?
This is Blyth - OK, so Blyth Beach is the posh end of the town, which in this case is a strictly relative term (it’s a little harder to buy hard drugs here than, say, half a mile to the north). But even so, if you left your bike locked like this, what do you think you’d find when you got back? The local chaverati probably wouldn’t be seen dead on a bike like mine, but they know the second had value of everything, and I object to having to buy my own bike back on Ebay!
But maybe I’m using the rack wrong. Perhaps I’m supposed to use it more like a narrow wooden Sheffield stand? (Note the wheelie bin in the background - a little bit of Waltham Forest on the Northumberland coastline, making sure that cycling is seen as an attractive form of transport):
Nope - the thick and chunky wooden posts are too thick and chunky to get my U-Lock round the frame and through the slot:
Maybe my experience shown here is why I’ve NEVER seen a single bike parked in these racks. So here’s the lesson we can take from this:
Architects & transport engineers who don’t ride bikes shouldn’t be allowed to design bicycle infrastructure - if they can’t design a simple rack that’ll help to stop your bike getting nicked, I shudder to think what they’d come up with if they had to design a whole cycle route.
Oh, hang on a minute - you can see that in pretty much any town in the UK.