The car was at the menders today, and I had to get there to pick it up & take Daughter & friends to their Kung-Fu thing. As is normal in these circumstances, the wind had instantly changed direction and stiffened considerably as soon as I set off from work, so I had a real fight on my hands to get there in time.
The last bit of the route took me through Cobalt Business Park, and into the top end of Silverlink. The trouble was that the road open to cars would have meant another half mile of cycling, whereas I’d spotted a more direct route:
Things to note about this route . . .
- Empty, newly-surfaced smooth road that takes me straight to my destination
- That "No entry Except For Buses" sign
- There’s a cycle path running parallel to the road, but as is usual in the UK, it breaks for every minor road it crosses, with "give way" lines to remind you who’s who in the hierarchy of importance on the roads, (as seen in this Streetview image from a little further up the road):
- I was giving the pedals a jolly good thrashing, and having finally found myself out of the wind, doing somewhere above 20mph.
I stayed on the road, and passed a security guard’s hut, from which a shout of "Get on the bike path!" came. Half a mile later, there was another one, and this time the guard was walking into the road. So I stopped to be told again to get on the path. I told the guard that I wouldn’t because of the path had breaks in it every 200 yds or so, making it effectively useless to me . . . and pedaled on.
The thing is, we can’t have it both ways. On the one hand I’m happy to moan about the drivers I see – they break the speed limits, chat away on their phones, drive through lights that were "only just red", pass me so close that I can tell what brand of polish they use on their paintwork, etc, etc. Yet the popular view of cyclists is that they’re just as bad – running red lights, terrorising pedestrians, . . . and I had disregarded a clear No Entry sign (my bike is not a bus).
So I hold my hands up – in hindsight, I think I was in the wrong. But what would you have done?