Sunday, 26 July 2009

Honour the Brave

There's a Guardian blog entry whining that the Bristol rent-a-bike scheme is doomed, as the insightful journalist has come out from London to discover that the city is in fact hilly. Yes. That's one reason the city is more fun than London, the other being Bath Ales and Butcombe Brewery, on offer at pubs at the top, bottom and middle of those hills. A pub crawl up St Michael's Hill would not be the same if the road was flat.

It does make it harder to cycle round, but that is where people have a plan.

Bath Buildings, weekday evening. No cars in the ASL, yet rather than wait patiently, this woman decides to run Gloucester Road -2 lanes of car traffic, one bus-lane on the right of this picture, and cars on the left waiting to turn into Bath Buildings.

She lives, and was passed about 20 seconds later, her pushing her bike up Nugent Hill, before she'd even got past the one-way cars-can-contraflow stretch.

If she were fit, she could have waited, cycled across on green, and got up the hill without having to risk the passing cars, faster.

But think about it. By running the lights, then walking up the hill, she gets to get up the hill fairly quickly, without needing to be fit. Just brave. And for that, we honour her!


Chris Hutt said...

I often ride across that junction on red, it's no big deal. The central islands allow you do it in two stages so you only have to check one direction of traffic for each stage. But then I walk up Nugent Hill too.

We have to recognise that being able to use discretion at traffic lights is one of the big pluses of cycling in Bristol, a city plagued with traffic lights "in order to stop pedestrians causing congestion".

Thomas Guest said...

Re: Guardian report on Hourbikes, here's a quote from yesterday's Observer

"Bristol's Hourbike, the closest the UK has to a city-wide scheme, is having trouble getting its residents to tackle its undulating terrain despite the presence of four hubs around the city centre."

Four hubs!?

SteveL said...

They are in the centre, @bristol, and maybe the BRI