But like Rowland Dye, here showing the distance between the path and embankment is just over a bike length, that belief that stairs have no role to play in urban cycling is either one of ignorance or a consequence of using drop bar bikes, bikes whose Centre of Gravity on a flight of steps is pretty hairy.
Here's a photo of my son, learning to do stairs at the age of four. I may not be able to teach him how to do wheelies or hard-core BMX work, but doing steps is easy: runout-align-commit
- Runout: check there is a clear, flat stretch with no approaching cars or other traffic.
- Align: get on the bike, get it stable and don't be mid-turn when you hit the steps.
- Commit. Go for it. Don't touch the brakes, keep your weight back. Only slow down on the runout.
And that worries me: the path is busy, busy, busy in the morning, and having steps that runout at right angles to the main traffic flow is suicidal. The steps need to be angled so that they feed into the bike lane gently, giving you a clear runout that won't create a collision with someone doing race training from Bath or a group of trials bike riders heading to Castle Park.
If they don't do that, if they don't make the steps fun and safe for even a four year old to ride out on, well, then it wouldn't really be a cycle house and giving up some of the parkland to build them would make no sense whatsoever.