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No such thing as pot luck on a bike

Written by Fiona February 15 2010

Something doesn’t quite tally here. A week or so ago it took me around 1hr 20 mins to cycle from Bearsden to Falkirk. A leisurely trip of around 24 miles. Today it took me 1hr 10 mins to cycle only 12 miles. So, perhaps I’ve got a lot slower. Maybe that’s true. And, of course, it does depend on the terrain and the number of traffic lights.

In fact the terrain was similar but there were a lot of traffic lights and some did seem to be against me.

No, the real reason why it took me almost as long to cycle half the miles was the number of pot holes. Regardless of council area – I cycled through East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow City and East Renfrewshire on my trip from Bearsden to Newton Mearns (for my third tattoo removal treatment at Ab Fab beauty salon, if you’re interested. You know how I like to combine keep fit with going somewhere..) the pot holes were just as bad.

Every pot hole (and there are more than I can count) required a different form of navigation, including such techniques as “veering around”, “forced through”, “down and under and nearly over” and “brake, stop, wheel through on foot”. Some holes were almost the length of my bike and spread right across the lane. It was tedious and frustrating and added at least 15 minutes on to my journey time, as well as up to about half a mile in extra “veering” distance.

We know that councils are skint but surely there’s enough money to re-surface the outer edges of the road for cyclists. This way it might encourage many more people to cycle, therefore reducing the number of cars on the road, therefore reducing the wear and tear of the roads and so making a happier all-round city.

I also note rather enviously that East Ren has more miles of cycle lanes than East Dun. The lane stretches almost continuously from the city centre to Newton Mearns. Why not the same in other council areas, I ask?

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