A passion for cycling and my trip to Oxford

I saw recently on the BBC News website that Bristol is to be England’s first cycling city. Well since spending a weekend in Oxford I think that the residents of that city must be feeling pretty sick at that news. Oxford already is a cyclist’s ciity. It has plenty of well marked cycle lanes as well as a multitude of parking facilities for bikes. It even has a bike park by the station which has space for dozens if not hundreds of bikes to be parked safely, a significant part of the bike part is even under cover.

(I apologise for the poor quality of this photo – it was taken from the top of a moving tour bus!)

I’d love it if Cardiff were so well geared up for cyclists. As it is we have limited parking places and badly marked cycle lanes – in some places cyclists are asked to share pavements and in other areas we are expected to fight for space on the bus lanes. And two of the main places to park bikes in the city centre are widely acknowledged to be targetted by bike thieves. So, to sum up, to get into town I have to hop on and off pavements, stopping every short while to cross a side road, or cycle in bus lanes while hoping that the bus drivers will be in a good mood and not in a rush so that they will allow me plenty of room. Then, once in town, I am expected to leave my bike in an area known to be frequented by thieves. Mmmm, tempting! I’ll definitely leave my car at home for that!

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