Sometimes people think we only show major roads outside the cities’ built up area which makes it ‘logic’ that there is room for wide good quality cycle paths. But people even say that from videos shot in the center of a city.
Yes, it is true that we usually show the main cycle grid, and there are of course lesser important routes too, so why not have a look there now.
The above video shows a secondary route in Utrecht that is not part of one of the designated main cycle routes. In an earlier post David has already pointed out that a city cannot only have a few main cycle routes, there has to be a tight secondary grid too, so distances to the grid are never too big.
As becomes clear, a secondary cycling route is more varied than a main cycle route. This is true for the surface as well as for the types of lanes and separate paths (tracks). There are also more “twists and turns”. It is striking however, that even on a secondary route the cyclist never merges with motorised traffic (apart from a few service roads where only residents drive). To show everything as clear as possible the video is not sped up. It is also one long shot, no editing at all. Somehow the camera didn’t only record the wind this time either, so the sound is all ‘real’ too!
The route is almost 4km (about 2.5 miles) for which I took 12 minutes, so the average speed is 20kph (about 12.5mph). It is possible to cycle faster, but not while holding a camera in one hand. Routeplanners state a car would also take 12 minutes for almost the same route (they have to make a detour twice).
The start is in the old center of Utrecht, Vredenburg square, where a market is held twice a week and all the major shops can be found. The video ends in Zuilen, a former municipality now suburb, where incidentally my father was born.