Wednesday 20 May 2009

Visiting the dentist

This cycle-path has been improved since the photo was taken
A few days back I had reason to visit the dentist. My dentist is very pleasant, but I can't say that visiting her is my favourite activity. I'm sure you have no desire to read about my teeth, but I thought the journey there and back might be of interest.

Most of it is on cycle paths like that shown in the first photo. The road next to the cycle path in this case is not a through road, but provides access only to the few houses along this stretch. the road ends at the point of the hill in the photo, just a few hundred metres from where I took the photo, but the bike path carries on.

The dental surgery is about 2.5 km by bike from my home. It would be slightly further by car, as I'd have to start off by heading in the wrong direction for a short distance.

My route by bike is mainly along the side of the canal and on very smooth and wide cycle paths. There are no big roads to cycle on at all

At this point the motorway junction is on the left, as is a major road. However, I ride on the access road here where there are no vehicles except those visiting businesses along here.

This is the only set of traffic lights which I come across by cycling to the dentist. A specific cycle traffic light which stops all the traffic on this multi lane road so that I can cross safely and peacefully.

On the other hand, If I had driven to the dentist I would have to pass through six major traffic light junctions like this one. This would make the journey take a lot longer than it does by cycling, and of course it would be somewhat less pleasant too.

As you see, there is a cycle path here too, so it's possible to cycle this way. However, you then have to go through all the same sets of lights, so I would not normally go this way.

So, back to the bike route. The last two photos were taken on the ride back home.

It just so happened that I passed the head and deputy head teachers from the primary school that my youngest daughter attended last year. They're on their way home, riding together along the bike path by the canal. Quite a common site. It's not only children who cycle to school. Driving to work would be rather inconvenient for these teachers as there is no-where for them to park a car.

This cycle-path has been improved since this photo was taken
And now we're very close to home, just the last little stretch along the canal and then I have two hundred metres of residential road to ride along.

Happily, my dentist didn't hurt me at all, and given such a lovely route it was quite a pleasant outing overall.

And why show this ? Well, it's just a typical journey. We didn't buy our home for its convenience for the dentist. Choosing a dentist came later. However, set off on any journey for any reason and it's probably going to be rather like this.

This map shows the route by bike in red and by car in blue. Only the traffic light on the far left has any relevance when you cycle. That's the one shown in the photo above. The two others on the direct route back into the city centre before the major junction default to green for bikes.

I also posted about a shopping expedition a few months back. Making mundane journeys like this attractive by bike goes a long way to attracting people to cycle for a large percentage of journeys.

1 comment:

Abhishek said...

My commute was 16 km to the dentist, none of it on bike lanes, paths or greenways. I had a good relationship with that dentist and decide to get some major work done by her. Now, I am looking for closer alternatives for regular maintenance.