Tuesday 22 December 2009

Monday's cycle paths - mostly snow free

It's Tuesday. As I write this, the outside temperature is now the highest it's been for over a week. Either -1 C (30 F) or 0.5 C (33 F) depending on whether you trust the weather station at the local airport (-1 C) or the cheap electronic gizmo we've got dangling outside our window. Light snow is falling again.

30 cm ( 1' ) of snow fell on Thursday and Friday last week and it was topped up over the weekend. It's not had a chance to melt away naturally, but the city has been fairly efficient at clearing it from the cycle path network.

Small residential streets, such as our own, are a bit of a challenge on the bike. However, if you don't want to ride through the snow, it's only a 100 metre walk to where it's easy to ride, and then the network is there to support cycling right across the city.

Yesterday I had to return something to a DIY shop at the opposite end of the city, and I combined this trip with a bit of shopping. As a result, I cycled through the centre of the city and out through an industrial area. No problems at all after that first 100 metres.

It was around -4 C ( 24 F ) yesterday, and as is normal, there were families out cycling together, people going about their business on their own, teenagers in groups.

Many of the cycle paths were not completely cleared. They were down to the width of a snow plow, about 2 metres, instead of their full four metre width.

You might find it interesting to compare with conditions on Sunday.

This is probably the last post before Christmas, so Prettige Kerstdagen (Merry Christmas) to all my readers.


Anonymous said...

See picture 5 of 6 on the BBC website, captioned “Despite dangerously icy roads, one cyclist in Amsterdam was determined the bike was still the best way to get around”. The only crazy person in the whole of Europe willing to cycle in the snow! And from that angle we can't see the route they're on, most likely ice-free thanks to sweeping and thousands of other bikes. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/8426108.stm

David Hembrow said...

Well, that's the BBC for you. They've got to pretend that cycling is something that only very few people would do. Amsterdamize has some nice photos of that very same Amsterdam in the snow, but looking rather different to the BBC's shot.

Rasmus Jensen said...

I have just been cycling in snow in Fredericia, Denmark on cycling paths that the council have not yet cleared from the snow last week, while it was snowing and drove without problems in probably 5 cm fresh snow (it is easier to drive in fresh snow rather than the tracks other has made)and I saw other cyclists and a few people walking with their bike too.

Nipper said...

Hi David, I have been reading your winter posts with great interest; they provide something of a contrast to Taunton. There has been no snow but there has been a great deal of ice. Some main roads have been gritted but the pavements, cycle paths and roads designated for cycles have been left alone. The ice is the worst I have ever seen and sadly a short lived attempt to cycle to the shops ended in me slipping over and bashing my knee rather badly. I was on a well used cycle path and hit a patch of thick ice.

The sheets of ice were all over the pavements and cycle paths virtually ruling out cycling or walking unless I wanted to share the big main road with the fast moving cars and lorries. Even the bus route on a cycle designated road has not been gritted.

Later that day Mrs Nipper had to visit A and E and described it as full to the brim with injured people who had slipped on the ice.

It is three days since my fall and my knee still hurts, I have missed 3 days cycling which is my longest time off a bike for nearly a year.

On the bright side my new Brompton has arrived and is lovely! I will now start saving up for one of your baskets.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas David and many thanks for the blog.

Mark, Bristol UK

Velouria said...

Fascinating, and great to see so many cyclists riding in snow on their beautiful bikes. Here in Boston it is rather lonely once the snow starts to fall. All those swerving and sliding cars tend to frighten cyclists : )

Kenny said...

During this wintery period I have wondered how the extensive dutch cycling network coped with snowfall.

It's been interesting to read and see through your blog,that your cycle paths get cleared by the council, even if not full width.

Here however, the one and only cycle path running to St Andrews has remained choked with snow.

It's a real shame because cyclists are now forced either on to the road or to use alternative transport.

Walkers and joggers would also find this pathway difficult to use. I may well write to my local newspaper on this subject or I may just wait for it to thaw...I don't know which.

chris M said...

I've commuted to work through the snow, past all the stationary cars on a mountain bike with knobbly tyres( the road and hybrid stay at home in this weather). Can't understand why people insist in driving in this weather. still made me laugh as I shot past them!!