At the recent Velo-City Conference held in Arnhem-Nijmegen in the Netherlands, one of my favourite speakers on the first day was Leo Bormans – author of The World Book of Happiness. He spoke about humans and happiness on the whole, but was also able to relate his studies and philosophies to the bicycle and cities in general. He encouraged us to “let children design your cities – they won’t go for cars”. In a similar vein, Jorn Wemmenhove from Street Makers told us “we should put kids first in everything to improve our cities”. I love the simple idea of these values, kids are the future but are never asked and/or trusted by older people – but we can get so many fantastic ideas by talking to children and designing for them.


This ideology is particularly poignant with the discussion of a 30kmph speed limit in built up areas in Melbourne/Australia, which has been immediately dismissed by many people – despite strong scientific evidence that this lower speed limit would save so many lives. Do we not care about our future, our children? Is that extra minute saved when travelling by car more important than liveable, vibrant, safe cities? How can we still prioritise the convenience of motor vehicles over the lives of humans?

family on bike


As we move towards higher density and highly populated cities and deal with the effects of climate change, we need to be changing our transport priorities, the car can no longer be first. This mindset is completely outdated and it’s incredibly disappointing our government (at all levels) have not provided strong leadership in this area. 30kmph is the standard in built up areas in the Netherlands, and people understand and accept that the most vulnerable people on the streets should be protected. The people driving have no problem with maintaining this speed. This is supported by the driver at fault law (strict liability) which means any collision that occurs is automatically the fault of the driver, even if the person riding a bike was technically in the wrong. The combination of infrastructure, low speed limits, and protective laws has resulted in a courteous culture from drivers compared to what I experience in Australia. Drivers don’t rush to get past you or cut you off when you’re already inside a roundabout, they give way when they’re supposed to rather than trying to beat the bike, they don’t block cycle paths, bus drivers give you space, drivers don’t close pass, or beep their horn at people on bikes (often this happens simply for existing in Australia).

school zone amsterdam
While still exploring the speed limit debate, I noted that in Amsterdam a school zone is 15kmph. The Dutch are fantastic about caring for their future – children. The school zones don’t only include the street outside the school, but the immediate neighbourhood too. How can claim we truly care for our children when our school zones are 60kmph or 40kmph? These higher speed limits encourage parents to drive their children to school, even if it’s a rideable or walkable distance. Rather than creating more car parks in schools, we need to create more barriers for cars: e.g. low speed limits and restricted parking around schools, we can facilitate a safer environment to allow kids to enjoy their commute to school exploring the environment firsthand, rather than through the window of a car.

kids bike at festival

On the the 1st of April, the RACQ announced they are going to start doing roadside assistance using bicycles

On the the 1st of April, the RACQ announced they are going to start doing roadside assistance using bicycles. No one fell for this April Fool's joke, but we all had a good laugh with the RACQ.

pic1

https://www.facebook.com/racqofficial/photos/a.185021091535422.34049.143440429026822/1008567249180798/

pic2But since we have a lot of faith in the possibilities offered by bicycles, we never thought the idea is too ‘out there’. I mean, we have seen photos of people hauling items on bicycles that you can’t fit in most most cars, for example this fridge. With the right bicycle infrastructure and a little bit of e-assist, you can make a lot happen.

And where would you go look to see if such a seemingly wacky idea can be turned into reality? Nowhere else than the country ran on bikes, the Netherlands.

The “Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijdersbond” or “Royal Dutch Touring Club” is the dutch version of the RACQ. They announced a pilot program, using bicycles for road-side assistance.
 

pic3The ANWB reckons that mechanics can get to stranded motorists in busy areas a lot faster. The solution is also more environmentally friendly. The e-bikes tows a trailer with equipment that can be used to fix basic breakdown issues. The trial starts the 8th of August and will run for 3 months. If it is successful it will be expanded to other cities. 

Maybe someday, Australia will have the cycling environment to try out things like this.

Originally publication: http://nos.nl/artikel/2122908-proef-met-wegenwacht-op-de-fiets.html

Our family car is lonely. It sits on the street, day after day, not being used. Meanwhile, our cargo bike, which fits one parent and two kids, does at least 120km a week of riding. My husband and I sometimes squabble over who gets to take it for the day. In fact, our cargo bike is so useful that we've recently bought another one. 

Cargo bikes have become popular in our neighbourhood and there are now five cargo bikes doing the regular drop off at our local primary school. Each carries two kids and a parent, totaling fifteen people carried by bicycle: without using petrol, taking up car parking space, or crowding out public transport. And the kids LOVE it. Turning up at the school gate in your personal chariot gets serious kudos, 'even' in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. 

Cargo bikes at school

Our neighborhood is very hilly, with narrow, non-bike friendly streets and crappy footpaths. Which is why our kids won't be riding under their own steam for a few more years. It's also why we need electric assist: there's no way I could power up our street without it. 

One of the advantages of having so many cargo bikes at the school is that we've been able to borrow and test a few.

The following article gives our opinion on the various cargo bikes we've tried out, and what we decided to buy. A follow up article describes how we imported our own cargo bike from overseas. 

In our quest to find the next 'family sedan', we tried out the following bikes: 

Front load:

  • - Bullitt 'Larry vs Harry'
  • Reise + Müller 'Load' *
  • Butchers + Bicycles Mk-1 (3-wheel) *
  • Nihola
  • Christiana

Longtail:

  • Yuba 'Mundo'
  • Ezee 'Expidir'
  • Yuba 'Spicy Curry' (not available in Australia yet)
  • Xtracycle 'Edgerunner' (also not in Australia) 

*Note: The models marked with * had Bosch motors. 

As you can see from this list, there's a fairly wide range of cargo bikes, and they're all very different from each other. As an analogy, let's compare them to standard motor cars: 

1) There's the el cheapo entry level cars (think Daewoo, Kia). The Ezee brand bikes and motors fit this category. 

2) At the mid-range is Toyota which cheapish to buy, and functional, but doesn't have a big wow factor. This is the Yuba range of cargo bikes. The Bafung motor also fits this category.

3) The upper end Japanese cars - like Lexus and Honda - are equivalent to the Bullitt and Nihola from Denmark. Probably the Shimano Steps motor sits in this category as well.

4) And then there's the German luxury cars, which are higher quality in every aspect: ability to handle and manouvre, engineering, quality of finish, smoothness of the motor and transmission, and sheer joy factor. These are the Butchers + Bicycles, Reise + Müller, and top-end Xtracycles. And the Bosch motor. 

Whilst this isn't a perfect analogy, it gives some indication of whet to expect.

ELECTRIC ASSIST

Unless you have legs of steel, or you live in a very flat area (Copenhagen, Melbourne) without wind (looking at you Perth), then you need electric assist. The bike with accessories weighs about 25kg, add two kids and their stuff (50kg), battery and motor (7kg) and your body weight. 150kg is a lot to schlepp up a hill from a standing start. 

Once you get electric assist though, you'll never want another bike. I've done thousands more kilometres by bike simply because it's easy. When I have to take myself and/or the kids on a 5km round trip, it's a bit too far to walk, and bit short to drive (but I would have), and an absolute breeze on the electric bike.

In Australia there are strict regulations about electric-assist bicycles: it can only 'assist' your pedaling (i.e. You must be pedalling to get assistance from the motor); it can only assist up to 25km/hour (you can pedal faster but it won't assist above that); and a maximum 250 watt rating without a throttle or 200 watt rating with a throttle. A throttle gives an extra kick of power, to get started on a hill or at traffic lights, or when you need to power up suddenly to get through traffic. To put this in perspective, a strong bike rider can output around 200 watts, so it's like having another rider strapped to your bike. 

So far, I've found that having a throttle is an absolute necessity to even get started on my street (which is a steep hill - there's probably there's a Strava King of the Mountain segment on it). Unfortunately, many electric bikes in Australia don't come with a throttle, and 250 watts doesn't help much for carting 150kg uphill. It's illegal to have more power assistance than this, but many people do DIY for obvious reasons. [I'm not sure what this would do for insurance, and I don't know if you can get a higher powered bike and register it. Any well-informed comments are welcome].

The Bosch motor doesn't have a throttle, but I have found that the torque sensor is so effective that I can get started on a steep hill without a throttle. This is not the case with other motors I've tried to date.

 TYPES OF ELECTRIC MOTORS

Electric assist motors can be located on the front wheel, mid-drive, or the rear wheel hub. 

  • A front wheel hub is easy to fit, but a relatively inefficient way of powering a bicycle. If there's a lot of weight on the back, the front wheel can ride up in the air and lose traction. It also doesn't coordinate with the mechanical gears - but you'll work out the right mix with practice.
  • A mid-drive motor is the most efficient location for assisting your pedalling, because it's right where you're putting your power. It can potentially be integrated with mechanical gears.
  • A rear wheel hub usually requires an additional chain, which means extra maintenance. If there's a lot of weight on the back the hub may break more easily. 

There are several brands of electric motors available in Australia. As mentioned earlier, the top of the range is Bosch. These only fit certain models of bikes, and are all mid-drive motors. There are licensed Bosch electric bike mechanics in Australia, which makes it appealing for servicing. The Bosch motor is superb - it's responsive to your pedalling (using a torque sensor), which feels like riding an automatic car. And it is FUN! Every cargo bike I've tried that has a Bosch motor I've wanted to ride straight home and keep. And every cargo bike without a Bosch has been ok, but not quite as awesome.

Other motors which you might see on cargo bikes include:

  • Shimano Steps which has a torque sensor similar to the Bosch (I've only briefly ridden a bike with Steps, in Copenhagen which is flat, and didn't have much cargo so I can't readily compare)
  • Bafung which has front, mid and rear hub options. We have a mid-drive which is pretty good for a cheaper DIY, but doesn't have the torque sensor.
  • Ezee motors are generally located on the front wheel, and are pretty old technology,
  • Bionx which is rear hub only, with regenerative power, and specific batteries
  • Curry (not readily available in Oz).

BRAKES

If your bike goes forward, it also needs to stop in a controlled, predictable fashion. If you've got 150kg flying down a hill, you NEED good brakes. 

Some cargo bikes are still supplied with v-brakes on the rims (and don't even mention roller brakes). You might survive in Melbourne, but anywhere else in Oz, you're dead. If you're ever likely to be riding down hill, with 150kg of cargo load, you'll need good quality, large-size mechanical discs, or preferably hydraulic disc brakes.

On our Bullitt bike we upscaled the mechanical disc sizes on both wheels to the maximum that the bike can take. It massively improved the safe braking distance. 

STYLES OF CARGO BIKES

Generally, there are two styles of cargo bikes: those with the load on the front or those with the load on the back. These can come in two wheel or three wheel variants. 

FRONT LOAD

With this style of bike, the load is on the front of the bike (like a courier) and the front wheel is long way forward of your handlebars. It takes practice to get used to, especially the 2-wheel version which requires arm strength and some core muscles. It's pretty alarming when a fully loaded bike starts to tip over: I dropped my kids 4 times... luckily on grass... but they were buckled in and wearing helmets.

The two big advantages of a front load, 2-wheel bike:

A) it's nimble and fast, which is why couriers have them
B) you can just chuck the kids, dogs, bags and surf boards in the loading bay and go. 

The disadvantages are: 

A) you absolutely can not kerb hop on one of these. Or lift it up over a kerb or stairs without serious upper body strength (or an assistant)
B) it's hard to take another adult. Young kids and dogs are a perfect fit, but any taller and it gets awkward with legs.

So, first on this review list is the Bullitt, by Larry vs Harry in Denmark. This is what we currently have. We bought it second-hand 18 months ago, so it's now about 7 years old. We installed a Bafung mid-drive electric motor, connected scooter lights to the battery, and up-specced the chain and other features. I've also tried the full electric version (Shimano Steps motor) when it was first released in Denmark. 

For a handsome chunk of extra cash the Bullitt comes with a double seat for kids (padded leather seating, safety seat belts), rain covers, aluminum side panels etc. 

The reach on the frame is big - I'm 167 cm and find it a long reach. I have to put the seat as far down as possible because I like to have my feet flat on the ground when stopped (so I don't drop the kids again). My husband is more comfortable with the size of the Bullitt. This can be compensated with different handlebar designs etc, but if you're short this bike is probably not a good fit. The Bullitt is a very solid workhorse, and has set the bar for what we're looking for in our next cargo bike purchase. 

Riese and MullerNext, the Riese + Müller 'Load'. I tried this bike on a go-kart race track, and could not stop smiling and laughing the whole way. It is more refined than the Bullit, with suspension and a Bosch motor, making it a dream to ride. If we were in the market to buy a front loading bike (and had the cash) I'd buy this in a heartbeat. The downside is the front load bay is fairly narrow, so you can't fit two Eskies like the Bullitt does. I'm sure with some clever panels you could get two kids side-by-side, but it's a bit squishy.

Butchers and BikesThe Butchers + Bicycles Mk-1 tricycle is a seriously impressive piece of engineering. As a tricycle, it overcomes many of the disadvantages of a 2-wheel cargo bike (e.g. tipping over), and has a wide cargo bay that comfortably fits two kids side-by-side. It is also powered by a Bosch motor. But what makes this bike come into its own league is that it TILTS when you go around a corner. Incredible. This is not typical tricycle like the Christiana or Nihola - the tilting mechanism prevents it from tipping over so you can take corners with ease. The cargo bay has a little door in the front, so kids and dogs can hop in without lifting. Someone really thought about this! Beautiful engineering, and available in Australia. 

I've also tried both a Nihola and Christiana tricycle before, both from Denmark. They both have a smaller size frame than the Bullitt, but do have their own unique style of steering which takes a couple of days to get used to: they're like bath tubs with a rail for steering. The Nihola is more elegant, and its biggest ambassadors are Princess Mary of Denmark (Our Princess Mary!) and Vélo-a-Porter's Sarah Imm; both of whom demonstrate the elegance of riding in everyday chic; and the joy of transporting children by bike.

LONGTAIL

The Longtail cargo bike style handles more like a 'normal' bike, but fits a couple of people (or super size panniers) on the back. The advantages are: 

A) you can get the front wheel over a kerb (back wheel when fully loaded not so much)
B) you can take another adult or taller child
C) easier to get used to compared to a front load.

The disadvantages are:

A) harder to take dogs (or goats, chickens etc), and
B) items have to be secured in panniers or strapped on the back (rather than simply chucking them in the cargo bay). 

The Ezee Expidir and Boda Boda are amongst the cheapest options available. I haven't tried the Boda Boda, but I've borrowed an Expidir to test over a weekend. In summary, I hated it so much that I made my husband ride it back to the owner's house. Sure it's cheap, but you pay for what you get. Particularly if it has a front wheel motor with all the weight on the back, the front wheel can lose traction and power. It is entry level price, but I don't think I'd have become addicted to cargo bikes if I'd started with one of these. 

Expidir bw Teeny

Yuba has a few cargo bikes options including the Mundo which has been around for years, and the new Spicy Curry which isn't available in Australia yet. The Mundo has a longer wheel base than most, which means it can fit up to three kids squeezed on the back. It's been couple of years since I rode one, so I can't compare it easily to the others reviewed here.

BUT! This month we went on holidays to the USA. While traveling around, we took the opportunity to try a few cargo bikes that aren't available in Australia. The first of these was the Yuba Spicy Curry. I could fit the two kids on the back, but had to load the heavier one in front otherwise the front wheel rode up in the air and I lost control of the bike. The Yuba Spicy Curry has a shorter wheelbase than the Yuba Mundo, which makes it more nimble but not as good for taking lots of kids. That's because you need their weight to be forward of the rear axle to prevent the front wheel from raising up. 

Overall I enjoyed riding this bike, and I found it a much better bike than the Ezee Expidir, but it wasn't a wow experience. In part this was because the model I tried didn't have a throttle. It has a Curry motor that isn't well known in Australia. The motor has a torque sensor, but it was nowhere in the league of the Bosch motor.

Until the Yuba Spicy Curry is imported to Australia (which it might be in future) then it's not really a consideration. 

Xtracycle has been around for a while. They started out with the 'Free Radical' a few years ago and have released several cargo bike models since then. Although Xtracycle doesn't currently import into Australia, I've heard of several people who have the Free Radical.

On our travels in the USA we came across a shop that had three Xtracycle Edgerunner styles to try. That was extremely useful: we tried different frame sizes (s/m vs large); and compared the 10e (top of the range) to some of the lower specced versions. I fell in love with the 10e model. It has a Bosch motor which was very responsive - despite not having a throttle I could easily get started uphill with a full load! I could fit the two kids on the back, and even having the heavier one furthest back didn't adversely affect the steering.

I found the smaller frame fit me better (but husband found it a bit short in the reach). The 10e Edgerunner comes with some nice quality features: Shimano Diore hydraulic disc brakes, Schwalbe Big Apple tyres (softer ride and puncture proof), and good quality shifter, grips, etc.

Verdict: SOLD! Despite the fact that no one in Australia currently imports the Xtracycle, and importing your own comes with serious logistics problems, I decided that this is the ideal bike to fit my current (and hopefully future) needs. 

The next article describes how we imported the Cargo bike to Australia, including a mega bike box and an electric motor. 

--- Written by Andrew Keith.

http://youtu.be/rQi8wEHMm5Y 

 

It doesn’t really seem all that long ago, though it is a matter of several decades, that I was boy growing up in country Queensland. Of course there are many memories of growing up; of school; and Christmas and birthdays and so on, but some of my clearest recollections centre around riding my bike.

 

 

We lived out of town, which being only population 1,000 was not exactly metropolis status anyway, on a few acres so I had plenty of room to roam free. But I never felt so free as when I was out riding.

Read more ...

A story from Niall about a crash and the aftermath

I was hit by a car driver while out for a ride in the middle of April.

Doesn’t seem to be too much unusual in that these days.

Beautiful sunny day. Front and rear lights flashing. Riding in the dedicated cycle lane. Life doesn’t get too much better.

The route I was riding is hugely popular with Perth cyclists. A few cars passed me giving me plenty of distance, all respectful drivers.

Bikecrash StockimageThe last one to pass me started to slow down (I figured for the roundabout he was about to enter). Approaching the roundabout from the direction we were heading the options are either go straight or turn right. No worries thought me.  Without indicating, the car turns left to go up a footpath to enter a car park rather than proceed 150 metres through the roundabout to the car park entrance.

Long story short, bicycle and I hit left fender of car doing about 35km/h. 95kg of me sails over bonnet and lands heavily (how else was I going to land) on the road, closely followed by in excess of $6000 of uninsured carbon fibre and various aluminium bits.

Shoulder and head hit the road, hard. I’m lying there looking at the licence plate of the car, trying to commit it to my memory, hoping the car doesn’t just drive over me, or back up and take off. It doesn’t move.

The driver gets out, and even I can tell he looks horrified. He apologises. I call him a nasty name. He apologises again.

People gather around, someone asks “do you want an ambulance?” “That would be lovely.”

A fellow cyclist stops, he is a doctor. He gets me out of harm’s way, and checks me over. “ I reckon your clavicle is broken, but other than that you seem ok” says DR Phil.

Abulance Vic Stockimage

The police also happened to be passing, so stop to help with the scraping up of the cyclist.

At some point in time the ambulance arrives. The ambos set me up with a green whistle. It tastes like shit, but helps with the pain. When people tell you that a broken collar bone hurts, they are right. I know plenty of people who have broken them and I’ve thought, “ it can’t be that bad”. Turns out, it is.

The car driver comes and sticks his head in the ambulance, and apologises again. He gives me his business card.

Off to hospital to sit around all day, but the medical care or lack of is another story.

One of the police men from the scene comes and finds me in the hospital and tells me they charged the driver with careless driving, (6 demerit points and a $500 fine). He makes sure I have all of the appropriate details.

Police tape

The next day the car driver contacts me to enquire as to my health and to apologise again.

Over the next couple of weeks the driver stays in contact with me via text message, to check on my well being and to keep me up to speed with his insurance claim. He obviously admits complete liability to the insurer, as they ask me for photos and some more photos, but never once dispute the circumstances surrounding the incident.

About 14 weeks after the accident  the insurer provides full re-imbursement to me.

While I wish I hadn’t been hit, it was better to be hit by a decent bloke who just did a stupid thing, rather than an ignorant lying deceptive pig.

I have suffered physically and mentally from the accident. I know he has suffered mentally, and probably constantly replays in his mind “what if”.

One of these days I’m going to ring him up and buy him a coffee and tell him it’s alright.

--- Written by Andrew Keith.

As this is the first episode in these adventures we should first introduce our hero, Comandaneur Fatboy. The title may confuse, but as he spent many a year in Indonesia he learned the art of concatenating words to make new works. “Comandonneur” is merely the joining of “commuter” with “randonneur” (a long distance cyclist) .. A racer he ain’t – they don’t call him Fatboy for nothing you know.

 

The first chapter of our adventures cover the event which Ride to Work day.

Fatboy had been out of the saddle for almost a month and having returned from a business trip had found all sorts of excuses not to ride to work each day. You know how it gets, too dark, too hot, too late, too early – whatever. So thank BQ (and that’s not something I say often) for Ride to Work Day to encourage back into the rat-running-race that is commuter cycling. There are few better feelings (well there ARE several – but none that I can mention here) than experiencing the dawn of a new day from the saddle of your trusty steed. How had I forgotten?

Being a community minded fellow, Fatboy reverted to his Boy Scout days to, figuratively speaking, help an old lady across the street. OK so this “old lady” was actually a cycling buddy, who we shall call “Paddy”, and the street was actually the 25km to the CBD from our neighbourhood, but apart from that it was true Boy Scout good deed stuff.

You see Paddy, as accomplished a rider as he is, rides pretty much exclusively in the local area during the week only venturing further afield on weekends. He had not commuted to the city before and wanted assistance with the best route. Sensing a chance to play “leader”, as well as get back on the bike, Fatboy offered to show the way.

Paddy was nervous about the ride, what with the traffic, and rain predicted (which didn’t eventuate thankfully) and recent reports of cyclists being run down by post office trucks and so on. You can always tell when Paddy is a bit nervous because he asks about the starting point and time about half a dozen times the night before.

 

As it turned out the ride was mostly uneventful. There was a car honked his horn at a rider trailing us for the dastardly sin of not indicating to go straight ahead when we preceding him, and the car following him, were turning left. The gall of the man! There was also the door that was opened into our trajectory but at least it was 2 cars in front and we had plenty of time to react. We arrived safely in good time to enjoy coffee, banana’s and buns and listen to BQ drone on and on about how great it was to have a couple of hundred commuting riders in the square. We know that there were many commuting cyclists who didn’t turn up to the event, but I must say I was expecting a bigger crowd, and by the temporary bike racks and catering BQ were as well.

 

As we were chatting paddy asked, “How did you find that route to the CBD?” This got me to recalling the perhaps a dozen different routes or variations I had tried over a 1 year period before I settled the one we had used as the safest and what the implications of that were for encouraging the next person to exchange their car for the treadly and ride to work.

The fact that a relatively experienced rider like Paddy would be nervous about a commute; the fact that it had taken me a year of trial and error to find the safest route; just emphasised to me how much of a hurdle there is to encouraging new commuters.

Data released this week from the last census showed that Brisbane has the lowest proportion of female commuting cyclists of any Australian capital city. Taking another cycling friend of mine, we shall call her “Molly”, there was much of this “safest” route that we had ridden that she would not consider safe enough. Molly is a newer cyclist and not as confident on her bike or in traffic. She commutes but almost exclusively along bike paths that happen to exist from her part of the city to the CBD. Even then she needs motorised transport to the start of the bike path because she doesn’t feel safe on the lead in roads.

 

So as I was sipping my post shower coffee and considering the work tasks for the day I was pondering what we would need to do to make the Paddys not nervous, the Mollys feel safe, and the hurdles much lower for a newbie to get up one morning and say, ”today I will ride to work”.

There is constantly much discussion in bicycle fora about this, all of which requires funding for something; be it better cycling infrastructure, more education, new laws or whatever. Having just contributed to the State Government’s “Strong Choices” interactive “People’s Budget Tool” online, which gives one a glimpse of the Treasurer’s balancing act with respect to the State’s finances and different priorities for calls on the public purse, I was mindful of how these things might be best achieved.

 

While this Fatboy doesn’t claim to have the answers (smarter, and thinner, people then me haven’t found them yet) it seems to me that it isn’t better infrastructure, or education, or laws, or less cars in the CBD. The problem needs to looked at in a far more holistic manner as to how to, most effectively efficiently and sustainably, get hundreds of thousands of people in Brisbane to work each day. The solution must be a combination of:

  • Locating workplaces an housing closer together
  • Maximising the benefits of the internet age for work from home
  • Increasing public transport and active travel trips (Fatboy’s view is that public transport should be free and that the savings in not having to expand road infrastructure so much, so early and so frequently would more than pay for the cost)
  • Minimising car trips through incentives from the above, and added costs if necessary.

If there were then less cars on the road expanding active travel and public transport infrastructure (busways, bike ways etc) would be far easier and cheaper within the given right of way space that all journeys would be quicker, the environment would be cleaner from less emissions and productivity would soar.

 

Not a simple matter I know, not least because it needs to change the culture that travelling by car means “freedom” such that every other form of transport must subvert to this “human right” regardless of whether that is the most effiecient, effective and sustainable approach for the community as a whole. Fatboy and Paddy passed lots of “free” citizens sitting in their traffic jam as early as 6:30 as we cruised past.

 

On that note, and as I think I hear the motorists yelling “Communist” and reaching for their torches and pitch forks I might leave this rant there. Time to pedal home – and hope to miss the lynch mob.

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