Now I’ve become known as a bit of a cyclist, I am getting frequently asked what experiences I’m having, riding about the roads of Leeds and Bradford.
The main question is “are you mad?!”
To paint a picture of my usual ride to the office, I set off up a huge hill, join the A647 Bradford Road towards Bradford at Pudsey, and follow that along to Bradford.
Suffice to say that this is not the most “traffic free” route – in fact it’s always stupidly busy – so not one for the faint of heart.
I should also add that the office is based in the BD3 postcode, which, according to the local police, has huge problems with uninsured and unlicensed drivers. Nothing to worry about then…
Now to answer those few who are asking me just how much ‘fun’ can be had zipping along such a busy route, and dropping in to a chaotic area; the answer is simple – lots!
I have had few issues in all the times I have taken this route; I think that is mainly down to a few things:
- I tend towards being a courteous rider, not weaving in about the traffic, smiling and thanking drivers, stopping at the lights and speeding up if I have to get in the way.
- The busyness works in my favour in that the traffic is not zooming along at crazy speeds (it’s not unusual for me to be going faster that the traffic)
- Drivers around here are used to the idiots pulling out without looking etc. and are more aware of their environment.
Now this is not to say that I have not had a couple of incidents, mainly down to drivers pulling out of junctions without looking, or miscalculating my speed and being a little slow off the line. 🙄
There is also a couple of places where there are actual bike lanes I can use to separate myself from the traffic and get a little more room – though the traffic does get a little too close to the curb to pass at the major junctions, but you can pass if you are careful.
I must say that I enjoy the ride; on a sunny evening it’s a pleasure to jump on the bike at home time and pedal towards home. 😎
We also have a couple of clients on the route of the canal, and that is a great route to bike along. It actually makes visiting those clients more fun that it was originally (I enjoy going to clients sites).
The massive upside is that with the traffic being as it is, it is actually quicker to cycle home than it is to drive, and I’m getting fitter.
It’s all positive in my mind, so not mad at all – well, all positive except that massive hill, which nearly kills me, every time I tackle it! 😥