Taking care out there

Cycling and commuting in the winter is not without its challenges. Yesterday Staffordshire Police appealed for witnesses to a non stop road traffic collision with a cyclist on the A38 just north of Lichfield. I don’t know why someone would be cycling southbound on the A38, I wouldn’t do it. If I had to travel that way there is a path on the north bound side of the A38. Here’s hoping the cyclist involved has a speedy recovery and the driver who didn’t stop is traced.

A while ago I bumped into a cyclist looking lost by the bus station in Lichfield. He told me he was from Walsall and been for a job interview at Fradley. He’d looked on Google and decided that cycling the M6 then A38 was the best way to do it. Having had a rough journey he was trying to find a better way back home. I took him through town and up the Walsall Road, pointing him in the right direction. Take care out there folks.

Lost in Sustranslation

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Spotted some new signs on NCN 54 this morning by the Doctor Johnson pub, opposite the end of Netherstowe Lane. I’ve been out with the local Sustrans Rangers before and admire their voluntary efforts. Less impressed though with the Sustrans staff, who had to be dragged kicking and screaming into correspondence over Abnalls Lane recently. It is after all their route on their national network.  Leading up to these new signs is a fairly poor stretch of cycle path on the national route. We don’t cycle on here with our kids, we go up Fecknam Way and Scotch Orchard for a better surface without the need to constantly give way to traffic. We don’t use NCN 54 through town either, preferring to cycle over the moving cobbles of Market Square instead of riding through Woolies car park. I wrote a piece on infrastructure and cycling in Lichfield a while ago.  The Rangers concentrate on signposting, clearing foliage and suggest reroutes and improvements, but from talking to them they come up against the intransigence of local authorities and in my opinion, a lack of vision and support from Sustrans to back them up.

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Moor Wind

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Managed a pleasant ride out in blustery conditions today. Packington Moor was busy with cyclists, a bunch leaving as we got there on their return to Sutton Park. A chat over some warm food about plans for next year and back home as the wind got strong enough to slow progress even when going downhill.
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To Burntwood – uphill on the way, downhill the way back

I needed to go to Cannock this morning so cycled up Abnalls Lane again. It’s getting slippery and slimy under wheel at the moment and some people early this morning were driving like carsholes. As one car sped past, I heard a long skid and waited for a crunch that didn’t come, turning to see two motors stationary nose to nose. To try and discourage people from rat running down here it is hoped to get the gates fixed to make them lockable again. So that cyclists can pass without having to open them, Staffordshire County Council need to clear the overgrown paths around the gateposts at either end, shown in the photos below.  Report number 4001494 I believe, if any good citizens of Staffordshire fancy chasing it up as well.

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Team Rickshaw in town

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With a bit of free time and a website tracking their progress, I was able to nip out and catch the @teamrickshaw as they cycled through Lichfield at lunchtime raising money for Children in Need. Matthew was doing this leg and there was a good few people out on the route cheering him on. I scooted ahead and got another picture on Upper St John Street. Besides the fundraising, what seems important is the potentially life changing experiences people get from doing things like this. Well done to them all.

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