Evening ride to the Hovenring wasn’t scary

So this evening I rode from Bladel to the amazing Hovenring at Eindhoven. Thanks to the power of twitter I met Mark Wagenbuur of @BicycleDutch and the Bicycle Dutch blog.

The ride was 28 miles and I averaged 14.1 miles per hour. You can see the route and details on Strava.

For a British cyclist there are many incredible, almost unbelievable aspects of this ride. The most important thing though is that not once in 28 miles and 2 1/2 elapsed hours did I feel unsafe. I had zero scary encounters with cars, hgv’s, buses or vans.

Let me say that again. I had zero scary incidents in a 2 1/2 hour bike ride.

This is entirely unheard of in Britain. You never ride anywhere without unpleasant incidents. You never go a day without someone passing too close, or cutting you up, or not noticing you at all, or threatening you, or parking in a cycle lane, or running a red light, or driving into an ASL or overtaking when it isn’t safe or …

Nothing like that happened at all on this ride.

The key reason for this is the infrastructure. I didn’t go anywhere without appropriate cycle infrastructure. This evening it included:

  • Tiny roads which are narrow enough for cars to be slow and where signs tell them to expect cyclists (these could be rural or a housing estate).
  • Very quiet roads with no central line painted instead a cycle lane is marked on both sides.
  • Newer quiet roads where the cycle lane at the side is a different colour or texture.
  • Segregated cycle tracks
    • on quiet roads right next to them
    • on busier roads with a verge or at least a painted lane between me and traffic.
    • special treatment on roundabouts normally with a protected lane around the outside or full separation or underpasses

So there was basically no interaction with cars. At side roads and at roundabouts they gave way to me. At traffic lights I always had my own signal (instant and automatic on the newer junctions).

In the whole ride I gave way to a car once when the cycle track changed from the right hand side of the road to a two way track on the left.

As for the destination. Yes the Hovenring is awesome.

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But it only works because everything connects to it. You can get to it from any direction using routes that will feel safe and that you won’t have to plan/reconnoitre in advance.

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Related Posts
  1. Planning family cycling | 42 Bikes - pingback on August 7, 2013 at 10:01 am
  2. Riding into Eindhoven | 42 Bikes - pingback on August 8, 2013 at 11:01 pm
  3. Isnt England depressing. Some days I wonder why I keep on pedalling the roads, but the guilt of solo car driving 20 miles a day is worse for my conscience

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