I’m not the roadie type and so before embarking on a trip I try to work-out cycle friendly routes, or as is the case in Glasgow: the best of the worst. I often find myself on Google St View looking at the route and gauging its ride-ability then often getting lost when there and end up going some other way.
For this particular journey I set off from the West End to Cathkin Braes via Glasgow Green to try out the Common Wealth Games mountain biking trails. It might be thought that the dangerous part was the mountain biking ,which did have its moments, but by far the worst was the road on the way there.
My journey had an interesting start when I came across parked cars in Glasgow Green (a very large park). It looked like people came to view a boat race and were allowed to park in the park. Unfortunately I had turned my head cam off, not wanting to look too much like the community safety people with their periscope cameras. I did however look on in disbelief and now look back with some irony at people driving to a sports event.
After Glasgow Green I thought I was off to a good start, for I had found some segregation! My spirits rose and I thought to myself “Perhaps this wasn’t going to be so bad after-all”. It’s Glasgow so I should have known better…
Hurray! Segregation : )
30m later. Doh
This is more dangerous than if it wasn’t actually there. I can quite imagine a child trundling down here and straight onto the road. It reminds me of a similar facility of the month that has a caption that sums it up: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/October2003.htm. Perhaps this is part of a conspiracy by GCC to rid themselves of all cyclists? Going by recent new plans one could be forgiven for thinking so.
Latter I came across a relatively new junction for the M74 and was confronted with shared use paths or face using the road. At this point the fear began to set in for the slip road coming off the motorway had as many lanes as the actually motorway itself, and before me lay an incline. Still I thought this was better than the “shared use” path which had so many crossings and obstructions there would be little point being on a bike.
M74 Junction Monstrosity. Notice the nice wide lanes. Bike lane anyone?
And so I cycled on. Thankfully the traffic was relatively light for it was a Saturday and for what felt like an eternity I finally got to the top of the hill (as fast as I could) and I looked forward to the well deserved free wheeling.
“Don’t leave me behind!”
“Phew but there is a cheese grater on the left…”
The elation from the down hill was short lived and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill my courage was failing me. The constant interaction with fast moving vehicles had progressed my fear into terror. All I wanted was to get off the main road – I didn’t want to prove a point to myself, I just wanted to get there in one piece.
“Get me out of here!”
The mountain biking was significantly less stressful and ironically it even felt less dangerous than the road conditions. In short I don’t know how anyone can ride on this sort of road on a regular basis, as I did not feel remotely safe. It’s probably why most do not.
Thanks Glasgow City Council for providing me with a safe and convenient route.