The next bike lane

You come out of the night club. You feel the cold of the night, but you know your body will get warm again after a few minutes of pedalling. You get on your bike and it takes you away from clubland, away from the cars vomiting their music and into the stillness of suburbia.

The road feels peaceful because it is night time, it is silent all around there is no traffic and no one has thrown an empty bottle of Vodka at you in the past three or four months. Biking feels safe, fast, quiet. Silence between the only two beings that matter right now: you and your bike.

Then you find the road works and your internal dialogue ceases in order to pay attention. Some fences block part of the pavement: A new bike lane is being built on it. You smile. You follow the bike lane with your eyes, running as it does in parallel to the road you’re on.

A car overtakes you. The driver has lowered the window and is now shouting: “Get on the pavement!” After all, you are slowing the traffic. And the road is narrower now to make the pavement wider, to make room for the bike lane. At least he hasn’t thrown the remains of a cold drink can at you.

Silence is restore and your eyes go back to the bike lane under construction.

Where is the end of this bike lane?

Hm! Right there! (what was it, a hundred metres? No! Not again! Not another useless bike lane!)

Yes. Right there is the end of the next bike lane. In the middle of the pavement. Next to a pedestrian crossing with lights.

You imagine the faithful cyclist who will believe that this bike lane will take her somewhere. A “give way” sign marks the point where she will be supposed to stop: in front of pedestrians who, waiting for the green light to show for them, will shout at her to ride on the road.

And what after the give way sign? The bike lane dissapears. Is the cyclist supposed to dissapear as well? For there is no indication as to where the faithful cyclists are supposed to go after giving way to pedestrians.

Resolution? Avoid this road. Find an alternative route. Avoid pedestrians who will shout at you to ride on the road, avoid drivers who will shout at you to get on the pavement. Maybe that was the intention in the first place?

All you want is a safe road to ride your bike.