Hampshire and Winchester is a beautiful place to live and it is perfect for cycling. I don’t have the same technical terrain I find in the alps or some of the big national parks in the UK but it is a perfect location to introduce people to the joy of cycling and mountain biking.
2020 has been a pivotal year to decide (decision that was definitely pushed a lot by “some” external factors) to become more “local”. What does it mean?
It means discover the joy of the outdoor and the adventure just outside your door and Winchester is perfect for this.
However Winchester IS NOT yet a bicycle friendly city as getting in different part of the city or try to ride to access certain bridleways of our beautiful countryside expose cyclist to unnecessary risks.
I have a lot of friends that are riding on the “dark side” or that we call “lycra” cyclists. What we mountain biker define the “roaders”. It is a nice banter with our fellow road cyclists. At the end we are all in love with this sustainable and incredibly efficient way of transport.
Unfortunately almost each of them had sever accident due to car/truck drivers hitting them. The statistic that I have across all my friend is incredible. Almost all of them had an accident. If then we factor in our narrow lanes and our nice “dry” and “now windy” weather we cn easily see a recipe for disaster.
I then add that I’m a father of 3 girls and I’m so reluctant to allow them to ride to School as the simple act of cycling in/out of the Oliver’s Battery junction is dangerous for a cyclist.
When I speak about it my answer and the one of several friends is: this should be addressed better at country and city council level! But then I recollect John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961… “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
So I will try to share some ideas here and evolve them with the input of several people and friends. My/our objective is to create/agree and quantify a series of ideas/proposals that then we can bring forward together with the relevant local public authorities.
Here My first thoughts:
– better cycle routes/lanes IN/OUT of Oliver’s Battery are a critical priority. Today we are putting cyclists at risks particularly in bad weather
– We will create a vision and a list of potential improvements/projects at local Winchester level – get other cyclists/residents to join, comment and discuss these priorities
– I will share here a list of rides I loved to have more people enjoying our beautiful countryside.
Here my first notes. Soon more.