Saturday, March 10, 2007

“A Bicycle, Not A Road, Made For Two”

Now let’s get one thing straight; I am not anti-cycling. Indeed I am pro-cycling. Environmentally friendly, good for the health. Be it rigorous sport or a leisurely pedal regarding splendid vistas, cycling has a lot going for it.


Years ago there was one of those public information adverts that used to get trotted out about driving. It depicted a driver turning into a devil. Cyclist: same anti-Christ, different set of wheels. Not all, of course not all, but some, oh yes. Let loose on the roads in these parts, there is a breed of cyclist who is transformed into - and I can think of only one word: four letters, c-alliterative.

The pantomime-horse shoes don’t help of course, but at least they are vaguely comedic. What is not is: riding through red lights; riding on the wrong side of the road; riding in the middle of the road (ignoring the cycle lanes). Someone said today: “they (cyclists) show a lack of courtesy”. Perhaps they are getting their own back. Cyclists and drivers; ne’er shall the twain meet, except when they collide with each other.

Which brings me of course to the Carretera Arta. Alcúdia council, unlike Muro’s (the main road remains stubbornly un-resurfaced as one enters Playa de Muro), has forked out a good chunk of euros on the road’s improvement. However, as I pointed out on 11 February, there is a bit of a design fault in the new road’s layout. Did I say “a bit”?

As mentioned before, and as shown in the photo on 11 Feb, there are now many crossing-point “islands” dotted along the road. I fully understand the thinking. Helps people cross the road. Fine. Except the disappearing cycle lanes as one comes to these islands. Except the lack of clarity as to whether one can turn left. Except the mini-roundabouts that now are starting to appear. Except the bigger roundabouts - the one at the top of the Greasy Mile for instance; the turn is too tight, too tight. Coaches ...?

I fully understand the thinking. But did anyone stop to also think about not just the cyclists, but also the mopeds, the scooters, the trikes, the women on roller blades pushing baby buggies, the disabled cyclists, the horse-drawn carriages? To say nothing of the fact that your average driver here has no comprehension as to how to approach or negotiate a roundabout - or how to indicate (which is an optional extra).

There are going to be problems.

Enough of this. This blog does from time to time celebrate the sad passing of great names. Fred Trueman was one. So, I cannot allow the death of John Inman to go unacknowledged, if only because of his part in one of the most abysmal films of all time, namely the one when the staff at Grace Brothers went on holiday together to “Spain”. It was all there. The cheap innuendo, the leering at totty (not by Mr. Humphries necessarily), the culture clash with the Germans. My, how things don’t change.

Weather watch: wind, wind and more wind. The road into Puerto Pollensa was blocked for a while this morning by a fallen tree. There was other damage, and a yacht dashed on the rocks by Club Sol. And this comes on the back of a mother and father of a storm a couple of days back. Spring, that’ll be it.

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