As a former cyclist in and around my neck of the woods in Yorkshire the state of the roads must be commented on. Let's hope TDF riders fair better.
In recent years many towns, cities and rural areas have implemented cycle tracks or designated parts of roads or paths but the situation remains far from perfect.
Here in Hull a busy northern city, where traditionally people cycled rather than driving cars, the cycle lanes on main-roads put you up against buses. There are some time variations on these bus come cycle lanes but as a vulnerable cyclist do you really want to fight for use of the road with a double-decker bus? Buses and lorries tend to be a cyclists worst nightmare.
Then there is the state of British roads. Motorists are quick to complain about the poor state of the roads and the damage this can cause their beloved cars. However consider the damage it may cause a cyclist who ends up thrown from his or her bike? Motorists also tend to forget pedestrians that now face an ongoing battle to find a decent piece of pavement to walk on. Weather damage and illegal parking adds to the problems.
Is there any wonder though that some cyclists these days prefer to take their chance on the pavement? They may get stopped by a police officer, but don't hold your breath. My biggest gripe with cyclists feeling under threat and opting for a path instead of the road is the speed. If you decide to cycle on a pedestrian walkway or pavement remember that the pedestrian has right of way and slow down.
As you trot along to the local shops you are hardly likely to consider that a cyclist may hit you on the pavement or sidewalk but all too often that happens. The message has to be to cyclists who use pavements slow down and remember that your actions are illegal and could get you into hot water.
Apart from all the 21st century pitfalls involved in cycling to work, or for relaxation, it is still a great way to get fit and stay fit. Cycling helps you keep a trim weight and strong muscles.