If you have the speed, you should have the option

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Describing roads and bicycle pathways in Belgium

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – When you want to rail on about cycling.

“I think cyclists should be able to ride on the road. I ride about 30 kms an hours and like to be on the road, not on the bicycle paths. The road speeds are limited, often to 30 km and hour but the cars, they drive at 60. And the cycling paths are super-dangerous, with the potholes and how rough it is.  You are limited. If you are fast, you have no time to react.”

Notes: Truth is, cyclists are allowed on the road. Period. But many drivers feel cyclists absolutely must be on the bicycle pathway, if it is there. I have a love/hate relationship with the cycling paths. Some are wide and clear and smooth, and I can ride there to my heart’s content. But there are also many that are narrow, run along the front of houses, like a sidewalk, have ripples, ridge and holes created b y tree roots that have spread under the asphalt, and you share the space w pedestrians. I avoid these and ride one the road, instead. And, guaranteed, I will have drivers come by, tooting their horns and, after passing, gesturing that I am to get off the road. There more determined will roll down their windows and shout at me. If the roadways the cars use were in the same condition, cars would be brought to a standstill. Cyclists are supposed to accept inferior conditions, no matter what. .. And the fight for existence, acceptance, continues.

2 thoughts on “If you have the speed, you should have the option

  1. In Brussels, where this picture was taken, use of signed separated cycle paths is in fact obligatory.
    This from the Belgian “highway code” the code de la route:
    Les cyclistes doivent toujours rouler sur les pistes cyclables.


    • That is odd because I use this route in both directions almost every day and there is no sign indicating a bike route. I do use the side roads – and that was not the bike paths he was mentioning – but, for a tourist or newcomer to the area, it would be easy to find oneself still on the road when there is a nice alternative, far safer, alongside. There is a desingnasted bike path as you climb out of Louise. But that is also a double parking lane for cars and deliveries. Trying to use bike designated areas is a constant challenge.


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