Senji (senji) wrote,

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Thoughts on cycling to work.

Since I may go and see emperor today, I cycled into work. There are two problems with this. One is that it's too cold to sensibly breath through the mouth, and that I'm too bunged up to breath quickly through my nose at the moment.

The other is the Golden Hind junction/crossing of Milton Road.

Map for people who don't know the area
(The map fails to show the railway line, that runs approximately along the line of the purpley-pink boundary line, but continuing over Milton Road rather than turning off).
At about 9am, Milton Road is quite busy, and the cars usually arrange themselves so you can't get into the forward cycle box at the junction (indicated by an arrow on the map). Today the box looks full, so I don't even try - I just pull in between too cars that are coming up on my right (I'm in the cycle lane at this point).
After a short wait the lights change, and I have to accelerate hard (so that the car behind me doesn't try and overtake in the middle of the junction (seriously, they do do that sometimes!)), and then decide whether I'm doing a suitable percentage of traffic speed that I can stay in the middle of the lane without pissing of the car behind me. Today only two cars follow me over the junction, so I decide to let them past, and move into the cycle lane.
The next thing to worry about is the pedestrian crossing by Lovell Road. If I've pulled out of the junction fast enough then this isn't a problem because it is linked to the junction lights. At this point I pull back into the centre of the lane.
On the right hand side of Milton Road is a shared-use cyclist-pedestrian underpass, going under the railway line (disused, at the moment). Taking the underpass cuts a major traffic-light junction out of the route (and saves between 5 and 10 minutes - a sizable percentage of the journey time). To get into the underpass I move to the center of the road, with my arm sticking out like a madman over the roofs of the cars travelling into town (being careful to keep out of the way of any busses or lorries that are coming). It is important to take such an exposed position for two reasons - one is so that oncoming vehicles can see me, and the other is so that vehicles behind me can get past. Fortunatly, today, a white-van noticed me pulling across and let me through, so I wasn't sitting in the middle of the road for what seemed like ages, like sometimes happens.

After that it's all clear sailing, and I don't even have to leave Cambridge (the office I work in is just on the inside of the boundary), although I will leave Cambridge when I go to get some sandwiches later from the canteen!
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