Thursday, July 07, 2011

No cycling

click photo to enlarge
Several years ago I was cycling with my wife along the along the promenade at Llandudno in North Wales when we were stopped and told that cycling was not allowed. The official who spoke to us was unable to give a reason for the prohibition but was keen to point to the purpose-made signs forbidding the activity. In preparing this blog post I did a quick search to find out whether the town's policy was still in force and I found this photograph on Geograph taken in 2010. The caption struck a chord with me: it included this remark, " ...The prom at Llandudno is so wide you could take tanks down it without getting in anybody's way..." So, I guess, for reasons that must be incomprehensible to most people, cycling is still banned.

At the time we tried to ride there we lived not too far from Blackpool, Lancashire, where we had been used to cycling freely on well-marked lanes next to paths designated for pedestrians. It wasn't perfect, and cyclists and pedestrians sometimes got in each other's way, usually through ignoring the demarcation. However, there weren't, to my knowledge any serious problems and the many miles of the coast that it opened up to people on foot and on bicycles were well used and enjoyed. People's quality of life was enhanced by this simple, inexpensive measure.

But, a recent visit to the small seaside town of Hornsea in East Yorkshire reminded me that, despite efforts by cyclists, health promoters, government and others, not all local councils have got the message that people on bicycles can co-exist alongside pedestrians and it is in the community at large's interest that steps are taken to encourage it. Mind you, if the council responsible for Hornsea promenade had been more enlightened I wouldn't have got my photograph of the bright red "No Cycling" sign against the blues and browns of the distant sky and sea!

I usually allow my computer software to automatically remove the slight vignetting that my 70-300mm lens produces at maximum zoom. On this occasion, however, I quite liked what it added to the photograph so I let it remain.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 300mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On