30 Sep 2012

RANT: Circus Ringe? Or narrow gauge puncture magnet?

30th September 2012 

The Korinth-Espe-Ringe cycle path.

I was quite excited on my 20 mile ride to try the newly opened Korinth-Espe-Ringe narrow gauge cycle path. It runs along the bed of an old railway track which has been unused for 50 years. The Minister of the Environment did the official opening only yesterday with lots of fanfare, TV coverage and organised events in all the affected villages along the route. Great stuff! I am a keen advocate of converting disused railways into cycle paths.

The path itself is newly tarmacked but is only half the width it should be! Probably about 4.5' wide (1.3m) on average. With a steep drop off one side into the weeds. The other half is twice as wide and consists of flinty, soft sand for the horsey crowd to enjoy. Except they didn't and the animals would repeatedly get upset at approaching cyclists!

I promptly punctured. Not once but twice! The imported sand obviously contains many sharp flint points. These are carried onto the tarmac path by countless pedestrians escaping from the numerous cyclists. Or the sand is thrown over the tarmac by the horses hooves. Most of the length of the tarmac was more sand-coloured than tarmac only the day after the official opening! Whoever chose this particular sand should never be allowed to work on publicly funded projects ever again!

As I swapped inner tubes at least half a dozen cyclists stopped to tell me they had also punctured. Some had punctured numerous times! I met three different cyclists walking with their bikes because they had already punctured. Including one old chap with a shopper bike who had walked for miles pushing his punctured machine! He said he was grateful he hadn't punctured too far from home! Because he had been right to the very far end of the path in Korinth, nearly 20km away!

Imagine if the weather had turned foul? As promised by the DMI forecasters. There could have been a pandemic of hypothermia! Even a slow cyclist travels much more quickly than a walker. Walking effectively triples the time taken to cover the same distance. Particularly when pushing a bike through deep, soft sand! A ride of half an hour can turn into many hours of walking. Always assuming that the cyclist is even fit enough to walk that far!

The narrowness of the path made passing and overtaking very difficult indeed. By coincidence the path is about the same width as any typical, one-way, cycle path anywhere else in Denmark. Those cycle paths usually found running along the grass beside a busy main road. Exactly the same would be found on the other side of the road for cyclists travelling the opposite way! A two-way path would be twice the width of this pathetic attempt at [QUOTE:] "a cyclist's motorway." If only they had laid suitable paths for travelling both ways! Will the Minister return, red-faced for the two-way opening day in 2050 when funds finally allow an upgrade to a normal two-way traffic width?

Let's be be as charitable as possible and call the scheme designer a pig-ignorant clown. Obviously a non-cyclist. Nor even a pedestrian. Probably a big city-living, door to door snob who only eats at drive-in takeaways so they don't have to walk anywhere. (at all) They have never used a pavement or cycle path in their entire lives. Except to cross from their parked car to a nearby restaurant. The sort of knuckle-dragging moron who is totally unfit and unqualified to place a single flower pot in the middle of a public lawn without trained, adult supervision!

If they haven't been sacked already, for deliberately wasting public funds and impersonating a qualified landscape gardener, then every cyclist on Fyn should be baying for this person's blood! This scheme could have been so much more than the sum of its parts. But has been completely trashed by sheer bloody ignorance of everyday reality on a truly epic scale! It defies understanding!

Or perhaps it is destructive penny pinching from on high? Carried out by the sorts of morons who would deliberately build open-topped submarines and one-winged aircraft to save a few kroner. So that the money could be better spent on yet more Danish modern art (originals) Danish architect designer furniture (originals) and Danish lampshade (originals) for this year's, latest, palatial, council offices! Corruption always starts at home.

What makes me extremely angry is the utter waste of scarce public funds! The path runs through wonderful scenery. Much of it through rough and unspoilt marshy ground and peaceful farmer's fields far from habitation. The expenditure has all been utterly wasted! All because an ignorant fool has been allowed to polish his public ego well beyond his allotted talents and miserably poor abilities. I'm all for the educationally challenged to be encouraged to participate. But not on publicly funded projects like this! These schemes are far too important in getting people out of their cars and off the busy roads to ever be allowed to fail.

Where do I queue to claim a refund on my two, brand new, damaged tyres and my two, brand new, inner tubes? Somebody owes me sixty quid! (600DKK) Remember my last set of tyres lasted 3900 miles (6250km!) without a single puncture!

How will an ambulance reach those who fall off the vertical, unfinished cliff at the bare edge of the tarmac? Or who break their necks falling down the embankment to avoid a cyclist? How will the emergency services reach those who swerve onto the soft sand and immediately do a double header? The sand is so deep and soft it is completely unrideable. I was forced to try my luck when I was repeatedly pushed off the tarmac by wobbly, oncoming cyclists!

The sand should have been replaced by rolled and properly firmed, self-stabilising gravel over the entire width of the track. The sort of surface which has been commonly used in Britain for such schemes over the last 50 years! Though Denmark doesn't recognise even the humblest of examples  or working qualifications beyond its tiny borders) A broad, even surface would have provided for safe and relaxed passing and overtaking when required. It would have made a safe surface for pedestrians and cyclists to share alike. If tarmac was desired then it should have been made at least twice as wide. Or not at all!

I shall never risk my tyres on this puncture magnet ever again! Nor do I ever want to see the worried faces of oncoming cyclists wondering how on earth to pass me on my trike. The path is only just wide enough for two pedestrians to stroll side by side. Most walkers are completely unaware that cyclist are also using the same path!

You really couldn't make it up! Every few hundred yards (or often much less) another difficult passing situation arises. The walker's or slow cyclist's attention must first be obtained. Then they must take their time to return to reality. Finally they must be persuaded to step down off the tarmac path into the deep sand just to let another person pass! I was politely clearing my throat, so many times to attract people's attention, I soon had a sore throat! It would have been rude to ring my bell loudly and repeatedly every few yards, however tempting!

Speeds must be kept ridiculously low to avoid impending collisions. Not least with pig ignorant cyclists. Many joined the path without so much  as a single glance to see if there are other cyclists coming! I was baulked a dozen times in as many kilometres by these total ignoramuses! I would then overtake them all, with considerable difficulty thanks to the narrowness of the path, only to puncture again! So all those I had overtaken could enjoy the spectacle of my repairing yet another puncture. It would have been quicker to have walked! Many had to thanks to punctures!

Sack the moronic designer culprits now and burn their effigies in the council offices, reserved car park spaces! These spaces will always be empty as they enjoy endless paid sick leave, holidays and maternity leave.

I shall send a bill for new tyres and tubes to the Miljøminister, Ida Auken (Danish Minister of the Environment) with a letter of complaint! If nobody else does something then this scheme will  soon find itself as nothing more than a dog toilet, drug dealers haven and peaceful private horse riding track. Local cyclists will avoid it like the plague once the word goes out about the puncture magnet in their midst! What a waste of time and taxpayer's money! Neither cyclist, pedestrian nor horse rider can be happy with the present chaotic and miserly proportioned scheme!

Naturstien Ringe-Korinth - Naturstyrelsen


Google dansk translation:

Cirkus Ringe? Eller smalsporede punktering magnet? 

Korinth-Espe-Ringe cykelstien

30 sep 2012

Jeg var helt ophidset på min 32 kilometers tur til prøve det nyåbnede Korinth-Espe-Ringe smalspor cykelsti. Den løber langs bunden af ​​et gammelt jernbanespor, der har ikke været anvendt i 50 år. Det Miljøministeren gjorde den officielle åbning kun i går med masser af fanfare, tv-dækning og arrangementer i alle de berørte landsbyer langs ruten. Great stuff! Jeg er en ivrig fortaler for at konvertere nedlagte jernbaner til cykelstier.

Stien selv er nyligt tarmacked men kun halvdelen af ​​bredden det bør være! Sandsynligvis omkring 4'6 "bred i gennemsnit. Med en stejl drop off ene side ind i ukrudtet. Den anden halvdel er dobbelt så bred og består af flinty, soft sand til Horsey crowd at nyde. Bortset de ikke gjorde og dyrene ville blive ked af at nærmer cyklister.

Jeg hurtigt punkteret. Ikke én gang, men to gange! Den importerede sand naturligvis indeholder mange skarpe flint point. Disse transporteres på asfalten stien ved utallige fodgængere flygter fra de mange cyklister. Eller sandet kastes over asfalten ved hestenes hove. Det meste af længden af ​​forpladsen var mere sandfarvet end asfalt kun dagen efter den officielle åbning! Hvem valgte dette sand skal aldrig have lov til at arbejde på offentligt finansierede projekter nogensinde igen!

Som jeg byttede slanger mindst en halv snes cyklister stoppet for at fortælle mig, at de også havde punkteret. Nogle havde punkteret mange gange! Jeg mødte tre forskellige cyklister walking fordi de allerede havde punkteret. Herunder en gammel fyr med en shopper cykel, der havde gået til miles skubbe hans punkteret maskine! Han sagde, at han var taknemmelig for at han ikke havde stukket alt for langt fra hjemmet! Fordi han havde haft ret til den meget langt slutningen af ​​stien i Korinth, 20 kilometer væk!

Tænk, hvis vejret havde slået fejl? Som lovet af DMI prognosemagere. Der kunne have været en pandemi af hypotermi! Selv en langsom cyklist bevæger sig meget hurtigere end en rollator. Gåture effektivt diskant den tid, det tager for at dække den samme afstand. Især når skubbe en cykel gennem dybe, bløde sand! En tur på en halv time kan blive til timer Walking. Altid antage, at cyklisten selv er fit nok til at gå så langt!

Den smalle sti gjorde passerer og overhaling meget vanskeligt. Ved et tilfælde at stien er omtrent den samme bredde som enhver typisk, ensrettet, cykelsti andetsteds. Disse stier normalt findes løber langs græsset ved siden af ​​en travl hovedvejen. Præcis det samme ville blive fundet på den anden side af vejen for cyklister rejser den modsatte vej! 

En to-vejs vej ville være to gange bredden af ​​denne patetiske forsøg på [quote:] "en cyklist motorvej." Hvis bare de havde lagt egnede stier for at rejse begge veje! Vil ministeren afkast, rød-faced for tovejs-åbningsdag i 2050, hvor midlerne endelig tillade?

Lad os være så velgørende som muligt og kalder ordningen designer en gris-uvidende klovn. Naturligvis en non-cyklist og sandsynligvis en storby-levende, dør til dør snob, der kun spiser på drive-in grillbarer, så de ikke behøver at gå overalt. De har aldrig brugt et fortov eller cykelsti på hele deres liv. Bortset at krydse fra deres parkerede bil til en nærliggende restaurant. Den slags kno-trække idiot, der er helt uegnet og ukvalificeret til at placere en enkelt blomst pot i midten af ​​en offentlig græsplæne uden uddannet, voksen!

Hvis de ikke er blevet fyret allerede, for at spilde offentlige midler og udgive en kvalificeret anlægsgartner, derefter hver cyklist på Fyn bør sammenkobling for denne persons blod! Denne ordning kunne have været så meget mere end summen af ​​dens dele. Men er blevet fuldstændig trashed af ren og skær blodige uvidenhed om hverdagens virkelighed på en episk skala!

Eller måske er det ødelæggende penny klemme fra det høje? Foretaget af den slags idioter der ville bevidst opbygger open-topped ubåde og en bevingede fly for at spare et par kroner. Således at pengene kunne være bedre brugt på endnu flere danske moderne kunst originaler, dansk arkitekt designermøbler originaler og danske lampeskærm originaler for dette års, paladsagtige, nye, kommunale kontorer! Korruption altid begynder på hjemmefronten.

Hvad gør mig meget vred, er det totalt spild af knappe offentlige midler! Stien løber gennem vidunderlige landskaber. Meget af det gennem ru og uspoleret sumpet jord og fredelig landmandens marker langt fra beboelse. Udgifterne er alle blevet spildt! Alle fordi en uvidende fjols har fået lov til at polere sit offentlige ego langt ud over sine tildelte talenter og elendige evner. Jeg er alt for pædagogisk udfordret til at blive tilskyndet til at deltage. Men ikke på offentligt finansierede projekter som dette! Disse ordninger er alt for vigtige for at få folk ud af deres biler og væk fra trafikerede veje for at få lov til at mislykkes.

Hvor skal jeg kø for at kræve tilbagebetaling på min to, helt nye, beskadigede dæk og mine to, helt nye, slanger? Nogen skylder mig 600DKK. Husk mit sidste sæt dæk varede 6250km uden en eneste punktering! 

Hvordan vil en ambulance når frem til dem, der falder lodret, ufærdige klippe ved det nøgne kant af forpladsen? Eller der bryder deres halse falder ned af dæmningen? Hvordan vil redningstjenesterne nå dem, der sno sig ind på det bløde sand og straks gøre en dobbelt header? Sandet er så dyb og blød det er helt unrideable. Jeg forsøgte, da jeg blev skubbet væk fra asfalten ved vaklende, modkørende cyklister!

Sandet skulle have været erstattet af valset og korrekt bekræftet selvstabiliserende grus over hele bredden af ​​banen. Den slags overflade, der har været almindeligt anvendt i Storbritannien for sådanne ordninger i løbet af de sidste 50 år! Det ville have givet en sikker overhaling lane, når de passerer var påkrævet. Det ville have gjort en sikker overflade for fodgængere og cyklister til at dele ens. Hvis asfalt var ønsket så det burde have været foretaget mindst dobbelt så bred. Eller slet ikke!

Jeg skal aldrig risikere mine dæk på denne punktering magnet nogensinde igen! Jeg kan heller ikke ønsker at se de bekymrede ansigter modkørende cyklister gad vide hvor i alverden at passere mig på min trike. Stien er kun lige bred nok til to fodgængere at slentre side om side. De fleste vandrere er helt uvidende om, at cyklist også bruger den samme vej! Du kunne ikke gøre det op! Hvert par hundrede meter (eller ofte meget mindre) en anden vanskelig passage situation opstår. Den rollator eller langsom cyklist opmærksomhed skal først indhentes. Så de skal tage deres tid til at vende tilbage til virkeligheden. Endelig skal de overtales til at træde ned fra asfalten stien ned i sandet for at lade en anden person passere. Jeg var høfligt rydde min hals, så mange gange at tiltrække folks opmærksomhed, jeg snart havde ondt i halsen! Det ville have været uhøfligt at ringe til min klokke højlydt og gentagne gange hvert par meter, men fristende!

Hastigheder skal holdes latterligt lav for at undgå truende kollisioner. Ikke mindst med svin uvidende cyklister. Vær med stien uden så meget som et enkelt blik at se, om der er andre cyklister, der kommer! Jeg blev baulked en halv snes gange i så mange kilometer af disse samlede ignoranter! Jeg ville så overhale dem alle, med betydelige vanskeligheder takket være den smalle sti, kun at punktere igen! Så alle dem, jeg havde overhalet kunne nyde synet af min reparation endnu en punktering. Det ville have været hurtigere til at være gået! Sack de åndssvage designer skyldige nu og brænde deres afbildningerne i Rådet kontorer, reserverede parkeringsplads!

Jeg sender en regning til nye dæk og slanger til Miljøminister, Ida Auken (dansk miljøminister) med et klagebrev! Hvis ingen andre gør noget, så denne ordning vil snart finde sig selv som intet mere end en hund toilet og fredelige ridning spor. Lokale cyklister vil undgå det ligesom pest! Sikke et spild af tid og skatteydernes penge! Hverken cyklist, fodgænger eller hest rytter kan være tilfredse med den nuværende kaotiske og nærige velproportioneret ordning!


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