14 Apr 2016

14th April 2016 New cycle path from Harndrup to Brenderup.

Thursday 14th 38-56F, 3-13C, calm and bright but with a milky sky. Light winds should be a reasonable excuse for a ride, but where? Brenderup! The new cycle path has just been surfaced to perfection. The path is lit at night for the entire length.

The eastern start at Harndrup about one hundred meters from the Coop. This busy stretch of road had no protection at all for cyclists. Not even a marked cycle lane.

The entire length of the path had to borrow the edges of the fields and even some front gardens to provide enough space for the path and sensible landscaping.

Looking back on the next stretch with smooth bends. The width is quite generous even though it will eventually be marked as two way.

The long stretch past the power sub-station with the plant grower on the other side. There is building and electrical work here which has rather muddied the cycle path.

It was here I was baulked by a vast woman walking a large dog without a lead. She was walking right in the middle of the broad, two-way path leaving no room to pass either side! And no, I'm not joking.

Looking back from well out in the middle.

The surface is unbelievably smooth for the entire length A super piece of workmanship by the asphalt contractors.

Hopefully the farmers will be bribed to keep their gravel from their drives off the path!

The long, deceptive descent down to the edge of Brenderup. Cyclists have the option of crossing the road here to enter the upper village. Though a marked cycle lane continues on down to the lower village for those who want to continue on the main road towards the junction to Middelfart or Bogense. [The 'g' is silent.]
Last stretch at Brenderup with the tar laying machine still parked beside the old water mill on the far side. The dry powder suggests the path was only laid yesterday or even earlier this morning. Though I sensed no heat or stickiness over the entire length. The path is two-way so could be considered as running west to east from Brenderup to Harndrup. 

Denmark has been trialing the idea of cyclists being able to turn right while traffic lights are at red. [The equivalent of turning left in the UK, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South Africa, amongst others.] Only carefully selected light-controlled crossings have been approved so far to check for accident rates and conflicts. Presumably there would have to be safe cycle lanes on their exits to avoid faster moving cars on the cross road running straight into the emerging cyclists.

Following positive trial results, the government is now asking communes [councils] to check which of their crossings would be suitable for an expansion of the idea across the country. Cars and other vehicles will continue to obey the lights. Hopefully cyclists will soon be be able to escape before lorries and buses turn across their path. No doubt many crossings had a build-up of cyclists waiting at red. Making them rather vulnerable to being rolled over by the back wheels of long vehicles with blind spots.  It should be emphasized that not all crossings are affected and the suggestion for such a change has not yet been passed into law.

It is very commonplace in Denmark to see cyclists completely ignoring red lights when turning right. Which must increase frustration amongst drivers obeying the lights. It also causes irritation amongst other cyclists as the law-breaking cyclist often swings right without signalling. Or showing any other sign of intelligent life.

The big hill up from Brenderup to Båring and on toward Middelfart has a height gain of 45 meters. Having just climbed it I stopped at the plant shop/café entrance to capture the view. I should really have waited for a car to reach the bottom to give a proper sense of scale.

In countryside news: There is a call for farmers to clear their fields of young deer and hare before harvesting. The animals lie concealed in the tall crops and are then run over by the large harvesting and bailing machines. Some farmers have the help of local hunters to clear their fields of the young wildlife using dogs.

A tractor employing doubled wheels all around to reduce its ground pressure on the fragile soil. Note the extended lighting 'arms' jutting  from the sides of the cab. It can seem quite menacing having one of these coming at you in a narrow lane! There are very much larger tractors than this one and they can reach out to both sides of a whole main road!
Farmers can also start harvesting in the middle of the field and work outwards to give the young animals a better chance to flee. This is not a completely one-sided, animal welfare problem. The greater the number of surviving young animals the better for the hunters, of course. The farmer can, no doubt, charge more for a well stocked hunting area. There is also the serious matter of animal carcasses rotting in the plastic wrapped bales. This can cause botulism in herds fed on the 'contaminated' hay! 

An enjoyable ride making my own headwind though it never actually felt calm. Many of the wind turbines were quite still today but others still turning. I headed north and then west before heading south-east to get back home.  Despite lashings of 50SPF suntan cream before leaving my face is now quite red. I ate my sandwiches at sensible times along with a banana and two small cartons of apple juice. So I never ran out of energy just for a change. I wasn't feeling hungry when I returned but had a bowl of stewed apple and a cup of tea to help me re-hydrate. Eating when I come home from a ride just seems to make me feel overfull. The day's tragedy was forgetting to take a chocolate Muesli bar! ;-) 40 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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