Lockdown Nostalgia

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby dodger » 5 Jun 2020, 7:12pm

Out for my usual particular weekly cycle today around S E Cornwall.
A bit cold and windy, but that's OK. The big change over even a week ago is the volume of traffic.
In the early days of lockdown it was almost blissful on the roads. Today I estimate probably a threefold increase in traffic over those days.
More noise, more exhaust fumes and more pulling over in the narrow lanes to let vehicles pass safely.(Not a problem, I drive too, so I know it can be frustrating to be stuck for miles)
I prefer our country lanes, but also spend some time on A and B roads. I must say that, apart from a few a/hs (Not just the usual suspects - Audis, BMWs and 4WDs), most drivers have been fine, although, is it me, or are many vehicles driving faster than before?
Anyway, much as I deplore the effect of this virus, I am missing those more peaceful early days.

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Mick F
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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby Mick F » 5 Jun 2020, 8:07pm

Me too.

As much traffic as what was usual today.
What I have noticed though, is the Fri/Sat/Sun is much busier than Mon-Thur.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby PLodon » 6 Jun 2020, 8:48pm

Traffic seems to be back to normal down here in kent, but there does seem to be an increase in the speed of some motor vehicles. :(

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby Elizabeth_S » 7 Jun 2020, 12:26pm

My son has been enjoying cycling with us during the lockdown yesterday. Yesterday we went for a cycle during which most car drivers behaved well except one who played the numbers game and overtook on a corner. Then when we were on a 'main' road just crossing a junction with a minor road (which is clearly marked), a pair cyclists on shiny new bikes came straight out of the minor road at great speed, one went between son and me (and we were not far apart) and then straight up and over the next junction (which is with a very fast road) on to a cycleway, the second cyclist was slower, and I did say to her 'that was a junction back there, you might want to tell your friend that' but she said nothing and cycled on as fast as she could. They must have been absolutely belting along the cycleway as we didn't see them again, and as we cycled back along it it was busy with all sorts of people walking and cycling.
Son said after this, 'well I enjoyed cycling during lockdown, but now we have cars back to normal and idiot new cyclists as well'.

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby al_yrpal » 7 Jun 2020, 12:37pm

I stick to very narrow lanes that vehicles avoid. Cycle.travel is great at identifying these. You can hear approaching vehicles easily in the silence and most drivers are very careful not to get their Euroboxes scratched by bikes. The biggest danger is gung ho tractor drivers. :D

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby Jon Lucas » 7 Jun 2020, 12:55pm

Unfortunately I've had to spend the whole lockdown period self-isolating at home, as although i'm reasonably healthy and under 70, I've had two hospital operations during the last 3 months and have had to stay at home to ensure no Covid contacts for that period. So I'm very envious of the opportunities I've missed to cycle on empty roads. :(

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby mercalia » 7 Jun 2020, 3:10pm

yes London in Lockdown meant quiet roads in London mostly. Realy shame most of London population ( except me) wasnt killed off, would be a better place for those remaining. :wink:

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby dodger » 7 Jun 2020, 4:36pm

Went out again today to Looe in S E Cornwall.
Definitely busier, although not with the tourists normal at this time of the year. Lots of locals glad to get out, despite the temperature and impending rain.
Again, mainly considerate drivers, but just more of 'em.
The town was busier and thankfully, was able to get a takeaway coffee and Martins pasty.
I hate to think what it will be like once the restriction on holidays is lifted. All the signs are that it will be a bumper staycation year, as people shun crowded planes and opt for closer-to-home holidays.
Think I might avoid all roads except the back lanes!

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Jun 2020, 5:37pm

Still in lockdown. Left the house twice in three months (both times to a shielded phlebotomy clinic).
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby RodT » 8 Jun 2020, 7:47am

Two Sundays ago, I rode from Truro to Penzance using B-roads and lanes, and part of the old A-30. Very few cars, lots of cyclists of all descriptions, including families. 25 miles of blissed-out pedalling. Yesterday I repeated the journey; but not the experience. Very few cyclists, very many cars. I was close-passed several times - a black Vauxhall brushed my elbow in Hayle- shouted at and even had to take avoiding action as a car came at me from the wrong side of a traffic island near Scorrier. The route passes several beauty spots (Hell’s Mouth, anybody?) where cars were pulled up wherever there was a space and even where there wasn’t, because the car parks were full. The air stank and the noise was oppressive. Cars are so loud!
Utopia to dystopia in a fortnight.
I’m not complaining because my nice ride was ruined, though it was. I’m mourning the world that we’ve lost. I’m sad that in seeking nature and beauty we destroy it. It’s not as if we don’t have a choice. You don’t have to get in your car in order to go to somewhere pleasant which, in Cornwall anyway, may only be a few miles away. Of course, some don’t have a choice. But most do, and two Sundays ago, though it may have been forced upon them, they took it. Yesterday they got back in their cars.
Free the people. Lockdown the cars.

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby roberts8 » 8 Jun 2020, 8:01am

At first even the Surrey lanes were quiet but it is getting back to busy. Still enjoying the lack of aircraft noise when in range of Gatwick airport but I guess that will come back eventually.

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby Wipperman_95 » 8 Jun 2020, 11:19am

It maybe seen as a short 'golden era'. I returned to roads which I'd given up, and it was nice, yes, there was the odd speeding idiot, but plenty of cyclists. Even during this time, it was a case of 'enjoy it while it lasts'. And lo and behold, things are virtually back to normal.

And what I did realise during this period, whilst trying to plan an off road ride, just how hard it is.
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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby dodger » 9 Jun 2020, 4:42pm

Caught part of a police interview yesterday which, I think, basically said there had been a marked increase in accidents in the preceding couple of weeks in Devon and Cornwall, which they attributed to speeding since the relaxation on travelling.
Not surprised.
Off the roads, I've seen a huge increase during lockdown in cyclists and joggers/walkers using the Plym Valley trail from Plymouth out to the edge of Dartmoor.
Great to see lots of youngsters as little as 3 years old on bikes with parents, and, although it means a slower pace and no riding 2 abreast, it's worth it to see the obvious enjoyment.
One of the attractions of this route is that it's tarmacked. Last week a trip along the Camel Trail was very bumpy. It was a pleasure to exit the trail and ride the lanes to St Breward and Blisland. Pity the pubs are still closed in St Breward, Blisland and at Dunmere Bridge car park, but at least the cafe at Wenford Bridge is open at weekends for takeaways.

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby dodger » 18 Jun 2020, 2:18pm

Out at 8.00ish for a circular ride to Whitsands. Mainly lanes but small sections of larger roads.
Another increase in traffic numbers, but I guess there are more people off to work or school.
Generally considerate drivers but I've noticed that, in addition to Audi, BMW and Merc drivers, there are a fair number of VW or similar vans of the size that surfers use that are driven fast and too close.
So I think, on reflection, that my nostalgia isn't for the early lockdown, but for those far off days in the 60s, when cycling was (or seems to have been) quieter and safer.
Perhaps it's rose-tinted specs, but I can recall cycling happily on my old Raleigh 3 speed to Tavistock or up the A38 to Totnes and not having any problems with traffic.

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Re: Lockdown Nostalgia

Postby diapason » 18 Jun 2020, 3:03pm

It is a pity that car traffic is getting back to pre-lockdown levels. It has been blissful during the start of lockdown, but it's getting back to unpleasant levels in the towns. I'm pleased that the otwn centre has been pedestrianised and I've written to the corporation hoping that they make it permanent.
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