Acton High Street 06 It’s a feature of writing about active travel that often, you’ll be talking about infrastructure (or lack thereof) where you are relying on second-hand knowledge – concerns raised by local campaigners, for example, local authority planning documents, or that old fallback, Google Street View – rather than on-the-ground experience.
To give some examples, I’d written numerous articles on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path before I got the chance to ride it myself a couple of years ago on a bike-packing trip from Bristol to Reading, and if anything I found it even better than I’d imagined.
The transformation of Paris under Mayor Anna Hidalgo also resonates, with the white-knuckle trips I made across the city by Vélib’ 10 or 15 years ago a distant memory and more recent jaunts on car-free streets thronged with people on bikes or e-scooters highlighting the astonishing transformation of the French capital in recent years.
And while I have visited Edinburgh dozens of times over the years, and written about initiatives such as the annual Pedal on Parliament ride on numerous occasions, I’m ashamed to say that my last experience of being in the saddle in the country I was born in was probably when I was a five year old on a trike, so while I can visualise the streets I’m writing about, I lack the lived experience of actually cycling there.
So when a series of emails about what passes for cycling infrastructure on Acton High Street in West London […]
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