Cyclists win hands down in Cardiff race

June 22, 2010 5 Comments »
Cyclists were the fastest in the four routes into the city

Cyclists were the fastest in the four routes into the city

Cyclists were celebrating as an event to show how quick you can cycle into the city centre had bikes streets ahead of cars and buses.

Commuters set off from four points around the city and attempted to get to the city first, and taking the bike was nearly 10 minutes faster than the car.

First in was Gwenda Owen, cycling in from Willows High School, who said: “I’m a properly trained cyclist and it’s knowing how to position yourself in the road. It’s really important you know how to deal with the traffic.”

Leading the way from the West was Gill Boden, who cycled in from Victoria Park in 10 minutes, and was keen to stress she was not a “professional” cyclist.

She said: “A lot of people think cycling is skinny blokes in lycra, but I’m a pensioner and I managed it easy peasey. I was carrying my shopping on the bike and wasn’t going too fast. It’s a great way to get around.”

View a map showing where the routes started from and how long it took from each one

View Cardiff commuter challenge in a larger map

Jane Davidson AM, minister for environment, sustainability and housing, who lives in Gwaelod-y-Garth, led the charge from the Cow & Snuffers pub in Llandaff North.

She said: “I know personally that when I cycle to work I can be in the city centre in half an hour, if I take the car it can take me an hour. I cycle regularly down to the Assembly and it makes you feel great.

“What we need to do is encourage more people to get on their bikes and get into cycling. We need to promote opportunities to walk and cycle.”

Stella Brown, who took a 31 minute bus ride from Victoria Park, came in last for the Western route.

She said: “It was a comfortable ride but it’s not a direct route, we had to go round via Wood Street and Westgate Street. If it was a direct route I think we would have beaten the car.”

Iona Gordon, from Cardiff Cycling Campaign, who organised the event, was surprised at how fast the cyclists were.

She said: “I’m extremely surprised that the cyclists on the East and West routes did so well. I knew that the Taff Trail cyclists would be quick as it’s a good cycle route.

“I think there’s got to be a more deteremined focus to reduce traffic volumes and speeds in the city. I think more people would be cycling if people felt it was less challenging.

“The worst thing about the times is that it’s shown how poor our bus service is. It’s really not up to scratch.”

Councillor Delme Bowen, executive member for traffic and transport at Cardiff Council, said: “Today has illustrated what can be done by a bike. We are planning to improve the cycling infrastructure in Cardiff and make Cardiff the ideal place for cycling.

“I feel this was a bit unfair on the buses as they have to stop and set down and pick up people. Buses are very important especially to elderly people and they take the stress out of coming into the city centre.”

Cardiff Bike Week continues with a whole range of events involving two wheels over the rest of the week.

Do you cycle to work? What’s your experience of commuting into the centre of Cardiff? Let us know your thoughts below

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  1. Gwenda Owen June 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    This challenge was great in that it demonstrated that cycling is a realistic and viable option for all. The first two in used the roads,which are inevitably quicker as traffic on roads has priority. It would suggest that it's not always infrastructure thats the answer. Training will enable more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling wherever they need to go.

  2. Colin Robinson June 22, 2010 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    There was no contest.I bike it from Rumney to the city centre,or the bay,every working day.Despite, the complete lack of cycle friendly routes, bad drivers,broken glass and potholes,I will arrive before the driver only cars ,and empty buses!

  3. secretdancer June 23, 2010 at 11:10 am - Reply

    “I feel this was a bit unfair on the buses as they have to stop and set down and pick up people." It's good to see our executive member for traffic and transport has a full grasp on what buses do!

    But what a load of twaddle. Of course it was fair. How can you compare cycling, cars and buses unless they all behave as they are meant to.

    Great to see cycling come out on top. Now for some joined up thinking to get this city of ours on bikes and out of cars.

  4. Tinycyclist June 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I just begun cycling in to work from the city centre to Llandaf every day, and although I'm not the fittest, it takes me around 35 minutes. I have been scared stiff off the roads because motorists aren't that friendly towars cyclists, and had to pull in several times just to let them pass me because they would have done it anyway! Unfortunately I've had to cycle on pavements because of this. Would it not make more sense to have cycle lanes up on marked sections of the pavement rather than the road, because most motorists (particularly boy racers) don't care what else is on the road! But I am glad to see that cyclists won the challenge!

    • Gwenda Owen June 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      There are some really good cycle instructors out there, it's amazing what a lesson or two will do for your confidence about cycling on roads. Contact your Local Authority Road Safety Team or organisations such as Pedal Power or Cycle Training Wales. Cycling really is safe and most importantly fun!

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