In these 2 videos, you’ll see my first impressions of Bristol cycling infrastructure shortly after I moved here last summer and now my current commute. In the commute video, I’m taking the most obvious route to my office. I’ll post an update in a couple of months as I perfect the route based on my preferences. Cyclists prioritize things differently depending on their experience, comfort levels mixing with traffic and how far they are travelling. I prefer to keep my route as straightforward as I can with minimal stop/starting and conflict and I’m happy to cycle amongst traffic to achieve this.
Shortly after moving to Bristol I realized cycling was the best way to get around. The city doesn’t have great transport options and being a compact city (even with the hills) it’s faster to travel by bike than car, there are train options but they are very limited, buses are slow and expensive and why would you walk when you can ride!?
I use a variety of bikes for transport, YoBikes (dockless city bikes), my commuter/touring bike (what I’m riding in the first impressions video) and a Brompton bike. In the commute video, I’m riding an electric Brompton (a pedal assist e-bike) which I currently have on loan (be sure to subscribe if you are interested in seeing the review).
Eliminating as much conflict as possible between cyclists, cars and pedestrians should be at the forefront of any urban planning design objectives. It also makes sense to make the types of transport you want to encourage in your city (hopefully the least polluting and most efficient) the most appealing ways to get around. To make something appealing you want it to be pleasant, convenient and efficient, it then becomes the obvious choice. So as you will see in these videos I think Bristol has some work to do.
Please join the discussion in the comment section of the video especially if you are part of a poorly represented group of cyclists, as most city planning lacks diversity and this leads to cities that are built without considering the needs of everyone.