01 March 2010

The message of cycle lanes: Translator, please

Cycle lanes in Britain have two purposes. The main one is safety. By forcing you to stop, get off your bike, and walk, they make you get home later, thus reducing the amount of time you spend in the house, which as we all know is the place most accidents happen.

The second purpose is the message they send out to motorists, letting them know how the road space is shared out. The message sent out is usually in Basque or Etruscan or Linear B because nobody can understand it. But this one, in Lombard St in Battersea, is pretty clear: cyclists, get off the road, and go where you belong, er, on to the pavement.


  1. For some reason all of the cycle lanes around here start /stop on the pavement. I'm guessing the designers thought that it's safer for a cyclist to stop on the pavement than the road.

    The only trouble is the cycle lanes are normally only a few yrd long. So all they do is take you off the road, put you on the pavement then have you set back off from a highly dangerous location (Junction corner).

  2. Yes. It's part of that prevailing attitude that gives priority to motorists in the side roads at junctions over bike lanes - thus making it much faster and more convenient for many cyclists (such as me) to stick to the road. Which makes some motorists cross, because they don't know why I'm not using the perfectly good cycle lane.


  3. So the guy who designed that saw cyclists swerving to avoid getting left hooked and thought that was how you were supposed to do junctions?



    It is a sign of your feeble minds and poor powers of reasoning that you do not recognise these complex and secret markings that have been covering the surface of your tiny piece of Earth.

    These ‘cycle lanes’ as you amusingly call them are in fact nothing less than secret signals to our reconnaissance spacecraft giving positions for navigation and landing points.

    For many years now we have been gradually abducting and brainwashing your Earth ‘highway designers’ to design these markings for our specific purposes of the INVASION OF EARTH!

    We have tried using abductees to produce more flexible signs, your so-called crop circles, but we have found these more permanent ‘cycle lane markings’ can be cunningly disguised to make it look like something that apparently should be there, yet designed for something totally different.

    You are too late to do anything about this now, ha ha ha! Our cunning designs will bring about the destruction of your miserable species by greater use of polluting forms of transport with no-one using your hilarious ‘bicycles’.

    Your ‘cycle campaigners’ have laughably tried to thwart our attempts, but we are too powerful, and we have the power of the Dark Side with us.

    Beg for mercy before our superior species!

    Supreme Being of the Zeneferica Galactic Empire

  5. Are there lots of cycle lanes in Folkestone then?

  6. Tim - an excellent observation. Having been involved in secret analysis of some of these facilities, they trace various 'ley line' type trajectories to various landing points, a prominent one being the Kent coast near Folkestone. And Balham.

    I fear the odds aren't looking good, but I have some ideas that could save the world. It's a long shot, but it just might work...

  7. As long as it doesn't involve Michael Howard. Especially not Michael Howard on a bike....

  8. As long as it doesn't involve Michael Howard. Especially not Michael Howard on a bike....

  9. OMG is that why Widdecombe said there was "something of the night" about him?

    He denies it of course, but this is getting more and more mysterious...