Bristol Cycling

I’ve been working in Bristol a lot recently so this week I decided to take my bike with me and go for a pedal. This is just a quick summary of the ride and my experience of riding around there.

First up, Bristol is busy. Very busy. Literally choked with cars. Look down any side street when you would expect residents to be at work and it is rammed. It is, in my opinion, worse than Birmingham but, and it’s a significant one, there are exponentially more cyclists (and e-scooters) too who seem happy to mix it in the traffic. So how was it on the road being one of them?

I’d plotted a ride in and out of the Redland area of the city to the west which borders Clifton. Simple affair, just get out of the city ASAP, into some quiet lanes, traverse the Severn Bridge both ways and come back a different way.

I trotted off down a side street rammed with lines of cars either side and only room for one more in the middle either way. I was straight into the thick of it mixing it up but no real issues. Bristol is hilly so it seemed to take forever to get out of the city and into some decent lanes. Once I got under the M5, the roads calmed down and I was free. Very little traffic and admiring the wind turbines near Severn Beach and both Severn Bridge’s in the distance (there are two if you didn’t know)

I was surprised how little traffic there was in the lanes and peppered with plenty of cyclists too. Eventually I got to the Severn Bridge which doesn’t fail to impress. I rode over on the left hand side and enjoyed the views over to the other bridge a few miles away. Originally I was going to do a loop up to Tintern and back but time was getting on late PM and I still had to drive an hour plus back home so I just did a quick loop around and through Chepstow and crossed back over. Loved it.

Back into the lanes and I was challenged by a fresh SW wind which made it hard on my 33mm tyres (gravel bike). It made the going quite tough in places not withstanding the lumpy finish I faced riding back into Bristol.

Redland is only 2-3 miles within the city limits so there wasn’t much heavy traffic to endure and after 2.5hrs I was back to base. Hot n sweaty and happy with the ride.

So my thoughts on Bristol. Busier but the drivers do seem to be more careful around you. I had no close passes, no horns, no abuse despite cars crawling behind me at times on the steepest sections. Bristol does have more ‘infra’, particularly in the centre as I’ve seen it and plenty of signposted routes and painted lanes so I guess cyclists are always in the psyche of drivers which may translate to a bit more patience around them. I don’t know. It just felt less stressful than Birmingham.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s