Bovey Tracey in Devon has been busy creating new paths for cyclists as part of the a new initiative to develop cycleways through Devon. One of these paths is though Mill Marsh Park in the heart of Devon. Beloved by dog walkers and families for many years it has up till now had a ‘no cyclists’ policy. So the new initiative has meant a cultural shift and change.
I joined a small band of residents and dog owners who have had bad experiences with cyclists coming to blows with their dogs. I have two big Ridgebacks and they don’t appreciate being frightened by cyclists whizzing towards them or coming form behind and frightening them. Their response is to bark and attack as they see them as a threat; the cyclists is to be affronted and cry wolf.
So we took out concerns to the council and contractors, words were exchanged, signs put up asking cyclists to dismount and share. So far so good.
Cyclists are the new black, in the moment – trendy and in the ascent. We dog walkers are the train spotters in the world of leisure activity, with our untechnical clothes and cloth caps, looked down on from the fit and fabulous on shiny bikes, mirrored glasses and alien helmets. But please don’t get too smug, your sport is protected but not your ankles!