Saturday, February 2, 2019

Parking Made so Easy

One brilliant difference I am finding between riding a tricycle and riding a mobility scooter is the parking.

When shopping with my trike I had to seek out the nearest bike parking then bend down, which was difficult with arthritic hips, and use two chains to secure my trike to the bike station.  From there of course it was a walk to the shops and lug back heavy shopping to the trike.

On top of this here in the UK we are pretty backwards in catering for cyclists so it's not easy to find secure bike stations, and when you do the chances are there are only two or three spots for a bike which aren't always free.

The other problem I had was because I rode a tricycle I had to always chain it up on the end of the bike parking spaces because it was too wide to get inbetween the posts to parking it in a centre spot. Unlike the continent we don't cater for anything other than your ordinary, everyday, two wheeled bikes.  Which meant that if someone else had parked their cycle on the end there was no where for me to chain my tricycle.

Many bicyclists simply push their bikes along the pavement and then leave their bikes outside of any shop they might want to pop into.  However with my tricycle being so large and very awkward to push this was something I couldn't do and it's illegal to ride a bike on the pavement in pedestrianised areas.  So this choice wasn't available for me.

This problem of not being able to push my trike in pedestrianised areas wasn't just a problem when shopping.  It was also a great problem when out and about because we have the odd area, such as along specific areas of beach front, where for a short distance we are told to "Get off Your Bike" or "No Cycling".

For instance, during the 3 summer months of the year a part of our beach front is off limits for cycling a short distance of it.  Along this part of the beach is a cafe that I often frequent. The beach front path is the only access to this beach cafe.  Of course during the off limits for cycling months I was unable to trike along there for my usual visit.

The annoying part of this is that the beach front path is very wide and could easily accommodate a marked off part of it for cycling with a cycling speed limit.

Another area that I had to actually disobey the order to not cycle was an up and over a duel carriage way for pedestrians, along with it being the continuation of the cycle path, to safely cross this busy road.  There was absolutely no way that I could push my trike up very steep and long ramps, so I simply ignored the "Cyclists Get off and Push" and rode my trike up and over.  Expecting at any time to be shouted at by pedestrians for cycling there.

Now however, I am finding it absolutely brilliant that I can ride my mobility scooter legally along the pavement and stop outside any shop, simply take the key out, and leave it sitting there until I return.

No more worrying that I wont find a bike space free, no more fuffing about with bike chains and best of all, no more lugging heavy shopping back to the trike.

I haven't had my mobility scooter long enough yet to appreciate using it in the summer months, but I'm looking forward to being able to visit that little beach front cafe along with actually being able to ride the full distance of the beach front the whole year from now on, along with many other areas not being out of bounds for me.

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