The cyclesphere has been abuzz in recent days with news of a proposal for a £600m new East-West floating cycleway on the River Thames in London.
Unveiled by a consortium of architects, artists and engineers, the aim of the Thames Deckway would be to provide a safer, car-free route as well as potentially reduce journey times on the seven mile stretch from Battersea to Canary Wharf.
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Could a similar idea work in Glasgow along the River Clyde? As anyone who has ever attempted to navigate the city's disjointed and lacklustre network of cycle paths will testify, it's certainly an option worth considering. I put the question to Cycling Scotland, Sustrans and Glasgow City Council. Here's what they had to say:
Keith Irving, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland, said: "Where there were once vast urban motorway proposals for London, we now have futuristic visions of floating cycle paths along the Thames. While that £600m vision is pie-in-the-sky, London does have ambitious, achievable and popular proposals to create East-West and North-South cycling superhighways. This reflects that more people of all ages are travelling by bike in London.
"The challenge for Glasgow is to improve the East-West route along the Clyde already in existence, expand the network of routes to make them more appealing to more people and help provide promotion and training to enable a similar cycling revolution."
John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans Scotland, said: "Sustrans Scotland considers that while it is beneficial to think big and be innovative, the proposal to have a floating cycle way on the Clyde in Glasgow is not the most cost effective way of spending money on cycling infrastructure.
"For the cost of installing something like this, Glasgow should start rolling out the delivery of its planned Cycle Network project which, along with the Connect2 Bridge at Anderston, won the National Transport Award for Excellence in Cycling last week. We are aware that people want to cycle safely and conveniently, so concentrating on high quality, segregated cycling infrastructure in the suburbs and city centre and equally well designed public space is the right thing to do."
Councillor Frank McAveety, Glasgow City Council cycling czar, said: "This measure isn't needed in Glasgow as we have already developed a NCN route which runs along the north bank of the Clyde. At a fraction of the cost, Glasgow City Council has just further developed the route through resurfacing and widening along its full length for the benefit of all users."
What are your thoughts on the issue? Feel free to use the comments section to share your views.
Dates for the diary
The 2014 Scottish National Track Championships will be held at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow from October 17-19, providing the opportunity to see the cream of the nation's cycling talent in action.
Among those due to compete is double Commonwealth silver medallist Louise Haston, as well as fellow Team Scotland stars Chris Pritchard, Charline Joiner, Eleanor Richardson and Anna Turvey.
Tickets cost £7.50 (Friday) and £15 (Saturday and Sunday) available from the Glasgow Concert Halls box office, although for a limited period spectators can get up to 50% off through Groupon. For more information, visit scottishcycling.org.uk
The official launch of the £50,000 Aberfoyle Bike Park takes place this Saturday (October 11) with Stu Thomson, who directed Danny MacAskill's latest viral hit, The Ridge, set to do the ribbon cutting.
He will be joined by Sandy Slater of Wild Biking Scotland, a member of the social enterprise which was founded by a group of local cyclists and came up with the idea for the project in a bid to showcase the area's wealth of trails and routes.
The inaugural Trossachs Bike Festival then gets underway next week and among the programme highlights is a film night at the Forth Inn, Aberfoyle, on October 17 and introductory mountain bike orienteering event on October 18. For more information, visit facebook.com/biketrossachs; wildbikingscotland.com and bmbo.org.uk
A new organised cycling event for 2014 is the Black Isle On-Offer, duly named because it combines both an on-road and off-road section.
Aimed at teams of two (or brave solo riders), it gets underway from the Black Isle Leisure Centre in Fortrose on October 26. The roadies set off at 9am on a 13-mile ride before tagging their off-road partner at the trail centre at Learnie Red Rock who then in turn complete a circuit on blue trails before heading downhill back in Fortrose.
The prize: stunning views above the Moray Firth. For more information, visit blackisleonoffer.org
Best of books
Prepare to have your wanderlust stoked by How To be A Cyclist: An A-Z of Life on Two Wheels by John Deering and Phil Ashley (Arena Sport, £12.99), published this week.
Written by the same intrepid cycling duo behind the brilliant 12 Months in the Saddle, it contains sage advice such as "no bicycle repair was ever made easier by turning your bike upside down" and "white shorts are for other people". The double-page photograph on pp74-75 of the upper hairpins of the legendary Bealach na Ba is simply sublime.
The Infographic Guide to Cycling (Bloomsbury, £12.99) is also published this week. Granted, this one is veering into the geekier realms of the velocipede, but it contains a plethora of curious and intriguing nuggets on everything from cycling legends to velodromes, training tools and the darker side of the sport.
Those who don't know their clincher from their chainset or derailleur from a drivetrain should check out Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop by Guy Andrews and Rohan Dubash (Bloomsbury, £30), which is out next Thursday (October 16).
This hefty tome combines practical tricks of the trade from professional cycling mechanics alongside handy step-by-step photographs and stunning reportage from life on the road.