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Andrew Russell protests a new protected bike track in Ayr by setting up a rowing machine, and inadvertently proves why safe roads are a good thing

A man has protested the building of a cycle lane…by rowing in it.

Angry about the installation of a bike route on Holmston Road, in Ayr, Scotland, Andrew Russell set up a static rowing machine, dressed up in workout gear and a sailor’s hat, and commenced his rowing protest.

The blue painted, 600m kerb protected cycle route, installed in August, has caused public outcry and claims traffic will grind to a halt. While some figures show 600 people are cycling  on the route per week, local councillors are nonetheless threatening to join forces to “rip it out” because they fear it will cause congestion and "accidents".

Cyclists wear something red and protest for better cycling in Sheffield

In a perfect piece of video irony, Russell tells the Daily Record: “I’m here because I think the whole thing was a white elephant, because if you look across the road they had a perfectly good cycle lane before, which they’ve now scrubbed out,” the moment a lorry towing a flatbed van thunders past on the road, beeping its horn.

The former painted cycle lane he gestured to would have placed those on bikes between fast moving traffic and a stone wall, with only a narrow pavement as a buffer, should they need to evade close passing vehicles.

Russell says he saw eight cyclists during an hour of his rowing protest, before adding he enjoyed the “peace and quiet” of the kerb protected cycle route.

Russell’s exercise protest is perhaps more ironic given the burgeoning health crisis in Scotland, with 31% of Scotland’s children overweight or obese. In 15 years, if current trends continue, 40 per cent of Scotland’s population will be obese. The problem has been called this generation’s tobacco crisis in terms of public health risk. Smoking is now banned in public places in Scotland.

Local papers reflect the somewhat hysterical local mood, stirred up following the bike route’s installation, variously describing the bi-directional, kerb-protected cycle track as a “giant” cycle lane, which will see a road “torn apart” potentially causing “traffic chaos”.

The Daily Record reports one councillor dubbed it an “accident waiting to happen”, though it’s not clear how protecting people on bikes from motor traffic would cause injury, unless someone weren’t looking where they were driving and blindly ploughed into the new kerb, injuring someone cycling on it. 

Plans are afoot to extend the route, but community council chair, John McGuire was quoted by the Record as saying “I think we can all be agreed that won’t be happening.”

41 comments

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themartincox [553 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

the irony is that the dude is rowing a Concept2 rowing machine, made by the same people as Wattbike!

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
12 likes

One of the worst thing about living in Scotland, too many throwback inbreds that kick up a stink if you try to make any progress. Shit themselves if you mention the word cycle lane. Their favourite of course - that people will die because ambulances will get stuck in traffic.

 

Traffic composed of what you fucking clowns. Bikes or cars?

 

Just look up Milngavie or Roseburn or whatever. Same bilge every time. Scotland often feels like a country that needs a generation to die before it can sort itself out. 

 

That said, tons of NEDs and quasi-NEDs in every generation who're just as antagonistic when it comes to cycling. 

 

 

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Wolfshade [205 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Infrastructure does not cause congestion.

People using it cause the congestion so if they seriously want to remove congestion, just ban private cars and taxis.

I wonder if the police were involved in him blocking the carriageway?

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StuInNorway [146 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

How are cyclists coming towards the camera meant to progress where the bi-directional lane is missing a lane? Looks dangerous to me, did they consult any cyclists before the half-baked thing was built. Also those intermittent kerb can catch a wheel pulling a car INTO the lane rather than nudge it back into the main carriageway.

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

When rowing in traffic, should one face the direction of travel, or is it OK to face oncoming vehicles?

Whatever, I'm pleased that he found a safe place to conduct his protest and hopefully has raised the profile of the facility with local cyclists who may not have realised it was there.

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stevie63 [81 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

He's not wrong. All I can see is heavy congestion behind him, grinding to a halt.

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inz4ne [13 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

More than pleased to see he is taking hydration seriously and that he is wearing a helmet, a flat one for a flat-earther perhaps.

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Duncann [1158 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

In other local news, doughnut fans are in for a treat as Ayr Tesco Extra store introduces Krispy Kreme range: www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/doughnut-fans-treat-ayr-tesco-8898050

It does sound like this exercise (the cycle route, not the doughnuts) has been a bit of a shambles. The reporting seems very one-sided but that's almost to be expected - and if you're going to get the press and the public against you, you at least need to have your own politicians on your side.

www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/road-bosses-admit-carried-out-8754720

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Chris James [442 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Since Mr Russell lives in Scotland, not North America then he will have been protesting against the the bike lane.

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leaway2 [80 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

During the time I watched this protest, I didnt see 1 pedrestrian. Out with the footpath!

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PaulBox [679 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Same shit different:

Day

Town

Country

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Mungecrundle wrote:

When rowing in traffic, should one face the direction of travel, or is it OK to face oncoming vehicles?

You never face the direction of travel when rowing...  3

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gjh [4 posts] 1 year ago
8 likes

No helmet or hi-viz; disgraceful! I bet he rowed through a red-light too

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ChrisB200SX [565 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Quote:

local councillors are nonetheless threatening to join forces to “rip it out” because they fear it will cause congestion and "accidents".

How the hell would a bike lane cause congestion and "accidents"?
Is it not traffic that causes congestion and road user's mistakes that cause "accidents"?

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Matt_S [297 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

Nice to see the Village People still entertaining everyone.

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
14 likes

Typical rowist. There's a perfectly good river running right next to the road, but he chooses to row in the bike Lane. It's an outrage and I expect that he hasn't even paid road tax on his rowing contraption.

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hawkinspeter [1134 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

How would he like it if we cycled in canals to protest his protest?

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Hipshot [61 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

This guy must have a lot of time on his hands.

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I love my bike [211 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

It might be rather dangerous to protest poorly used roads by riding a bike trainer on the highway!

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jollygoodvelo [1682 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

He must be off his scull.

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Dicklexic [73 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I bet he hasn't even got insurance for that thing either. It's a bloody discrace I tell you! 

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don simon [1548 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Potentially causing “traffic chaos” or potentially reducing obesity.

I can see why it's a bit of a brain scrambler.

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ktache [627 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Is that a bottle of vodka next to him?

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The _Kaner [1147 posts] 1 year ago
14 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

Typical rowist. There's a perfectly good river running right next to the road, but he chooses to row in the bike Lane. It's an outrage and I expect that he hasn't even paid road tax on his rowing contraption.

 

Surely you mean ROWED TAX!

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mike the bike [980 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

 

The rowing machine seems a perfect symbol for bike-lane protesters.  There's a good deal of hot air produced but nobody gets anywhere.

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burtthebike [1219 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:

One of the worst thing about living in Scotland, too many throwback inbreds that kick up a stink if you try to make any progress.

Nothing to do with Scotland.  I live in the South, and believe you me, we have plenty of the kind of people who would lose at draughts to a bacterium.

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burtthebike [1219 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Has he been arrested for obstructing the highway?  Cut and dried case with his confession videod for all to see.

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Dutchie [74 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

It's a sad story in itself, but the comments here are the funniest i've seen in a long time 

And yes, the design of that cycle lane is rubbish like pretty much every other one in Scotland

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boardmad [11 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Just look up Milngavie or Roseburn or whatever. Same bilge every time. Scotland often feels like a country that needs a generation to die before it can sort itself out. 

 

Of course some of you will doubtless accuse me of slopeyshoulders but I left the country I love (and I really do - just not enough to suffer the cretinous generations still clinging to cars, 'the gers' and buckie) for exactly this reason...the existing incumbent generation in Scotland need sloughed off like an old skin.

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boardmad [11 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Dutchie wrote:

It's a sad story in itself, but the comments here are the funniest i've seen in a long time 

And yes, the design of that cycle lane is rubbish like pretty much every other one in Scotland

 

All true Dutchie...that said I got t-boned in broad daylight on the CS3 on Cable St in London a few months back...cycle lane design in this country it a sop to the politicians conscience and at best an ill-advised afterthought. I ONLY ride on roads 4ft from the kerb and revel in the opprobium this brings

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boardmad [11 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Also...for everyone south of the border the News we get here in Lahndahn in the Metro is far better informed, timely and politically astute than the Daily Record which is at best a sports comic with headlines and small words for the hard of thinking.

This is what we have to deal with ... if it's not the Glasgow Herald and the Scotsman it's this pish...no wonder this poor deluded neanderthal has got himself dressed up like a worrying halloween 'responsible adult' and got his fizzog on the news.

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