Cycle paths are not suitable for all bikes

AS a regular reader of the letters, I have read with interest the numerous letters on the subject of cycling over recent months, including the one headlined ‘Why do cyclists ride this road’ (News Guardian, May 3), referring to the fact some cyclists ride on the A186 Earsdon Road rather than use the cycle path provided.

I think it is worth reminding everyone of the Highway Code, which states that use of cycle paths is not compulsory and cyclists are completely entitled to use the road if they wish to do so.

I am a keen road cyclist and the problem we face is that most cycle paths are completely inadequate for their purpose unless you have a mountain bike.

As a regular rider of the A193 from Whitley Bay to Blyth, as well as the A1061 South Newsham Road, there are cycle paths provided but I never use them.

Riding a road bike with thin racing wheels makes it virtually impossible to ride these cycle paths due to the poor condition of the Tarmac, the constant up and down of curbs at road crossings, the numerous pedestrians using the paths and the fact many of them end abruptly leaving the cyclist with no other option but to dismount, cross over grass verges and start again on the road.

I would suggest that for the sake of a few seconds motorists give cyclists the respect and patience they deserve, give them as much room as possible and applaud them for their efforts in keeping fit and saving the NHS millions.

MARTIN SMITH

Whitley Bay