Wednesday 20 September 2017

Villager Profile: Ailsa

As part of our campaign we are engaging with bike riders of all kinds to gauge their opinion on cycling to, from and within Waterbeach. This week we are hearing from Ailsa.

Q1: Hi Ailsa, please tell us about yourself and your bike?

I’ve lived in Waterbeach for 1 ½ years with my husband and 6 months ago we were joined by our baby daughter, Jessica. I’ve been in Cambridge around a decade, having arrived from the north for further studies in 2006. In this time, I’ve transitioned from student with a rusty shopper, to London commuter with a shiny green folding Brompton; to parent of a 6 month year old on maternity leave, currently trying to choose from the various baby carrying contraptions to attach to my hybrid road/tourer bike. 

Q2: How often are you out on your bike? 

Now, only when I can leave our daughter for an hour or so, and usually out in the hills on a mountain bike. When I’m working, I travel daily to and from Waterbeach station and also in central London. The different attitude to cycling in London is stark; it’s so frantic and everyone’s clad in the most expensive cycling gear, though the infrastructure there has improved massively in recent years and it looks like Cambridge and especially Waterbeach are falling behind. 

Q3: What are the best and worst things about cycling around Waterbeach? 

My favourite cycle is along the river into town, but only on a sunny quiet day when I’m not in a hurry. I love seeing the odd heron and kingfisher and envying the idyllic houseboats along the way. My least favourite cycle from home would have to be the one time I cycled to Emmaus to find the pavement and cycle path suddenly stop, dumping you on the A10, -a horror! 

Q4: What would you change about cycling in and around Waterbeach? 

I’d love to see a safer route for my daughter to cycle or walk to school, hopefully by the time she starts! I was shocked when we moved here that there are no restrictions on cars speeding around both sides of the school meaning there are no safe options for pedestrians or cyclists. It would also be great to be able to cycle from the village green to the station or just beyond to Haling way without having to battle the overwhelming volume of traffic on Station Road.