Monday, January 21, 2013

The Magic Roundabout - Swindon, England

"I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me."  - Bob Dylan

   Some time ago, before the warranty on my body ran out, I had spent some time in southwest England as a missionary. There were plenty of months I was walking or on a bike, so I got good at navigating the insanity of the "town center". I was thrown into the deep end when it came to the famous European roundabout. They're a never ending intersection that are common place, but quite foreign to a newcomer from the states.

   Recently, we visited a shopping center that has a few roundabouts at the entrances. These were and are a bad idea. Americans have NO idea how they work, and it's really just many fender benders waiting to happen. It reminded me of my time in England, then put my mind to the infamous "magic roundabout" in Swindon, England. This was the pinnacle of roundabout engineering. FIVE roundabouts surrounding one giant roundabout. This of 5 small gears moving around 1 bigger one, and that's how it works,.....with cars. Cars with moms taking their kids to soccer practice, dads going to work, old people visiting the grocery store, etc. Oh, the humanity!!! I set the stage to tell you that I, The Cheeky Daddy, in his glory years, navigated the magic roundabout on a push bike.

(animation of how it's supposed to work)

   THAT'S RIGHT!!! It's like biking in New York in a blender. There were times when there were almost no cars on the road, later in the evening and such. During traffic time, it was a mad dash to protect your life. The chaos was orchestrated and everyone seemed to do well, even me on a bike. I thought I'd share and remind you to be careful if you encounter a roundabout in your area. As you approach it, you YIELD to the people to the left already in the roundabout. Then you enter and exit as you need to. It's that simple! Yet I still get people stopping in the middle of them, not knowing what to do. Grrrrr....


1 comment:

  1. Everyone I know who used to bike to work in Atlanta had to stop after having injuries related to being run off the road by butthole drivers! Usually they involved broken collar bones or dislocated shoulders.