Three schoolchildren coming the quick way home from the school in the next town: they will barely touch a road, much less a busy one because of careful use of the Feldwege, surfaced lanes mostly used by farmers working in the fields but closed to cars. For the sake of a few signposts they’ve been turned into a comprehensive network for cyclists. It’s clear that the main purpose is leisure cycling: some are indirect, and apart from the signs, very little has been done in the way of improvement or surfacing, but some, like this one, are straighter than the road between the towns.
But notice as well: these kids are cycling alone. No parents are hovering about in the background for the five kilometres or so they are riding. This is quite normal: children walk or cycle or take public transport to school alone. I used to take this for granted, until I saw this excellent blog in the US, where this particular freedom, it seems isn’t allowed.
Let us for now ignore the fact that a few hundred metres further on a new delivery entrance has been built across this route. and now cyclists are expected to yield to trucks.