Tuesday, July 11th 2017 at 6:19PM BST
Thierry Jiménez cycles with headphones on a bike festooned with cameras and other monitoring equipment, and he rides with a trailer that can measure the width, smoothness and all-round usefulness of cycle paths. He works for Belgium’s Fietserbond, or “cyclists’ union”, and is a full-time cycle-path comfort measurer.
“The data I capture while riding is used to determine which routes need urgent care,” he told me while we rode together on the cycle superhighway between Arnhem and Nijmegen in the Netherlands. If he had been measuring that particular route he would plotted that it was wide, well demarcated and was sited some distance from motor vehicles. Importantly, he would have also captured hard data on the route’s asphalt loveliness.