'Unravelling' (or 'unbundling') refers to the deliberate separation of main cycling routes from driving routes, at a network level.

Typically this will involve placing cycle routes away from main roads completely, using the most direct routes from origin to destination. Major roads are negotiated via grade separation, and the 'unravelled' cycle route will have little or no delay for people cycling - for instance, no waiting at traffic signals (that are usually found at junctions on main roads), and priority for cycling along the entire route.

It is important to note, however, that 'unravelling' does not mean ignoring cycling on main roads. Cycling should still be designed for on these roads. 'Unravelling' is simply a way of providing more attractive, quicker, and more direct routes. 

Unravelled cycle route Assen NL

An 'unravelled' cycle route in Assen, NL - a direct route between the city centre and a new suburb, passing along a low-motor traffic street, under the city bypass, and onto a cycle-only path.