Author Topic: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.  (Read 2705 times)

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« on: July 05, 2015, 11:18:44 pm »
Right then, a bit of background first.

In 2012 I rode with a friend from where I used to live in Horley (Surrey) to Sherborne in Dorset for the Adventure Travel Film Festival.  It was over 3 days and I suffered horribly, we bailed and took a train to finish it.
In 2013 I rode from the Forest of Dean having moved there by then to Sherborne for the ATFF again.  That was over 2 days and I suffered horribly, I bailed and took a train to finish it.
From then in August 2013 I rode my bikes precisely once up to the point in March his year the same friend said 'I'm having a crack at the Pennine Bridleway in August, fancy joining me?'  Like an idiot of course I said yes.

This, plus Mrs Tween nagging me about being a grumpy (and fattening) git plus Steve's inspiration got me back on my bike.  Starting in mid March I managed to get out on the bike most weeks building nicely.  Gravity in these parts, as a resource, is available a couple of orders of magnitude above that in Surrey.  Still I knew I needed a Rule #5 excursion before August to find out if I can now ride two days straight and also to re-find the flaws in gear I've not touched in nearly 2 years.

So simply I planned to ride one weekend from home in the FoD to a mates house in Horley.  Simples  :facepalm:

Day 1 - Friday 26th June 2015 - FoD to Devizes
The ride started, um, brilliantly.  I planned to be on the road at 07:50 and at 08:00 the cat jumping up 'n down on me woke me up.  75 minutes late I hit the road on this:

I started with a leg warmer up the East face of Bream hill, one of the gravitational resources I've taken advantage of in training.  Barely minutes from home I got my first taste of very light rain.  To my immense surprise I got up the hill fully loaded quite easily.  This was down to YACF / St. Steve's lesson #1 - to play the long game keep it slow and keep the HR as low as possible1.

It wasn't a bad day.  I'd forgotten how good the views are around here.  On the flat-ish between Bream and St Briavels2


After St Briavels the ride gets easier and so much more pleasant than the A48 I banged the start out on in 2013.  The view down to the Severn and Berkeley in the distance.


After some plodding the awaited whiz down to the old Wye crossing arrived (closed to vehicles at the moment, use as much road as your inner child desires).  Then up through Chepstow and onto the NCR 42 to Bulwark.  Note to any cycle tourists passing through, use the cycle route not A48 out of Chepstow, it is vastly better.  I saw a pair and a group of 3 slogging up that godawful hill on Fri 3rd.  Breakfast #2 was taken at Sultans Cafe in Bulwark with 13 miles and nearly 400 meters of climbing, half for the day, done.  YACF lesson #2 came into focus here - faff ye not at checkpoints.  I had planned in 45 mins and that was none too much.

Next, over the bridge and views I'm sure are familiar to many here:




Wow, is that junction after the bridge weird.

Through some nice villages then briefly on NCR 410 through Coalpit Heath which I left for my first Bridleway of the trip (see the route links below).  This linked me to the Dram Road, something that seems quite significant but there is little about online.  Only not really a railway on a technicality.  You don't get too much of the petrochemical depot as you go by and after an unpleasant bridge under the M4 it gets interesting, these caused a WTF!? doubletake:


Taking these gave me a moment to pull on some waterproofs, it had started to rain with a sense of purpose about it but actually didn't amount to much.  There's industrial buildings galore looming out of the trees and info boards along the route that give naff all clue what the buildings were.

Onwards, back on NCR 410 before picking up the Bristol to Bath pathway (railway number 2).  Stop #2 at Warmley Waiting Rooms.  Only another 21 miles but YACF lesson #3 enforced - eat before you are hungry.  Bidons and belly refreshed I continued, more views I'm sure many here have enjoyed:



One for Hummers upcoming Bristol & Bath trip:


Coming into Bath and it's raining again.


Through Bath following the NCR was challenging thanks to some utter nimrod covering all the blue signs with flyers for some shit called Break the Cycle.  Something entirely worthy I'm sure but when I've stopped 8 times to move some moron's postings aside I well and truly lose interest.

After Bath comes the Kennet & Avon canal.. Apologies for the thumb, not used to the new phone:


Great towpath.  Dundas Wharf:


Entry to, er, that.


Avonbridge Aqueduct:


I may have omitted some of the pleut encountered so far.  I was pretty damp by here though not at all cold.  The steed is starting to look a bit muddy and the maps are turning to mush:


This was the 2nd cool as you like heron I passed.  Barely a flicker as I passed, stopped and took this:


On to Bradford-on-Avon and The Lock Inn for tea and cake.  'Entertainment' was provided by boat after boat of pissed up bellenders exiting the lock towards Bath making life hard for the boats going the other way.  Note to self: avoid Sally Narrowboats.

Just after sticking my thumb over the lens again:

The heavens really opened.  Squelching along the towpath I was beginning to have a sense of humor failure.  Fortunately it eased up a bit and I was able to resist the temptations of the B&B on the towpath and the signposts to hostelries just off.  I needed that Rule #5 gear night;


None too soon I neared the foot of Cain Hill and exited the towpath for the adjacent Caravan and Camping club site.  £7.50 - Bargain.  Everything was wet through by this point, the new phone had had enough as much as me:



All that remained for Day 1 was a pedal to the pub next door for many calories and then a short (unrecorded) trip to Poulshot to pay homage to family sorely missed by visiting The Raven.

Route planned: http://cycle.travel/map/journey/12603
Route taken: https://www.strava.com/activities/335484979
Not much between them.

1 I'll have to be dead to have a HR like Steve's.  Still ~115 wheeling the bike to the front gate is an improvement of about 20 on the start of the year.
2 Patron Saint of toasted sandwiches.

Parts 2 & 3 next weekend...
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 12:15:57 am »
That's very interesting!  I look forward to the rest!

Peter

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 09:04:24 am »
Ditto tvm.
'Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'.

Martin John Rees.

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 11:31:18 pm »
Yes indeedy, very interesting.  :thumbsup:
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2015, 09:15:37 am »
I enjoyed that! Thanks!
A tempting glimpse of the Dram, too.

Looking forward to the next instalments...

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 10:54:30 am »
Looks a great trip.

Those huge wheels and the buildings are, as you probably worked out, some of the remnants of the South Glos coalfield. I don't think any coal's been mined for about a hundred years though. The buildings are being worked on by volunteers, it's a slow process.

Did you go to the loo at Warmley Waiting Room? The reason I ask is because if you didn't, it's worth looking at next time you're there. It's a Tardis!
When the sun is up it is always shining
On cloudy days you see the silver lining

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2015, 02:33:20 pm »
Thanks for the positive vibes ;D
Did you go to the loo at Warmley Waiting Room? The reason I ask is because if you didn't, it's worth looking at next time you're there. It's a Tardis!
Saw it, didn't pay a visit.
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 03:23:20 pm »
Day 2 - Saturday 27th June 2015 - Devizes to Greywell
07:15, 15 minutes later than planned with a wet tent stowed I got back on the canal towpath.  Very swiftly the locks and climbing started arriving:

After a few lone locks comes Caen Hill flight, the camera struggled here looking towards the morning sun:

Easy.

The path is great here but after only a mile or so my wrists were starting to complain, the bashing they took on day 1 making itself felt.
Another early pause by the last lock before the bridge under the A361:

What a fantastic resource the K&A is these days.  I had to pause here as I recall from an eye line much closer to the towpath this part of the canal when it was derelict.  It was dark and dingy from the trees each side almost meeting above the lock which was a terrifying abyss, just  the wheels of a supermarket trolley or two poking out of the stagnant water at the bottom.
On through Devizes and past the Wadworth brewery led to a diversion where the towpath is getting a tarmac surface, a shame to destroy the character of the path but OTOH my wrists would welcome the break.  A swan serenely enters Devizes marina:

The towpath after leaving the edge of town sees far less foot and wheel traffic but is perfectly passable when the weather is fair:

It's well maintained all the way, some bits get a bit personal, others you could pass a coach and horses:

Oh and the views  8)

I left the canal after passing The Barge Inn at Honeystreet and nipped down to Bottlesford for a fry up at the cafe in Woodborough Garden Centre.  I was a matter of minutes ahead of the 3 hours planned for that leg so still a smidge behind schedule.
After breakfast I had planned to use the roads a short way to rejoin the canal at Bristow Bridge.  Instead, because of the considerable pain in my wrists I stayed on the roads through Pewsey and is so doing passed some fantastic scenes:

Back on the towpath the wrist pummelling resumed and the scenery was equally sublime:

Here's one of those up close and personal stretches:

I paused at Cadley Lock and had the pleasure of assisting a crew by leaning my bum against the balance beam of a gate to close it, over 30 years since I last did that :-(
Rattling on I reached the Bruce Tunnel a matter of moments too late to get a decent shot of this boat in the last of the sunlight:

Up the stepped path was a bit of a pain and over the top the path was the least well kept part of the entire K&A stretch.  I arrived back at the towpath a minute or two too late to get the same boat emerging, a challenge for next time.
The next waypoint was Crofton Pumping Station, in steam that day but regrettably I could not stop.

Lunch came at the Tutti Pole in Hungerford.  I'd made a note in large print to get some take out cake here as there were no convenient cafes later.  Feeling stuffed I didn't bother but I did bother to put on some sunblock as I was in danger of getting toasted, it was a glorious day.  My wrists wanted another break but I didn't fancy Hungerford high street one bit so it was back on the tow path for a mile then onto to the NCR #4 route through Kintbury and on the towpath again at Marsh Benham.
Onward towards Newbury the towpath is bigger again, you'd think I'd have learned by now ::-)

Newbury passed by and at Thatcham where NCN 4 leaves the towpath my wrists wanted to too but got overruled.  Where NCN 4 rejoins I found the first and only Stupid Gate of the ride:


It wasn't locked but well wedged and didn't budge pulled.  I'm sure darksiders could move it with a small run up.
More Englandshire views:

Some swing Bridges:

And some lovely stretches of towpath:

Led me to Woolhampton where I was to leave the Kennet & Avon.  But what's this, a pub right at the canal side, how had I missed that in my route planning?  Under the circumstances it would be rude not to especially as I was up to schedule by now.  I got to see the road bridge do it's swing-thing too:

Next was a gently undulating run down to Tadley and a shower at the Leisure Centre.  This was the driver for my schedule all that day as it closes at 17:00 on a Saturday.  Afterwards I regretted not getting cake though I was in no danger of hitting empty.
Onwards I took in a short stretch of Bridleway to avoid using the A340 (Note to self, the camera needs longer to think in lower light):

Round the outskirts of Basingstoke on some good cycle paths and a pause in Old Basing for water and milk for the following morning.  That left just a few miles to reach the Fox & Goose at Greywell.  Free camping so long as you put a bit across the bar.  One superb steak and a brace of pints later I was done for.

Route planned: http://cycle.travel/map/journey/12611
Route taken: https://www.strava.com/activities/335484949

2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 03:37:17 pm »
What lovely photos! Very, to borrow your word, Englandshire.  :thumbsup:

As for tarmac on towpaths – I'm not sure it's a good idea. Tarmac needs maintenance! There's a section of the Sharpness canal just south of Hardwicke that has at some point in the past been tarmacced and it's by far the bumpiest section of the whole canal.
When the sun is up it is always shining
On cloudy days you see the silver lining

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 08:03:42 pm »
Good grief, I've forgotten to mention the most dire of disasters which befell me this trip.
Day one sat in the Lock Inn I realised I'd forgotten to pack any sugar for my tea in the morning.  Normally not a worry as I only take a dozen grains but on this trip I was taking rather more.  I tried to snaffle a couple of sachets but it was raining too hard to get them into my baggage dry.
In the morning I emerged from my tent well rested and having only one cup, the pot on my Primus Eta Lite, I had to decide tea first or muesli.  No question - tea.  I was just about to pour the water into the half litre pot (a good size for tea I feel) when it struck me I'd left the tea bags at home.  I could have cried.  I have much the same relationship with tea as cars have with petrol.
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 08:47:59 pm »
As for tarmac on towpaths – I'm not sure it's a good idea. Tarmac needs maintenance! There's a section of the Sharpness canal just south of Hardwicke that has at some point in the past been tarmacced and it's by far the bumpiest section of the whole canal.

Tarmac on towpaths at the moment seems to mean tarmac (hand-rolled[1], for optimum lumpiness), with a generous layer of loose gravel thrown on top to keep things interesting for cyclists.  The Canal and River Trust have  been doing this all over Birmingham, in order to preserve the character of its 1960s industrial heritage, and I hear in places like Leeds to similar effect.

It's a vast improvement over a full-on mudbath, but as you say, properly drained hardpack can make for a better cycling surface, as long as you're not too fussed about staying clean.

It is, as ever, all about maintenance.  Unfortunately, this is the UK.


[1] Apparently the banks aren't rated for the weight of proper rolling machinery, so fair enough.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2015, 06:55:46 pm »
Good grief, I've forgotten to mention the most dire of disasters which befell me this trip.
Day one sat in the Lock Inn I realised I'd forgotten to pack any sugar for my tea in the morning.  Normally not a worry as I only take a dozen grains but on this trip I was taking rather more.  I tried to snaffle a couple of sachets but it was raining too hard to get them into my baggage dry.
In the morning I emerged from my tent well rested and having only one cup, the half litre pot on my Primus Eta Lite, I had to decide tea first or muesli.  No question - tea.  I was just about to pour the water into the half litre pot (a good size for tea I feel) when it struck me I'd left the tea bags at home.  I could have cried.  I have much the same relationship with tea as cars have with petrol.
That is an utter disaster. You lived to tell the tale though – you've proven your indestructability.
When the sun is up it is always shining
On cloudy days you see the silver lining

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2015, 07:18:20 pm »
Bolx!  just lost the whole of day 3 by getting logged out.  Grrr  >:(
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2015, 08:56:22 am »
Day 3 - Sunday 28th June 2015 - Greywell to Horley
The day began with thighs like 100 year old oak so since the sun was shining and forecast not to for long I decided to delay departure by an hour to 08:30 and so get the kit stowed  dry.  The extra faffing gave the legs time to soften up and breakfast #1 (muesli) time to settle but I still felt rather weak at the teas with 14 miles on my route plan to a proper breakfast.  It turned out I'd not been paying attention to day 3 as I developed my route plan.

At 08:37 i got going and at 08:41 I felt the first few drops of rain as I found the Basingstoke Canal:

Clearly not navigable here.  The Fox & Goose sits pretty much above the canal where it passes through a bat roost the Greywell tunnel

At this end the towpath is not well used but adequate for 2 wheels:

4 miles sooner than my route plan suggested I got to Fleet.  I was planning on following Steve's lead to a 'spoons breakfast but saw a group of cyclists going into Fratelli Deli which was recommendation enough for me.

Refreshed I got back on the towpath and continued East.  All along the Basingstoke canal every bridge has a sign stating Cyclists must dismount.  This got the thorough ignoring such a poorly thought through diktat deserves.  Unclip, slow to walking pace and give way to pedestrians - yes.  Stop, dismount, walk 10 yards, stop, mount up and get going again? GTF.  There was however one bridge for which I did dismount:

The photo does not do it justice, there was about 9" clearance above my seat.

I wound my way East past Aldershot and then dropped off the towpath to the River Blackwater path at which point the rain really settled in. My wrists were grateful to join the roads through Tongham & Runfold (NCN22) and I squelched on to Seale where I paused to shelter under the church lychgate. Note for cyclists passing through Seale, there a loo just inside the churchyard.  The forecast showed that is would clear up later but not soon enough for me to wait it out.

Through Puttenham a kindly DPD driver was parked checking hit pratnav forcing me onto the wrong side of the road round a blind bend.  You can guess how much road I used for the next half mile of narrow lane  :demon:

Cross the B3000 and the NCN 22 takes you on to pleasant bridleways.  After passing under the A3 I hit my first route planning bad choice.  Instead of sticking with NCN 22 up onto the Hogs Back I went straight on to a track / bridleway called Sandy Lane.  Boy did it live up to the name, about 6" deep of the soft stuff despite the rain.  It took me a hell of a long time to haul myself through less than a mile and by the end the grinding din from the mechanicals was exceedingly unnerving.  The vegetation reflects how little traffic this bridleway gets despite being part of the North Downs way:

Past the University of Law on the outskirts of Guildford and then down Ferry Lane to the River Avon.  The path beside which leaves a certain amount to be desired.  Like a actual path for example:

By now it was clear my route plan was way off, I had this segment down as being 12 miles and now had 18 recorded though knew lunch wasn't far ahead.  A few bends in the river later I started seeing narrowboats again.

Lunch was at The Snooty Fox in Shalford where the rain let up at last.

Bidons & belly recharged I headed South out of Shalford and joined the Downs Link.  This uses an old rail bed (The Horsham and District line at the Northern end) and roughly follows the line of the Wey & Arun canal which I kept catching glimpses of through the trees.
Trundle trundle Bramley, Shamley trundle Cranleigh trundle. Crap, shouldn't I have turned off by now?  I didn't overshoot far.
Heading East along bridleways the ground underfoot took a turn for the distinctly bumpy:

Cut up by horses all winter and now baked hard.  The Views went some way to making up for the discomfort.

Over the B2128 and onto another bridleway destroyed by horses1, this was hard work.

Here's one the 4x4 mob seem to rather like.  Perfectly passable though.  No I didn't2 and yes I did3.

Mostly on road the until past Ockley.  Crossing the A24 can be 'fun' weekdays but was easy on a Sunday afternoon.  The bridleway from the A24 took the absolute prize for the weekend:

Can you see a path there?  What about a gap in the wall of brambles top of the shot?  And this was looking back after I'd forced my way through.

The planned route goes North on Newdigate Road to a tea stop at Henfold lakes.  Even without the late start I'd have missed that.  Somehow I had Shalford to Newdigate down as 11 miles on my plan, I really must have been asleep when I wrote that.  In fact it was 22 so I was over 2 hours later than the plan here. 

The backup plan took me to The Surrey Oaks for a swift pint of energy drink. This is a simply superb real ale pub where you will always find a terrific selection.  Some wag must have known I was coming though, strategic rubbing out out letters left this.

Normally I wouldn't have been able to resist the Hammerpot mild but under the circumstances I had to ask for a pint of Burning Arse4 please.

A rapid last leg to Horley to meet up with friends at The Bull for more energy drink.

Route planned: http://cycle.travel/map/journey/12612
Route taken: https://www.strava.com/activities/335484929

In total I recorded 189.9 miles and 1622 meters of climbing.  I know what kit I need to fix and what I need to replace with something less bulky.  I survived and I think the reason for this is I was properly fuelled throughout which I wasn't on either of my Sherborne trips.  Nor was I adequately fit for the 2nd, not by a mile. I am sure that despite the rain the weather was pretty kind to me.  What little wind there was stayed to some extent behind me all the way.  The route was as flat as I could make it.

I have to say if you're looking for a 3 day adventure there's the bones of a good one in this.  Obviously the start and end points suited me and wouldn't most folk but Bristol to Brighton would be a cracker.  Just don't take Sandy Lane.

Lastly, thanks to Richard Fairhurst for his excellent Cycle.Travel web site which provided the planning, route maps and turn by turn instructions.

1This annoys me though I am mindful of the name - bridleway.  Then chatting about my journey with friends later one pointed out something. MTB riders destroy paths and also organise build a trail days.  4x4 drivers destroy green lanes and some of the better clubs organise repair teams.  Horses destroy bridleways and their riders do squiddly dot about it.  I feel justified in my annoyance now.
2Attempt to go through that.
3Dismount and walk across the bridge.
4It should read Burning Sky Arise
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2015, 09:14:41 am »
Some of those paths look lovely – at least, if you were on foot!

As for MTBers repairing paths, I haven't heard of them doing this with public bridleways, only purpose-built trails. But maybe they do, I don't know. There is one thing IMO even more path-churning than horses' hooves and that's tractor tyres.
When the sun is up it is always shining
On cloudy days you see the silver lining

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2015, 11:32:03 am »
Great stuff. (£5 a pint ouch!)
'Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'.

Martin John Rees.

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2015, 12:52:56 pm »
I see you found the Rowbarge at Woolhampton, but missed that other lockside pub, the Dundas Arms at Kintbury. Or were you too early for a barley-based energy drink with hop flavouring there?
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2015, 01:27:02 pm »
No such thing at too early but I was being surprisingly disciplined.  There were an awful lot of pubs I had to give the visual equivalent of a fingers in the ears la-la-la-I'm-not-listening to.  Oooh look, what an interesting cloud formation/example of topiary/cute duckling etc.

I should have counted.  Bath to Reading with a pint at every canal side watering hole would make an interesting if lengthy trip.
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2015, 03:41:40 pm »
Day 4 - Monday 29th June 2015 - Horley to boom!

Just a footnote to the story.  I was staying in Horley for the week as I had work nearby.  I was persuaded by the cycling nut wife of the friend I'm riding the Pennine with that it would be beneficial to my legs to go out for a short ride that evening.  I had a long chat with the legs about this through the day and eventually they agreed to a 7 mile round trip to a pub (what else?).  I wheeled the bike out of the garage and nipped indoors to fill the bottles and as I opened the door to mount up the front tyre blew.

The legs were relieved.  The tip sections of the little and 3rd fingers of my right hand are still slightly numb.
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2015, 09:52:17 pm »
For some reason (this end, not yours, I expect) I can't see the pictures but the descriptions conjure them up well.  Thanks for an excellent story!

Peter

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
  • @FatherHilarious
    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2015, 08:28:34 pm »
Thoroughly enjoying this. Pictures coming through fine for me (sorry Peter).

Echo £5/pint... ouch!
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2015, 10:15:48 am »
I've got them now, too - excellent!

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2015, 09:19:33 am »
Interesting trip and beautifully described.
As a narrow boater myself I'd love to have a crack at the KnA either by boat or bike.

It's interesting that tarmac isn't particularly popular for towpath cycling. I think most boaters assume it is there for the benefit of cyclists. It is regarded as the devils work by most boaters because it stops you putting mooring pins in the bank and can effectively close that section of towpath to mooring.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2015, 02:34:41 pm »
It's interesting that tarmac isn't particularly popular for towpath cycling.  I think most boaters assume it is there for the benefit of cyclists.

It would be if it was done well, and - importantly - they didn't ruin it by covering it in loose gravel.

It's not just cyclists that benefit.  It's good for anyone with wheels (so wheelchair and scooter users, those with pushchairs, or those trolleys of fishing equipment, etc) or who doesn't want to get muddy - which must surely include boaters.


Quote
It is regarded as the devils work by most boaters because it stops you putting mooring pins in the bank and can effectively close that section of towpath to mooring.

Is it beyond the wit of man to solve this problem properly?  A strip of grass between the path and the water, for example, or mooring posts/rings at regular intervals in the areas with high foot traffic where grass wouldn't last long.

The extra costs could be covered by not spending money on hazardous gravel.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Canals, rail beds and the occasional river too.
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2015, 02:37:50 pm »
Tarmac needs repair from time to time or it ends up worse than mud. The only bit of tarmac towpath I know (on the Sharpness) is in such an appalling state it's far worse to ride on than any other part of that path. It does, however, have a strip of grass between it and the water.
When the sun is up it is always shining
On cloudy days you see the silver lining