Friday, 5 September 2014

Halesworth to Wenhaston

Halesworth has recently put in a new cycle route and converted some of the riverside fields into a recreational area. This seems to be very popular for all kinds of outdoor activities, as well as giving a great way to avoid a rather unpleasant A-Road route.

Here's the map with the journey on to Wenhaston.

View Wenhaston to Halesworth in a larger map

The red line represents the old way of getting to and from town. It's a distinctly unpleasant road environment.Busy, often speeding cars. I've been doing the 30mph speed limit and had cars flash pass me far too close. Used by lorries too.

Additionally, it's a small hill with a bit of a slope. Not enormous but still not ideal for commuter-style cycling, especially with kids for school or a full shopping load. I've clipped this route before in blogger (Halesworth to Mells Lane) as part of a bigger route so just how unpleasant it is can be seen.

And here are the clips showing just how the route has changed for the better. The cycleway is the yellow route on the map, with the single track road onto Wenhaston as the blue route.

From Halesworth to Wenhaston

Open in YouTube at the start or at the start of the single lane track

From Wenhaston to Halesworth

Open in YouTube at the start or at the start of the cycleway

A Few Photos along the Cycleway.

A "Get off and walk" sign on NCN1. Sigh. I've put it on Cyclestreets. Surely, amongst a space that was once wide enough to have a road along it, there is space to put a 3m wide cyclelane down the middle.

Blossom in mid April

Woven Wheels

Woven Wheels

Note the segregated space for people walking (probably just missing a gate) and riding. Also the cattle grid approach for bikes. This looks wide enough for most cargo bikes and chikd carriers. All in all a really good example of properly built active field separation. I've put it on Cyclestreets

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Round Cambridge Circuit

Literally just that. Round Cambridge. Travel out from near the centre (well station), and take a route that goes round the town between 2 and 8 miles from the city centre.


Here's a picture of the map.

And here's the interactive Google map.

View Round Cambridge Circuit in a larger map

Video Clip.

well worth going full screen and HD 720 to get the best of this.

A few pictures along the way.

I've loaded all these pictures onto Google Drive with access for all with the link here. I'd like to display them as (admittedly quite big) thumbnails that can be clicked to see bigger, but Google keep changing the direct link to the native picture. So, they appear below for a short time then fail again. Sigh.

01 Cow Muck on the Coe Fen (NM-77755)

and on Cyclestreets. Thick Cow Muck on the Coe Fen, reported to County Council, reference NM-77755.

02 Coton Path

A quiet route, despite the nearby motorway. Shaded can mean a bit damp in winter.

03 Girton Path

and on Cyclestreets. Path from near Madingley American Cemetery to Girton. Probably usuable throughout the year. The goes through the A14/M11 interchange later, but is fully segregated from traffic with 3 slightly fraught lane crossings.

04 Overgrown Girton Path

and on Cyclestreets. Path through A14/M11 junction overgrown. My hand got ripped from my handlebars trying to get through this bush. Reported to County Council, reference NM-77757.

05 Signs Off Path Next to A14

and on Cyclestreets. This is a cycle route across and through the A14/M11 junction. It goes along the side of the A14. Notice that the signs are NOT in the path. An example of good practice!

06 Overgrown Washpit Lane

and on Cyclestreets. The bottom end of Washpit Lane is overgrown. Quite awkward to get through here with brambles seeking blood! Despite this being the same bridleway route through to Girton as this bit isn't listed as being managed by the county council, so can't be reported. Any thoughts as to whether this is a map error or does the county council only manage bits of paths?

07 Washpit Lane

A shaded route into Girton.

08 Cambridge Cycle Club Run

Bumped into the Cambridge Cycle Club on the Guided Busway, although only when they had to stop!

09 YouCanBikeToo at Milton Country Park

You Can Bike Too having fun riding around Milton Country Park

10 YouCanBikeToo at Milton Country Park

You Can Bike Too teaching balance riding around Milton Country Park

11 Milton Country Park

and on Cyclestreets. The NCN11 route through Milton Country Park. As lovely as the route is, it's not really a proper commuter route. It's slowed considerably by being shared-use and a very twisty route. It's not impossible to create a segregated route with the cycling on the outer side of the woods?

12 Baits Bike Lock Crossing

and on Cyclestreets. Baits Bite Lock provides a way of crossing. However, the bicycle ramps are very difficult to use (and I'm a quite fit strong person with a light bike). This is almost certainly a barrier to older and younger users and pretty unusable if you have a cargo bike or child carrier.

13 Low Fen Drove Way

and on Cyclestreets. Low Fen Drove Way really feels like the back of beyond. A very quiet and remote spot. It's actually listed as a byway, open the motor vehicles, but I've never seen any. It's just about to get to a muddy section where progress is difficult, but it's worth peservering, as you can see since the Google Streetview vehicle DID get through!

14 Low Fen Drove Way Roadworks

Very oddly, traffic works down this track. And genuinely there were workmen waiting to start.

15 Fen Ditton Road

A pleasant road, apart from the odd car going quite fast.

16 Teversham Drift Cut Through

and on Cyclestreets. This is the cut through to Teversham Drift which keeps you away from the awful High Street environment. The barriers make it difficult for cargo bikes and child carriers. And there's no drop kerb.

17 Daws Lane

Shady lane has a stream for playing in right next to it.

18 Gunhild Path Barrier Removal

and on Cyclestreets. Some of the barriers have been removed to make this route accessible by cargo bikes and child carriers. About time, given it goes to a local primary school!

19 Gunhild Path Barrier Removal

and on Cyclestreets. Some of the barriers have been removed to make this route accessible by cargo bikes and child carriers. About time, given it goes to a local primary school!

20 Red Cross Lane

A useful cut through, although the surface is awful and cars can be unobservant whilst parking.

21 Trumpington Allotments

Paths around the allotments have been opneed up to bikes, always good to look for chickens!

22 Grantchester Mill

Quite pretty looking over the bridge.

23 Grantchester Meadows

A well used walkers area.

24 Grantchester Meadows

Broad meadows.

25 Grantchester Meadows Cows

Cattle on the meadows

26 Grantchester Meadows Path

The narrow path to and from the meadows

Monday, 1 September 2014

Hildersham Circuit

A quiet 22 mile ride around the country to the south east Cambridge. A few villages along the way and very little Sunday traffic. This is an update with much better video from last year.

Here's the picture map (starting in the top left corner).

And here's the map in Google Maps.

View Hildersham Circuit in a larger map

A few photos along the way.
Click on any photo for a HD version.

01 Worsted Street near Copley Hill

and on Cyclestreets. Worsted Street near Copley Hill. Fantastic, all year riding route here.

02 Worsted Street

03 Worsted Street Beech Avenue

Glorious colours all autumn.

04 View Towards Hildersham from Worsted Street

and on Cyclestreets. View Towards Hildersham from Worsted Street. Fantastic, all year riding route here.

05 Cat Crosses the Road in Hildersham

06 Bike 'Infra'. Not so good for Cargo Bikes

and on Cyclestreets.

07 Centre Rut Surfaced for Bikes, Outer Ruts for Farm Traffic

and on Cyclestreets. Centre rut has been surfaced for bikes with a rough hardcore. Good enough for most tyres/wheels. Outer ruts remain for farm traffic in an interesting combination approach

08 Bike Infra Around Farm Centre

and on Cyclestreets. Clearly the farm here both wants cycling to happen and needs to keep some space for farm work.

09 Bike Infra Around Farm Centre Ending

and on Cyclestreets.

10 Bridge Over River Granta (Bourn Branch)

and on Cyclestreets. Bridge Over River Granta (Bourn Branch). A bit narrow for a shared-use path. But better than the roadspace next to it, and pleasantly green (which also means wet and slippery in winter!). This is over the Bourn Branch of the Granta river. Both are called the Granta.

11 End of Shared-use Path

and on Cyclestreets. End of Shared-use Path. Is it useful to end next to a bus-stop? Or would it be better to go to the road crossing further up? As a confident rider, I'm happy to use the bus-stop to pull into the main road and turn right to follow NCN11. However, I can see that being really awkward if you are not confident. Get off bike, walk to crossing, wait at crossing, cross, then walk to side road, cross that as well without any assistance and near the junction, finally set off from a position where you can't see well.

12 Stapleford Church

13 Temporary Path Around Railway Works

and on Cyclestreets. Temporary Path Around Railway Works. Path around temporary railway works. A short diversion, and not bad to use. How long will it be there?