Monday, 26 July 2010

Bosworth Farmers Market - Jul 2010

Tom and I spent a useful day at Bosworth Farmers Market on 25th July. I thought I would do a bit of a report as we are due to attend again next month on 22nd August.

Overall it was a very worthwhile day. We spoke to a lot of people - some cyclists, some not and had quite a lot of interest in Sustrans and our planned led rides in September. It is amaing how many people have unused bikes in garages!! We arrived at 9:00 when the market started and left about 1:30 - market finishes at 2:00, but is quiet after 1:00. Between 10:30 and 12:30 it is really buzzing.

We ended up with a good spot at the entrance to the market and had enough room for a small table. The roller banner (see picture) worked really well, but it is not really designed for outdoor use - however we were next to a handy bollard that we could strap it to and it was fine!

Because space was limited all the information we used was:
- free your bike cards; people fill these in and send off to get an information pack about cycling local to them
- our FreshAirMiles led rides flyers
- Hinckley cycle map
- "banana booklets" - general info about Sustrans / cycling and also has supporters form

We probably should have counted what we distributed, but I would say about 25 cycle maps (we ran out of these), 30-40 led rides flyers, 20 free your bike cards and half a dozen "banana booklets" plus a few balloons and badges.

The other thing was that you do need to actively approach people. Initially they are suspicious that you are either trying to sell to them or con them! Once you get over this hurdle then people are more than happy to talk and we got into all sorts of interesting conversations about cycling and the world in general.

They are happy to have us back next month, but we may not get the same spot. Personally I can recommend the Gopsalls ice cream although next month I am hoping we are next to the wine rather than olives!
PS The penny farthings and old bikes (see slideshow) just happened to be passing - can't remember what club they were from.

PPS. I have subsequently tried to get hold of more Hinckley cycle maps, however they have none left (they printed 10,000). They intend reprinting, but this may not be in time for next month.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Route 63 to Moira and beyond

Last week I had a proper chance to ride Route 63 north west through Measham and on to Moira and Church Gresley where the route currently ends. I thought I would share a few thoughts and some pictures that I took...

Going west from the Route 63 junction with Route 52 (south of Heather) the route heads through Newton Burgoland and arrives in Measham by quiet country lanes. At Measham (by the library) the route becomes traffic free and uses the Ashby Woulds heritage trail to Moira and Conkers. Beyond this there is more offroad riding through the National Forest to the current end of the route at Church Gresley.

I really enjoyed riding the route - especially the offroad section which I think would be an ideal venue for future child / family friendly cycling events.

The route was well signed and maintained (well done Shawn) and all I did was to clip a few branches overhanging branches. There were just a couple of issues as I saw it:
  1. The trail was difficult to pick up in Measham (Keith and I have put up some signs now, would be interested to know if othrs think this works)
  2. Route 63 currently follows two different routes around Conkers (straight through or a canal detour to Conkers Waterside).- You can see this on one of the slide show pictures and map - I found this confusing. Having spoken to Patrick he says that current best practice is that there should only be 1 route and that we should "unsign" the canal loop. This seems a shame and I would like to find an alternative. I will discuss with Shawn.

If any of you have not cycled the route before I would recommend a trip out. A personal favourite spot for me Moira Furnace on the Ashby canal section.

Happy cyclin


Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Coalville Gap II

Here are some photos of the fairly non-standard signage for the Route 52 'Coalville Gap'. The main aim of the signs is to give non-locals a rough idea of where to go, to tell them to dismount for certain sections and to emphasise the unofficial/unfinished nature of the Route.

I have put up several 'Route under Development' stickers under the signs to let cyclists know that the Route is unfinished and the 'NCN X' sticker to let them know that they are leaving the NCN.

The photo on the left is next to the Sustrans mile post near the Council Offices. The photo on the right shows the Kane Close-Margaret Street path.

The route I have signed is not perfect because of the narrowness of paths, frequent dismounting etc It is enough to stop someone not from the area getting lost. Given the frequency of vandalism (including to the previous map/notice I affixed to the mile post and the removal of some stickers already!), I think the map box idea was a non-starter.

The next target is to get some signs up around Snibston Discovery Park and some destination signs.