Wednesday, 15 September 2010

15th NCN Anniversary ride - Market Bosworth

Well what a lovely day we had - great company, great weather and great cycling. Things were not looking quite so bright as the 2pm start time approached and the first raindrops appeared from nowhere and we rang around people who had booked, but had not shown up.
Frustrating then that after all our hard work promoting we were only 8 riders plus 4 volunteers. Never mind the 8 people who joined us were very friendly and enthusiastic. We got the briefing done and we were on our way as the weather (thankfully) cleared.
Alan lead the way (easy job) and Eric road shotgun. Keith and Jane made sure everybody was OK and that junctions were safe to cross.
First stop Carlton where we had a quick stop and checked that the pace was comfortable for everyone. From Carlton we went under the railway and over the canal (the first of many crossings that day) and we were then on Route 52 heading south. A quick stop at the Water Park (wind was a bit fresh to linger) for toilets and ice cream (only Eric was mad enough) and we were on our way again - now heading towards Stoke Golding and our tea stop.
We continued to follow Route 52 along quiet country lanes through Coton in the Elms and Shenton and soon found ourselves in Stoke Golding where Jane and Ruth were waiting with tea and homemade cakes. The weather was nice enough to sit outside and it was difficult to tear ourselves away to get back on our bikes.

The return journey was a little hillier - a climb out of Stoke Golding into Dadlington and again from Shenton Station past the Bosworth Battlefield entrance towards Sutton Cheney. We were lucky enough to see a steam train at Shenton. From Sutton Cheney we picked up the gated road and were soon back at our starting point in Bosworth.

We think everybody had a good time - some kindly wrote emails to say so. I know that the volunteers enjoyed it. We were fortunate that the weather was kind and that we had a great bunch of people. But credit is due to all the group who put a lot of effort into promotion and planning.
I failed in my role as photographer for the day, but Ruth bailed me out by taking some at our tea stop - not many cycling pictures I'm afraid though - you will find them here The route if you are interested is here
So what are we doing in 2011?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sloes and signs on the 52

Just thought I'd say that I pruned the sloe (blackthorn) bushes in Snibston Discovery Park on Tuesday 7th September. The 52 has been looking very nice recently, it is awash with sloes, blackberries, rosehips and an apple tree. I'm surprised Ray Mears hasn't been spotted on it.

The sloe bushes in the Snibston Discovery section have been pruned back and I have several pounds of the fruit are now in my freezer, awaiting transfer to the gin bottle. The blackberries on the 52 also taste pretty nice. Get out and enjoy them!

On signing, there are now signs directing you from Snibston Mine on Ashby Road and the jitty on Ravenstone Road (near the Council Houses). The sign from the jitty takes you towards Snibston Discvery Park entrance. Near the Snibston Museum, there is an important sign directing you either left (Grange Nature Reserve, 1/3 mile) or right (Ravenstone 1 mile). Left takes you up the big pit bank and then onto the turning for Coalville and the nature reserve. Straight on takes you along past the golf course, straight on towards Ravenstone. These will need checking along with the route signs as they are local 'feed in' routes to the 52. It shouldn't take very long to do them, no more than 10 minutes.

Coalville is now covered in Sustrans stickers!

This is a substantial bit of signing. My objective when I get back will be to measure some distances with my cycle computer and get some decent 'point to point' signage up. The resources are there, we just have to be diligent enough to work it out, send off for them and put them up. This should hopefully make the route more user-friendly and provide more information than the ubiquitous 'Bosworth Trail' signs.