Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Watermead Park and NCN 6

Oh the benefits of retirement. Jane and I had a free day today so we decided to take a trip out to Watermead park in Leicester and see how Sustrans have been spending their Connect2 money, and at the same time we (well me anyway) wanted to try out NCN 6 through the middle of Leicester. Well what a great day we had. Watermead is a great place - lots of water!, great cycle tracks and hardly anybody there.

I struggled initially to find any maps, but eventually stumbled across this leaflet which shows the proposed scheme. We decided to try and cycle from just outside Cossington into Watermead. This is shown on the map as a new path but unfortunately it was not really much more than a footpath. I don't know if anything will be done about it in the future - we talked to some other cyclists who use the route regularly from Silesby and were very keen to see it upgraded. Anyway we managed to ride a bit and walk a bit and once we reached the River Wreake we managed to cycle and just had to lift the bikes up a few steps at one bridge.

We had a very nice pub stop at the White Lion at Birstall which is pretty much where we picked up route 6. From here NCN 6 follows some very pretty waterside including Abbey Park which was lovely. NCN 6 across the city itself is also pretty good. Plenty of twists and turns to keep off busy roads, but it is all well signed (well done Leicester Rangers). A little way past De Montford Uni, NCN 6 joins the Great Central Way to get you out of the centre of the city to the world beyond.

At this point however it was time for us to turn around as Andy Murray was soon due on court for his quarter final. We made it home just in time and a win for Andy capped a great day out.

Festival of Leisure Sustrans stand

The previous post from Shawn told you about the Fresh Air Miles ride at the Festival of Leisure at Church Gresley. Take a look on the Derby Blog to see the stand we manned over the weekend. Well done to Shawn and Ben for organising. A big thank you to Les for providing and transporting the stall and thanks also to Keith and Eric for their help over the weekend.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Festival of Leisure Bike ride. The Conkers Circuit

The fresh air miles ride around the Conkers Circuit was sparsely attended (4 rangers, 10 enthusiastic members of the public) but was enjoyed by all. Here is a picture record of a passable first organized ride for the Gresley Rangers- the weather was scorching (35C) but everyone was up to the challenge and all went away with smiles and pleasant memories-I hope!

first the briefing-everyone listen up! Ben!

All set for the off- now were's the local MP when you need her!

The girls enjoying a much needed rest at the Navigation-Half way now!

How come the leader is at the back?-Top side Albert village Lake.

Speeding around the lake to check out....

The vociferous rescue dogs...Newfoundland??

Back at base. Les please put the kettle on we are proper parched!!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Stoke Golding cycle group is born (again)

Way back when we were young and fit we used to go to Jim Burn's keep fit class at St Martins. When school was out for summer hols we jumped on our bikes pedalled the lanes and had a chat and a pint or two. They were good evenings. Now many years on I decided it was time for a rebirth. So I made a few phone calls to other ex keep fitters and a few other likely (and not so likely) people. Response was positive although quite a few said "but not this week".Anyway on Thursday 19th May the first ride got under way with a small but select band of people - myself, Geoff, Bernie, Colin & Nick.

We took a very leisurely ride into Market Bosworth following National Cycle Route 52 through Shenton and Far Coton. We stopped at the Red Lion for a well earned pint or two before cycling back. There was much debate on which route to use back, but the concensus was "no up hills please", so we ruled out the gated road and came the direct way through Shenton & Dadlington. We were all set to go home when we learned that Steve was in the newly reopened Dog and Hedgehog so we stopped of there for another drink.By the time we left it was well and truly dark and we all realised that our lights were not as good as we thought, but we old made it home in one piece and vowed we would be there again next week.


PS. Heres the route we took - an easy 11 miles

Route 6 / 52 Familiarisation Ride - 11th June

Bike ride Saturday 11th June – Route 6 and 52
Castle Donington/ Wilson/Worthington/ Coalville/Worthington/Derby/Long Eaton/Castle Donington

Riders :- Alan, Ben, Keith

This ride was organised to bring-about a better understanding of each other’s routes.

We set off from Castle Donington on a beautiful sunny day, through groups of young ‘ Download Fans ’ attending the rock concert at the Donington Park Circuit. We were quickly onto Route 6 at Wilson along Forty Foot Lane and enjoying steady progress towards Worthington. Over the A42 near Breedon on the Hill, then on to Worthington looking at the Worthington Lane entry to the car-park noting its missing sign. Back to continue on Route 6, a quick look at the Cloud Hill (very deep) Quarry and on to Top Brand. Here the Cloud Trail becomes The Garendon Trail and we continued on to Osgathorpe, through to where Route 6 meets Route 52. A right turn and down to the A512 facing the Grace Dieu Priory, crossing to start the Grace Dieu Trail alongside the wood (not forgetting the Iron Maddona). On leaving the trail straight-on through Thringstone/Whitwick following Route 52 signs through the splendid Hermitage Country Park to the A511 island. Straight-on up Whitwick Road to the Council Offices at Coalville, across to the temporarily signed Route 52 through the town and stopping for a well earned cup of tea at Snibston Discovery Park.
We continued along Ashby Road to the next island to turn right down the hill to Swannington and Peggs Green. Straight across the A512 island to Griffydam and along Top Brand to turn left down Bull Hill into Worthington. A quick look at the lock-up and this time returning to Route 6 via Manor Drive. The wind was with us and we made very rapid progress to Derby by-passing Melbourne/Kings Newton then along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Swarkstone Lock. Turning here through Chellaston alongside the River Derwent to Derby where we had to pick our way through a very fancy wedding going on at the register office.
A quick look round the square and back on to Route 6 towards Borrowash (Route 6 splits in Alvaston Park). We take a right turn off Route 6 to visit Elvaston Castle, then on through Borrowash and Draycott to return to the route through Breaston and on to Long Eaton. Through West Park over the Erewash Canal, pointing out Route 67 to Shipley Country Park and the continuance of Route 6 to Nottingham and beyond. We turn right along Tamworth Road and get onto the path along the Erewash Canal to Trentlock. Starting here by the Cranfleet Canal is the Trent Valley Way alongside the mighty River Trent to Attenborough/Beeston/ Nottingham and the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont.
We turn right going the opposite way alongside and over the Trent to Sawley Cut/Sawley Marina, where we get on a path by the B6540 to Castle Donington. A glass of beer at the Crown Pub to celebrate a good ride/a good day out and then down Back Lane to Castle Donington and the cars for home. - 51 miles