Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Hinckley (freshairmiles) Rides 2011

We have spent a very pleasant couple of Tuesday evenings exploring the lanes around Hinckley. The original idea of the rides was to provide a sociable cycling activity for a number of cyclists who had recently been trained by LCC.
Uptake was a little disappointing (holidays were almost certainly a factor) but those who came along said they enjoyed it.

The 19th July saw a group of 5 of us cycle the lanes out to Stoke Golding, a refreshment stop there and return by a different (hillier!) route. The evening ended with a drink back at the Milestone.

The 26th July saw a group of 8 of us tackling a slightly longer route. We used the path by the side of Stoke Lane (is this a cycle path?) to take us to Dadlington. Here we resisted the newly reopened Dog & Hedgehog and instead had squash on the village green (what willpower!). From here we took an undulating (OK it was hilly!) route back through Stoke Golding and Wykin. We even managed a mile or two on Route 52. The evening finished with a drink back at the Milestone.

Yes we would have liked to have got a few more people out but I think everybody enjoyed themselves. What next?

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Tamworth to Nuneaton on a bike

View Tamworth to Nuneaton in a larger map
Shawn and I had a very pleasant afternoon out recently in the company of Ed Healey (Sustrans area manager for West Midlands) and Katie AT (Sustrans Volunteer Coordinator south). We were a little off patch but were doing a "reccie" on a new planned NCN route between Tamworth and Nuneaton. The proposed route here was put together by Ed and Patrick Davis (retired Sustrans Area manager for East Midlands).

My first time to Tamworth on a bike and I have to say I was impressed. Plenty of off road cycle paths provided an easy route out of town. (maps here if you are interested). Nuneaton was a very different story - the cycling provision here is very poor and we struggled to find an acceptable route from Hartshill to our intended destination at Nuneaton Station. Suggestions from anybody who knows Nuneaton well would be very welcome.

The only other real problem area was around Whateley south of Tamworth. Here a promising link turned out to be a footpath rather than a bridleway and we needed to cycle for a stretch along Trinity Lane which was none too pleasant with lots of heavy traffic. We want to look at another route (to the West) out of Tamworth which should avoid this bit of road.

The meat of the route was very pleasant utilising parts of the North Warwickshire Cycleway and passing by Hartshill Hayes Country Park

So a bit more exploration needed, but overall this looks promising. Ed sees that this could be Ranger signed. The Nuneaton group has a new Group Coordinator (john Gabriel) so this could be a project that they would pick up, however I'm sure they would welcome help from us. I plan to get in touch with John shortly.