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UK ~ Riding the National Cycle Network

June 24th, 2000 · No Comments

Morning meeting prior to riding the National Cycle NetworkI left camp this day knowing my bike should be just fine. I signed “off route” because once again Arthur was leading us on a route different than the Odyssey route. We were taking a trial out of the city for about 20 miles or so, before rejoining the Odyssey group.

It was a very different experience for all of us, because we almost never ride in a large group. Normally, riders leave camp in the morning in small groups or single. This morning we all waited for Arthur to show up so we could follow him. There were about 60 of us.

The UK has been building a huge network of bike trails, covering 8000 miles. The work won’t be done until 2005, but this year the first 3500 miles of trails were opening. We were traveling on one of these bike paths and it was opening day! Very cool!

I love the vision of the National Cycle Network. They project that traffic will double by the year 2025 and are working to help the congestion, by building bike trails to go through the middle of most major towns and cities in the UK. Half of the Network will be entirely traffic-free, built along old railway lines, canal towpaths, riversides and derelict land. These high-quality routes will be open to cyclists and pedestrians. It is an awesome undertaking, but one who’s time has come.

Our route that morning was delightful. We traveled at first along the canal side, waving to the boats as we rode by. After awhile we continued on the railroad route, making it a very flat but scenic ride out of town. Eventually, we met up with the group to follow our DRG.

This was our last day in England. For the most part, the weather had been good. In a week it only rained on two days, I would have place money on the reverse!

Tags: British Isles · Wales · world travel