I got up this morning and really felt I needed to ignore the housework and just get out for a couple of hours. So with a flask of tea and a bottle of water, I set off with no idea of where I was going or how long I would be out.
Once out I turned south towards the beach rather than north towards the main traffic through the village/town area. From there my only choice was to follow the road around east. A very quiet residential road. Would be an even better cycle route if 20mph and could quite easily be turned into a one way for motorised traffic without upsetting the flow around the town or visitors to the beach.
Half a mile later and the road bore right and linked up with the fast main through road. This is where I do my illegal pavement cycling on a pavement where one simply never passes a pedestrian.
This is a beautiful wooded area I would say just over a mile long. I never looked to see how far it was as I travelled through.
This brought me out at the end (or beginning) of a very quiet road and onto the beach promenade going in both directions. Sadly I was unable to join this as I came across a massive path painted "No Cycling" sign along the prom to the right, although cycling was allowed to the left.
Now if I had been on my fold up bike I could have walked the short way along the promenade until the no cycling bylaw finished. But pushing a trike is no fun, so I turned to look up on the map my other options. There were many small dead end roads coming off of the road that I was now standing in and my only choice as I could see at that point was to cycle up, around, and pick up another B road to take me around the no cycling promenade. Approximately 3 times longer journey than walking along the prom. No signs to show an alternative route. Cyclists are on their own. If you don't have a map your are buggered.
The gap through these particular barrier is actually larger than usual. I have come across many of them, along with staggered railings/gates that stop me from accessing many paths when out on my trike. Hence one of the reasons that I have started to learn to ride a two wheeler.
|Looking back along Avon Beach|
At the other end one then ends up on Mudeford Quay and another "No Cycling" sign that forces one then to join the motorised vehicles through the very large and busy car park, following the traffic around until one ends up on the actual Quay.
I have cycled to Mudeford many times from where I previously lived but this is my first time finding my way from my home now, trying to use as many off road ways as possible.
Here I stopped for a cup of tea and a ciggie along with a pleasant chat with a couple of visitors to the area. It was also here that I realised that I hadn't thought to pack a snack or lunch, so after a pleasant rest I made my way back home.
I simply had to stay there for a while watching them. It brought back memories of when as a child I was in the school country dance team.
For me this was a lovely end to a perfect ride out.
After watching the dancing I decided to cycle back along the beach path which one can get to through the castle grounds, rather than make the final mile home by road.
On looking at the time when arriving back home I saw that I had been out nearly 4 hours. Starving hungry and ready for a nice cup of tea.
Two negatives on this ride:
At one point I was cycling down a lane with no pavements and only wide enough for 1 and a half cars. The sort of lane that one car has to pull in tight to the hedge rows to allow a car coming through to pass.
I suddenly found from around a dangerously tight, blind corner a car heading straight towards me at top speed. One second the road had been clear and in the blink of an eyelid he had been there, which shows how fast he was travelling. He managed to screech to a halt 3ft from me.
It's for this reason that the national speed limit of 60mph is ridiculous on our country lanes.
The other negative is actually hilarious. I had stopped to get my bearings when coming across a "No Cycling" sign and a car park, looking around the car park to see which would be the shortest way following the arrows to get me onto the Quay. An old man sitting on the wall having a ciggie, said to me "You are looking a bit lost". I then told him my predicament. His attitude changed dramatically and very aggressively and with a sneer, he said "There should be no cycling anywhere".
I actually laughed in his face and just rode off. I wasn't going to banter words with an idiot.