BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘NCN’

#365daysofbiking A thoroughly good job

March 2nd – I had to be at an appointment in Brownhills in the morning and left for work in bright sunlight. Passing down cycle route 5 from Engine Lane to the old cement works bridge, I noticed the folk from Back the Track had done an excellent job of edging and cleaning the trail, making it much nicer to ride.

I’m told the council will now maintain this properly and the volunteers will not have to – as it should have been when first laid in 1998.

This is a fine job on a very under appreciated asset to our town.

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#365daysofbiking Not just pointless, but wrong:

November 18th – This one may be of interest to the Back the Track guys. 

When the NCN – National Cycle Network – was created by charity Sustrans in the late 90s in the UK as a Millennium Project, the Royal Bank of Scotland invested heavily in creating thousands of cast iron mileposts for the new routes, to be erected, well, every mile. Apart from being an utter waste of metal and time, the money spaffed on this pointless vanity crap could have gone into trail upkeep or whatever.

I notice of late some kind soul with a surfeit of time has been touring the network painting and renovating these monuments to banking largesse, but this one, on the old rail line just south of the Old Cement Works – or Slough – Bridge in Brownhills remains neglected and forgotten. 

There’s a reason for that.

It’s not actually on the National Cycle network at all.

Trail 5 comes through Brownhills on its amble from Walsall to Lichfield, and at this point arrives at the bridge from Ryders Hayes by canal towpath; it then continues up onto the bridge and along the former line north to Coppice Lane. This post is about 15 metres off the route on a cuthrough to Apex Road, that’s not actually part of the route at all, and due to barriers and a steep bank, is dammed hard to get a bike up.

So not just pointless, but wrong.

Sustrans. Never knowingly the cyclist’s friend.

May 25th – On the Plants Brook/New Hall Valley cycle route NCN 535 just outside Sutton, the colour of the season is creamy white; hawthorn, apple and cow parsley  as far as you can see.

If cow parsley wasn’t so prolific, we’d treasure it. It’s gorgeous.

July 14th – Returning from the Our Big Gig event in Walsall Arboretum late afternoon, I’d had enough of the traffic and heat and headed for the Goscote Valley cycleway, for a traffic-free, shady alternative. There seemed to be a fair few cats about, who in the way cats do, studiously ignored me, or hid. Loved the little black kitten near Pelsall, although Mr. Whitepaws, at Harden, seemed every bit the cat-about-town.