Amanda and Hannah think they know what makes a bad gate - and a good one. Here is their appraisal of local gateways.
If you have ever ridden the Mary Towneley Loop solo, you will perhaps understand the importance of gates to riders. This trail is punctuated by gates of many kinds. Some seem to be deliberately positioned so at to be out of sight of one another, luring you into getting back onto your bike only for you to dismount again after barely a pedal stroke. Not only that, but it seems like it's a showcase for gate closures: every mechanism is slightly different to the last. For the tired rider dreaming of pies and cool ale, it's mental torture.
As regular users of gates, we have become connoisseurs. We have favourites gates, and hated gates. Gates which make us happy, and gates which make us sad. There is a gate so terrible near Hannah's house that she will plan walks just to avoid it. It is everything a gate shouldn't be: horrible to the touch galvanised metal, stiff to open and close, and makes the most awful ear wrenching noise in the process. Terrible.
There are other gates which are beautiful tactile experiences, ones with great views, satisfying clunks, and reliable mechanisms. Ones with character, history, or pleasing signs.
Having recently invited our subscribers to the area in our Issue 131 Classic Ride, we feel it is our duty to brief you on the gate situation. Come with us for some serious gate geekery, as we rate our gates, focusing on these key aspects:
- Ease of use
- Likelihood of inducing injury
- Would visit again