Bit of a bone to pick…King Alfred’s Way…
So a couple of weeks ago me and a buddy ventured out for a bit of bike packing action around king Alfred’s Way…
Land in Winchester, park car, load up, set gps, leave, all sorted!!
A cracking weekend and a great ride BUT…… if it wasn’t for the gps we would have been a bit stuffed!!
The signposts…where are the signposts?! 40 miles in and we hadn’t seen one signpost for King Alfred’s Way
Did we miss something or am I just being a bit picky after experiencing the abundant signage along the South Downs Way?!Posted 1 year agoNobeerinthefridgeFree Member
We don’t do long distance trail signage well in the UK IME.Posted 1 year ago
@nobeerinthefridge ha ha I’m inclined to agree with you…we were amazed, not one sign! Unless there were plentiful and were just a couple of old blind gitsPosted 1 year agoswanny853Full Member
The route is not signposted,
The information page literally has ‘this route is not signposted’ as the first line of the navigation section.Posted 1 year agoampthillFull Member
Is it signed? Or is it just assumed you have a qpx filePosted 1 year ago
Land in Winchester, park car
You have a flying car?Posted 1 year agoTheGingerOneFull Member
It’s a made up route, not a historic right of way, hence it uses parts of signposted routes like the Ridgeway, South Downs Way etc.
If you expect a brand new route to suddenly be signposted along it’s entire length when councils have little money for anything, I think you expect too much.Posted 1 year agotrail_ratFree Member
Could be worse.
Can’t move for signposts on some stuff up here. Most annoying one is the bright pink an turas mor ones.Posted 1 year agocurto80Free Member
This is a wind-up right?Posted 1 year ago
… if it wasn’t for the gps we would have been a bit stuffed!!
I’m a little surprised the map, compass and Kendal Mint Cake crowd haven’t jumped on this. Have they died out?Posted 1 year agomrchristFull Member
This is making me laugh.Posted 1 year ago
don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t having a rant or a dig at anyone/thing, was just surprised there was nothing at all to help anyone find their way around, I generally have the navigational skills of a rocking horse so often need as much help as I can get a haPosted 1 year ago
, I wasn’t having a rant or a dig at anyone/thing, was just surprised there was nothing at all to help anyone find their way around
Apart from the guidebook with maps, and the gpx file.Posted 1 year agogazzab1955Full Member
@donslow – we did the route a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The route has only officially existed for about a year so no way are there going to be any KAW specific signs. The SDW as a walking/cycling route started in the 70’s so the signage you see now has had 50 years to be put in place. It was quite nice though to connect with the SDW and be able to follow the signs rather than keep checking the route on our phones.Posted 1 year ago
Also the KAW route spans 4/5 counties and trying to get all of those councils to put up KAW specific signs would be a nightmare.
Just as a warning, anyone attempting the route without a decent set of maps and/or the .gpx files (and a fully charged phone/garmin/ etc) is in for a bit of a shock. Especially on the eastern side between Reading and the SDW (meets at South Harting) as the route twists and turns all over the place on lanes and BW’s.
We alternated between our two phones, one in use and one on charge with a power pack, the one not being used was put in “flight” mode to save the battery power.big_n_daftFree Member
I’m a little surprised the map, compass and Kendal Mint Cake crowd haven’t jumped on this. Have they died out?
It’s hardly the Great Divide routePosted 1 year agocookeaaFull Member
I’m a little surprised the map, compass and Kendal Mint Cake crowd haven’t jumped on this. Have they died out?
Don’t worry, they’re just navigating their way to this thread…Posted 1 year agoOnzadogFree Member
I said this would happen when that first ever trail centre opened in the UK. Up until then, everyone found their way around with map, compass and Kendall mint cake.Posted 1 year agofasthaggisFull Member
I hate Kendal mint cake.
People that can’t use a map and compass shouldn’t be allowed in the countryside.
Signposting routes makes any outdoor experience dull and unexciting.
^^ one of the these statements is true.Posted 1 year ago
How am I supposed to lean my bike against something for an epic photo if there isn’t a sign post?Posted 1 year ago
# wish I had a friend to take pictures of me.
Perhaps the lack of signposting is supposed to liven things up a bit?Posted 1 year agoBezFull Member
When you’re heading east through Cornwall there are no signs for John O’Groats, either. It’s a **** disgrace.Posted 1 year agoBigJohnFull Member
I think all local government signage budgets have been used up by Stafford’s bulk purchase of “Cyclists Dismount” and “End of Cycle Route” signs. I’m not sure what they’re supposed to mean, but every pedestrian coming the other way seems to know.Posted 1 year agoMoreCashThanDashFull Member
It’s hardly the Great Divide route
Seem to recall that has signposts though? (From YouTube footage, sadly not from personal experience)Posted 1 year ago
You can’t expect everything to be signposted. You’ve got to put some work in yourself, this isn’t a theme park.
Also, I really quite like Kendal Mint Cake.Posted 1 year ago
I’m a little surprised the map, compass and Kendal Mint Cake crowd haven’t jumped on this.
Printed maps? Modern tosh. As are magnetic compasses – or cheater pointers as I call them.
Maps should be hand drawn in ink on to animal hide by monks, and the sun used for direction finding. It just feels so much more authentic to hold in your hand.Posted 1 year agochakapingFree Member
While I’m not advocating for signposts, it does make me wonder in what sense the route officially exists at all without them?
Is it just a series of BWs and other RoWs virtually strung together by one of the bikepacking enthusiasts at Cycling UK to create yet another long-distance route?Posted 1 year agothisisnotaspoonFull Member
A lot of the long distance routes are signposted by “Friends of the ……… Way” type groups, not councils.
If you want signposts, get a few hundred roundels made up and go screw them onto gate posts (with the owners permission).
Is it just a series of BWs and other RoWs virtually strung together by one of the bikepacking enthusiasts at Cycling UK to create yet another long-distance route?
YesPosted 1 year agotjagainFull Member
it could be signed like this. I always wanted to go to “path”
[url=https://flic.kr/p/dnUukY]02 useful sign[/url] by TandemJeremy, on FlickrPosted 1 year agoTrimixFree Member
Id rather the Council spend what little money they have on important things, like cycle lanes and filling in pot holes.
Signposts are a bit of a luxury when most people will have a Map, or GPS or Phone.
If you go out without one of those and get lost its your own fault.Posted 1 year agoonewheelgoodFull Member
We alternated between our two phones, one in use and one on charge with a power pack, the one not being used was put in “flight” mode to save the battery power.
If you had the one in use in flight mode, you wouldn’t need to charge it so often. If you’ve downloaded the map in advance, GPS works fine in airplane mode.Posted 1 year agohillspleaseFree Member
The SDW bit is fine and the Ridgeway as a delight so far as navigation goes.
As one of the OPs sets out the eastern bit does want a GPS and/or phone and/or ability to chop out some of the tedious gate heavy bits. The Mint La bit somewhere in Surrey led me in a rough circle to within 800m of where I turned off, after 40 mins.
Also – don’t do it when nearly everything is locked down due to Covid and it’s 3c overnight, as a suggestion……Posted 1 year ago
How am I supposed to lean my bike against something for an epic photo if there isn’t a sign post?
The KAW was originally well signposted but unfortunately all the fatbikers kept hanging their bikes off them for photos. The posts couldn’t take the weight 🙁Posted 1 year agoStainypantsFull Member
Whenever i go to holiday in France routes are incredibly well signposted whether that’s mountain biking, road or walking they have a completely different culture to here. In the UK if you can’t read a map or use a GPS then you don’t deserve to be out in the countryside. Which to me is elitist and creates barriers to entry. We complain about the lack of diversity in cycling but then make it hard for people to do it. For example in the month i spent in the massif central in the past few years and I’ve barely had to look at a map as everything is so well signed for both biking and walking and running. Similarly in Argeles Gazost, Ainsa and Luchon. All you need in France is a baguette.Posted 1 year ago
If my memory serves, the last 2 major long distance routes launched in the UK before KAW would have been NC500 and The Way of the Roses. Both are extremely well signposted so it sort of sets, if not a precedent, an expectation. The Reading to Petersfield section looks like a proper faff on the overview map.Posted 1 year agoDickyboyFull Member
Whenever i go to holiday in France routes are incredibly well signposted
I like the daubs of paint used rather than the signs, seems much less intrusive & easy to follow for cycling and walking routes.Posted 1 year ago
If my memory serves, the last 2 major long distance routes launched in the UK before KAW would have been NC500 and The Way of the Roses. Both are extremely well signposted so it sort of sets, if not a precedent, an expectation. The Reading to Petersfield section looks like a proper faff on the overview map.
The Great North Trail was launched in 2019 and isn’t signposted.
In the UK if you can’t read a map or use a GPS then you don’t deserve to be out in the countryside.
Do you really think that people should head into what can be remote, exposed locations without the ability to read a map? The Cotswold Way is signposted end to end but I still took a map and guidebook with me. Signposts rot or get knocked over…Posted 1 year ago
Which to me is elitist and creates barriers to entry.
I disagree, somewhat. I mean there has to be some level of personal responsibility in most engagements. As long as expectations are set correctly it’s entirely legitimiate to have a non-signposted route.
Anyone can set out a route and publish it, you can’t always expect signposts to be put up. There’s lots of precedent for non-signposted routes.
Trying to think if the Trans Cambrian Way was signposted when I did it – I can’t remember now!Posted 1 year ago
Do you really think that people should head into what can be remote, exposed locations without the ability to read a map?
Good signposting and good map reading skills aren’t mutually exclusive. I can read a map, but it’s so much more pleasant sometimes not to have have to.Posted 1 year ago
I’m sure there’s been a lot of somebody’s work gone into the Great North Trail, and I’m sure the dozens of people who ride it will enjoy much of it, but it’s aimed at a different group of people, using different equipment and for a significantly greater challenge. Just because they’re promoted by the same group doesn’t mean they should be the same.Posted 1 year ago
There’s map reading, and then there’s map reading.
Taking bearings, understanding contours, knowing what the symbol is for a church with a steeple and a bell tower is a worthy skill but not necessary in all situations.
A bit of paper or phone app* with a line telling you where to go you would hope is the minimum standard for people wanting to leave the house unsupervised.
*this has removed the most difficult part – finding where you are – and can be done for pretty much free up to a certain level.Posted 1 year ago
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