Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Should the UK have an equivalent Tour Aotearoa / Tour Divide route?
  • flanagaj
    Member

    I’m not talking the EWE here as I think that is too hardcore, but would it not be great if funding could be obtained to do something similar to what the Kennett Brothers have been doing in NZ. Create an off road LEJOG that is always passable and takes in fire roads. man made trails and quiet country roads if no track exists?

    Yes, it would require some serios funding, but given the increasing popularity of the TA in NZ I am sure it would be a winner and entice cyclists from all over the world?

    I suspect you can create a route now using existing bridleways, but as we all know bridleways fall into disrepair and become unsuable at certain times of the year, so you would need to ensure any trails that are used are kept clear.

    Thoughts?

    fifeandy
    Member

    As you say, it would need some serious investment in creating/maintaining gravel road, but yes I do think it would be desirable.
    A brief look at the OS maps in Scotland shows a crazy number of fire roads/landrover tracks that stop in the middle of no-where. Linking them up would provide some excellent off-road touring routes for the less hardcore.

    whitestone
    Member

    I think it would be better if the route wasn’t a clone of the TA/TD but did take in the unmaintained stuff, i.e. celebrates what we have in Britain rather than create something artificial just because. There’s sod all funding around – look at how long the Pennine Bridleway has taken, it’s still not officially complete as far as Kirkby Stephen (it stops a few Km short). As for the northern extension …

    There’s a thread on the Bearbones “Routes” forum about a UK Divide route.

    flanagaj
    Member

    Trying to work out how to move this forward and who to talk to. The NZ gov have ploughed in $50 million to the NZ cycling partnership. When I was out there I found them doing a heap of work on the road sections that linked up the trails to create a cycle friendly detour or shoulder widening …

    Don’t see why the UK should not also achieve something similar. Whilst riding the TA I came across so many foreign cyclists using the trails. It was great to witness.

    I agree that the UK does already have a fantastic network of trails and these should be utilised, but as we all know, the UK weather is fickle and if it means half of the route takes in overgrown and muddy bridleways then that will not attract cyclists. Apart from a few sections the TA could be ridden on a sturdy touring bike and I think you can still have an ‘offroad’ ride, but one that works for more than just hardcore mountain bikers.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    I’ve managed to plot a 100 mile circular route from my house which is 95% bridleways & cycle paths, along the Kent coast – it’s great, much more relaxing than riding on roads. A proper off-route LEJOG route would be awesome.

    There’s sod all funding around – look at how long the Pennine Bridleway has taken

    Agree with this. There’s a 3 mile cycle/walking path from where I live to the next town along the river. It’s really nice & always busy. Still took 20 years to get it made though! (I met the lady from Sustrans who’d spearheaded the campaign on the day it opened).

    whitestone
    Member

    There’s a section of canal towpath near us that is in a poor state of repair (it’s rideable on an MTB but it gets very muddy and is harder riding than many of the bridleways up the fells). It would be an effective missing link between two sets of BWs.

    The council have the funding *if* they can get matching funding from other sources. The cost per metre is significant – from memory I think it’s £100/metre but could be wrong.

    scud
    Member

    Without mentioning that “b” word and anything being triggered.. I think trying to get any local Government funding would be seriously difficult, i think each local council area the trail went through would have to discuss and agree a path of action with the surrounding ones. A few years back when i travelled up to Outer Hebrides for a fat bike trip, i was amazed at the quality of the roads and the fact that the Calmac ferries were a decent price, but then you realise that this was EU money at work, not local council here from my understanding.

    I live in rural West Norfolk, we have loads of Bridleways, and loads of ancient “ways” Peddars Way, Nar Valley Way, North Norfolk Coastal path etc, but they are frustrating as so few link up, they will start a bridleway you can ride on, then become a footpath etc.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    There’s a thread on the Bearbones “Routes” forum about a UK Divide route.

    This. Ians idea is to link up existing roads, bridleways and paths to create a “proper” UK style “divide” route.

    Other than that, not a chance of this happening. Funding for cycling infrastructure in the UK is, rightly, focused on getting folk to use bikes for short trips – school, work etc. That’s where society will see the biggest benefit as we encourage activity and reduce pollution.

    A “sustainable”, non-muddy cycle route through the UK already exists. It’s called the road network. Thousands of cyclists use it every year to get from Lands End to John O’Groats (and vise versa).

    Meanwhile we already have events like the HTR550 and the suggested routes can be ridden at any time for those not in a rush.

    UK cycling is what it is, there’s no need to emulate what other countries are doing.

    flanagaj
    Member

    I think the first thing would be to spend a good few evenings on viewranger mapping out a route to see just what is currently possible. The missing links and joining sections together are things that would take the time, but could be done as and when funding / decisions are made.

    I don’t see why it cannot be done. Funding can be made avilable and if NZ can do it then so can the UK. Like has been mentioned on here, council funding can be supplemented by private funding and sections could be sponsored by local businesses …

    Camping sites / barns could then spring up along the route …

    Would be amazing.

    flanagaj
    Member

    A “sustainable”, non-muddy cycle route through the UK already exists. It’s called the road network. Thousands of cyclists use it every year to get from Lands End to John O’Groats (and vise versa).

    Could not disagree more here. That’s not the point and LEJOG has very little comparison to the TA or TD. You are suggesting that the 2 choices are Road touring OR Ultra hard going MTB. The TA and TD mix both together and provide a 3rd option that is an attractive proposition for some people.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    You can disagree all you want. It’s a fact.

    jimoiseau
    Member

    Don’t see why the UK should not also achieve something similar.

    Maybe because we have spent years voting in governments that wouldn’t even consider this level of public expenditure whatever the benefits?

    whitestone
    Member

    I don’t know the access laws in NZ but here they are arcane and frustrating, that’s not just from a leisure user’s perspective but a landowners one as well. We had a footpath that went past a derelict barn. We’d no problem with the path but didn’t want anyone to get hurt should part of the barn collapse so asked to move the path from one side of a wall to the other. What a palaver! The council and highways authority came up with any number of excuses not to do it: “There’d be two metres less path on the new line” was one. After a couple of years we gave up.

    Multiply that attitude by all the local authorities any route would cross then add the difficulty of upgrading any right of way to allow bike/horse access, the Rambler’s Association would be against the upgrading of any footpath for example.

    I’m not saying it couldn’t be done but as Colin says, the money would be better spent in getting people out of their cars and onto bikes for regular journeys.

    Premier Icon Ioneonic
    Subscriber

    I’ve managed to plot a 100 mile circular route from my house which is 95% bridleways & cycle paths

    Sorry to stray off topic: I’d be very interested in that. Do you have an online link/GPS? (Email in my profile if needed)

    Premier Icon IHN
    Subscriber

    Create an off road LEJOG that is always passable and takes in fire roads. man made trails and quiet country roads if no track exists?

    Most of the UK is rural, so I bet, with a bit of thought and a ready access to OS maps, this is possible already (if you’ll include bridleways in your list of allowable options, and allow for a bit of mud here and there).

    Premier Icon jekkyl
    Subscriber

    Might it not be better starting with the south downs way rather than at lands end and then joining the sdw, ndw downs link to the ridgeway? possibly then along canals through the midlands to the chase to the peak, transpenine trail northwards.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Don’t see why the UK should not also achieve something similar

    Coz cycling?

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Subscriber

    Just use existing network of bridleways tracks minor roads etc. No need for funding. Just use an OS map and its all there already.

    Any funding (limited as it is) should be spent on just getting people on bikes on safe cycle paths so they can go to school / work / shopping etc.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I’m not suggesting I agree with all the route choice, but…

    http://www.cyclinguk.org/article/cycling-guide/off-road-end-to-end

    Premier Icon antigee
    Subscriber

    not willing to argue the NZ tourism spend v UK no spend/too difficult but been some old threads on this I recall one with a detailed GPX in last couple of years

    google gives this one

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/offroad-lejog but the FB page is dead

    this one from richpips i think

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/lejog-off-road-with-my-boy

    I can’t find his route on the CTC.

    Does anyone have a linkt to his actual route.

    TheBrick
    Member

    It would be great but i think the money would be much better used on utility cycling routes. Some of these may feed into tourism routes but with general cycling infrastructure so poor making a brialeway in the middle of nowhere touring friendly, where there will most likely already be a good quite road route available and a more adventurous off route available but just not something in the middle is less important.

    xc-steve
    Member

    Its a shame you can’t cycle the coast path, Themes to Themes would be a killer!

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    While it’s definitely something that would be nice, I’d agree that pigs might fly before funding was found – considering the niche appeal.

Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)

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