Off-roading revisited……

CIMG9836

Roadies celebrate their mileages and other related stats. Off-roaders, on the other hand, will celebrate wonderful remote landscapes and the technical stats of their routes (boulder and tree trunk hopping, riding tyre-width ridges with precipitous drops on both sides……etc). Today I re-visited some off-roading (but not the technical stuff) after a long absence. I’ve probably become self-obsessed with riding the miles, and lost touch with the sheer pleasure of riding the bridleways and byways that criss-cross our landscape.

Hartham Street

Hartham Street

Ancient rural communities left there mark by handing down an intricate network of packhorse tracks and drover’s roads. Some of these eventually became arterial routes, others remained as dirt tracks across fields and through forests that linked small communities. Those that are now designated as bridleways and byways

Red=Byway, Yellow=Footpath

Red=Byway, Yellow=Footpath

are rights of way to cyclists. But to share these routes with horses and off-road vehicles is very much a mixed blessing. Even full suspension will not iron out the discomfort of the deeply pitted surface from horse hooves, nor the water-filled ruts left by 4x4s. The only hint of suspension on my 25 year old Raleigh is the Girvin Flex-stem on the handlebars, which is an inadequate gesture in the right direction……..CIMG9835

However, the purpose-built track around Grafham Water is ideal for the ‘hard-nosed and hard-tailed’ bikeCIMG9840

and on the way round you might come across anomalies like this 160 ft crane jibCIMG9838

which turned out to be a mobile bungee-jumping outfit

I was staggered to discover that each jump will charge £60 to your plastic card which, at a rough guess, will work out at about £20 per second of free-fall………The 10 minutes I hung around, there was not a single taker. I wonder why?

But then I headed off along a bridleway, which eventually tapered into a byway called Hartham Street….not a street, of course, but a deeply pitted and rutted track that was almost unrideable. But some sacrifices are worth making if they lead you through something that poets might describe as bucolic bliss.CIMG9845

And when I reached the top of the wold overlooking my own village, this was the view that greeted me as the sun was dropping over the horizon.

Advertisements

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 12, 2014, in Cycling UK and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I trust this was a deliberate off roading adventure and not your Garmin leading you astray again. 🙂

    • Ah Brian, that Garmin is RIP…it was returned to its maker……I am, once again, a Garmin-free agent! But as it so happens, the said bridleway and byway had been regarded by Garmin mapping as ‘paved roads’….or it was the device’s avoidance set-up that couldn’t distinguish.
      Anyway, I was on the right type of bike, and I had some fun.

  2. And we met on the way home!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

Inside news from Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Bicycles

Bike 5

Five miles or less? Bikes are best!

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change

4000milestothesea

On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

CyclingEurope.org

Europe... on a bicycle

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news

chrisp666

Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

fossilcycle

FOSSIL - A Fine Old Senior Soul In Lycra

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living

weston.front

The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child

Bricycling...

Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs

THE SPORTSWOOL DIARIES

................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: