Cycling On The Canal Towpaths


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Managing to get out on the cycles every day just now. So long as it isn't raining when we leave the house, that is OK by us. Today as usual we got caught out by the weather, but it never worries us once we are out.

The canals are coming to life now with all the Narrow Boats, Walkers, Cyclists, Joggers and not forgetting the Canoeists and the wonderful Wild Life which is such a pleasure to watch and appreciate. We missed the first lot of hatched birds this year due to decorating and then a couple of weeks holiday. Swans and five Signets, Geese and five Goslings, Coots and Ducks with their little ones in tow. We have seen a few different families about, with different size babies?. The Moorhens seem to be a bit behind the others, we haven't seen any chicks as yet. They are my favorites, and of course the Herons, always on the look out for a meal.

This year we are seeing more visible nests along the canal side, perhaps the local birds are feeling more confidant about their surroundings! I found this web site called "Lucy's Wednesday Walks" . She walks a lot of the Canal Towpaths that we ride on, and I couldn't resist showing you this one, that we cycle most days. If you do take a look, just imagine that you can see me and my hubbs pedaling along, the bridges that you see are where we take our breathers and take in the wonderful scenery around us. The bench where Lucy stops to have lunch is the bench that we also stop for a rest and usually fruit and cordial. On #60 you will see how the cows crossed the field to come see us. A little insight into our "Canal Side Cycling"

http://lucys-wednesday-walks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/oxley-two-canals-walk-near-wolverhampton.html.

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I'm sure the poor lady is distraught.  At times like that one is not worrying about which thread one is in.   Re.  the digression in this thread.  It was a little banter about a side issue w

This happens all the time TRD.  I doesn’t bother the majority of posters at all.  Just a single word can spark a memory for someone, but in this recent instance Chulla was referring to a comment that

This morning we had a really pleasant cycle ride, the usual place, Staffs and Worc canal towpath and then a few country lanes making a circular ride of approximately 11miles. I know it is not a lengthy journey compared to some of our NS cyclists, but it is all I can manage just now and I do love getting out in the quiet country lanes.

 

We stood for quite a while watching a woodpecker in the tall trees by the canal, my goodness, there is no mistaking the noise they make. It was interesting watching it swoop between the trees, and then pecking away, almost sounding like an electric drill. Still not seen a Kingfisher this year.

 

For some reason there doesn't seem to be many Ducks and Moorhens about at the moment, would it be nesting time, they do seem to be floating around in pairs, I know one thing, the few that were around certainly enjoyed the stale Naan bread we took for them. 

 

I nearly ran into the fence today doing my good Samaritan bit. As I slowly cycled by a couple with a dog, I was in the process of warning them about the mud patch that they were heading for, not realising that as I turned my head to talk as I passed, I was turning my handlebars as well, slammed my breaks on about three inches from the fence, nearly lost my towpath cred, still embarrassed mesen though. I just casually said Oops and laughed, a near miss miduck, very nearly!

 

 

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Great you are getting out on your bikes Carni,dunt matter how many miles you do 1 or 100 you are still cycling and as you say the wildlife you see is fantastic,much better than watching it on the telly sitting on the sofa,I had an hour and half ride today,took some pictures of the trike with Lincoln cathedral in the background and a few from the trike pilots seat of the three villages I went through,got home,looked on the laptop at my pictures,,,bloody rubbish,not in focus and very small pictures,if I go out again tomorrow I will take my camera,can you put some pics on the site of your rides?it sounds a wonderful place you cycle

 

Rog

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I will have a go plantfit, I seem to have lost the knack of getting my picturess on to the computer and then onto  Photobucket since I had my new Laptop and Camera. Weekends are the best for plenty of activity on the tow paths, as we have Canoeists and Narrow boats, Fishermen and plenty of walkers. The canals will soon be alive with all the new chicks, and even a family of Swans have decided to take up residence. We also have a Heronry, hopefully get some pictures of the new herons this year. Not quite time yet though. I will try and get some pics over the next few outings. Watch this space.:biggrin: 

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Looking through my window again, I see the sky has slowly brightened into a fluffy white cloud scattered expanse of  tempting blueness? Time to get up and out there onto the very missed tow paths.

 

What with the winter and viruses we haven't had any excercise  to mention for a couple of months, today we are venturing out and I will take my camera. The problem is, though we see some wonderful nature on our rides, by the time I get my camera turned on and aimed. The moment is lost!

 

Tyres checked. Water bottle added, Duddoos in my pocket,  rain mac and Co2 thingies (For puntures) in the pannier . Right. Come on mate, lets hit the road. (Not Literally):biggrin:

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Carni, Don't know whether you have done this canal tow path in North Wales (Llangollen canal),be interesting to ride the bike across the Pontcysyllte aquaduct some 126 feet above the River Dee,we have walked it loads of times but not rode a bike/trike across it yet

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Certainly make for an interesting ride

 

Rog

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Very interesting I would say Rog. I sailed the length of that canal a couple of times, the first time we went across the aqueduct both ladies and the children got of the boat and walked when they saw there were no rails along side the boat.

 

I have a photograph some where taken when leaning over the side didn't realise till we got it back from processing my shadow is on the river below.

 

Certainly a beautiful canal and marvellous engineering.

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I have heard of the aqueduct many times from people on the narrow boats. Some like it and some not! I have just shown Chris the pictures and says he will never cycle that tow path on any day ending with a Y. So i feel safe....for now.:biggrin: It might be spectacular but the viaducts on the Monsal Trail are about my limit.:)

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Just love the Monsal trail and the Cromford/High peak not forgetting the Tissington trail. Nowt too interesting out here in Lincs,most places are flat until you get into the Wolds,I do enjoy the trike rides to Newark,Lincoln,Southwell,Grantham but they are all on the main roads

 

Rog

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A bit too hilly for us two plantfit, that is one of the reasons we appreciate the towpaths. We do cycle on the roads, but it is mainly because we have to, to get to the area we have in mind. It is lovely round your area, miduck but I think you must be fitter than us two to cycle in the wonderful wolds. We are so grateful for the canals, the towpaths have given us so much pleasure over the years. In the 80/90s we cycled 30 to 40 miles on the roads, but after we both devoloped heart problems the towpaths were a god send for us. Hope to cycle for at least another 20 years.:rolleyes:

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Not cycled the Wolds yet Carni, the hilliest rides I manage are from home to Grantham via Fulbeck coming back through Ancaster and Cranwell, there's also a few hills from Southwell to Bleasby thats about the limit of my hill climbing these days, funnily enough I found a photo today of me and my bike after I had just cycled up the hill from Ambergate through Bullbridge to Crich,that was a few years ago, I'll see if I can post the picture on here tomorrow

 

Rog

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Managed to sort of, copy the picture,as you can see it's a good hill to climb, after riding through Crich we carried onto Lea then Holloway down to Cromford and Matlock,from there to Matlock town for sommat to eat then upto Bakewell,Buxton,Ashbourn and back to Bulwell via Derby and Sandiacre

P1060411.jpg

 

Rog

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Just a short ride then ay plantfit. :biggrin: That sounds like a very scenic ride, taking in most peoples  favourite Derbyshire places. I do get a bit envious of cyclists who can tour such lovely places. I never was or will be fit enough for those hills. How many miles and hours were you out that day plantfit, sounds like a few to me. Good for you.:)

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Average speed would have been about 15-18 mph,sometimes hitting 35+ mph down hill and struggling at 3-5 mph up the hills, it was just over 20 years ago, these days on the trike I plod on at an avarage of about 10-12 mph,funny thing is I was a smoker in them days and the hill climbing never bothered me but since I stopped smoking (10 years now) I could sit down and weep when I see a hill is coming up,ah well such is life,at least I can still get out and ride

 

Rog

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Flipping heck Rog that's one heck of a circuit for a days ride, brings me out in a cold sweat just thinking about all those hills and as too the Taddington bypass on the A6 between Bakewell and Buxton that climb must be between 3 and 4 miles long up onto the tops. Mind you there is a nice boozy at the top and it has a car park for idle buggers like me ;)

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12 hours ago, carni said:

Just a short ride then ay plantfit. :biggrin: That sounds like a very scenic ride, taking in most peoples  favourite Derbyshire places. I do get a bit envious of cyclists who can tour such lovely places. I never was or will be fit enough for those hills. How many miles and hours were you out that day plantfit, sounds like a few to me. Good for you.:)

There are some nice places without too much effort, Carni. Today I'm heading for Sawley via Attenborough - Towpath and riverbank all the way. so nice and flat, but lovely scenery. Next week it's Redmile via the Grantham canal. No hills, but lovely views.

Every year we make at least two forays into Derbyshire, but the rules are simple. Because we are a pair of heart attack survivors, if the hills (or any section for that matter) get too much, we both get off and walk. I've noticed that I come across a lot of electric bikes, which I used to regard as cheating. Now I'm not so sure (as Paul said). As the age-related ailments creep up I would definitely consider something that would keep me in the saddle a tad longer. Anyway, enough of me banging on - just enjoy the scenery wherever you find it.                                                     

 

 

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15 hours ago, carni said:

I have heard of the aqueduct many times from people on the narrow boats. Some like it and some not! I have just shown Chris the pictures and says he will never cycle that tow path on any day ending with a Y. So i feel safe....for now.:biggrin: It might be spectacular but the viaducts on the Monsal Trail are about my limit.:)

Now that it's fully circular, we have decided on the Monsal Trail early March. Neither of us have tackled it before, and our more sensible halves think we should book the cardiac ward in advance. Have any of you covered it, and, realistically, how long should we allow for it?

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Oldphil, I've only walked the trail from Monsal head to the old rail station but there are plenty of Youtube video's about the track that should give you some idea of time

 

Rog

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Afraid we are only amateur short distance cyclists. We only cycle the 8.5 miles each way route starting at Coombs Rd Bakewell to Blackwell Mill. At this point we usually have a packed lunch and make the journey back. 

 

PS. love going through the tunnels.:)

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LL, Yes the two longer ones are for definite don't know about the shorter ones.

 

Carni correct me if I am wrong but I believe that is the whole of the Monsal trail or it was at one time.

 

Its the old Midland railway line so there will be no gradients as such, because it used to carry freight it will be 1.5% or lower.

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