Monday, 25 March 2013

Signing mornings

Reminder: there will be two signing mornings on successive Wednesdays, 3 and 10 April 2013. The weather next Wed is due to be sunny and dry, with temperatures up to an amazing 6 or 7 deg C!
We meet at 10:00 on 3 April on the High Peak Trail (NCR54) at the bottom of the Hopton Incline. Route 54A leaves at this point, mostly on roads, to Hopton, Carsington Water, Bradbourne and Tissington, where it joins the Tissington Trail (NCR68). Depending on how many of us there will be, we could complete the renumbering from 54A to 547 of that whole stretch in one morning or, failing that, the following Wednesday. When this renumbering is finished, I suggest that we replace the 54s by 548s on the stretch from Minninglow to Biggin and Hartington, and that will be another substantial bit finished. The present signage is aluminium plates screwed to wooden posts, I presume put up by DCC. The red self-adhesive 547 number patches that have been supplied by Sustrans will cover the original numbers.
Parking for those coming by car is possible in Hopton or Carsington villages or Middleton Top. 
My mobile is 07855 804451.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cycling meeting at Matlock 18 March 2013

There are 3 or 4 meetings of the External Cycling Liaison Group every year, at County Hall, and I attend these whenever I can. They are always useful and we get updates on various developments in the county. Jeremy and I went along last Monday. From our point of view, the important issue that was discussed was of course PCL's proposed White Peak Loop, which is at the heart of the bid being made by the consortium which includes Peak Park and several local authorities and is led by Derbyshire CC. £12 million of DfT money is available to the national parks for developing cycling paths and facilities. The parks have till the end of April to make their bids; not all are expected to be successful.

There have been two recent and important meetings on this subject and these have been attended by representatives from Peak Cycle Links, Sustrans, DCC and Peak Park. The next of these meeting of the interested parties will be on 25 March. Sustrans will be doing a critique of the various plans eventually submitted and will continue to act in an advisory role after the successful bids are accepted.

We were told that the cycling network in the Park will be improved, not only for tourists but for people who live and work there. There will be a Cycling Festival 7-15 Sep 2013, at which there will a number of events (mentioned in an earlier post). During this there will be camping provision at Thornbury Outdoor Centre. PCL will be running guided rides at this event.

Also relevant to us, we were informed that a route is being investigated from the Erewash Valley Trail at Langley Mill to Cromford, making use of the Cromford Canal towpath, which would be widened (but no time scale was given).

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Some information on signing

Is everyone familiar with the Sustrans Volunteer Net website? If not, follow this link: (or click on the link in the list of links on the right)

As an example of how it can be useful to us, follow these steps to find out about signing conventions and associated issues.

On the Susnet homepage, click 'Ranger toolkit' (below left)

Click 'Essential ranger signing (VG012)'. This gives you a pdf file containing useful tips and an example of the standard red number patch plus white arrow on the blue NCN template. 

'Signing dual numbered routes' and 'Destination signing' are also relevant.

If you click on 'Signs available' and then 'Filename Signs_available-2011.pdf', there is a list of all the patches that can be ordered from Sustrans, with their codes.

Returning to the 'Ranger toolkit' page, you can order your signs online from Sustrans, by clicking 'Sign order form' and filling it in using the codes.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Bike service at Halfords

Just took our bikes in to Halfords Ashbourne for a service.  Their one year Bike Care Plan works well for us.  We had the bikes serviced a year ago and now we're doing it again just before the one year plan runs out.  So two annual services for £20 seems pretty fair.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Snowy ride in the High Peak

In bright sunshine which continued throughout the day, and with recent snow still around, Catherine and David, Stuart, Maldwyn and I met at Grin Low car park (pic). We pedalled to Ladmanlow and over the trackbed of the old Cromford and High Peak Railway, which will soon form part of Peak Cycle Links' route from Buxton to the High Peak Trail. This tarmacked road passes through the Health and Safety Laboratories' property but, when it leaves it, soon degenerates into a series of muddy paths leading to the foot of Staker Hill. I'd been here before but still haven't followed the 'correct' route, it would appear, for instead of taking the direct route to the summit, we chose a zig-zag path which eased the gradient - and we still pushed! Then to Earl Sterndale, where the Silent Woman pub wasn't open yet, and so past High Wheeldon and onto the start of the High Peak Trail (pic). We went down the trail as far as the Royal Oak at Sparklow, had a pint (pic), then ably led by Catherine and David, took the Pennine Bridleway (a first for me), from which we enjoyed some expansive and beautiful views (pic), to the head of the Monsal Trail at Wye Dale. After a few hundred metres on the murderous A6, we climbed Woo Dale, another proposed section of the White Peak Trail - pushing again - crossed the Buxton golf course, and returned through the town to Grin Low. A great ride in good weather, through marvellous countryside and over some good routes, and in excellent company! Thanks to everyone taking part! I'm hoping to meet other rangers on similar rides and several of you have offered to do some signing when the weather gets better - thanks for that too!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Snow on the Tissington Trail

I did some signing at Ashbourne yesterday, checked the alignment of Route 68 and noted the access points of the Tissington Trail between Ashbourne and Parsley Hay, for the Sustrans online mapping. It was a beautiful sunny day. At the northern end of the trail I found snow still lying in the sheltered spots. How long ago did it snow? I hear that more is forecast for the coming weekend.