Sunday, 21 April 2013

I can't sing a note or play the guitar but, if any of our number can, please could you make a video clip of this song (preferably wearing cycling helmet and Sustrans hi-vis vest) and post it on the blog and, possibly, the Sustrans website.

To the tune of "Rhinestone Cowboy"

I’ve been ridin’ these streets so long
Singin’ the same old song
I know every pothole in the broken down highways of UK
Where the drivers don’t give you an inch
And cyclists get squeezed out when it comes to the pinch
There’s a load of Sunday drivers
Cursin’ us cycle riders
But I’m gonna be where the riding is traffic free

Like a Sustrans Ranger
Riding out on the National Cycle Network I’ll go
Like a Sustrans Ranger
Getting smiles and greetings from people I don’t even know
And not even one traffic cone

Well, I really don’t mind the rain
But the hedge cuttings drive me insane
When the brambles puncture your tyres several times in just one day
And I dream of the things I’ll do
With a hybrid cycle and a route with no traffic queue
There’ll be no Sunday drivers
Cursin’ us cycle riders
‘Cos I’m gonna be where the riding is traffic free

Like a Sustrans Ranger
Riding out on the National Cycle Network I’ll go
Sustrans Ranger
Getting smiles and greetings from people I don’t even know
And not even one traffic cone

Sunday, 14 April 2013

DfT money for cycling in the National Parks - an important message!

The government is going to award £12 million to the National Parks in England for developing cycling, walking and public transport links. It is expected that there will be bids for a slice of this money from most if not all of the parks, but not all will be successful. A consortium of local authorities and the Peak District Park Authority, led by Derbyshire County Council, is making a bid for building a route based on part of Peak Cycle Link's "White Peak Loop". This will be the stretch between Matlock and Buxton railway stations and includes the Woo Dale link from the Monsal Trail into Buxton, the opening of the Haddon Hall tunnels and a new bridge over the A6 trunk road. The consortium's bid has to be in by the end of April 2013. Sustrans is supporting the whole venture.

We need letters of support from anyone who has a good story to tell. Have you benefited from better health as a result of cycling? Are you and your family fitter from walking or cycling? Have you been inspired by the Wiggo effect? Do you believe that your cycling or walking is benefiting the environment? A positive answer to any of these questions, or any other benefit you can mention, represents a good letter to your local MP who will in turn be inclined to endorse the project and pass your message on to the DfT. You can find your MP by putting your postal code in the website. MPs around the Peak Park area are: 
Andrew Bingham, High Peak
Karen Bradley, Staffordshire Moorlands
Nick Clegg, Sheffield Hallam
Patrick McLoughlin, Derbyshire Dales
Write to them (or other MP) at:  House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Please write now because of the deadline. Thank you.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Monsal Trail pictures

The Monsal Trail is now signed over its current 9 mile length. Pictures are: Paul, Maldwyn and me on the Headstone Viaduct; access to the trail from Blackwell Mill cycle hire; Paul and Maldwyn at the Wye Dale car park; and another 680 sign at the Blackwell Mill end of the trail. Another good and fruitful ride.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Signing the Monsal Trail Wed 10 Apr 2013

The Monsal Trail has not yet been signed. It is designated National Route 680 and can be found on the Sustrans website mapping, although presumably that number will apply to more of the White Peak Loop as it is constructed over the next few years. We will start at  the Coombs Rd end of the trail and work our way north-westwards. If the 50 number patches I have will take us all the way to Wye Dale, we will attempt to sign the whole of the 9-mile stretch. Because we are using the standard Sustrans signage for the first time here, we will need to attach the plastic signs from scratch although there will probably be scope  for using the self-adhesive signs in places. SO BRING A HAMMER if you have one, please!
Meet 10:00 at the end of Coombs Road, Bakewell, at the bottom of the ramp up to the trail. If you are coming by car, parking is possible on the verges of this road or, if you have any worries about this, Bakewell Station has a pay and display car park.
This is going to be the last workday for a few weeks as I shall be away for a while from next Mon (15 Apr). I expect to be back around 10 May or so, and there may be the possibility of fitting in another signing day before I go off again for a week or two. After that, another day is possible but then babies are due from mid-June! It's a hectic life being retired! Also, I'd like to find out your preferred days for volunteering - email to follow.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Signing morning

After the other three left us between Carsington Water and Bradbourne, Ruth & Paul whiled away the time until pub opening.  Paul, by fixing a puncture and Ruth, by going back to find the gloves that Paul had dropped.  So in the end we were not too early for our pub lunch at the Bluebell, Tissington.  We were sorry to hear that the Tissington Trail North going up to Biggin was so snow bound - we had blithely told the rest of the team that the trail was clear, having ridden up from Thorpe to Tissington that morning.  Anyway, a good time was had by all and we look forward to doing it again.  However, our fitness classes - bootcamp and pilates (not both together) have re-started after the Easter break, effectively ruling out Tuesdays and Wednesdays for us in future.  Other days are ok and we are always willing to go out on our own and do any bits if the signs are posted to us. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

New signage on our trails

Paul Smith, Ruth and Paul Watson, Maldwyn Johnson and I met at the bottom of Hopton Incline yesterday to start the re-signing of Route 54A, which extends to the Tissington Trail at Tissington Station (see post 13 Feb 2013). We ran out of the new 547 patches just before Bradbourne and I estimate that we need about 20 to finish the job. Also, at Tissington Station we will need to put some extra Sustrans standard signage up to show the various routes which go from there. Paul S, Maldwyn and I then set off up the Tissington Trail, which sounds easier than it was! Our journey consisted of stretches of clear, but often water-logged path punctuated by snow drifts, some still quite deep, which we either rode through with difficulty or just simply pushed. On top of this, a north-easterly wind which I had hardly noticed in the morning had become rather strong. Eventually, we arrived at Biggin and signed the bit of the trail which is on road with the new 548 patches, including the junction with the Tissington Trail. I was very pleased to have met 3 more members of our volunteer group: from our first two outings, it seems we can count on at least 8 rangers - that's good by any standard! Thanks to everyone who took part. Please look out for an announcement on this blog for next Wednesday's venue, which will depend on weather and other factors.