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Get fit and cycle to work!
As I am writing this blog,I thought I better reacquaint myself with the laws and guidelines.
They do make some interesting reading.Here are just a few of them:
• It's illegal to cycle on a pavement unless it's marked as a shared use cycle path BUT guidelines also say it's ok to cycle on a pavement if it's safer than cycling on the road.
•Pedestrians have right of way over cyclists on a shared cycle way,even if they stray into the cycle lane.
• It’s a legal requirement to have working front and rear lights at night. It's amazing how many (I will call them bike riders) do not have lights - just plain crazy.
• It's not a law to wear cycle helmets, but why not if it protects you - you should hear some of the horror stories my wife tells me about cyclists who don’t wear them!!!!!
• It's illegal to jump red traffic lights (bike riders please take note).
• There is no law about cycling two abreast, but why do it in traffic.
These are the ones that are most talked about but there are many more.
So with all this digested I head off to work. Looking at the statistics more people are cycling to work,and why not, it keeps you fit, saves you money and keeps more cars off the road.
I always leave a bit earlier so I can have a shower when I arrive. I also leave a change of clothes at work.
It takes me 30mins to drive to work and takes around 50mins when I cycle. It's just under 14miles. On the way back I sometimes look for other routes home, never do that in the car!
Just to show you the difference between bike and car, I followed a VW Golf from the Ringwood Road/Herbert Avenue junction and was still right behind it at Parley lights.
Onto my usual weekend mountain bike ride,I went over to Cerne Abbas,a wonderful village that grew up around a Benedictine Abbey in AD987.
The abbey was destroyed in the dissolution of monasteries in 1539... O yes it also has a giant with a big …….!!
I parked in the lower carpark by the Giant. A warm up through the village ,and then turn left up Giant Hill. A very steep climb up through the trees and left across fields between the crops to follow the hill ridge line. Some amazing views across Minterne Parva, and some nice single track then crossing some fields.
Turning left onto Dark Dale, a gravel track leading to a really fast and bumpy descent to Dogbury Gate which always has a large puddle at the bottom.
Crossing the road we ride past Penn Wood with lovely overhanging trees then at a sharp righthand bend we turn left up gravel bridleway which takes you through Penn Wood.
A word of warning this track turns into a very rocky washed out climb ,it's nearly impossible to ride. I only manage half way up (one day I will conquer it).
Then it's right at the road on Telegraph Hill and left onto East Hill. Time to press on as it's an excellent bit of single track winding its way through some trees ending in a very fast and sweeping descent down High Cank.
Turn right at the end and a climb up to Lynch Coppice and then left up Wether Hill.
A t the top turn left past Barn Bottom and Sheep House Bottom and right onto Seldon Hill, following deep tyre ruts and muddy puddles up to Gore Hill and another piece of single track that leads to the road.
Left onto the road and right onto a bridleway with broken gate ,heading across fields with very long grass on Batcombe Down.
Here the views across Blackmore Vale are stunning you have to stop to soak it all up.
Heading down Hendover Coppice - a very technical descent - you have to pick your line and in places hangover the back of the bike as it's very steep!
You come out onto the road at Great Hand, then it's left and a nice fast downhill to Batcombe, left up to Pleck and another steep climb to cross junction and tack next bridleway behind Clay Pigeon Shoot.
Then an amazing fast descent to Up Sydling,a quick splash through the ford (just for fun) and back up steep bridleway by the farm up to the Wessex Ridgeway.
Left back onto Seldon hill for a fast descent to the road at Up Cerne (make sure your brakes work),and back up to Cerne Abbas stopping to look at the Giant.
Back to the car for a cuppa and danish - brill.
This route is only 18 miles but is hard work. The views are worth every drop of sweat, climbing to over a thousand foot then down then up then down …..you get the picture!!
Next time we will be going to Tarrent Rushton.