Singletrack – The Big Thrash: “On Friday, May 28th, a group of mountain bikers led by Andy Armstrong will set off from Edinburgh on a journey that will take them through the Scottish Borders, Northumberland and the Yorkshire Dales, finishing in Todmorden on the Yorkshire-Lancashire frontier seven days later. They are doing this for two reasons: to have a fantastic time, and to raise money for Epilepsy Scotland.”
After getting to the Dolphin Centre faster by bike than by car, I took slightly longer to get home. About 2 1/2 hours, in fact.
I left the town centre along Coniscliffe Road, to the Baydale Beck, where I took a bridleway north to Archdeacon Newton. From there I followed a set of three bridleways to Burtree Gate, followed by a quick spin along the dual carriageway to find the entrance to the bridleway starting near the roundabout (hint: enter the lay-by from the northern end, the other end is chocked with nettles), which I followed to Coatham Lane, before heading south down Patches Lane and then across to the A167. From the A167, I headed to Barmpton Village, via Ketton Farms, and from there home.
Lots more animal life was disturbed, including loads of butterflies who were sunning themselves on the trail (so, sorry for all the hurricanes).
Very roughly, I estimate I covered about 20 miles, in about 2 1/2 hours, mostly off road. All of it was rideable, though there was some very long grass to ride through in places.
During the ride, I saw way markers for three of Darlington’s way-marked trails: the Heighton Boot, Salters Circular and Catkill Trail. I’m going to call into a bike shop in town to see if I can get another copy of the leaflet detailing the rides, so I can attempt each of them as intended, then I might attempt a combination of all three.
This ride was brought to you in association with Benadryl Plus+, Taking the Long Way Home and sunny Sunday afternoons. I think I’ve found my summer homeward-bound commute.
Yesterday afternoon, I rode my bike form home to the Dolphin Centre while my wife drove. We set off at the same time, but I beat her to the entrance of the Dolphin Centre by a minute or so.
Of course, she had to park in the Town Hall car park whilst I could lock up my bike outside the Dolphin Centre. Oh, and she had a baby to sort out. But it was almost faster.
While locking up my bike, I had a chat with one of Darlington’s Community Wardens about the chainset, as he has the same bike. I don’t think any Clio owners chatted to my wife. Bikes: faster (sometimes), friendlier (always).
Cycle tours of the town: “12/05/04 – This summer join Darlington Council’s Transport Policy Officer Owen Wilson for an easy-going cycle ride along some of Darlington’s network of cycle paths and quieter roads.”
The first ride was yesterday, so I missed it, but it looks like there are more rides planned.
Game Bike Controller: “JANE PINCKARD — Who says gamers are fat and lazy couch potatoes?”