Over the last few rides I’ve discovered a couple of bridleways in or near Darlington that are best avoided. I discovered some excellent ones as well, that look like they’ll even stand up to a lots of rain (which could be useful at the moment), but more on those later.
Wildgoose Lane On the map this looks like it follows a disused railway line, but it actually runs just to the south of it. The railway line has been turned into what looks like a running track for horses (soft, sandy, private). The bridleway is seriously overgrown with nettles, thistles and brambles. I tried riding a little further into the field, but the freshly harvested remains just cut my shins rather thans stinging and scratching them. Result: lots of stings and cuts on my legs, which actually swelled up (despite taking antihistamines before and after the ride) and were still tingling two days later.
Catkill Lane I believe the cat droned, after getting stuck in the mud. I’ve got clagged up with mud on this track in the past, but thought I’d give it another go after all the warm dry weather we’ve had, but that just seems to have made the mud stickier. Perhaps passable on a disk-brake equipped bike, with wide clearances and mud-tyres, but otherwise avoid.