Monday, August 30, 2004

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Darlington Pedestrian Heart Project

Pedestrian Heart Project: "The Pedestrian Heart project signals the start of a programme of Town Centre improvements in Darlington. The scheme will include a redesign of the traffic system in the Town Centre, the development of a pedestrianised zone and environmental improvements. This website explains the project in more detail and will continue to report on news and progress as the scheme is developed."

This 'website' includes a link to the Cycle Access and Parking Plan.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Darlingtons First Ever Walking Festival

Darlingtons First Ever Walking Festival: "Walkers in Darlington are getting set to step out for the first ever Darlington Walking Festival Taking place from Saturday 21 August until Sunday 22 August"

Not bikes, but some people might be interested. You might also want to avoid the walks taking place, so you don't get stuck behing a huge line of people being introduced to walking...

Lest I forget

BBC SPORT | Olympics 2004 | Cycling | Schedule | Mountain bike schedule

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Amusing places close to you

Amusing places close to Darlington. A ride based around these?

Good Darlington bridleways

I also found a new bridleway (which is sort of two bridleways). This runs from Whinfield House (note: After leaving the road, the BW takes a sharp left, through a gate) to Aycliffe Village and then on to The Blacksmith's Arms.

The first part of the track is slightly overgrown, broken tarmac, which is singletrack in places, becoming more open and dirt-road after the motorway bridge. The second half is a farm track running past a farm building and through fields. The Blacksmith's Arms sells Black Sheep ale and has a large beer garden. The tracks seem like they'll cope with a lot of rain, and could be good for local rides through the autumn and winter.

Darlington bridleways to avoid

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.