Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Cycling the Bristol to Bath railway path

Saturday was one of those perfect spring days, better than summer because it was warm enough to sit and enjoy a mug of tea outdoors but not so hot that I suffer with sunburn and heatstroke. Too hot for me, when I'm active, is over 20 degrees! I had to persuade the husband that really he wanted to go for a bike ride and not play golf. I promised a pub stop, and he played golf on Sunday.
From home we can cycle into Bristol centre on bike routes that are shared with pedestrians and not big bad lorries and buses and taxis and the like. We now also know that we can go all the way to Bristol Temple Meads station to catch a big train and Cabots Circus and then out to Bath without breathing fumes and risking our lives too. Somerset and Bristol are a dream for cyclists in the UK. Thank goodness for Sustrans and lottery funding. 
The 13 mile Bristol to Bath cycle path (mixed use) is tarmaced and so scenic. It's almost Disney themed with the artworks and sculpture along the way. Refreshments are available at regular intervals.Warmley station café is open weekend Easter to September and is great value for home made lunches and cakes and teas/coffees and ice creams. I loved the people on the platform, including a station master, waiting for a mythical train!
There was another tumble down halt with lovely modern artwork in the station arches. Transport past..
..and present. We didn't really stop on the outward track and continued after the end of the railway path to follow the river, past the university buildings and into Bath. 20 miles from home. It was too nice for city centre today so here is proof we did the extra couple of miles before heading back to Saltford for a Ploughmans and a pint at the Bird in Hand. So far 25 miles from home. Good for me, not anybody else, and there was a headwind all the way to Bath and it's definitely downhill on the way back!
Ploughmans and a pint at Saltford
On the shared use path we saw cyclists on bikes, stabiliser bikes, tandems, trike, a recumbent, with kiddie trailers and child seats. Then there were skateboarders, roller skaters, folk enjoying the sunshine in their electric wheelchairs and pushchairs and even promenaders! So lovely to see so many folk out.

Here is a statue of what we do well in Somerset....shame it was a water fountain not a cider fountain!
It's downhill all the way back into Bristol and a few hundred metres from home I managed to swipe one of those bike calmer posts, slowed right down, aimed for the gap and wobbled so I clipped my handlebar and ended flat on my back on the tarmac right in front of playing children. Whoops!!  It is true, Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving!  40.5 miles clocked at an average riding speed of 13.5 mph. In my defence there is a lot of weaving, and waiting for zebra crossing lights, and time taken to pick yourself up after falling off your bike!
Bike Snacks

We took these bike snacks to nibble on the ride, fabulously healthy tasty none crumbly trail bar recipe.

I added some honey to the mix, but they do work, and although not a sweet treat cake they really were fabulous on a bike ride, and transport easily! No butter/fat and just eggs and tea to bind and sugar from the dried fruits (unless you add a bit of honey too as I did!) Thank you Carl for the recipe, he has just published The Permaculture Kitchen and is a great fountain of knowledge on bread-making too.

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