Jump to content


Photo

Cycling: Leisure Routes


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 28 April 2007 - 05:41 PM

I think cycling and walking are the only forms of "local transport" not yet covered in this section, so let's rectify that.

Where we used to live, I loved cycling, partly because I could easily and quite quickly get onto country roads with very little traffic and off into woodland etc. I could also do so without any majorly steep hills. :)

And that's the one thing I miss in Amersham. :( I don't want to resort to putting the bike on the back of the car and driving somewhere, but I haven't yet found any good routes. I'm reconciled to a certain amount of hill cycling as I live just off Station Road, but I don't want lots of steep ones, and I don't want to go far on roads like Station Road and Chesham Road which have plenty of traffic in both directions, but aren't very wide or White Lion Road which has a "cycle path" that is just a narrow strip of pavement, complete with lamp posts etc in the middle of it. Nor do I want really bumpy paths that make my glasses jump and thus my vision go awry! Is that too much to ask?

Today was a lovely warm sunny day with a good breeze, so I set off. B) The South Bucks Way (parallel to London Road East) was marked on my map as a "leisure route" and marked differently from footpaths, but it turned out to have stiles every few hundred yards, so I gave up on that and went on the main road towards St Giles. At least that was wide enough for cars to pass me comfortably, but hardly a quiet rural route. I then turned right/south west to Hodgemoor Woods, which was lovely, especially as the bluebells are at their best. A bit confusing there as I'm not sure which paths are permitted for cycling, but I saw hardly anyone and no one complained. I came home via The Mulberry Tree (slightly up hill to the water tower, but OK) and whizzed down Gore Hill, but by then the peaceful country vibe was long gone. And then I had to slog up hill home - not helped by the fact that my lowest set of gears were not working all day - can anyone suggest a good bike repairer?

So where to try next? I'd like to head out towards Little Missenden, Hyde Heath or Latimer, but haven't found any good back roads/paths. Or should we just move house? :o

#2 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 28 April 2007 - 05:49 PM

I think cycling and walking are the only forms of "local transport" not yet covered in this section, so let's rectify that.

Where we used to live, I loved cycling, partly because I could easily and quite quickly get onto country roads with very little traffic and off into woodland etc. I could also do so without any majorly steep hills.

So where to try next? I'd like to head out towards Little Missenden, Hyde Heath or Latimer, but haven't found any good back roads/paths. Or should we just move house? :o

I'll give you a few suggestions for this area tomorrow.
Mel and Co

#3 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 29 April 2007 - 04:07 PM

I understand that you don't really want to put the bike in the car, but if you can get to Broadwater Bridge on Latimer Road, then there are a choice of bridleways that you can use and of course they don't have stiles, although you may want to get your lowest gears repairs before trying some of them.

Turn left onto Latimer Road from Hollow Way Lane and after about 100 yards you will see a parking area on your right. Go about 100 feet further on and there is a 5 barred gate into a cow field, go through it and follow the track to the next small pedestrian gate. This is Bottom Lane, cycle through the wooded area and then follow the lane until you reach a fork where you can either turn left or right. Turn left and on your right you will see the large arable field, known locally as the Prairie. Keep going on this Lane until you reach a tarmaced stretch with 4 bungalows on your left, before you reach the t junction at the end turn right and follow the tractor track up the 'slight' hill onto the edge of the Prairie. Follow the track to the left, the prairie will always be on your right and you will shortly be cycling past Cowcroft Woods on your left. At the corner where the sheep field is in front of you, turn right and follow the path down the slope with the sheep on your left. You now have a choice, at the next right hand bend you can go through the hedge and turn left going slightly up hill again for about 50 feet and then take the first right hand turn which takes you down the hill on Bunns Lane to Latimer Road, or keep going down the edge of the Prairie and at the bottom go through the hedge and back along Bottom Lane to Latimer Road.

You could also try cycling some of the Bridleways around Chenies, you can go from Westwood Park in Little Chalfont, across Stony Lane and down to Chenies through to Sarratt Bottom and then back UP the hill to Westwood Park.

I bought some of the Chiltern Society walking maps when we first moved here, Ottakers (now Waterstones) sell them, they're 1.95 each and are laminated so it doesn't matter if they get a bit damp and they clearly show bridleways which of course don't have stiles, although they may well have some steep hills!!
Mel and Co

#4 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:21 PM

Wow! Thanks very much. I'll have to investigate some of those. As it's only a pedal bike, I presume I won't incur the righteous wrath of those campaigning about some paths being made into BOATS?

#5 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 29 April 2007 - 06:29 PM

Wow! Thanks very much. I'll have to investigate some of those. As it's only a pedal bike, I presume I won't incur the righteous wrath of those campaigning about some paths being made into BOATS?

It's perfectly acceptable to use a pedal bike on Bridleways, as long as you give way to horses etc. The local cyclist club (I think it's called Topnotch??) use these paths a lot and I'm not aware that they've encountered any problems. Even going down these steep hills, I'm sure you'd be unlikely to get up to 60mph!!
Mel and Co

#6 Harry The Hedgehog

Harry The Hedgehog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Location:under a hedge in a back garden in Amersham

Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:13 AM

Fran

Have you seen these illustrated cycle routes produced by Chiltern District Council. The routes are also waymarked (you've probably seen some of the signs)

All routes start from Amersham, but obviously you can pick them up from where ever you like.

The Green route

The Yellow Route

The Red Route

#7 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:54 AM

Thanks they look interesting shame they didnt have a little more detail on them.25 miles up and down the Chiltern Hills :) , thats one long ride for a a sunday afternoon.Cycled out to wendover with my girlfriend before from hivings, that was a nice route,although being the peak of the summer wasnt too good.

#8 Kiff

Kiff

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 464 posts

Posted 01 May 2007 - 03:57 PM

I think I'll stick to using footpaths..... way too much of that route is on busy roads....

#9 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:27 PM

they look interesting shame they didnt have a little more detail on them.25 miles up and down the Chiltern Hills :) , thats one long ride for a a sunday afternoon.

Absolutely. Useful, but could be more so - in particular, they don't indicate gradients!

#10 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:04 PM

Absolutely. Useful, but could be more so - in particular, they don't indicate gradients!


Might put a few people off. :)


way too much of that route is on busy roads


Yeh thats the biggest problem in these areas, there is a pathetic amount of dedicated cycle lanes.I personally use the footpath,back alleys.Only time I'll use the road is if its quiet secluded road.The roads are just way to dangerous.All the potholes,drains and chances of unwanted interaction with other forms of transport is daunting, you only need a lorry to see you.The problem is common in many towns that the roads werent originally designed for the transport they handle today, as for bicycles I figure they come last in any considerations made.

#11 Carl La Fong

Carl La Fong

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 123 posts

Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:55 PM

Might put a few people off. :)
Yeh thats the biggest problem in these areas, there is a pathetic amount of dedicated cycle lanes.I personally use the footpath,back alleys.Only time I'll use the road is if its quiet secluded road.The roads are just way to dangerous.All the potholes,drains and chances of unwanted interaction with other forms of transport is daunting, you only need a lorry to see you.The problem is common in many towns that the roads werent originally designed for the transport they handle today, as for bicycles I figure they come last in any considerations made.


My experience from when I lived in Milton Keynes is that cyclists often choose NOT to use the dedicated cycle routes when they are provided.

MK has a fantastic network of cycle routes - the Redways. They were designed into the town right from the start. Some of them run parallel to main roads for ease of transport, some take a more meandering course for leisure purposes. In the days when my knees allowed me to cycle, I used them a lot. But only too often, when out in the car, I'd be driving along a main road only to encounter cyclists who simply couldn't be bothered to use the Redway alongside the road. I've no idea why this should be the case, except for sheer b*************-mindedness. And of course, there were all too many incidents of night-time cyclists, without lights or bright clothing, pootling along roads where cars were permitted to drive at 60mph.

When cyclists start carrying compulsory third-party insurance, light their bikes properly and pay some form of road tax, THEN I'll consider them as being entitled to make some kind of call on the depleted transport budget.
Give me non-stop laughter, dispel disaster, or the Rotters Club might well lop off your ears.

#12 Harry The Hedgehog

Harry The Hedgehog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Location:under a hedge in a back garden in Amersham

Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:02 PM

I think I'll stick to using footpaths.....


I personally use the footpath,back alleys


Which is illegal

Or is the law wrong and walkers shouldn't mind cyclists on footpaths, and cyclists shouldn't mind cars on bridleways?

#13 KevinR

KevinR

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 379 posts
  • Location:Chesham Bois

Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:28 PM

Which is illegal

Or is the law wrong and walkers shouldn't mind cyclists on footpaths, and cyclists shouldn't mind cars on bridleways?


I also cycle on footpaths when I'm cycling with my 7 year old son. In practice the footpaths we cycle on seem to be very lightly used and we meet very few pedestrians. If we do meet a pedestrian, we get off and walk as we pass the pedestrain so we cause no adverse impact to the pedestrians. We have never met anyone who objects to this and often get involved in friendly conversation we we pass.

I would consider myself to be a poor parent if I took my son onto the busy roads rather than these safe paths. So yes, technically I am breaking the law, but I consider my actions to be defensible. I feel confidant that if we were to meet a policeman (unlikely as this is) I would not end up in court. I would also agree this is a classic case of English "fudge", as I would not be happy with cyclists racing down paths and placing pedestrains in danger, and certainly not in favour of cars on bridleways.

#14 Harry The Hedgehog

Harry The Hedgehog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Location:under a hedge in a back garden in Amersham

Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:05 PM

I agree, provided everyone is as considerate as you. My problem is when I'm walking with my toddler and we get carved up by mountain biking yobs.

#15 Kiff

Kiff

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 464 posts

Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:35 PM

I expect I ride like Kevin... I've never had a complaint in my life from walkers (I like walking too). Riding a bike on a road is not enjoyable to me, and riding on country footpaths with a mountain bike is enjoyable. I wouldn't want the guilt of riding into a poor innocent walker so I'm extra careful not to. I started doing it as a young person as I got sick of being run off the road by car drivers. My Dad's an x mountaineer and met my Mum at a rambling association meet (or something similar), many other members of my family love to walk in the country and they've never batted an eyelid at my behaviour.

I think the law is wrong personally. Bikes should be allowed on footpaths and cars should be allowed on bridleways, they should be punished for lack of consideration though. In the same way as drivers on the road should be punished for bad driving, not specifically for speeding. It's ignorant to assume that there is a simple fix to these problems. But I guess that gets us into the whole "punish the minority vs. restrict the majority" argument. Saying it's OK to ride on pavements isn't going to end up with more thugs riding into people, thugs are the least likely people to take notice of the law anyway, so I'm damned if I'm going to restrict myself due to them.

#16 brillig

brillig

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 06 May 2007 - 07:42 AM

This may be of interest to cyclists and walkers alike. I see that the AA motorist site now lists detailed cycle routes and also routes for walkers. You just put in the area you want the ride/walk in and it pops up with a list of suggestions. There are also ring binder cycle routes in Bucks, chilterns, herts etc.... books available.

www.theaa.com

Cheers

Anne

#17 Indigenous

Indigenous

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 09 May 2007 - 12:54 AM

There's a very usefull book called "By-Way Biking in The Chilterns" by Henry Tindell.

I went out earlier today and did his Cheham based route (though slightly modified to start and finish from home).

12 miles (5 off road) taking in Hyde Heath, South Heath, Ballinger Bottom, Herberts Hole, Pednor, Chesham and back home via Hyde Heath to Amersham. A comfortable 2 hours.

#18 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 09 May 2007 - 12:23 PM

Which is illegal

Or is the law wrong and walkers shouldn't mind cyclists on footpaths, and cyclists shouldn't mind cars on bridleways?


I'm sure there better things to police than someone using a bicycle on a pavement.
If there pedestrians coming in my direction I'll give way to them and dont ride like a nutcase.Yes thats that doenst make up for travelling on the pavement but I enjoy riding, but the roads are just death traps.There are numerous amounts of potholes,the roads arent wide enough for both bicycle and vechiles,many lorry drivers just dont see you.Until the roads are made safer I really have no other option.I realise that it is dangerous to ride on the pavement but there is little else I can do.Try going along St Mary's way on a bicycle with trucks cutting you up.Even in a car it can be at times hair raising when drivers from the other direction come onto your side.The road is ridiculously too small for the volume of traffic that uses it.I've come across a few head ons on that road in the last few years.

How does the law stand on those small petrol powered/eletric motorbikes riding on roads and pavemtns?Do they need a license?

#19 Kiff

Kiff

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 464 posts

Posted 09 May 2007 - 01:02 PM

Yup... they need a license as far as I know....

I noticed this morning that all 3 postmen I saw were riding on the pavement. I've riden past policecars (with 2 bobbies inside) before and not been stopped for cyling on the pavement.

#20 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 09 May 2007 - 09:53 PM

Yup... they need a license as far as I know....

I noticed this morning that all 3 postmen I saw were riding on the pavement. I've riden past policecars (with 2 bobbies inside) before and not been stopped for cyling on the pavement.

I'm sure they realise how unsuitable the roads are for bicycles and have more pressing issuesThere is a need for better/safer cycle routes, but how on earth those facilities are provided I dont know.

#21 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 09 May 2007 - 10:01 PM

I'm amazed how many of you cycle on the pavement and whilst I suppose it is one way to avoid the claustrophobia of cycling on Chesham road and other busy but not very wide roads... it's not something I have ever done (at least, not since I was about 6) and I don't envisage starting now. Still, since moving to Amersham I live too far from work to cycle there, so when I do cycle, it tends to be off-peak for pleasure, so it's a bit less of a problem. It's just those darned hills... but then they are integral to the beauty of the region. ;)

#22 mvjt

mvjt

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts

Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:49 AM

<snip> - can anyone suggest a good bike repairer?


Dees Cycles - in Hill Avenue in Amersham.
We've been using them for years - even coming out to Amersham to buy bicycles from them before we moved here and have just bought another bicycle from them!

#23 funkydoodycool

funkydoodycool

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts

Posted 28 September 2007 - 09:09 AM

Another late reply on this thread... but hey, I'm new, what can ya do?

As a cyclist I've explored all over the surrounding area, from my previous base in Ricky, and there are a few routes that remain my favourite, and you could easily do them from Amersham, as most of them involve Denham in some way or other. Bear in mind that I tend to prefer off road riding, but most of these routes do involve a lot of road riding, mostly between the bits I like. They also involve busy roads, but then these have never really bothered me.

1) The Ridgeway. A fantastic route, my favourite of all time, starts at Watlington, just off the M40 before Oxford. There are 2 marked routes, 1 is 23 miles, the other 40 or so. Basically you follow the long route, and turn off early to cut off half the loop. The scenery is amazing, giving you lovely views of the Chilterns as you go. As expected, there are a number of uphill grinds, which are very satisfying when you get up them and your mate doesn't. These are countered by some of the best downhill locally. I first did the route on a rigid forked bike. A suspension fork is a pretty good idea though! The final downhill back to the carpark is very very exciting... its about a mile and a half, on smooth tarmac, with a thin wire fence separating you from a nice drop (the kind that will kill you). I got my fasted speed there, 54 miles an hour. Pure fun.

2) The Grand Union Canal. For a nice leisurely ride, get on the towpath. Officially you need a licence from the Inland Waterways Association, but as they cost nothing, and no-one's ever stopped me to see mine, I wouldn't worry about it. If you ride along London Road and get into Denham, you have two options once you get to Denham Country Park. Turn left and head towards Ricky, and beyond into Watford and Hemel (Boxmoor), or turn right and head through Southall and into Brentford, onto the Thames, and on into Kew. Its a ride I did a lot on a "lazy" weekend, and despite being almost exclusively flat, it will wear you out once you've gone that far, and back!

3) Black Park/Langley Park. Again head into Denham, and follow the roundabout system until you're on the road to Slough and Langley. A couple of miles, after crossing the motorway, you'll come to Iver Heath. Langley Park is on one side of the road (the left I believe) and Black Park on the other. Black Park is a nice place to ride, with footpaths and bridelways to choose from, and a large lake that you can swim in to cool down. Then you come out the other side of the park, and into lanes that lead back to West Hyde. You can then either turn right to head back to Denham and home that way, or left and ride about 3 miles to Ricky station and get the train home!

4) Chess Valley. Well, its nicer to walk really, because there're styles (sp?) every 10 yards! A frustrating ride, but its got some nice countryside, and the views as you go through Latimer are nice.

5) Charlsey's Woods. Down the End of Longfield Drive, past Challoners Boys school. If you head through these woods, there's some fun dells on the way, and at the far side you can get into some other woods that follow the train tracks into Little Missenden. Its a short ride, but a fun one.

I hope you find some inspiration in these.

#24 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:17 AM

3) Black Park/Langley Park. Again head into Denham, and follow the roundabout system until you're on the road to Slough and Langley. A couple of miles, after crossing the motorway, you'll come to Iver Heath. Langley Park is on one side of the road (the left I believe) and Black Park on the other. Black Park is a nice place to ride, with footpaths and bridelways to choose from, and a large lake that you can swim in to cool down. Then you come out the other side of the park, and into lanes that lead back to West Hyde. You can then either turn right to head back to Denham and home that way, or left and ride about 3 miles to Ricky station and get the train home!

No swimming in Black Park anymore since a boy got into difficulty and they rigorously enforce it.
Mel and Co

#25 funkydoodycool

funkydoodycool

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts

Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:23 AM

No swimming in Black Park anymore since a boy got into difficulty and they rigorously enforce it.


Ah thats a shame. What a sad, politically correct world we live in. People die on the roads all the time, but they don't stop people driving.

Ah well, it used to be fun on a hot summer's day.

#26 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:31 AM

Ah thats a shame. What a sad, politically correct world we live in.

Ah well, it used to be fun on a hot summer's day.

Well riding a bike around all those tree roots on the side of the lake could be dangerous and you could accidentally fall off your bike into the lake. :lol:
Mel and Co

#27 Alan

Alan

    Alan

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,540 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amersham between Quill Hall Farm & Raans Farm
  • Interests:Family, Computers, the country side, the good life, pest control (Old Bill Pest Control) & anything diffrent

Posted 28 September 2007 - 07:28 PM

Ah thats a shame. What a sad, politically correct world we live in. People die on the roads all the time, but they don't stop people driving.

Ah well, it used to be fun on a hot summer's day.

I agree
after a tragic accident at the swimming pool at the Met trainng school some years back it remained closed they have now decided never to reopen it.

#28 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 30 September 2007 - 03:38 PM

I've just been cycling round Weedon woods, Hyde Heath, Ballinger etc. I was particularly scouting for woodland paths, either for walking on another time, or for cycling on. But there were so few, and those that there were were so overgrown that nowhere in that area was very inviting. It probably doesn't help that the parking and picnic area is blocked off for no apparent reason, which must limit visitors. Perhaps too, the wet summer has meant there have been fewer walkers to keep the undergrowth in check, and then it reaches the point where people can't see the path so don't use it and it all gets worse. I'm not sure what could be done about it; I certainly don't want wide pavement-style paths, but it's a shame. Hodgemoor Woods (between the Mulberry Bush and St Giles) are much better - though easy to get slightly lost in (which is quite nice, actually, as long as it's not getting dark :o ).

#29 KevinR

KevinR

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 379 posts
  • Location:Chesham Bois

Posted 30 September 2007 - 06:11 PM

In late summer some of the little used out of the way footpaths are so overgrown that my young son sometimes struggles to get through the nettles and brambles - so much so that I now take a machete with me as an emergency measure. It doesn't make for fast cycling though :(

#30 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 30 September 2007 - 06:49 PM

This summer seems to have been worse that usual and I think that it's because of all the rain. Bottom Lane was cut down in early June and was again virtually impassable a few weeks ago.

Green Lane near White End Farm is a canopy that has grown up and over so that it's so dark, dank and junglefied that it's not a pleasant walk at all.
Mel and Co