Two of our newest sponsored riders have been out riding over the weekend and this morning Julian emailed us lots of details about the ride. Enjoy..
Spen Valley Greenway Ride 10 - April 2011 (South of Bradford)
I spotted the Spen Valley Greenway on one of my many internet searches and got a free leaflet from Sustrans. I planned the ride with Ben Glynn, my unicycling partner in crime and fellow UDC sponsored rider. The ride follows a disused railway line, so is fairly flat. The best thing is the designers have not just gone for a straight path; the trail meanders so is much more interesting. It goes through gorgeous countryside and does go over the M62. There are plenty of sculptures, bridges and fancy seats. The best one is a big circle of metal hoops that you can ride around and around -great! Kids would love it - I did.
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The day was brilliant sunshine with sun cream applied and bare legs showing. Ben was on a mission, he is training for the mountain mayhem, and filled his rucksack with 5 x 2-litre bottles of water. That’s 10kg, plus water in two bottles attached to his frame. He was off like a rocket, I couldn't keep up with him. He's either mad or fit, probably both!
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Passed loads of walkers and cyclists with the usual variety of comments. Caught up with one bloke who had a unicycle and could only do the grand distance of 2 feet and several local lads who expressed an interest. Due encouragement was given to all.
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About 4 miles from the start there is also a small mountain bike skills area with bumps - Ben was a bit overloaded to do it justice. At the North end of the trail we diverted off a short branch (1/4 mile) to Victoria Park. But horror of horrors NO ice cream van! The total distance, there and back, according to my sat-nav was 13.5 miles. By not diverting to the park we could have gone a further 1-2 miles.
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As the ride first aider, I must report the only injury sustained on the ride. At the final 20 yards Ben had an unplanned dismount; his handle-bars hit his shin, ouch! Looking forward to the bruise tomorrow.
The Spen Valley Greenway stretches for about 10 miles south of Bradford. It is a well surfaced tarmac path based on a disused railway line and is traffic-free. It has a slight uphill gradient from South to North. It's best to start from the south end, so its down-hill on the way back. Park in, or next to the Ravenswharfe Hotel Car Park (post code WF13 3EH), it's on the A644 between Raventhorpe and Dewsbury.
The path runs NORTH next to the car park - you can see a green bridge that goes over the A644. The Path is easy to follow and no maps are needed, about half way along is a supermarket where you can stock up with goodies. It's quite busy so watch out for cyclists and walkers. You can go South on the trail, after a few hundred yards it meets the Calder & Hebble Canal Towpath.