Monday 20 August 2012

Trans Pennine Trail - Wakefield to Royston

Well, this Sunday I was limited by time, so decided to try part of the Trans Pennine Trail.  This is a cycle route that traverses the pennines from east to west coast and has a number of extremely well signposted and mapped sections.

One such section is that from Wakefield to Sheffield.  It is an ideal route for beginners as it is flat and on cycle tracks most of the way although you do have to cross a few roads.  You also need to be aware of on-comers,  during my ride this week I rounded a corner to see a young boy heading straight at me, I braked and stopped, he braked and stopped but his father who was taking in the scenery and following didnt.  He veered off at the last minute and nearly ended up in a nice pile of nettles, and he then blamed his son.

Also, met up with a group of 4 Mamils (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), riding their Carbon Framed Mountain Bikes (no Mr Carbon strikes again).  All bragging how there's was lightest, avoiding insults I had a quick stop for drink and then me and my trusty steed passed them by.

Lovely Path Sections Make the Pennine Trail and ideal weekend ride

The Pennine Trail can be picked up just to the South of Wakefield heading towards Doncaster on the A638.  Turn right just under the bridge on the way out of Wakefield and turn left onto the trail. So its just a mile and half from Wakefield City Centre and maybe 5 miles from home. There is a car park at the Walton Colliery Nature Reserve if you want to drive there, but me, driving would not help my fitness regime so I decided to cycle there.

Walton Colliery Nature Reserve - With Parking Nearby

Now, on the fitness side, currently I am doing the Time Crunched Cyclist Fitness Training from Carmichael Training, and I am doing the one for Century Riding.  It's based on the training programme Lance Armstrong followed following his recovery from Cancer and planning his Tour de France comeback.  One technique is high cadence riding, so being limited on time, I decided this was my plan this week.

So off I go at 90-100 spm as opposed to my usual 80, which meant I was totally knackered by the time I got home, but managed to get all the way to Royston in Barnsley.  

At Royston you cycle alongside the Royston Canal so it's a little more open (but strangely for a cycle route has regular gates that are too narrow for bikes).

Royston Canal

Here it's pretty open, and this was where it started to rain (it couldn't rain in the other areas).  So this was my turnaround point, heading back the way I came and keeping up the high cadence cycling on the return journey as well.

Also, there are couple of narrow points to the path, make sure you use your bell otherwise you may meet someone doing high cadence cycling the other way.  I was unfortunate enough to meet a riding club at this point and had to stop and wait for around 20 riders to ride by (and being friendly northerners, saying good morning to each one as they filter by).

Watch the narrow sections for people coming the other way

Also you get a lot of 'sorry' as people ignore their pets or kids, allow them to wander in front of you causing you to lock up the brakes trying to avoid them.  One of these days someone will be sorry as a cyclist is going to take one out (one dog ambled in front of me and the other MAMILS and I was amazed that it's suicidal tendencies hadn't been successful.

For further info on the Trans Pennine Trail, take a look here  

So I completed just under 28 miles in under 2 hours 30 minutes, and including photo's and Mamil socialising, I was really pleased with my ride.  For details of the Carmichael Time Crunched Cyclist check out at amazon

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