Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Feature, End of the Line

welcome back! For today I am featuring one of the problem spots I found when cycling around West Yorkshire. The trail is the National Cycling Route 66 or the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, which also happens to be part of the thousands of miles of restored canal work by British Waterways. It also turns into cycling route 69 around the town of Saltaire, which is known for the Salts Mill art complex, some really good stuff up by David Hockney, whose photography happens to have inspired a number of my works, as well as a wonderful café (if a bit pricy, but its local and some organic bits so worth it). The Saltaire rail station is right next to the cycle route and the Salts Mill complex as well so makes for ease of mode transfer if so desired.

Back to the image though, (sorry I get easily distracted by little tidbits and such) this is taken a little bit after route 69 goes on road for the official route part. The section I am on is part of a continued purposed (car)traffic-free rout to replace(I think) the on-road section of 69 into Silsden. This traffic free route is purposed currently to continue all the way north to Skipton following the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. I should note at the time I made this trip I was not aware of Sustrans live map feature (so useful) and thus didn't really know where I was going, or how the route split off at this point, or where I would end up either. I had cycled a bit of the route down the hill from where I lived in Kirkstall, so I knew it went north but had no idea how far. I took the southern route later on in the spring, but that's for another time.

The plan for the day was to ride until about noon or 1:00 or until I reached a town in that time window. I left around 9:20 that morning so by noon a café for a nice healthy lunch was in certainly in order. luckily I was able to do just that! I found This café around 12:30 after spying a rather large collection of houses along the waterway. needless to say a wonderful fresh made sandwich on hand-baked bread with local ingredients ensued finished up with a fresh crushed oh so amazing fruit smoothy. After taking about 30 minutes to eat and rest and look at the pictures I had taken so far I headed back home, still not knowing where I was as I had somehow missed any and all town signs.
Cafe Address

the route off the official path is about a mile and a half long and goes right between some very friendly sheep and the canal. It is very very very bumpy, I took the bike very slowly along this, she held up wonderfully though and was quite a champ! I do not recommend taking this "short cut" until they can make it officially part of the network though. Silsden is a small Yorkshire town, so the on road section did not look that bad and I think it would have been just fine and safe to cycle on it. For those of you looking at the route and are confused, you will get to the point where it says route 69 and an arrow pointing off the trail in nice official form to the left as you cycle north from Leeds, take that on road bit and follow it, it will lead right into down town Silsden. if you continue along the canal you will pass under a bridge, turn back before you do so unless you really enjoy bumps.

a collection of images I took along the official network of route 66 and route 69. I should note that it was not as quiet as it looks, while there were stretches where I didn't see anybody, I just don't typically take pictures of large groups while on my bike since I am busy making sure I let them know I am there and don't run them over.

out for a nice ride, a lock in the background
full size

never too old
full size

full size

typical quality of the trail
full size

almost home
full size

Google Maps
Sustrans Map just look where the green line turns into the royal blue line near the bottom right of the screen.

No comments:

Post a Comment