Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Bonefishblues
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Aug 2019, 11:12am

Mike Sales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:It's a very odd feeling taking a barge across it - the open side of the barge means one could literally step off into space. Not keen on heights, I'm afraid.


I imagined that.
I also wondered whether one might feel uneasy about the boat veering out of its course and jumping the low wall to land in the river far below!
Hardly any more irrational than the other fears.

That would be impossible - it really is a very narrow trough - you could literally put it in gear and all go in the cabin to have a group cry and let it chug itself across. Of course long before it jumped out, it would likely have fractured the brittle cast iron trough and you'd have plunged 126ft into the Dee below, shortly to be joined every other barge on the Llangollen.

Still, look on the bright side eh?

I fancy taking the canoe up there one day :o

reohn2
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby reohn2 » 9 Aug 2019, 11:13am

RickH wrote:
RickH wrote:
Sweep wrote:... I have ridden a fair lot of canals - one of my favourites for pretty speedy progress is Manchester's Bridgewater.

The upgrade of the "Muddy Mile", the towpath between Worsley & Astley Green (on the way out to join the Leeds Liverpool at Leigh) has been officially opened. I'm hoping to go & check it out in the next few days to see if it is as good as promised. It will hopefully mean a good surfaced path all the way from Sale/Altrincham to Top Lock at Wigan (apart from the 1/4 mile where you have to join the road to cross Manchester Shop Canal as there is no path on the canal swing bridge) .

I know one shouldn't reply to one's own post but I rode the "Muddy Mile" on the Bridgewater todsy and, a bit like Fuzzy Wuzzy*, it is no longer muddy.

In fact that bit, being newly surfaced, is probably the best bit of the towpath between Worsley & Leigh. :D they've also removed a couple of awkward barriers along that section. You can ride on a good surface all the way through to the Leigh (& beyond) without having to put a foot on the ground if you so desire.

(*Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair,
So Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy wuzzy was he!
Author unknown)

Thanks for the heads up on that I've been meaning to check it out :D
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Mike Sales
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Aug 2019, 11:19am

Bonefishblues wrote:That would be impossible - it really is a very narrow trough - you could literally put it in gear and all go in the cabin to have a group cry and let it chug itself across. Of course long before it jumped out, it would likely have fractured the brittle cast iron trough and you'd have plunged 126ft into the Dee below, shortly to be joined every other barge on the Llangollen.

Still, look on the bright side eh?

I fancy taking the canoe up there one day :o


Even more unlikely than you deciding to literally step off into space?
Are you not scared of capsizing your canoe into the empty air?
Canadian or Kayak?

Bonefishblues
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Aug 2019, 11:59am

Mike Sales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:That would be impossible - it really is a very narrow trough - you could literally put it in gear and all go in the cabin to have a group cry and let it chug itself across. Of course long before it jumped out, it would likely have fractured the brittle cast iron trough and you'd have plunged 126ft into the Dee below, shortly to be joined every other barge on the Llangollen.

Still, look on the bright side eh?

I fancy taking the canoe up there one day :o


Even more unlikely than you deciding to literally step off into space?
Are you not scared of capsizing your canoe into the empty air?
Canadian or Kayak?

Proper canoe, recently acquired. Daft story here:

http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/ ... ing-mainly!)

Michael Skinner
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Michael Skinner » 9 Aug 2019, 1:11pm

Still not sure why one would 'need' walk across.

simonhill
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Location: Essex

Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby simonhill » 9 Aug 2019, 6:06pm

It sounds like most/some of you haven't swum in an infinity pool.

I've swum in a few, but the most interesting was one that looked out over a deep valley. Quite a weird feeling when swimming towards the edge.

https://www.booking.com/articles/breath ... pools.html

Mike Sales
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Aug 2019, 6:08pm

Michael Skinner wrote:Still not sure why one would 'need' walk across.


I got the impression that one was not allowed to ride. After all, riding a bike is dangerous as any fule no.

Mike Sales
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Aug 2019, 6:09pm

simonhill wrote:It sounds like most/some of you haven't swum in an infinity pool.

I've swum in a few, but the most interesting was one that looked out over a deep valley. Quite a weird feeling when swimming towards the edge.

https://www.booking.com/articles/breath ... pools.html


I haven't. It must be fun, depending on your idea of fun.

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RickH
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby RickH » 9 Aug 2019, 7:22pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Michael Skinner wrote:Still not sure why one would 'need' walk across.


I got the impression that one was not allowed to ride. After all, riding a bike is dangerous as any fule no.

I've been across both aqueducts a number of times. I don't recall any signs suggesting dismounting on the Chirk aqueduct. None are shown when it was "StreetViewed".

I think there used to be dismount signs on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (StreetView has been there too), the towpath is quite narrow once you leave and the ground. If there are no pedestrians, or very few, then it is perfectly feasible to ride it carefully. I've ridden solo several times, but mostly walked it, and never tried riding when on the tandem.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Aug 2019, 11:44pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:That would be impossible - it really is a very narrow trough - you could literally put it in gear and all go in the cabin to have a group cry and let it chug itself across. Of course long before it jumped out, it would likely have fractured the brittle cast iron trough and you'd have plunged 126ft into the Dee below, shortly to be joined every other barge on the Llangollen.

Still, look on the bright side eh?

I fancy taking the canoe up there one day :o


Even more unlikely than you deciding to literally step off into space?
Are you not scared of capsizing your canoe into the empty air?
Canadian or Kayak?

By funny coincidence. Packrafters are a breed apart.

http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/ ... e-Aqueduct

Mike Sales
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Mike Sales » 10 Aug 2019, 8:26am

Bonefishblues wrote:By funny coincidence. Packrafters are a breed apart.

http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/ ... e-Aqueduct


What a lovely adventure. They must have a "head for heights".
I could enjoy that trip.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Aug 2019, 12:45pm

pwa wrote:
nirakaro wrote:
Pneumant wrote: the Venice of the north no less

Nobody - neither Brummies nor northerners - is going to thank you for suggesting that Birmingham is in the north!

"North" starts somewhere north of Stoke, I've always thought.

In the context of Venice, the North starts at the top of the Alps.

AndyK
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby AndyK » 10 Aug 2019, 1:44pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Michael Skinner wrote:Still not sure why one would 'need' walk across.


I got the impression that one was not allowed to ride. After all, riding a bike is dangerous as any fule no.

I had a nice chat with the woman on duty in the information centre at the north end of Pontcysllte last year, and I believe the line is that the C&RT asks you not to ride across. It's a reasonable enough request. Bear in mind these paths are often busy with walkers going both ways, a few of whom will already be nervous and prone to panic. A close pass by a bicycle will not help them. Last time I was there, a local teenager came pelting across on his MTB at around 15mph, reducing several pedestrians to quivering jellies.

Add to that that some cyclists will be less proficient than you undoubtedly are: when they get stuck behind a gaggle of pedestrians and reduced riding at a slow walking pace, then may well wobble off the edge into the canal.

Talking of which, the trust specifically asks cyclists to walk on the canal side of the path, keeping the bike nearest the canal: apparently the idea is that if something/someone does slip off, it's best if it's not the person. (Some dodgy logic there, of course: people float, bikes don't. Also people are easier to dry out and tend not to rust. :wink: )

brynpoeth
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Aug 2019, 1:53pm

Maybe safety rails could be installed, or a one-way system
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Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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Witterings
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Re: Touring on Canal Towpaths (UK)

Postby Witterings » 12 Aug 2019, 11:17pm

AndyK wrote:Talking of which, the trust specifically asks cyclists to walk on the canal side of the path, keeping the bike nearest the canal: apparently the idea is that if something/someone does slip off, it's best if it's not the person. (Some dodgy logic there, of course: people float, bikes don't. Also people are easier to dry out and tend not to rust. :wink: )


Except if it's misjudged and the thing nearest the water falls in ... if it's the bike the person can pull it out whereas the bike can't pull the person out and if the person's nearest the water and falls in chances are they'll take the bike with them so 2 things to get out not one.

If a barge is coming and hit's what falls in the water because it can't stop in time ... I'd rather it was my bike it hit than me.

Just my 2p's worth.