NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
lorettocourt
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NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby lorettocourt » 13 May 2013, 7:41pm

Hi - I'm cycling from home in Edinburgh down to my folks on Teeside next month and am planning on using a very short section of NCR14 and was wondering if anyone out there can tell me what the surface of it is like as I will be on skinny (700x23c) tyres. I will be heading East out of Darlington on the B6279 an will pick up NCR14 just before the A66 roundabout and be on it for about 3km so that's the bit I am interested in.
many thanks :D

Mark1978
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby Mark1978 » 13 May 2013, 8:25pm

Google street view suggests a compacted gravel surface. Typical cycle path fayre - unfortunately! Probably passable but at a slow speed.

I have the same problem. I wish there was a national map with cycle routes marked out with their surface grading. Or better still just put a good surface on all signed routes!

karlt
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby karlt » 14 May 2013, 12:13pm

I'd go with the former. I don't think I want strips of tarmac everywhere. But there is a sort of assumption that everyone's on hybrids or MTBs these days so a smooth surface isn't needed on cycle routes.

Mark1978
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby Mark1978 » 14 May 2013, 2:15pm

karlt wrote:I'd go with the former. I don't think I want strips of tarmac everywhere. But there is a sort of assumption that everyone's on hybrids or MTBs these days so a smooth surface isn't needed on cycle routes.


No I'm not saying everything should be tarmac, but there should be some consistency, e.g. if you are going to tarmac a route, do all of it, at least between access points to the road network, don't chop and change between tarmac and gravel every half mile.

Also sign & map it accordingly, there are off road cycle routes near me which are smooth tarmac, others which are no more than a narrow muddy footpath, and they are signed the same.

eclipse
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Location: Darlington

Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby eclipse » 16 May 2013, 1:34pm

I occasionally use this track; never had any probs on my old Flying Scot with pretty skinny tyres. It has that yellow fine compacted gravel surface which is ok.
ride safe John

byegad
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby byegad » 20 May 2013, 7:42pm

Mark1978 wrote:Google street view suggests a compacted gravel surface. Typical cycle path fayre - unfortunately! Probably passable but at a slow speed.

I have the same problem. I wish there was a national map with cycle routes marked out with their surface grading. Or better still just put a good surface on all signed routes!


You are asking too much of Sustrans, they think a few signs, a muddy track that peters out into a bog and some barriers make a cycle path. I admire your ambition. :)
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 21 May 2013, 10:06am

Mark1978 wrote:I have the same problem. I wish there was a national map with cycle routes marked out with their surface grading.

I'm working on it ;)
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

Mark1978
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby Mark1978 » 21 May 2013, 10:14am

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
Mark1978 wrote:I have the same problem. I wish there was a national map with cycle routes marked out with their surface grading.

I'm working on it ;)


Good luck! There are actually decent cycling maps available for much of the country, the problem I have with them is they show tarmac and gravel routes the same, so riding a road bike I don't know which are suitable and which are not.

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Dean
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Location: Darlington

Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby Dean » 21 May 2013, 10:15am

I posted this elsewhere in response to the OP, but I'll re-post it here for the benefit of anyone else reading the thread:

That's just off my commute, that is. I rode down it only yesterday (Middleton St George, over the A66 and into Darlo).

Alongside the B6279 (Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor), it's a wide, well-surfaced path, and east of McMullen Road it's little frequented by anyone. Good tarmac, well away from the road.

Then comes the footbridge over the A66, and the descent. Don't go mad on the descent, because...

Things get a little trickier here - there's a gate that you can just about wiggle through without dismounting, but it's gravelly, especially around the gate. Perfectly ridable, with care. It's the track bed of the Stockton to Darlington railway, so it's flat.

It gets a little less gravelly further on, but one stretch can be muddy when there's been rain (there's a drainage ditch alongside it).

After a couple of km there's another gate - lift your bike over the barrier. It's low enough for horses to step over, so easy enough with a bike.

Then I suggest you get back on the road - if you follow the old railway line straight ahead and through the underpass, the way is much less certain, muddier, and passes the back of Middleton St George, so you get more dog walkers.

Rather than going through the underpass, I'd suggest following the road to its left, which chucks you out just before the roundabout - go right at the road, then left onto the A67, which is a big wide road (or straight on if you want to go the back way through MSG).

There you go!

Mind you, unless you have a compelling reason to come into Darlo, I wouldn't bother. Depending on where you're aiming for on Teesside, I'd suggest cutting across through Bishopton or Redmarshall to the north east of Darlo. Lovely lanes around there, and you can drop in to Stockton through Hartburn or Fairfield. Of course, that's no use if you're heading for Boro...

Mark1978
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby Mark1978 » 21 May 2013, 10:18am

Dean wrote:Mind you, unless you have a compelling reason to come into Darlo, I wouldn't bother. Depending on where you're aiming for on Teesside, I'd suggest cutting across through Bishopton or Redmarshall to the north east of Darlo. Lovely lanes around there, and you can drop in to Stockton through Hartburn or Fairfield. Of course, that's no use if you're heading for Boro...


Agreed about Bishopton as that's the way I drive to work! Hope to cycle around there sometime too. Just don't do it during rush hour as the BMW drivers do 100mph around those lanes.

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Dean
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Re: NCR14 near Darlington surface help please

Postby Dean » 21 May 2013, 10:28am

Aye, those roads can be a horrible rat run. Best avoided at peak hours, otherwise lovely.