Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

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Therealsouthstander
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Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby Therealsouthstander » 12 Jul 2018, 11:31am

We are doing this route in a few weeks as part of a charity cycle.
I'm wondering what the surface of the off road parts is like.? I'm trying to decide what bike to use.

I've heard my carbon road bike with 25mm tyres will be fine.

Can anyone who has cycled this route confirm this?

Many thanks

mmcnay
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Re: Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby mmcnay » 12 Jul 2018, 11:55am

The part from Norwich to Reepham is called the Marriott's Way. It can get messy in parts when the weather's wet. It is bumpy too. Don't think you'll be too comfy on 25mm tyres.

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mjr
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Re: Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby mjr » 12 Jul 2018, 12:50pm

mmcnay wrote:The part from Norwich to Reepham is called the Marriott's Way. It can get messy in parts when the weather's wet. It is bumpy too. Don't think you'll be too comfy on 25mm tyres.

Norwich to the city boundary (just west of Hellesdon Hall Road) is fine. Then it's a packed stone road to Drayton. Through Drayton is a mix of chunky gravel, dirt and tarmac, then it's dirt or sand (often deep) to beyond Lenwade and then dirt to Reepham, where Route 1 strikes out west towards Fakenham on back roads which are fine.

I regard Hellesdon Hall Road to Reepham as not worth riding even on steel with 28mm but I know others have ridden it and accuse me of complaining unreasonably. I might use its bridge over the NDR A1270 now but use the minor roads just north of it otherwise.

As far as I can recall, Fakenham all the way to the edge of Wisbech is usually fine except for stretches between Wighton and Holkham on both branches. The track west of Wighton is sandy and slow going even in summer to the point that the local easy-riding club refused to ride it when I suggested it last month. The part through Wells-next-the-Sea on the northern branch is OK, but the part from the beach cafe to Holkham north gate is deep sand and difficult. I would suggest following the railway from Wighton to Wells, then using the east gate into Holkham from the sharp bend near the hospital - it's a mix of packed dirt and estate road to rejoin route 1's northern branch near the house, then exit past the obelisk. In winter, the estate is sometimes closed but B1105 Two Furlong Hill and Fakenham Road then is usually quiet enough to ride to the back of the estate to join the southern branch where it emerges from the sand track.

The entry into Wisbech from the Waltons is confused and wiggles through a housing estate for no obvious benefit, including bumping over high kerbs. A minimal detour would be to ignore the right turn as you enter Wisbech, follow that road to its end at a set of traffic lights, turn right onto Lynn Road and then turn left onto Route 1 where it goes up a small lane just after the next pelican crossing (the sign is missing more often than not). Then it's small roads and some cycle-only junction bypasses and pretty much OK all the way to Boston, then a mix of small roads and tarmac track to Lincoln which I'm told is OK now.

Good luck!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

andrew_s
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Re: Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby andrew_s » 12 Jul 2018, 12:55pm

It will depend on how comfortable you are with the less well-surfaced parts. Some people don't mind a bit of loose gravel, others aren't comfortable at all.


Probably the best thing to do is to use http://cycle.travel/map to check out what the surface looks like.
Click on a start point, click on an end point, and it will come up with a route along the NCN cycle route (probably; if it doesn't you can drag the route onto the NCN).
Then you can click on the route, and "Find photos". This will give the nearest photos from geograph.org.uk, and there'll generally be something that shows what the surface of the track is like.
Example: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3811375 (from NCN 1 between Scarborough and Robin Hood's Bay).
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/150757 (ex-railway section in the vicinity of Hartlepool)
Note that there's a map below the photos that shows where the photo was taken (click to zoom), and also check the related photos on the right.

You can also select StreetView, but that mostly only works for the on-road sections, or have a look on google maps aerial photos.

Update
NCN1 leaving Norwich, Costessey: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/120422
Even cycle.travel abandons the Marriott Way at Thorpe Marriott, and uses roads to just after Lenwade
Lenwade to Reepham
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/552123
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/552124
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1253993

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mjr
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Re: Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby mjr » 12 Jul 2018, 2:55pm

andrew_s wrote:NCN1 leaving Norwich, Costessey: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/120422

That's the link to Gunton Lane, where Route 1 leaves Marriott's Way for a bit where MW is overgrown. It's taken facing south-south-east, like the description suggests, contrary to the map marker.

andrew_s wrote:Even cycle.travel abandons the Marriott Way at Thorpe Marriott, and uses roads to just after Lenwade

That's more because the A1270 construction barriers were still on OpenStreetMap when cycle.travel last updated. I've just removed them because I'm pretty sure they're gone, but I can't update the whole area until I visit it on foot or bike and I suspect many of the connections to local roads and crossings of the A1270 are different to what's currently on the map.

In general, I think cycle.travel is a bit too trusting of Route 1 there, but I hesitate to roughen it up on the map because I've not ridden it in a few years (it's well north of my direct route to Norwich).
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

geocycle
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Re: Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby geocycle » 12 Jul 2018, 3:15pm

I think you'll be uncomfortable on a carbon frameed bike with 25mm tyres if you stick rigidly to route 1. I've done much of it on a solid thorn steel tourer with 1.5 inch tyres and found it ridable. Much of the route will be absolutely fine on backroads etc however, the offroad sections will shake you up and probably wouldn't do your bike much good. As well as the sandy Norfolk sections, there is the old rail path from Scarborough to whitby which is (or at least was 10 years ago) quite rough when I did it. There is also the route across a field in Northumberland.... It is a great route and will be a terrific experience although personally I'd be looking at some road alternatives if you want to use the carbon bike or a strong touring bike and embrace the roughstuff.

Galloper
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Re: Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby Galloper » 12 Jul 2018, 7:08pm

There are some sections through Co Durham which are fairly rough. That said, Durham CC has been very good of late in resurfacing a lot of rail paths so the section from Stockton to just short of Sunderland may have been refurbished since I last rode a couple of years ago. I would not be happy on 25mm tyres.

Therealsouthstander
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Re: Cycle route 1 Great Yarmouth to Aberdeen

Postby Therealsouthstander » 14 Jul 2018, 6:28pm

Many thanks for all the replies, very useful.