mjr wrote: gaz wrote:
I don't often go BOATing. This one is on the Cyling UK NDW route, also the actual NDW, Sustrans NCN17 and Kent County Council's Pilgrims' Cycle Trail. The latter is promoted as a MTB route.
Challenging on a tourer
That should have no place on Sustrans NCN IMO. The Sustrans network should be a sustainable transport network, as that's what Sustrans is an abbreviation for. It's including that sort of mudbath which brings Sustrans into disrepute among tourers - in other words, their name is mud, appropriately enough!
I'm fine with that sort of stuff being part of National Trails and maybe council trails, as long as it's clearly labelled as soft/rough not suitable for all cycles. I think it's a bit borderline as a touring club route, but is CUK still for touring? I just don't know what being a CUK route means any more.
I wonder what definition of suitable surface is used for these ways and how often they are actually ridden by those responsible for the routes being promoted to riders.
There’s always a case of you can’t please all the people all of the time so I don’t expect everything done by Cycling UK to cater for my particular needs and I also recognise that there are advantages in catering for the widest spread of cyclists that is practical. However for green roads and trails that folk are primarily using to get (or tour) from A to B (rather than a facility for just off road fun/activities) I’d have thought that a hard packed and generally flat surface suitable for 35mm (1&3/8”) wide tyres on 700c (say 26”) wheels was a reasonable minimum to expect. So essentially route
surfaces should to be something that Rough Stuff riders of the past could have reasonably readily passed over - maybe wheeling their bike over a few yards here and there - whilst travelling
on-route to other places. Mountain bikes should never be needed and, as ‘they say’ the clue for their intended (primary) use is in the name.
Edit. The Rough Stuff Fellowship was started in 1955 so the early photos must be late 1950’s and the 1960’s. In the post war period Raleigh were a major producer, they sold a lot of Hub Gear bikes like or similar to their Lenton model and I guess that it or copies are in most of the pictures. The Lenton ran on 26 x 1&1/4” steel wheels and that was a common size then. The derailleur was an emerging technology and filtering down to second hand bikes, the bikes I see in those old pictures had no front changer and a short one at the back; so a ‘standard’ size single at the front (46T ?) matched to an, at best, 14 to 28 at the back.
Anyway, the point being made is that ‘ordinary’ bikes that are well set up and used by enthusiasts are capable of off-road riding; we just need to learn from History and from what those before us managed.