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Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 17 Jul 2020, 11:18am
by gbnz
And have to admit to several miles on another of Northumberlands major roads yesterday (A697). Along with the A1, another major East Coast A Road.

Fantastic; without exception every single vehicle pulled over to the other side of the road, giving me a wide berth. So much better than any of the local roads in relation to motorists behaviour; and the road itself? Not a single pot hole, a smooth wrinkle free surface

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 17 Jul 2020, 4:50pm
by Oldjohnw
I did a lovely 45 mile round trip today to Chatton to do some fishing. All minor roads. A handful of farm vehicles who were most obliging and friendly. More cyclists than vehicles.

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 17 Jul 2020, 5:36pm
by Pebble
gbnz wrote:And have to admit to several miles on another of Northumberlands major roads yesterday (A697). Along with the A1, another major East Coast A Road.

Fantastic; without exception every single vehicle pulled over to the other side of the road, giving me a wide berth. So much better than any of the local roads in relation to motorists behaviour; and the road itself? Not a single pot hole, a smooth wrinkle free surface

what part of the 697 were you on ?

No comparison between A1 and A697, I wouldn't go onto the A1 on a bike, and yet I will be on some part of the 697 every week, it is a road that gets quieter the further north you go. South of Wooler is not good, Wooler to the Border is not too bad but watch out for the timber lorries, they don't take prisoners - north of the border it can be very peaceful - i was in a hurry couple of nights back and took the 697 from houndslaw to orange lane end (10mile ish) was not passed once,

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 17 Jul 2020, 5:49pm
by Nigel
Pebble wrote:
No comparison between A1 and A697, I wouldn't go onto the A1 on a bike, and yet I will be on some part of the 697 every week, it is a road that gets quieter the further north you go. South of Wooler is not good, Wooler to the Border is not too bad but watch out for the timber lorries, they don't take prisoners - north of the border it can be very peaceful - i was in a hurry couple of nights back and took the 697 from houndslaw to orange lane end (10mile ish) was not passed once,


North of Wooler I tend to use the back-road out of Wooler to avoid some of the tight twisty bends just as the main road leaves Wooler. Once at the B-road turn to Kelso there are more options on a bicycle. The run into Yetholm skirting the edge of the hills is one of my regular rides. There are a few farm access tracks / white roads I need to explore and see if there are through routes.

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 17 Jul 2020, 5:51pm
by Oldjohnw
Pebble wrote:
gbnz wrote:And have to admit to several miles on another of Northumberlands major roads yesterday (A697). Along with the A1, another major East Coast A Road.

Fantastic; without exception every single vehicle pulled over to the other side of the road, giving me a wide berth. So much better than any of the local roads in relation to motorists behaviour; and the road itself? Not a single pot hole, a smooth wrinkle free surface

what part of the 697 were you on ?

No comparison between A1 and A697, I wouldn't go onto the A1 on a bike, and yet I will be on some part of the 697 every week, it is a road that gets quieter the further north you go. South of Wooler is not good, Wooler to the Border is not too bad but watch out for the timber lorries, they don't take prisoners - north of the border it can be very peaceful - i was in a hurry couple of nights back and took the 697 from houndslaw to orange lane end (10mile ish) was not passed once,


During lockdown it was amazing cycling along both the A1 and A697 down to Powburn. A1 up to the border is out of the question now.

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 18 Jul 2020, 7:59am
by gbnz
Pebble wrote:
No comparison between A1 and A697, I wouldn't go onto the A1 on a bike, and yet I will be on some part of the 697 every week, it is a road that gets quieter the further north you go. South of Wooler is not good,,


Well South of Wooler, pulled off the dual carriageway A1 onto the A697. HGV's, 4/4's, vans all providing a wide berth.

Quite a contrast with yesterday, on a quiet B road returning from Seahouses; it was exceptionall, bad, but ended up having to do the last 3-4 miles into town, dead in the centre of the road, ensuring vehicles had to take note of the cyclist on the road (NB. Convey's of visiting 4/4's passing within 1-2')

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 18 Jul 2020, 9:21am
by Oldjohnw
gbnz wrote:
Pebble wrote:
No comparison between A1 and A697, I wouldn't go onto the A1 on a bike, and yet I will be on some part of the 697 every week, it is a road that gets quieter the further north you go. South of Wooler is not good,,


Well South of Wooler, pulled off the dual carriageway A1 onto the A697. HGV's, 4/4's, vans all providing a wide berth.

Quite a contrast with yesterday, on a quiet B road returning from Seahouses; it was exceptionall, bad, but ended up having to do the last 3-4 miles into town, dead in the centre of the road, ensuring vehicles had to take note of the cyclist on the road (NB. Convey's of visiting 4/4's passing within 1-2')


Seahouses is worse every time I visit.

Yesterday - and most days - vehicles give me a brilliantly wide berth. Generally, I find drivers around here wait behind you at a decent distance then when they can they overtake well over on the other side. We almost always acknowledge each other with respect and thanks.

Some time ago I determined not to feel stressed by a vehicle hanging around behind me. At the same time, where reasonable I will pull to one side in the event of a long section to facilitate overtaking. I lose half a minute. So what?

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 18 Jul 2020, 7:16pm
by Navara
Ben@Forest wrote:I cycled up there a bit. Between Shilbottle and Belford l can think of at least four, including the one that crosses the A1 from Coastal Grains over to Belford. Alnwick /Alnmouth is s bridge the others aren't but l've never had a problem crossing at any of them.

Just had to Google that!
Lots of things to consider but looking forward to cycling somewhere new.

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 20 Aug 2020, 10:06pm
by Navara
Well that's come around quickly.We're off up there tomorrow.We've just got back from a week in Lincolnshire.Quite nice cycling in it's own way despite being flat.I think I would get bored there very quickly though if I had to ride there week in week out.
Looking forward to lumpy rides again!

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 28 Aug 2020, 10:28pm
by Navara
Well Northumberland is definitely worth a second visit.Due to weather and family commitments I only got three rides in but they were enjoyable despite the changeable weather!
The Coast road is about as busy as it gets(nowhere near as busy as roads in the Lakes/Peak etc) but the little back roads that run between the coast and the A1 are extremely quiet.I didn't get to ride much of the West side of the A1(but drove around there) but did cycle a stretch of the A1 itself :shock: I have always associated Northumberland with the roads I've ridden on the Cumbrian border around Hartside Pass but to the East of the A1 it's more agricultural than it is in the National Park.
I had intended to ride to Holy Island but I got as far as the causeway and the traffic queuing put me off.The weather turned foul on the return so I got my head down and cycled a few miles down the A1 to get back to Bamburgh then Seahouses as quick as I could.TBH it wasn't that bad as that stretch of the A1 is about as quiet as that road gets!
One thing that did throw me a bit was lack of village signs!I plot routes on a map the nights before then just follow my nose on rides keeping a mental note of villages to head for.Many of the smaller settlements don't have signs(or I didn't notice any!).No real issue as I took note of mileage on signs so still knew where I was....more or less....all part of the fun :D
The bike is filthy but that's part and parcel of riding on wet,rural roads 8)
I think it's a County I would like to cycle more of........

Re: A1-Bamburgh/Northumberland.

Posted: 29 Aug 2020, 3:28am
by Ben@Forest
Good to know you enjoyed it!