Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
scarletnut
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Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 7:38pm

Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby scarletnut » 30 Sep 2018, 5:08pm

A week after finishing a damp, cool and mostly grey fortnight some thoughts and advice for those thinking of taking this route (and discussion for those who have done it!?).
The route - found it unnecessarily tough at times. Runcorn to Carlisle particularly hard, busy and easy to get lost between Runcorn and Bolton. Runcorn not well blessed with god accommodation if you don't do the Holiday Inn. Not sure the final climb of the day into Clun is necessary and certainly no reward if grey and cold!!
Road surfaces - awful section between Looe and Torpoint. Moffat northwards also a rough 20 miles. Strangely though it was the "hand laid" surfaces of the cycle tracks that slowed me down and frustrated me....particularly parts of Glasgow and the Avon Gorge sections!
Getting lost - most days I had an issue or two but not too bad in terms of added miles. Leigh north of Warrington was really difficult with the Town Centre redevelopment and pub names changed from the guide. Overall I think I did about 20 miles extra across the fortnight. Found the West Loch Lomond trail a nightmare to follow and ended up on the A82.
Improvements not in the book - some lovely new cycle tracks in some useful sections. The "dodgy" 8 miles north out of Plymouth is now only 4 miles since the first 4 miles is cycle lane and new off road cycle track. There is a 4 to 5 mile path from the M5 interchange all the way to edge of Warrington too. Also some really smooth and well laid out paths going down into Hamilton on the edge of Glasgow.
Finally......I didn't appreciate how many close calls you can have which can de-rail you if you follow a pre-booked ride for both B and B's and the rail journey back. On three occasions I "squeeked" through or was very lucky!!! First was a serious car accident which closed the road between Carlisle and Longtown. Somehow persuaded the police officer to let me through although he declared the road closed and had told me 10 minutes before there was no way I could be allowed through. The consequences of a 2 hour delay with no logical route diversion.....I also dodged Storm Ali on day one by unknowingly crossing the Kessock Bridge 40 minutes before it was closed to cycles!! Later that day I got into the Crask Inn again 40 minutes before Ali decided to cross the moors with 90mph gusts.....!!
So looking back I was lucky but also generally unlucky with the overall weather. I loved some days, especially Scotland, and had many lows due to lack of cafes!!! But that is End to Ending - I'm in the club now and already thinking of when to do another one!!!

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Paulatic
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby Paulatic » 30 Sep 2018, 5:29pm

I do love reading about these various routes and I understand this Cicerone route sends you around the houses.
You mention Carlilse to Longtown , does the route actually send you to Longtown? I can’t think why these days.
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charliepolecat
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby charliepolecat » 30 Sep 2018, 6:03pm

The Cicerone guide was written by Nick Mitchell and published in 2012, so there are bound to have been changes since then. What is needed is for some other rider to either update it or produce another guide.

landsurfer
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby landsurfer » 30 Sep 2018, 10:16pm

Suggest you go to the WIMPS LEJOG post for a superb route .
Although the daily battle between Garmin and Lezyne computers was fun to watch ..considering they where programmed with the same route..
The Road Goes On Forever ...

scarletnut
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Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 7:38pm

Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby scarletnut » 3 Oct 2018, 5:12pm

Paulatic - yes, nice straight road to Longtown and why not when they have two cracking cafes!! Wouldn't have enjoyed it but for the fact that the road was closed after the accident so I had 10 miles of A road to myself!

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Paulatic
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby Paulatic » 3 Oct 2018, 7:23pm

scarletnut wrote:Paulatic - yes, nice straight road to Longtown and why not when they have two cracking cafes!! Wouldn't have enjoyed it but for the fact that the road was closed after the accident so I had 10 miles of A road to myself!

Why not? Because it’s going out of your way and using a normally busy A road. People used that before the Cumberland Gap was turned into motorway in 2008.
Can’t agree about two good cafes either. They’re OK but not ones I’d go out of my way for. The first and last in Gretna scores better for me. :D
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scarletnut
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby scarletnut » 11 Oct 2018, 5:32pm

Paulatic - cicerone route takes you from Keswick to Carlisle and then Longtown. Not contemplating this next time and already got Runcorn to Carlisle as a big "no-no" in terms of following the Cicerone (partly cos I've done it!!). BUT how would you avoid Longtown to get to Moffat or LOockerbie??

FasterFerret
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby FasterFerret » 11 Oct 2018, 5:43pm

scarletnut wrote:how would you avoid Longtown to get to Moffat or LOockerbie??


This works.

Decent cycle paths (own lane) alongside the A689 if you are going that way around.
Carlisle.GIF


If you are going straight out of the centre of Carlisle then you can head straight for that road to Rockcliffe.

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Paulatic
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby Paulatic » 11 Oct 2018, 7:04pm

As the Ferret says. It’s the red line on the left of my map. If coming from the centre I use that little green bit to join with it. or you can use the red line on the right.
A7F98223-FE61-4536-9ED4-5BCFDF1820D8.png
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

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Simmy
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Joined: 19 Dec 2017, 8:16pm

Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby Simmy » 16 Oct 2018, 9:52pm

Regarding the Leigh area, it's not far from me and I've seen quite a few LEJOG riders go wrong ( and I've put them in the correct direction )

The Book sends you from Culcheth into Leigh over the A580 roundabout then, after the Canal bridge, left into town. Out towards Atherton then into Westhoughton. This is where I've seen riders go wrong, they miss the turn to Westhoughton.

If it's OK, I'm going to write the route here with upto date landmarks for reference.

From the left turn at the Canal Bridge, continue past the Police Station, keep left towards Tesco. Pass Tesco towards the Bus Station ( bus lane in middle of road ) at the next traffic lights, there is JR Taxis on the left ( wierd building shaped like a boat ) turn right at those lights.

Continue through the town centre, following for Atherton, passing Kwik Fit. Ahead through the traffic lights, pass Bookers cash and carry, and continue to the next traffic lights at Lovers Lane ( also called Colliers Corner ) where you turn left towards Westhoughton. On this corner is a Wicker Horse ( pit memorial ) and Mr Chan's take away.

Follow for Westhoughton, over the A577 ( masons arms pub on corner ) pass Daisy Hill train station, to the very end of the road, do a left onto the A58 Crickiters Way.

Immediately on Crickiters way, right at first lights onto Mill st. Pass White lion pub, continue ahead, pass Westhoughton high school and continue to the traffic lights at A6 ( white horse pub )

Now this is where you can go differently to the book and take a left onto the A6 all the way towards, Chorley, Preston, Garstsng, Lancaster, Kendal, Shap, Penrith, Carlisle.

The book goes over Belmont and thorough Blackburn so the A6 is an alternate and is a decent road

charliepolecat
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby charliepolecat » 16 Oct 2018, 10:16pm

Thanks for that Simmy.

BTW, are you available to be standing at the White Horse waving your arms to guide riders in the right direction? :P

Simmy
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby Simmy » 16 Oct 2018, 10:31pm

Depends if they wanna follow the book by going ahead, or keep it a lot flatter and easier by turning left :wink:

scarletnut
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby scarletnut » 17 Oct 2018, 12:17pm

Simmy - you've got it in one...just beyond Lovers Lane is exactly where I lost it (and in the centre of leigh!). BUT taking the A6 all the way to Carlisle is definitely what I would do next time. However, I wouldn't mind avoiding Runcorn and Warrington too so looking at a Mersey crossing as an alternative and on to Lancaster that way. :)

Simmy
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Re: Cicerone Route - thoughts a week after finishing

Postby Simmy » 23 Oct 2018, 10:07pm

Crossing the Mersey from Birkenhead would be an idea, then up towards Southport, Preston then jump back on A6 to Lancaster.

Another alternative can also avoid Warrington etc.

I can't remember which way the Book sends you towards Runcorn but, basically, you can head North East of Runcorn.

List of Villages :- Stretton ( just north of M56 ) follow B5356 road which runs level with M56 towards Lymm, crossing the M6

B5158 to Lymm

A6144 to Warburton

B5159 to Glazebrook ( Warburton toll bridge - free for bikes )

B5212 to Culcheth

Then turn right towards Leigh onto the previous route.