Sunday, 25 October 2009

Milton route, director's cut

I plotted bits of the Milton cycle route last weekend, and today I think I've managed to trace the rest. We'll see what it looks like when the OSM cycle map is rendered later in the week. At the moment it's a bit of a mess because I made a mistake in tagging last week.

Apart from getting caught in one shower, and a bit of a gusty wind today wasn't at all bad for a ride; and because of the clocks going back I managed to make quite an early start, and for once I was home in plenty of time for dinner.

The route meanders around Penn, Amersham, Chorleywood, and the Chalfonts. I rode through Beaconsfield on the way there and back. Some of the best parts were riding through autumn woodland, particularly here in Philipshill Wood. At one point I got mixed up with a bunch of runners, who were involved in a big event. Lots of people had come out to cheer then on, and for several miles it felt as though I had a crowd of supporters.

I enjoyed the day, but I have mixed feelings about the route itself. It covers an interesting variety of landscape and some pleasant towns and villages. But there are too many suburbs for my liking. It's probably inevitable in the Chilterns that the route is quite hilly, but it is also a bit complicated. There were too many junctions where I needed to check the map, and so many changes of direction that it was difficult to keep track of where I was heading. There are several off-road stretches that don't really work with a road bike, and although they could be bypassed, that would mean missing some of the best parts of the ride.

The route borders on a number of fairly large towns, and I suspect it would suit someone who lived locally, who wanted to get to know the area better. Coming from further afield, there are more interesting alternatives.

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