Advice needed on LEJOG route

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Jimbob - I've made this a new thread - you are more likely to get responses that way.
Welcome to Cyclechat!
 
What bike are you using? I ask because last month I cycled part of the Great Glen Way (failed JOGLE attempt) and you seem to be to trying to follow it? And unless you are on a mountain bike and travelling exceptionally lightly, you are not going to be doing the west side of Loch Lochy and I think the east side of Loch Ness will also be 'interesting' to say the least and you may find 140km with large sections off road will take much more time and energy than you are expecting.

On the bright side of things the sections that follow the calendonia canal at the canal side would be fine on any bike and is actually quite pleasant.
Any example of what the surface is like along the canal is below. It was much worse/rougher and steeper on the sections we avoided, mentioned above. Day 10 for yourself.
IMG_6275_1024.jpg


Also I live and cycle around Sandbach, Middlewich, Northwich area. I live just off the A49 close to Northwich and my parents are in Alsager (day 4 & 5). I have to confess that your route leaves me totally lost at times and does not seem very 'logical'. It seems to be trying to use as many bridlepaths and footpaths as possible, and I don't think you are going to be able to follow it (or for that matter want to follow it). There seems to be large sections following the canal - or trying to.
You don't want to. Apart from there being so many barriers along it between Middlewich and Alsager, it is almost impossible to cycle, certain sections of it have no path to follow and you will effectively be cycling across grass along a narrow strip between a hedge and the canal with no 'smooth' patches - no footpath or canal towpath to follow. I have done it once on a mountain bike with panniers, thinking I could get make try a totally off road route between my home and my mothers. It was a major mistake and took me an hour longer than the minor country lanes and back road route. I only photo'ed the better sections of that canal ride, which can be seen in the link http://www.cyclechat.net/threads/your-ride-today.8938/post-2404500. I had to lift my bike over one barrier.

You will find that the road between Sandbach and Middlewich is fine to cycle - wide and with plenty of room for lorries & cars to overtake you without issue. If you leave Middlewich on the Winsford road and then head off towards Bostock Green again you will be fine - if you can't turn right at the top of the hill out of Middlewich, take the next right and just do 2 side of a triangle. I don't know if this link will work for you unless you have a strava account... http://www.strava.com/activities/80013253 but that is the route I frequently take between my home (close to Northwich) and my parent's in Alsager and all of those roads are fine. Yell if the link does not work and I will amend a garmin route and create a course, and make it public for you.
 
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Jimbob312

Regular
Thanks for your reply. Not sure what bike I am using yet. I have been debating between my road bike and the 29er hardtail mountain bike with some skinny tyres on.
I am planning on travelling as light as possible, no panniers or anything and will just use royal mail every couple of days.
I was hoping to do the great glen way but sounds as though it might not be that feasible in the time available. Surprised the east side of loch ness is so bad, looks like a B road.
Surprised its so bad along the canals around you, was optimistically thinking nice grit to bowl along at 15mph on........
Your strava link works just fine thank-you, was just trying to avoid A roads wherever possible but sounds like I had better amend that part of the route.
Jim
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Preston to top of lakes:

After Heversham, go into Levens and then pick up your route via the minor roads, avoiding the A590. It would be OK at a quiet time, but any time during the season it is busy and fast and not pleasant.

The A road up through Windermere will also be busy, but there's not a lot you can do about that. It is at least flattish, so you should be able to maintain a reasonable speed.

You have planned on going over the Kirkstone Pass. Although an A road, this is a not-particularly-wide road, and there are quite often coaches etc on it. They could get quite irate following you up the hill (which goes on a looooong way!)

An alternative is to go through Ambleside and over Dunmail Raise, the uphill bit of this is both shallower and wider. There is a relatively narrow downhill on the north side, but then you can take the minor road to the west of Thirlmere, then take the road up through St John's in the Vale to Threlkeld. You might have to do a bit of the A66 but there is mostly a cyclepath on the pavement or you soon get off onto minor roads to the north.
 
Thanks for your reply. Not sure what bike I am using yet. I have been debating between my road bike and the 29er hardtail mountain bike with some skinny tyres on.
I am planning on travelling as light as possible, no panniers or anything and will just use royal mail every couple of days.
I was hoping to do the great glen way but sounds as though it might not be that feasible in the time available. Surprised the east side of loch ness is so bad, looks like a B road.
Surprised its so bad along the canals around you, was optimistically thinking nice grit to bowl along at 15mph on........
Your strava link works just fine thank-you, was just trying to avoid A roads wherever possible but sounds like I had better amend that part of the route.
Jim

It is possible to get from Sandbach to Northwich using primarily minor/B roads but it requires a section of A road that I avoid during any bad weather, rush hour, me being tired etc... This link is another option. http://www.strava.com/activities/84872919 I only do it when I now I can get to the A530 in good weather with little traffic. It is the road that runs from Middlewich to Crewe - not a great road at all with a very high number of collisions (186 in 3 years according to the new sign posts) and drivers get very impatient on it. the only good thing about it is you are not on it for very long (1/2 mile I think). I tend to wear hi-viz on it and use bike lights all the time when I am on that road). Otherwise it is minor country lanes and a number of converted railways (the Salt line, the wheelock way and the whitegate way). All will take road bikes is the weather has been dry for some time (or totally frozen) I use them frequently, otherwise mtb, not being sure when you are planning this.

If it helps you at all, the A49 north of Cuddington/Sandiway is fine to cycle. Open and wide with plenty of room for drivers to overtake - with the exception of a 1/4 mile section. It used to be 3 lanes, now only 2 very wide lanes or has a central area chevroned off which allows vehicles plenty of room to overtake cyclists even when there is oncoming traffic and some areas of it have a reasonable area to cycle in that is not technically a bike lane, acts as one. My OH commutes the A49 to Warrington quite regularly and I cycle it from time to time as well. South of here I would not personally touch it, but north to Warrington is fine.
 

Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
You might want to have a look at your route on day 4. It currently takes you onto the Bridgnorth bypass, where going through the town centre would be preferable and more worryingly takes you through Stoke on Trent via the A500 which is much like an urban motorway.

Not really in keeping with your wish to stay off the busy roads.;)
 
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Jimbob312

Regular
Thanks Phil,
Will definitely be amending my route accordingly, don't like the look of that much! Have a short stretch on the A34, don't expect that's too brilliant either!!!!!!!!
Seeing the dog in your profile there was a chap cycling the dunwich dynamo a few months ago with a spaniel sat up front in a box.........absolutely nuts event by the way if you've never done it.
 

gavgav

Guru
You might want to have a look at your route on day 4. It currently takes you onto the Bridgnorth bypass, where going through the town centre would be preferable and more worryingly takes you through Stoke on Trent via the A500 which is much like an urban motorway.

Not really in keeping with your wish to stay off the busy roads.;)
The a500 is nerve wracking enough in a car and I wouldn't cycle on it if someone paid me to!
 

Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
Thanks Phil,
Will definitely be amending my route accordingly, don't like the look of that much! Have a short stretch on the A34, don't expect that's too brilliant either!!!!!!!!
You're right. It isn't. Possibly not quite as bad, as folk haven't just come straight off a motorway though.
Seeing the dog in your profile there was a chap cycling the dunwich dynamo a few months ago with a spaniel sat up front in a box.........absolutely nuts event by the way if you've never done it.
That must have been a sight.:laugh:

I haven't done any events yet. I've heard good things about the Dunwich Dynamo, but it's a bit far away for me at the moment.
 
Agreed with Rickshaw Phil, avoid the A500 at all costs, and to be honest, I would not be anywhere near the A34 between Stone and Trentham either. It is a death trap. Is there any reason for the 'kink' taking you into S-O-T? You could head due north from Newport to get to Sandbach - assuming you really want to stay there that is, using minor country lanes & B roads. Also bearing in mind that you are heading over to Runcorn the next day, heading into S-O-T just seems unnecessary - but I could be biased having spent my teenage years there! :whistle:
 
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Jimbob312

Regular
No reason whatsoever!!
This is my first draft at the route so anticipated more than a few changes........
I have no particular reason to stay in sandbach either, it just happened to be where I felt the mileage for the day was about right.
Any more advice welcomed but clearly I need to look at this part of the route again.
Sandbach seemed to tie in with the canal route but clearly that's a waste of time!!!
Thanks for the advice everyone, keep it coming.
 

Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
+1 for wondering whether you specifically want to stop at Sandbach.

If there isn't a specific reason for stopping there you could stay further west and take quieter roads from Leominster towards Leintwardine, then Bishop's Castle, up the valley west of the Long Mynd to Shrewsbury, Wem and Whitchurch. Then possibly Nantwich and Winsford before rejoining your posted route.

Just a thought.

Edit: posted a bit slow.
 

db7db7

Senior Member
The A6 up through the lakes and Shap really isn't too bad - Shap is a tough long hill, but i didn't find the road too busy and there are plenty of crawler lanes for you to be overtaken. I would go this way if i did it again.
As for A roads versus canal paths etc. I agree with most of the others - most of the a roads are generally ok, but do check beforehand, some can be terrible. The "local" advice you get from these forums will be invaluable.
 
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