Anyone commute in Reading?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Arch, 15 Apr 2008.

  1. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    On the phone to my sister last night, she tells me her other half is planning to get a folding bike and do his commute as a bike/train mix, for the sake of his waistline. Their house to Winchester station is easy (although very uphill coming home!) and at the other end he needs to get from Reading station to Theale. Is anyone local and have any tips on routes to take/avoid? He was chuntering in the background about paths being marked as cycleroute on one map and footpaths on another and stuff like that. Is there a local cycleroute map for Reading? I think he'll be pretty much a newbie in terms of commuting, so busy roads might not be great for him straight away - obviously, the nicer it is, the better he'll stick at it.;)

    And then there'll be choosing the bike...:angry:
  2. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    He could go along the Kennet and Avon canal towpath. It's about half a mile from Reading station and goes right past Theale.
    Download the route here.
  3. OP

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    Cheers, I'll pass that on. I think that was what he was looking at, but on one map it looked like a footpath only... This clears up any confusion... Any idea what the surface is like? Next step is to choose a folding bike...

    It would be great to get him cycling :evil:
  4. yoyo

    yoyo Senior Member

    The surface of the K&A canal out of Reading is a mixture of flat unmade path to very stony adn bumpy. There are a number of gates to negotiate also. I cycle to Reading from Thatcham quite a lot. I am a wuss and use the footpath beside the road as the A4 is fast and busy. From Reading to Theale it is shared footpaths all the way and certainly more feasible, if more noisy than the canal. Perhaps your BIL has more courage and will use the road.
  5. bof

    bof Senior member. Oi! Less of the senior please

    The world
    He might want to think about riding from one of the stations on the Reading- Basingstoke line instead. There are some OK back routes across to Theale, rather than down that stretch of the A4 which is a bit grim. Just looked at a map Stratfield Mortimer is about the same distance from Theale as Reading Station, no idea about train times though.
  6. OP

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    Thanks for the advice all. Alas, I hear now that the purchase of a bike has been put back by the cooker breaking down... :sad: However, I can keep it all in mind for when he does get round to it...:tongue:
  7. jonesy

    jonesy Legendary Member

    He could always take the train from Reading to Theale...
  8. bobbyp

    bobbyp Senior Member

    I think bof has the right idea, he'll be coming through Mortimer anyway on the way to Reading. I don't know of any cyclepaths round there but the roads are quiet and country. One of my favourite places for a quick spin after work.

    Trains are every half hour all day and run a consistent 4 minutes late.

    reading to Theale would be a bad choice, with the change at Basingstoke as well he's got two connections to miss. Anyway, he misses out the cycling which was the whole point of the exercise.
  9. jonesy

    jonesy Legendary Member

    Reading to Theale is direct, it is on the Newbury line. Takes 8 or 9 minutes, two trains per hour. Direct Winchester to Reading trains (usually cross country) don't stop between Basingstoke and Reading.
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Über Member

    I asked a colleague about his. He replied:

    "The Reading maps don't (I think) cover the routes to Theale, as you are going into West Berkshire, so RBC don't cover the area!

    Quickest, easiest and most direct way would be to head straight out along the A4 from the centre of town, so from the station head through the market place, follow one way behind John Lewis and up Castle Hill - Theale is about 5 miles. There is also a cyclepath for much of the route, although it is not joined up obviously. Crossing the M4 is best achieved by taking the road to the side of Sainsbury's past the Porche garage and over the footbridge - this avoids J12 completely. Use the roundabout before the Sainsbury's roundabout to get on the cyclepath on the rhs / parallel access road. It is not too bad - I ride this route regularly as I live past Theale.

    Kennet & Avon is a pleasant route but slow, winding and not the best way to get to Theale. There are a number of styles / restrictions, while a folder is not the ideal bike for this route / surface in places.

    It depends on where the person is working in Theale. The train service from Reading to Theale is only about 10 mins so put in a longer ride from Theale station to the office?"
  11. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Cycling from Mortimer does sound like the nicest option if he wants to get in a bit of cycling. Otherwise straight along the Bath Road and across the road bridge, as Frustruck says. I'd rather go across that bridge than across junction 12, although even that is a bit scary. It's more a pedestrian bridge than for cyclists. I keep worrying about the wind blowing me off the side and onto the motorway below. I'm not too keen on cycling down the Bath Road in the rush hour, although there are shared use cycle paths down one side. There is also the Kennet and Avon canal, although this gets muddy, is not so direct, and often in use by walkers, joggers and the occasional fisherman.
  12. Thanks also from me!
    I am near Basingstoke and hoping to get a Job in Reading (Castle Street by the law courts). It is a bit far for an everyday cycle, although I could do it once a week, about 44 miles round trip.

    As Reading is so bad to drive I was looking at the option of driving up to near the M4 and biking the last bit, I have yet to do the journey in the morning but could do a run from Theale in to Reading or find somewhere to park up anywhere along south of the M4.

    Got to get the job first then sort out how to get there.
  13. yoyo

    yoyo Senior Member

    I keep worrying about the wind blowing me off the side and onto the motorway below.
    Don't worry, Yellowfang, the bridge has high sides. I ride over it very often and I am on a Dutch bike which has a high seating position. The brigde is easier to cycle from savacentre to Theale as there is no 'gate' to negotiate before going up the ramp. I agree with what everyone is saying about the cycle paths and the canal path from Reading to Theale.

    I cannot comment about the route from Mortimer as I have never used it on a bicycle.

    Over the Hill, Junction 11 on the M4 is absolutely awful in rush hour. Good luck in the job search.
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