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The A30

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by carlpie, 24 Mar 2008.

  1. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    Just got back from my first long UK tour - 300 miles Lands End to London ride over 4 days this Easter weekend. (I think I was the only one) How beautiful is this country!!

    But anyway - I spent a fair bit of time on the A30 and a few other A's (mainly the non-dual carriage way bits) and what an amazing road this would be if it had a hard shoulder the whole length of it.

    Why for no consistent hard shoulders? Is it because there weren't any bicycles in horse and carriage days.
  2. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Glad you had such a good time - congrats on taking on the British weathe at its nastiest!! Tell us about your route!! Apart from the A30 which I don't know :evil:
  3. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Random question, do you have yellow panniers front and rear? We were in Cornwall over the weekend, and saw a cycling creature with such a set up several times on Saturday.

    Anyway, glad you had a good ride, with that wind it must have been bloody quick:ohmy:
  4. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    Cool, will do.

    Weather kept the traffic down I think, and cycling in driving snow is kind of surreal. Don't get much of that back in Oz so novelty value aplenty. Not as keen on the driving rain bit....and that also meant I chickened out on most of the planned wild camping (ah, hot breakfasts and showers)

    I think this is about right...

    Day 1 Started from St Just – Lands End - Liskeard 78.5 miles - lots of A30, but took a detour on the A390 to get away from cars going really fast, really close. The 390 rocks for scenery and cute little towns. And a great LBS (the Bike Chain) in Redruth that appeared from nowhere and sold me a winter gilet and proper thermal undershirt that saved my life.

    Day 2 Liskeard - Exeter 52 miles - stuck with the 390 so I could get over to Tavistock and across Dartmoor National Park. This was unbelievable - highlights - I bumped into two guys who were touring in the other direction (lovely fellas) and then a guy roadtesting a new Giant for Cycle Plus and stopped to chat over a pint or two in a pub in the middle of the park. Then just fought the wind and the snow until the other side - and the downhill bit on the other side....far out. (Don't tell the people at the Holiday Inn Express Exeter but I washed my bike in the shower at that one.)

    Day 3 Exeter to Andover 108 miles - A30 I think just about the whole way. Great scenery, but not much hard shoulder and some crazzzzy drivers, presumably racing back to London.

    Day 4 Andover to West London 62.7 miles - the sprint home along the A303 and the ever present A30

    Had thought I could do it in 3 days, but just didn't want to rush (and I just never caught a tail wind the whole time). Chatted to some really nice people and just had no idea how much countryside this country has.

    Back for more for sure..
  5. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    Hi Maggot

    Nope, just rear panniers. Which seemed to catch the wind nicely....if only we had been going in the same direction.

    No, I was the one stopped on the side on the road furiously abandoning heavy and unneccesary things from my bag - you know, bike lock, spare tshirts, shoes - all too heavy, had to go.
  6. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Well thats quite good actually.

    The chap we saw was going along the A38 between Liskeard and Plymouth, we stopped at Certini, just for a look honest, then saw him again in Plymouth. It's good because he looked to be having a less than enjoyable time:sad: In fact he looked completely pissed off with the whole thing, I was going to offer him a fiver for his bike, I was sure he would have taken it:biggrin:
  7. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I have to hand it to you, well done for a great ride on a horrid weekend!!!!
  8. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    I can feel his pain. (Honestly - ice packs on thighs at the moment)

    If you're looking for a bargain on a bike, there were four mid-life fellas leaving Lands End for John O'G at the same time as me. I reckon they'd be prime for an offer right about now.
  9. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    Grazie molto Cathryn
  10. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Hey thats good to know. They should be passing through Cheddar tomorrow, do you want another bike if I can get you one for a tenner:biggrin:
  11. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    I've been thinking about the poor buggers. Out there doing it tough into the wind and the snow.....yea, I'll be in for a tenner.
  12. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Not sure if you rode through Honiton (about 17 miles east of Exeter) or skirted it on the A30 ? but had i known you were in the area i would've bought you a pint or 2 in our local Rugby club as we were there all day with a visiting touring side

    Well done on your achievement, i can vouch for the driving snow showers

  13. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    BUmmer JD - Honiton was my target for that day, but just wasn't sure how far it was/roads and the light was starting to fall so graced the Holiday Inn at Exeter. Next time
  14. mcr

    mcr Über Member

    North Bucks
    To attempt to answer your OP, shoulders only tend to be a feature of more modern roads in this country. Unlike in Oz or the US we don't usually have the space for wider than necessary roads and many of the older A roads date back before the invention of the internal combustion engine, so things like hedges and old embankments get in the way.

    From reading various online travelogues, it does appear cyclists are used to using shoulders overseas. But I wouldn't want to cycle in the unswept gutters of our roads - if the road's too busy to ride in primary position I'd rather be on a country lane. (And strictly speaking, isn't it illegal to cycle to the left of the solid white line?)
  15. carlpie

    carlpie New Member

    Can't find anything in the H Code about it being illegal, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    Surely as a tourer though mcr, you'd advocate wider roads outside built up areas to give cyclists the option of using busier roads more safely?