“It is particularly ironic that the battle to save the world's remaining healthy ecosystems will be won or lost not in tropical forests or coral reefs that are threatened but on the streets of the most unnatural landscapes on the planet.”- Worldwatch Institute. 2007

Saturday, 11 September 2010

10th September - Bristol Bath Cycle Path

10 years ago when I lived on a boat in Saltford I remember the Bristol end of the cycle path being a little bit rough but that’s long gone. It’s almost completely clearly signposted form Temple Meads train station and has nice play areas and agreeable public art type thingys all along. It’s mostly a gentle climb and even with the weight of the panniers newbike eats it up. I overtake a couple of guys on racers who say ‘Did we just get overtaken by a single speed?’, and ‘by a girl on a single speed’. I shout back ‘and it folds!’ and this drives them to get past me. I keep up for a little while and then take the excuse of a café break to drop out. I met a lady on the train yesterday who is training for a 250 mile ride and mentioned the café but then said she’d never been so I promised to check it out and review it on her blog.

The waiting room is a cute little café halfway along the Bristol Bath Railway path. It’s aptly named, perched on an old railway platform with arty statues of passengers along it. The menu is basic café grub. I only have an ice lolly but note with approval that they do cheese and chips – I don’t know about anyone else but that’s exactly the sort of food I want when I’m cycling. They are friendly, not overpriced and the location is ideal.

At Saltford I look down to the river and recall wading through icy murky water two foot deep to get out to cycle down in the frosty blackness to work at the Leisure Centre. Happy times.

I coast into Bath feeling smug and then am faced with a mile long slog up an evil incline. I have to push right from the start and am verging on collapse when I rock up to the sports centre, despite a break midway to eat the first of the housemate’s energy snacks - a raw chocolate and guarana cake that tastes nothing like confectionary but does the trick nicely. I register and gulp down some sugary sports drink – it’s tastes amazing. I’m offered a free t-shirt and whilst regretting taking up more space in the overstuffed panniers that isn’t there I accept because it’s really cool.

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