As a family we have always enjoyed cycling, but with the amount of traffic on the major roads we prefer to use the quieter canals and cycle paths to explore the countryside. When we had our static caravan in North Wales we often cycled along the National Cycle Network Route 5 from Rhyl to Llandudno, which follows the coastline and provides spectacular views across the sea and an abundance of birdlife and often marine life as well. After the heavy storms last year parts of the route suffered storm damage and subsidence but thankfully the route has now been repaired.
Closer to home we have a great network of cycling routes around Worcestershire, and the Councils website has a great range of free maps to download.
We are lucky enough to live less than 10 minutes away from the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and can cycle easily along the towpath towards its start at Stourport or up towards the West Midlands through Kinver.
As well as the numerous pleasure craft using the waterway, it too is home to an abundance of wildlife as our adventures this week revealed with a magnificent heron and this rather unusual duck!
But as is always the case when cycling close to water, it is important to remember to stay safe, wear suitable clothing, a cycling helmet (mine is a very girly shade of pink!) and be mindful of other cyclists and pedestrians. Unfortunately we witnessed a fatality on our trip to Stourport this week, a young boy tried to cycle over a narrow lock bridge and fell into the lock, and despite the efforts of the wonderful emergency services he lost his life. A timely reminder as the weather gets warmer and we enjoy our beautiful countryside, that water can also be very dangerous and must be treated with respect. Take extra care around locks, under low bridges and cycle with care.
If you want to find out more about the National Cycle Network, then the Sustrans website is a useful source of information at http://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-we-do/national-cycle-network
I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike, I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like….