After many months of riding from a place, to a point, and then back again (and not dropping a ring in a volcano in-between either), yesterday I finally did a proper journey.
I rode along the 5 weirs from Sheffield to Rotherham (via Hotel Chocolat of course!).
The start of my journey was Sheffield Cathedral. It’s an interesting building with a really beautiful church in there somewhere and then an odd modern extension on one end.
Via Hotel Chocolat I rode down to the start of the five quotes weirs. Again I found what I have found in other towns. The cycle network is very fragmented and often gets you lost (I know my way around Sheffield very well, but had I tried to follow the signs it would have been a very different matter).
The start of the five weirs (part of national cycle route 6) is a really cool bridge running through one of the wicker arches. The coolest thing being the really funky percussive sound your wheels make on the flooring they’ve used.
This bit is very Dutch in how it is laid out. I could imagine something like this in the Netherlands.
I carried on down the Don Valley, only to be disappointed that a section is closed and the diversion takes us along a section of the main road and has no cycle lanes. See what I mean about fragmented? Even though there are signs indicating cycles. Grr!
I carried on, losing the temporary signs at one point and so just carried on the way I know best; eventually making it back into the route near Meadowhall.
The rest of the route to Rotherham is both well maintained and clearly marked. It’s also fairly flat so for the most part I just stuck with seventh gear, occasionally dropping into sixth for the gentle hills. I have to say though that the first bit of the journey was very enjoyable. The middle bit was terrible (due to the closed sections) but once I reached Meadowhall it was a great ride and very picturesque.
Anyway here’s my map on Strava. I honestly can’t believe I’m actually doing these sorts of distances now. As kids we used to ride loads but never this sort of distance – but then we were on BMX bikes.
Now a little update on what has happened to me since my last blog, after all, it has been a major chaotic week!
Well you heard about the court case (guy faking certificates gets caught and imprisoned) but now for my other stuff…
On Friday I was electrocuted due to someone else’s idiocy, I mean, who wires a ring main to 2 circuit breakers? Seriously?
but the big event was Saturday – as the photo shows. Whilst driving along Wash Lane, the Dalton end, I was tailgated very closely by an idiot in a Corsa. Even though my car (MX5) was more powerful, I thought I would rather not have this prick behind me and so slowed down to give him easy chance of overtaking as soon as the central barrier ended. He did overtake me – dangerously – making a driver coming the other way swerve.
At that point I noticed the police cars bearing down on me with great speed. I pulled over… obviously, Corsa boy was a wanted man and I wasn’t going to get in the way of them catching him.
I then continued along Wash Lane to where it becomes Aldwarke Road – only to find a police car blocking the road totally – the officer inside had just pulled up and was getting out to close the road. He then flagged me and the car in front (a yellow Fiat Stilo) into the side, asked us to wait a few minutes, and proceeded to put a road closed and accident sign out behind our cars.
It turned out idiot boy had cut the corner on the bend under the twin bridges near the Station Hotel and hit another vehicle head on. Apparently, we were the last two witnesses who could say what his driving was like immediately before the incident as the video car hadn’t caught it on tape having lost ground on the car just before it happened.
I still haven’t heard of the conditions of the other people in the blue Fiat the idiot hit, but the paramedic did reassure us that their injuries weren’t life threatening. I’m now watching with bated breath as the local papers come out – I sent this picture in to the Advertiser.
I had to go shopping. First of all I spent a mortgage on printer ink. Why is printer ink so expensive? – I’m now refilling all our cartridges but for the Photosmart we currently haven’t had a spare set. That’s now rectified and refilling will start immediately! I did manage a rather good package in Staples for under £40 for all 6 inks!
Onwards to Parkgate Retail World. A place I can only say I “tolerate”. It causes traffic hell, takes shoppers out of Rotherham, and actually isn’t that cheap… but it is home to Boots and I needed stuff from Boots. Upon entering Retail World I drove my little van up a parking line and saw a space… until a Peugeot 206 convertible driver had different ideas. She had her space, but she decided to reverse out straight into my path… but then stopped when she saw me. Rather than do the sensible thing and pull back into her space she sat in the middle of the lane blocking it expecting me to reverse back up into the queue of traffic building up behind me. “Sod this” I thought and reversed into the space opposite her anyway (small van… manouverable!) with a little farting around, but I got in. She STILL didn’t move!
As soon as I pulled into the space, she pulled back into hers… and I saw the scenario from a mile off – she was going to “have a go” at me. She got out of her car and stood opposite my van staring at the van… obviously she couldn’t see me. She had hair that could only be described as a bright yellow Crystaltips with a home perm and bad home colouring job. Her face was suck-a-lemon sour… and the Playboy bunnies on the back of the car gave me a good indication of her general level of intelligence…
Then… I unfolded myself out of my little van… yes… unfolded. It is rather small… all virtually 6’1″ of me… clad in leather trousers and long black leather coat, complete with black shirt and peroxide white mohican…
Have you ever seen someone scurry off with their face looking at the floor? – no? – well she did… very quickly. I like being scary 🙂
Finally… Barbers Avenue – thank you RMBC at least you can do something right. This junction has been annoying me for a while because it’s too narrow for 2 lanes of traffic so some inconsiderate people think it’s acceptable to drive up the footpath. Today two bollards have appeared on the footpath adjacent to the road thus preventing these kerb crawlers. I don’t like footpath drivers, nor do I like people who park so far on the footpath that pedestrians have to walk on the road to pass their vehicle. I generally find that OVER is preferable to ROUND in these instances… (have you ever seen footprints over the roof of a car?).