Sunday, 9 September 2012

And it's open!

Yep, Ashmill bridge has been opened, which means the whole new section of NCN27, from Tavistock to Gem Bridge is open, and going by this morning's experience, it's rather popular! I lost count of the number of cyclists I saw. The really good thing is it included many very young cyclists, and many quite old ones, too. It's true what they say: build it and they will come!

Seriously, the old NCN27 route between Tavistock and pretty much Yelverton was not a route for very you or very old cyclists, nor for people who weren't accustomed riding up long and steep hills. The new route offers gentle gradients and is mostly traffic-free.

My only criticism lies with the path surfacing. From Horrabridge to Anderton Lane in Tavistock, the path was surfaced with compacted scrapings that result from roads maintenance. This resultes in a good surface that is very much like a tarred path. Unfortunately they have spread fine gravel on top of this surface all the way, resulting in a surface that isn't terribly efficient to cycle on, and almost useless when applying brakes. While the route has gentle gradients, there are still uphills and downhills, and stopping suddenly (especially on a bend) is not something you'd be able to easily achieve. I suggest you go fairly slowly along this section!

Overall this is a massive improvement on what was the the original route, and thanks should be said to many, including Devon County Council, West Devon Borough Council and Sustrans. Above all else, one man needs to be thanked: Graham Cornish. It is primarily due to his ceaseless work over many years that we have this new route, the Plym Valley trail, the Granite Way and indeed large parts of the Tarka Trail.

Here's a map showing the new route, from the centre of Tavistock to just past Gem Bridge:

I guess now I'd better crack on and update the OpenCycleMap as many apps, such as CycleStreets, use the maps.
UPDATE: OpenStreetMap, which is the foundation of the OpenCycleMap, has been updated, so now all that is needed is time to allow for the map tiles to be updated.