Sunday, 31 August 2008

UWE to St Werburghs - off road via Purdown Camp

Someone once mentioned to me that they need a car as they have to commute to UWE. Oh no, that's an awful place to drive to. It's just that until the U1, U2 and U3 buses came out, driving and cycling were the only viable options --unless you lived in places like Nailsea and could get the train straight to Abbey Wood. That said, cycling is not only reliable and efficient, it can be fun.

Here you can see a traffic free route from UWE to St Werburgh's, going over Purdown, past Purdown Camp and then down through the farm to Boiling Well's lane. Deliberately not edited out of the video are all the delays invoked by motorbike filters on the route. None of which will keep motorbikes out, as in every case there is an alternate option. They just get in the way. That one on the farm road, the steel z-bend, has a good bypass developing; a bypass that often has hoof marks on it. Clearly the horse riders find all these features inconvenient too.

The route is a bit damp right now, but not muddy; it will be interesting to see what happens over winter. If it is a dry winter -as last year- this is an excellent way home for anyone with good lights. All these eyes stare back at you from the undergrowth; they are probably just cats or foxes, but it is very disconcerting. Humanity has evolved a fear of eyes staring back at you from the undergrowth at night, as any early human who walked away from the fire to see what those lights out there were didn't come back...our ancestors are the ones who were scared of the dark.

The reality is cycling down through Shaldon Lane in Lockleaze can be more hazardous, primarily due to much of the road traffic being aggressive and fast, and sometimes deliberately cutting up bikes. Maybe after a few million years we will have evolved a fear of Maroon Rover 400s driven by teenagers, in which case the off-road alternative really will appear less scary.


Unknown said...

Disagree about the motorbike restrictors not working - we had one put in on path to Narroways and it vrtually solved motorbike problem overnight.

SteveL said...

well, on purdown it doesn't; I have a set of photos of just that. The problem there is there are way too many access points, and enough motorbikers dedicated enough to chop down any of the less strict defences.

Unknown said...

Lovely video! As someone who takes the UWE to Muller road route every day I must say I have never had a problem with the Shaldon Rd route. And considering I top 30mph near the bottom of it I think its significantly faster than your route (though not as fun). My solution to the Maroon Rover 400 problem is to cycle down the middle of the lane like a winged angel of death.