Friday 3 April 2015

MTB trail: "The Corrie Road"

We've not done much coverage of the mountain bike trails in the area for a while, trails such as Nova, Super Nova of Ashton Court, along with Yer Tiz in Leigh Woods.

To catch up then, lets look at another council-manufactured technical trail through the trees, "Corrie Road".

This trail starts at the local village of "Beddmynster-upon-Avon", known locally as "Bemmy". It can be reached by train from Bedminster Station, or directly from Templemeads via the new Clarence Road segregated path. There also is parking by the local store, "Asda". They sell food and fresh bread there —visit it if you haven't already! Note that while this shop is surviving, the adjacent library is at risk of being shut down and converted to gentrified housing.

As well as food from the local store, you can also buy bicycle spares at that eclectic Bristol chain, Motorman. You can also get waterproofs, footwear and other things from the friendly folk at Taunton Leisure. For anyone planning to make a weekend of it, there is some accommodation right in front of the trail itself. (warning: some of those reviews are a bit negative)

The trail itself is an all weather off-road surface. There are a number of tree obstacles to "work"; making for a very swoopy course. It is probably the easiest to do as a nighttime-excursion, primarily because of the streetlights placed in the middle of the trail itself! You won't be needing any helmet lights here!

It's also flat and straight: no real navigational problems. We'd recommend it as an intro to MTB-ing for children, were it not for the fact that if they get an obstacle wrong and fall left, they will end up going under the wheels of an HGV —this road is notable in that it is still a 30 mph road; the 20 mph zone begins behind it.

Here then is the trail done at near-race speed, though the rider doesn't clear every slalom gate correctly.

Sadly, the trail does peter about rather abruptly, leaving you with a choice of where to go next. Turn right to get to The Chocolate Path, where you can head to the Avon Gorge, the pump trail, or Ashton Court itself via the "metrobus wasteland" —formerly known as Festival Way. Alternative options are head back towards the starting point of the road via the Chocolate path and a non-technical pavement route, or simply return the way you came. Yes, The Corrie Road path is two way —do watch out for oncoming cyclists as you commit into the bend around a tree.

After a ride, we recommend the pub "The Windmill" in Bedminster, or the Nova Scotia at the end of the Chocolate Path—both of which are fine establishments to consume a beer or three.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Our letter to @BristolPost

We've just sent a letter to the evening post. We encourage others to do likewise. This was not sent to the letters@ address -it was sent to the new desk. Its in their part of the web site in which the article is printed, and we want action, not some letter a few days from now.

Subject: April 1st "cyclists and lorries" article


Some people view our Bristol Traffic site as some kind of spoof.

Our contributors have twice encountered HGV/cyclists collisions in Bristol. One of our contributors lives in Bath, not far from Lansdown Hill, where a four year old girl and others were killed by an out of control HGV. When we cover such things, all notion of humor is gone. We treat the incidents as the awful events they are.

Yet your paper thinks this topic merits an April 1st story.

That is probably one of the most tasteless and insensitive stories you have ever printed.

Here is our response.

As we say at bottom of our article: it's not to too late to your article offline and replace it with an apology, one you can reprint tomorrow.

We even grant you the right to use any of the photographs in the above article with such an apology.

Please let us know what your plans will be


the Bristol Traffic team.

Evening Post: not funny at all

The Bristol Post has an April 1st story, Cyclists to escort all lorries through Bristol city centre in bid to reduce speed and improve safety. someone thought that was funny.

More precisely, someone thought that was funny less than eight weeks after a tipper truck killed four people in Bath —something local and awful enough that the BEP felt worth covering themselves. A truck crash in which the driver and the company chairmain have been charged for Manslaughter on. Think about that: if the police not only charge the driver with something worse than "Causing death by careless driving", but even the company owner with manslaughter, there must be evidence of a set of wilful decisions resulting in what even the police consider to be killings. Not accidents: killings.

What those decisions are, we are yet to know. Overloading the vehicle? Maybe. Driving with defective brakes? Quite possibly. Driving down a road with 6.6" signs at the entrance and a use low gear sign later on? Again, highly likely. Some papers have been claiming the width sign had been knocked down -but there are two of them, which kind of makes that statement doubtful. A wilful decision to take a shortcut seems suspiciously likely.

Yet the BEP thinks lorry safety is something worth having a laugh about.

Whoever wrote that article didn't look through their archives for keywords like "HGV and life-changing injuries"

They've certainly never heard the scream someone makes as an HGV drives over them.

On a bicycle, what's likely to kill you is an HGV.

And the Evening Post thinks this is funny enough to make a joke out of on April 1.

Anyone who rides a bike and actually pays for the evening post should reconsider their decision from now on

Anyone who looks at the web site should immediately download the Adblock plugin (Firefox, Chrome) so the evening post doesn't get that advert placement revenue.

As for the Bristol Traffic site? After this post we refuse to place any links to Bristol Post articles. Ever.

To the evening post, we want you to recognise that this isn't funny. Anyone cycling around the city fears the HGV, fears it coming up behind you at an ASL. Or even worse: a roundabout. If you've ever felt your bike being nudged forward by an HGV at a roundabout as the driver looks to their right, you'll know a moment of cool terror. Moving HGVs are just bad. You fears them passing, as you look to the side to see if its indicator lights are on, warning you that it's about to turn over you. And that's if you are lucky, if they do indicate.

Please pull the article and post an apology for such a tasteless story.


As for the author for the article: we extend the offer of a bike ride round central Bristol. The old BEP offices to templemeads should be enough to convince them never to think such an article would be funny. If that's not enough, we'll take them to Bedminster and then down Coronation Road, returning by Anchor Road to the centre, up to the Bearpit roundabout and then Newfoundland Road. If they aren't left a gibbering wreck vowing never to get on a bicycle again, maybe they will write prose so awful in future