The route starts close to Ashurst (New Forest) Station.
The aim of the cycle route is to provide a safe route to Lyndhurst.

People gather. Cyclists chat. Suits hover.
The sun shines. Its very friendly.

Speeches are made. County Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment (right) talks of the aims, the benefits and the costs - while New Forest East MP Julian Lewis (left) smiles.
Cameras click.

The Ribbon is Cut.

The VIP group. Say cheeeeese.

Julian Lewis MP admitted to not being a cyclist - so refused to pose on a bike, saying he thought it would be hypocritical to do so.
A very admirable comment.
(He also said he likes motorbikes)

Some of us cycled off to test the new route...

The path stretches towards Lyndhurst. It is quite bumpy and gritty - a lower quality surface than the road. Good for bikes with suspension and fat tyres.

It would have been difficult to get anywhere near 20mph, given the surface! Narrow tyres beware. Will it be maintained? Already thorn bushes were encroaching.

Entering Lyndhurst the route was on the 'footpath' with blind drives and road crossings.
This section worried me. Look at the rider at the front facing oncoming traffic!
What if...a vehicle came out of a drive, and it was a family with children on the cycle route?

The route stopped short of the main town centre leaving....

...A walk into town or ride the last few hundred yards on the road.

We all enjoyed a pleasant ride back the lanes.

..and so after a gentle potter through the Forest, it was back to Ashurst for some well-deserved refreshment.

As a route it may suit families and less experienced cyclists riding from Ashurst to Lyndhurst and back. I think the surface is too rough for roadies, and others may prefer Forest trails. It could encourage new cyclists.

However, the shared-use Lyndhurst end worries me for safety.

Otherwise it was a very pleasant day out in great company, and that's what cycling is all about.






© 2007



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