Monday, August 17, 2015

Beeley Woods - 15 years on

I recently came across some letters and files about the path through beautiful Beeley Woods in the north of Sheffield, and thought you might like to see them.

Around about the turn of the millennium I prepared an outline proposal suggesting a proper multi-user path through Beeley Woods that could be used by cyclists (and equestrians) as well as pedestrians. Part of this involved a photo-reconnaissance of the existing route, and so I've put these against some pictures taken last week to show just how things have changed. I'll try and take some winter pictures for a better comparison at the end of the year.

The old path was uneven and terribly muddy; the new path is almost unrecognisable. Before, you were lucky if you saw anyone else in the woods; nowadays the woods are always busy with walkers, joggers, cyclists, babies in pushchairs, dog walkers, people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters - the list goes on and on. The other thing apparent from these photos is that whilst there are far more people using the woods, they are channeled into a far narrower area, and there's now far less damage to the surrounding areas - these have all completely regenerated. My only regret is that the accompanying equestrian track next to the cycle path was never fully implemented.

In short it's a great resource and I think it's the nicest stretch of cycle route in the Sheffield area.

I noticed that a counter had also just been installed by the cricket pitch at the Oughtibridge end. Please make sure if you're up that way that you add to the numbers!

Oh - and just to acknowledge that although I might have played some small part, in planting the seed of an idea, I was lucky that the idea was taken forward by Sheffield City Council and particularly Sustrans.  There's a letter from John Grimshaw expressing his interest, and if it wasn't for the massive effort of Sustrans and their summer work camps and local Rangers, this cycle route would never have come to fruition. It is literally the result of the work by hundreds of people. The area also benefitted from some rebuilding work after the 2007 floods destroyed much of the path at the Oughtibridge end.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And the Beeley Woods path gets a makeover

Over the past few weeks work has been progressing in putting earth down on either edge of the Beeley Woods path. A nice finishing touch that does make a difference.
It's a shame that, certainly at the Oughtibridge end, this all has grass seed in it, and in some of the more wooded areas, we are going to get a green stripe down each side - but I'm sure we can live with that!

Beeley Wood gets its bridleway

Well, sort of...

The order turning the Beeley Wood path into a bridleway has gone up - literally - as it is attached to the trees in the area. There's a copy below.

Sadly, the order only goes halfway through the woods (see map); I'm assuming this is part of the ongoing negotiations with the landowners.

Let's hope at least this section does get created into a bridleway.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Cyclemeter Cycle 7 Jul 2010 09:19:18

Finished Ride: 7 Jul 2010 18:43:55
Route: Dover - Greenwich
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:
Ride Time: 8:20:02
Stopped Time: 1:04:31
Distance: 85.09 miles
Average: 10.21 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 27.31 miles/hr
Climb: 4275 feet
Calories: 4441

The drugs do work

After a desperate start feeling really good now

Only 35 miles to Greenwich!

Sent from my iPhone

Pretty desperate morning. Felt better after the first feedstop and
then hung onto the Dutch coattails again to get me to lunch
2pm and still 50 miles to go

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Back in Blighty

With bad roads, bad drivers and a bad route

This is going to be a long 100 miles

Sent from my iPhone

Cyclemeter Cycle 7 Jul 2010 06:51:39

Finished Ride: 7 Jul 2010 07:48:56
Route: Cocqelles - Docks
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:
Ride Time: 41:47
Stopped Time: 15:23
Distance: 6.25 miles
Average: 8.98 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 16.88 miles/hr
Climb: 121 feet
Calories: 317

Ridiculously early start

Have to catch an early ferry this morning and cycle through Calais, so
it's a 6:45am start this morning (!)

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

And they win!!!

And this is BEFORE the kick-off!

Dutch Day

Took the Dutch "train" out of Brugge today. Linked up with 5 rather
attractive Dutch girls on the way out and made great progress the
whole day (cycling that is!)

Really good day today - excellent weather, easy riding in a peleton,
and good scenery. Only spoilt by not paying attention on Calais and
going over the handlebars. Hopefully just bruised ribs and ego.

And now we're in a pub waiting for the Holland v Uruguay match. The
Dutch really know how to party!

Cyclemeter Cycle 6 Jul 2010 09:20:01

Finished Ride: 6 Jul 2010 16:48:16
Route: Bruges - Calais
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:
Ride Time: 5:54:05
Stopped Time: 1:34:05
Distance: 77.70 miles
Average: 13.17 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 22.62 miles/hr
Climb: 912 feet
Calories: 4858

Sleep, eat, cycle - day 2

Brugge - Calais

Monday, July 05, 2010

And stop

Cyclemeter Cycle 5 Jul 2010 08:50:39

Finished Ride: 5 Jul 2010 18:42:42
Route: Brussels - Bruges
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:
Ride Time: 8:00:51
Stopped Time: 1:49:30
Distance: 89.31 miles
Average: 11.14 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 27.13 miles/hr
Climb: 2218 feet
Calories: 4894

Feeding time

Cyclemeter Cycle 5 Jul 2010 08:50:39

Started Ride: 5 Jul 2010 08:50:39
Route: Brussels - Bruges
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:

Getting nervous!

OK Some people are taking this very seriously!
There are some very expensive bikes appearing.
We've got a target time of 4pm to finish. I know we normally like
leisurely lunches, but that's a couple of hours shorter than I'd
normally expect
Weather here grey but not too cold

The Muur awaits. Remember you should be able to follow my progress via
the Cyclemeter Google links.

Let's go...

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Atomium, Brussels

Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben and The Eye; Brussels
has, err... A giant iron atom
Cav to team at team bus:
"I never got the chance to race"

Sent from my iPhone

Bienveu a la Belle France

Excuse the poor French - but hopefully I can blog abroad now!

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With the London Cycle Network - got me to the station in 16 mins this
morning. No special facilities but just excellent signage.

And with EuroStar. First time on board. It doesn't half shift...

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St Pancras looks fantastic in the early morning sunshine

Off to Brussels!

Beautiful morning

Sat down in Le Pain Quotidien enjoying an croissant almond. Is it too
frivolous to consider Bucks Fizz to finish off?

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Relaxing before the big day

Ah! The pampered life of the international sportsman

As befits my status, I've been given the exclusive use of a top London
apartment in preparation for the big ride (thanks out-of-stepdaughter
Sioned ;-) Up at around 6 tomorrow morning, early to bed tonight.

In the TdF, a great ride from HTC rider Tony Martin in the prologue
today. Who knows, we might meet him tomorrow (apart from Cav, I'd also
love to meet Flecha). Big mention for Brits David Millar and Geraint
Thomas for their rides today.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 02, 2010

Forecast for next week

Here's our own personal forecast for next week, courtesy of Stephen Davenport at MeteoGroup UK

The expected band of showers and isolated thunderstorms has come into the UK from the west but is fizzling before it reaches the south-east. However, that other plume of scattered but locally heavy showers/thunderstorms is developing ahead of it, affecting France today (Friday 2 July) then both France and Belgium tonight. A few could just clip Kent and Essex, too.

Sunday should both be dry, though, with some sunshine -- in fact, quite a lot of sunshine, with a high of 27 or 28 deg C but freshening winds for a time towards the Channel coast – temporarily strong through the Straits of Dover but lighter in Belgium. Maximum on Monday more like 24 or 25 C with cloud increasing to bring a scattering of sharp showers – about a 50/50 chance of catching at least one of those. Probably becoming drier and brighter by the end of Monday. Relatively light west to south-westerly winds Monday.

That band of showers on Monday is the one that was originally looking more likely for Tuesday – instead Tuesday now looks drier with occasional sunshine. Still a small chance of a passing shower, though. Similar temperatures Tuesday, with a maximum of 24/25C in London, 22/23C in Calais and 24 to 26C Brussels/Bruges. Light west to south-westerly winds on the whole, moderate through the Channel.

Wednesday – still looks like there’s a band of showers coming eastwards but again tending to fizzle as it moves across SE England. I’d still expect the odd shower, though, and perhaps more pertinently rather a stiff cross-wind – a fresh south-westerly for a time.

Just a reminder why I'm doing this...

You’ve heard from me for months so perhaps the best way to leave you is with a word from a Right To Play volunteer coach called Matthias in Benin, west Africa:
“As teachers and parents we have the mission to give children the appropriate knowledge to encourage their full development. But this cannot be achieved without a happy environment, without role models that lead children back to a path they have strayed from because of the violence and difficulties of their surroundings. And we cannot succeed without the sport and play activities that give children the chance to relax whilst learning. Right To Play games are an invaluable and clever channel that allow children reach that state, and the children on the programme are more empathetic, better in school, healthier, and more confident. But best of all, they are happier and hopeful for a better future.”

You can still sponsor me at:

A huge thanks to everyone who has sponsored me - hopefully by reading things like Matthias's comments you realise how important Right To Play's work has become.

July already!!

Tomorrow I catch the train down to London - we have to register at St Pancras at 7:00am (!!!) Sunday morning, and then it's over to Brussels, catch the finish of the Rotterdam - Brussels Tour de France stage, party, a good night's sleep, and then off at 9 the next morning.

Following my progress
I should be posting here on this blog, and also on facebook - though I never seem to have much success there!

In theory, you should also be able to follow my progress (almost!) live. You'll see posts headed "Cyclemeter cycle" - this is coming from a little GPS I'll be carrying with me. Click on either "Google Maps URL:" or "Shortened Google Maps URL:" in these posts and you should see where I am, give or take ten minutes or so. To keep it updated you need to keep pressing your browser's 'Refresh' or 'Reload' button. There should be new data every five minutes or so.

I'll keep you all updated!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Horrible, horrible

Terrible ride - too hot (it was 28C out there), legs felt as though they were peddling through treacle. The only consolation was that I climbed about half the length/height of The Muur in one climb and didn't really have to get out of the saddle. Completely knackered at the top though!

I'll have to be a LOT better next week

Cyclemeter Cycle 26 Jun 2010 10:30:19

Finished Ride: 26 Jun 2010 11:26:57
Route: Damflask - 1 Circuit
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:
Ride Time: 56:35
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 10.26 miles
Average: 10.88 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 26.33 miles/hr
Ahead of Worst Ride: 0:17
Climb: 1201 feet
Calories: 588

Cyclemeter Cycle 26 Jun 2010 09:20:19

Finished Ride: 26 Jun 2010 10:29:12
Route: Don Valley circuit
Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:
Ride Time: 1:06:52
Stopped Time: 1:58
Distance: 13.69 miles
Average: 12.28 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 23.69 miles/hr
Behind Worst Ride: 11:18
Climb: 584 feet
Calories: 611

Fantastic morning!!

Time for my last big training ride

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Road rash!

Another quiet week - just about 30 miles, but with a bit of climbing thrown in.

Mark Cavendish had a rather spectacular crash at the end of yesterday's stage of the Tour of Switzerland. He's not having the best of build-up's to this year's Tour. Fortunately, nothing appears broken but he is "covered in road rash".

'Good' video at:

Nice though it would be to meet Cav at the end of Stage 2 of this year's Tour de France, I'd rather having to be talking to his team-mates because he is otherwise engaged on the podium.