The Avon Cycleway and the art of getting lost

Avon Cycle Way

Had my first attempt at cycling the entire Avon Cycleway in one hit yesterday (85 miles). This is a great cycle route that I’ve cycled parts of over the last year or two, it goes up to the Severn Bridge on the North West, out to the Cotswolds on the North East, then all the way down to the outskirts of Bath, and right out to the coast at Clevedon. As a Sustrans national cycle route, it avoids main roads and meanders around the countryside, taking in lovely scenery, perfect for a nice weekend ride.

The plan was to get the train to Nailsea, pick up the route, cycle for 40 miles, stop for lunch, cycle the rest, train home from Nailsea, eat a curry and drink a cold beer. We set off later than we probably should of, got on the route, and spent most of the rest of the day getting lost and looking at maps.

The signage is awful, different styles, wordings, fonts, colours, shapes, and all in random places, so you are never even sure where you should be looking. Just like in digital, all you need is consistency – don’t make me think! It would be an interesting task to design signage like this, and I think at least 50% of the task would be on the ground, working out where to place the signs.

Anyway, aside from my legs running out of energy, we ran out of time and had to cut short and head back into Bristol from Avonmouth. It still ended up being about 85 miles, my longest ride so far, but the task remains uncomplete. Next time I’m taking sat nav, or a guide.

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2 Responses to The Avon Cycleway and the art of getting lost

  1. Mark says:

    Did you manage a successful second attempt? I’m planning to do the full cycleway next weekend (Sat 3 Sept 2011) but am worried about getting lost. The signage on the southern section from Clevedon to Bath is ok but I’ve tried the Cotswold section twice and got lost both times! The signage disappears ….

  2. admin says:

    Hi Mark,

    Nope – not had another crack at this one yet, good luck tho! Defo take a map with you and a Garmin with the route on it would be a great help. The bit I found most confusing was the north section between Yate and Thornbury. Its a great ride, but you cant rely on the signage unfortunately. Enjoy!

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