The Avon Cycleway

2008-08-30, Comments

Avon cycleway map

If you live in Bristol and like cycling you should know about the Avon Cycleway (National Cycle Network route 10). It’s an 85 mile circular route around Bristol. Add the distance to get to and from the route, include the optional but unmissable Clevedon Seafront circuit, and allow for a couple of wrong turns, and you’ve got 100 miles of riding. Don’t try it without the route map, which is freely available — in places the signs are missing or inadequate.

Clevedon Pier

One of the great things about the route is its variety: for me, the highlights would be Inglestone common and the rolling wooded hills around Wickwar, then there’s Clevedon Pier; you also cover some fine industrial scenery around Portbury and Avonmouth docks, skirting round chemical works, haulage plants and great yards filled with imported vehicles.

I have done the whole route, once, with Richard, several years ago. More often I cover a short section — it’s a circular route so if you live near the centre of Bristol, you can join and leave where you choose.

I’m off next month to meet Richard for a long weekend of cycling in the Vosges Mountains, Alsace. Today, in preparation, I went on a training ride covering the top half of the cycleway, heading out along the Bristol to Bath cycletrack, then around the Avon Cycleway anticlockwise to Avonmouth, and back in along the portway. It’s been about the first day this summer we’ve had any sunshine. How novel, to see my shadow on the road beneath me! When I got back home my legs felt fine but the rest of me didn’t: I think I was suffering mild sunstroke.