I have made six commute journeys on my bike this week. On five of them it rained, but on all of them my feet got soaked through. It is not the rain that wets them, neither is it the standing water which drenches them. Oh no, the culprit is long grass, and one 300m length of track in particular.
Believe it or not, the picture above is of a designated cycle path, and if you are familiar with my previous posts, you have probably guessed this is part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network (Route 12).
On a warm, dry summer day it really is pleasant track to ride along. But when it rains or first thing in the morning before the dew has burned away, this verdant track gets very wet. The blades of grass, weighted with moisture, bow across the narrow path. You cannot avoid the grass; you can’t go over it; you can’t go under it; you’ve gotta go through it. Swishy pedal, swashy pedal and 300 metres later your feet are soaked.
Yes you can ride your bike along here, but please Sustrans, look at it. It is just a farm track. Putting a few route signs up and labelling it as national cycle infrastructure is like the Highways Agency sticking great blue road signs alongside an unclassified road and calling it a motorway.