RideEatCamp

Day 4: Route Finding

Europe

The impressive thing about English traffic is that it never ceases. Even on the tiniest road between two villages we get a steady stream of vehicles passing us.

Trail construction diverted is to through this narrow alley in Bath.
Trail construction diverted is to through this narrow alley in Bath.

The short cut we took to our campsite turned from a Jeep track to a grassy field.
The short cut we took to our campsite turned from a Jeep track to a grassy field.

From the grassy field, we entered an overgrown track.
From the grassy field, we entered an overgrown track.

The overgrown track less is to a wheat field. This is what happens when you put trust in technology. An exciting adventure!
The overgrown track less is to a wheat field. This is what happens when you put trust in technology. An exciting adventure!

At the end of the day we rewarded ourselves with grilled cheese and tomato soup.
At the end of the day we rewarded ourselves with grilled cheese and tomato soup.

We spent a majority of the day crossing on some rough tow paths next to the impressive Kennett Canal. The canal system in England used to allow the transport of good across the country. Now it’s used as a means of recreation. People cruise around in these narrow barges. Some people live in them full time or during certain seasons.

We talked to a barge owner as he was moving his vehicle through one of the locks. He pays about £1000 a year for a license that includes the ability to dock his barge anywhere on the canal. That’s some cheap housing. Heck, people pay more than that per month to rent a small apartment in my town. Carrie and I now have a plan to buy a small barge. We’ll live the barge life. Slow and wet.

Eventually we made it to the city of Bath. One of England’s most popular tourist attractions. This meant getting back into traffic. We navigated roundabouts, dodged pedestrians on narrow streets, and did our best to flow with traffic. I was feeling more confident. Maybe the roads weren’t that bad after all. Everything was feeling familiar. Then I realized everything was feeling familiar because we’d just ridden in a giant circle.

The caravan park didn’t allow tents, so we had to find another campground. The closest campground to town was adjacent to an A road, the American equivalent of a highway. We didn’t want to have anything to do with the A road, so we had to find another way to get there.

On the map there was a dotted line that led from the university just outside of town to a minor road close to the campground. We decided to check it out. What started as a Jeep track soon turned into a footpath, a footpath that no one had probably walked in a year.

It was overgrown and at times nonexistent, but it did keep us off the A road. We rolled into the campground relieved and hungry only to read a sign that there were no vacancies. After a full day on the bike, we didn’t have any more energy to find a new place to camp. The owner greeted us and I asked if there might be space for us to pitch our tent. She hesitated but agreed that we could take a spot at the back of the property. Whew! It was nice to make home for the night.

he impressive thing about English traffic is that it never ceases. Even on the tiniest road between two villages we get a steady stream of vehicles passing us.

We spent a majority of the day crossing on some rough tow paths next to the impressive Kennett Canal. The canal system in England used to allow the transport of good across the country. Now it’s used as a means of recreation. People cruise around in these narrow barges. Some people live in them full time or during certain seasons.

We talked to a barge owner as he was moving his vehicle through one of the locks. He pays about £1000 a year for a license that includes the ability to dock his barge anywhere on the canal. That’s some cheap housing. Heck, people pay more than that per month to rent a small apartment in my town. Carrie and I now have a plan to buy a small barge. We’ll live the barge life. Slow and wet.

Eventually we made it to the city of Bath. One of England’s most popular tourist attractions. This meant getting back into traffic. We navigated roundabouts, dodged pedestrians on narrow streets, and did our best to flow with traffic. I was feeling more confident. Maybe the roads weren’t that bad after all. Everything was feeling familiar. Then I realized everything was feeling familiar because we’d just ridden in a giant circle.

The caravan park didn’t allow tents, so we had to find another campground. The closest campground to town was adjacent to an A road, the American equivalent of a highway. We didn’t want to have anything to do with the A road, so we had to find another way to get there.

On the map there was a dotted line that led from the university just outside of town to a minor road close to the campground. We decided to check it out. What started as a Jeep track soon turned into a footpath, a footpath that no one had probably walked in a year.

It was overgrown and at times nonexistent, but it did keep us off the A road. We rolled into the campground relieved and hungry only to read a sign that there were no vacancies. After a full day on the bike, we didn’t have any more energy to find a new place to camp. The owner greeted us and I asked if there might be space for us to pitch our tent. She hesitated but agreed that we could take a spot at the back of the property. Whew! It was nice to make home for the night.