Dear All

We are still looking for ride offers for 20 September – and after. [NB Slot provisionally filled subject to recce – Ed.] I shall be away (“What, again?” I hear you ask) for the next three weeks so if you have a suggestion for a ride on that date (or, indeed, any other) please send it to Roger who will be getting out the next newsletter. Likewise if you get to do the report on the 6 September ride or have any other news or views to impart.

By all means send to me too – so I can keep up with what’s going on – but the crucial thing is to remember to send offers and reports to Roger from now on.

The Erewash Valley Trail

In the last issue I was bemoaning the fact that I had had to miss Julian’s Dell Quay ride. A large part of the attraction of that route has always been for me the sections along the Chichester Canal. One thing we are short of in this area is canal paths to ride along

But last week I was able to go some way to make up for missing out earlier. My brother-in-law, with whom Sue and I were staying for a few days, actually lives on a road that is a duly-signposted link between two bits of the Erewash Valley Trail – one of several car-free (or almost) cycle routes featured in the excellent Nottingham Cycle Map.

The Trail is an elongated loop following the Erewash River – a minor tributary of the Trent – and. especially, the parallel Erewash Canal. Altogether it is c 30 miles long. I’d explored the bit down to Trentlock where rivers Trent, Soar and the various canals join up several times in the past, but this time I did the part of the Trail, going up the canal to its northern end and then returning via a route that includes part of the defunct and overgrown Nottingham Canal – now an important nature reserve. Just over 20 miles in all. I can thoroughly recommends this to anyone who finds themselves in the area with access to a bike. I particularly enjoyed the first stretch up the surprisingly rural canal. I was greeted when I joined the Trail at Sandiacre by about 30 ducks and ducklings who seemed to be earnestly debating something loudly and furiously (Labour leadership election, perhaps?) Later I passed the Gallows Inn, where a Trail information board told me there had been an actual gallows as recently as 1870. “Not the most auspicious welcome to Ilkeston,” the notice commented. After that, a few miles further on, I watched a family of swans – a parent at either end and two large but still “ugly duckling” type cygnets between them – making their way in stately fashion, perfectly line-astern along the waterway.



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