week 3 run 3, attempted circular route

I tried a slightly different route today, which didn't go quite to plan. Instead of going straight up the canal, turning round, and then coming straight back, I tried turning off the canal onto the 'greenway' - a pedestrian/cycle path that runs past the olympic site. It seemed to stop suddenly though, leading me onto a road going past a lot of building works and hi-viz guys, before finally turning onto the busy Stratford High Street. I think I need to try these routes out on my bike first before finding myself at a dead end mid-run. Or maybe stick to the straight line up the canal and back again. Although the circular route did have more variation in gradient etc. which I don't get on the canal path...

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  • Goodness we've been on a few of those during family bike rides when the kids were little. A horrible one was in Bath (I think) - we cycled along a lovely path along an old steam railway line and got chucked out into the most hideous industrial estate and then got completely lost. This has happened in more than one location around the uk, and if you're cycling there is a nasty tendency for local authorities to put barriers up which you have to lift your bike over to keep going. OK if you're ironman, but not so good if you are a small 50 something with a heavy bike. I wouldn't mind, but they encourage you to do these cycle routes off road for a 'healthy lifestyle' and then dump you somewhere completely unsuitable. Hey ho. I tend to stick to the roads on the bike now as the cycle paths are so full of stones, potholes and protruding undergrowth it's dangerous anyway! A great idea, but badly executed.

  • I'm used to it on the bike, but it really affects my run if I'm having to re-route and suddenly find myself in a public high street. I think I'll stick to the towpath in future. They haven't sorted out the Olympic area properly yet at all. But at least this means the canals are quiet(ish) and I can struggle with my runs without an audience.

    I think any future experiments with my route will be tested by bike first, before risking a run along them :-l

  • Good idea. :)

  • Okay I've just found out it was a Crossrail diversion, nothing to do with Olympics stuff. Who knows when they'll stop interfering with our nice paths :( I guess the greenway's off my list of possible routes now.

  • Try using Open street Map (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=15/51.5436/-0.0112 should open up on the Olympic Park). It's a lot more up to date than any other mapping application. It gets updated very very quickly by members of the public and so tends to show all those routes that were open last week but got closed this week (for example - it took someone less than 2 hours to plot the new cycle stands at work...).

    I've cycled along the Greenway past the Olympic Stadium in the past and know what you mean about ending up in building sites. I always think it's a bit of a misnomer to call it a Greenway though. Isn't the bank of earth it runs along just disguising a big sewer pipe?

  • That is really useful, and clearly mapped. I can see a lot of possibilities for off road paths now - it looks like the path from Three Mills to Canning Town might be open again, but I'll check this to be sure.

    Yes the greenway is built along the top of London's first sewer pipe, but back in the day these things were grand and celebrated. There's an excellent multi-colour Victorian sewage works building on the path, I think it's going to be listed. I used to walk it to work from Beckton to Bow (over 10 years ago) and it felt 'green' compared to alternative routes on main roads. There are a few trees and you're away above the traffic...

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