This Easter I cycle-camped from Fishguard to Canterbury as part of my training for my Three Corners (Dover, Land's End & John O'Groats) loop that I'll be doing for charity this summer. Of course I wanted OSM to benefit from this training trip, so my original plans were to cycle the whole of NCR4, to fill in the missing gaps we had....and then Richard Fairhurst announced that he'd completed NCR4. So, I decided to tackle NCR47 instead. Thanks for the recommendation Richard. The scenery in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is every bit as amazing as you said it is.
I've finally finished entering my NCR47 data now. Most of it into made last week's cycle map rendering and it's great to see. Unfortunately there were two short sections that I was unable to cycle (one due to a landslide and the other due to a building site), but everything else is now mapped. Almost all of the route was well signed, the main exceptions being in and near Carmarthen and within Newport. I was particularly impressed with the diversion signing to avoid the landslide.
There is one part of the whole route that I found particularly difficult though. Most of the high-level tracks were fine. I wasn't expecting a perfect surface in the hills. But one section (the location for this posting), perhaps a mile long and uphill, did rather exhaust me:
I ended up pushing my bike loaded with four panniers, a tent, sleeping bag, etc. up that bit. It was worth it for the views though. And the mapping of course...
Comment from Richard on 5 May 2009 at 21:16
Really impressed to see this - and glad you enjoyed the Pembrokeshire bit as much as we did!
And though I'm relieved we weren't the only people to get lost in Carmarthen and Newport, it's one of the great things about OSM - mapping it does make life easier for others cycling the route. The little NCN map on my eTrex gets more useful by the week, and it looks like this week, and the last, are going to be vintage weeks for improving NCN coverage.
Comment from Gregory Williams on 5 May 2009 at 21:43
I should have linked one of my Pembrokeshire shots as well really. So here goes:
By the end of this summer things'll look even healthier for the NCN map. Quite a bit of my route will be using the NCN specifically to get it mapped, and I should get most of the missing NCR1 gaps sorted on the return leg from John O'Groats back home to Canterbury. I'm doing the final little tweaks to my plans now, so I'll be announcing my route in a week or two.
I too am glad to see everyone else's data on my eTrex, and love being able to briefly glance down at it to ask myself "Is that road coming up on the right-hand side mapped?" as well as using it to navigate by of course.
Comment from Gregory Williams on 5 May 2009 at 21:46
Oh and speaking of lost. Aren't Bristol's NCR4 signs (or lack thereof) just awful?!
Comment from Richard on 6 May 2009 at 07:27
Very evocative pic - reminds me of the Pembrokeshire bit perfectly.
Yep, signage through Bristol is utterly terrible. We lost it entirely and ended up somewhere in Avonmouth trying to find NCN41. Ironically the place we first lost the route was directly outside the NCN Centre by Bristol Cathedral!
Comment from Gregory Williams on 6 May 2009 at 08:31
I had planned to cycle through Bristol for my Three Corners trip, but have moved my planned route to avoid it completely now, given how bad the signing was. I should be able to make much better progress on country roads that through the city anyhow.