As Cabin fever and post sewage pipe replacement excitement ennui had set in, I decided to take my self orf for a long walk starting at Yatton down the Strawberry Line, once a railway line torn up in the 1963 cull now part of the national cycle network.
Armed only with a mobile phone to summon help from Air Sea Rescue and Prince William, and my virginal gortex gaiters, I set off for a brisk hike.
The National Cycle Network is a marvellous intiative for………….. makers of ‘thou shall not’ signs. The track was littered with them. Thou shall not drive a wheeled vehicle down here, thou shall not ride your horse down here as it is a symbol of class opression, and you may wish to jump the rine and give chase to fluffy foxes. Thou shall pick up thy dog shite ( a lot of civil disobediance going on here).
There was the jovial information signs sponsored by forty eight different quangos, featuring a jovial pastiche of a cartoon station master blowing a whistle (not too patronising then).
There was ‘public art’ (looked like the local five year olds had had an away day with bostik and broken pottery. Signs that reminded you that this was a commuuuuuuuuuuunity project for the living green areas of the huddled urban masses of rural Somerset.
There were specially created pro bike anti capitalist horse riding gates made of shiny stainless steel.
This little lot must have cost a fortune.
For whom was this being spent ? Surely not for the unappreciative lil ol me, whose sole requirement was a a path with a sign one end and a sign the other end total cost of plastic arrow signs £10.
On the great Cycleway, I saw just one lad aged eight on a bike in six miles, and he had his stabilisers on, crash helmet and reflective jacket. The huddled urban masses were I believe huddled in front of their 42 inch plasma TV’s instead of taking to the National Cycleway.
I arrived in the failing light at the designated pick up point on the A38 when at last I saw some cyclists weaving through the traffic with no lights on. I did however see evidence of a class crime on the track. Hoof prints !!!!!!
It seems that it is quite easy to ride round the stainless steel gates, and use many of the roads crossing the designated National Cycleway.
Horse riders are tax payers too y’know.