Over the past week we’ve been looking to add a bit of spice into our every day life by riding a green lane on the way in to work. It’s Ride to Work Week next week (19 – 25 June), but we got together with the guys at Bennetts and thought of a way to ‘adventurize’ the massively popular campaign, and thus Green Lane to Work Week was born.
Today marked the third day of our week of adventure (12 – 16 June), and we thought that we had better up the ante. The previous two green lanes that we have ridden, while both pretty tame, had proved to be a fantastic way to start the day, but in order to get a real feeling of adventure we took the chance to tackle a slightly harder lane this morning, Newbold Pacey Road.
With one trail head located in the small hamlet of Newbold Pacey in Warwickshire, and the other on the A429 between Wellesbourne and Barford, it was a bit out of the way of our usual commute, but it’s a lane I’ve ridden before having lived in Wellesbourne. When it’s wet it can be quite treacherous, with deep, long ruts filling with water and the middle being very slippery. Fortunately, the weather has been relatively kind to us over the last few days, so it was’t too bad.
I was joined on this ride by a colleague who had become jealous of the fun I seemed to be having, so he brought along our Husqvarna 701, while I was on the KTM 250 EXC-F. Both bikes are perfect for this trail. It would be doable on a big adventure bike, you might have some trouble in the ruts, especially if it’s been raining, and with this in mind, you’d be wise to give this one a miss if you’re also running road biased tyres.
Starting off in Newbold Pacey, you follow what appears to be a driveway for few dozen metres before you pass the house that the drive leads to on the right. Here the route heads down a trail at the side of a field, with both sides being overgrown and 4×4 ruts forming. Continue for about 200-250m and you’ll swing a left and begin a great ride through a tunnel made of trees and bushes. This section is great fun, but be wary that there may be walkers on the path, so don’t go wild.
After passing the top of a farmer’s field, you once again enter a tree tunnel, and it is here that you’ll encounter the biggest ruts of the route. In the dry they’re easy to navigate, but in the wet prepare to get dirty! After negotiating this section you’re deposited onto a field, and the rutted track continues through it towards a farm. From here on it’s pretty straight forward, with a mixture of fast gravel sections and more rutted field tracks before you join the A429 by Warwickshire Rural Community Council.
So, this route officially took us over the halfway mark of Green Lane to Work Week, and boy am I enjoying it. I’ve said this many times now, but there really is no better way to start the day in my opinion, it gets the blood flowing and the mind firing on all cylinders, and by the time you get to the office you’ll be raring to go.
If you’re having trouble finding green lanes near you, check out the fantastic resource that is TrailWise. You can search for green lanes by areas on a map, and it’ll tell you whether it’s legal to ride them. That said, if you really can’t find any lanes by you try and do something adventurous, whether that’s crossing a ford or simply taking a different route to work, you’ll be glad you did.
The below screenshot from the TrailWise website shows the Newbold Pacey Road. The lane on the otherside of the A429 is Charlecote Road, but I’m not sure whether you can actually ride this one all the way through. When accessing Newbold Pacey Road from Wellesbourne, you’ll want to make sure you’re going slow as you enter Newbold Pacey as the lane can be pretty tricky to spot on the left.
Tomorrow we’re going to be heading back over in the direction of Great Alne to ride a trail near Aston Cantlow that was actually the very first green lane I ever rode when I passed my test.
So, are you going to join us for Green Lane to Work Week?! There’s only two days left, so you might as well! Grab your helmet, slip on your boots and throw a leg over the saddle and hit the trails – oh, and when you do, take some pictures and upload them to social media using the hashtag #ItsWhatWeDo, we’d love to see which lanes you’re riding.