Thursday, August 3, 2017

Belisha Goes Exploring

The vast majority of my cycling is done on my Mercian and my Giant...however I do have another bike, a Brompton the colour of a Belisha Beacon.  I acquired this from one of my sons who had originally bought it to commute to work in London but decided he preferred a ' proper' bike. He is also very safety conscious and wanted to be clearly seen..hence the colour.
My idea was to use it for local errands and, more importantly, to explore distant lands outwith the borders of Derbyshire. Take a train trip to exotic places and then ride and explore. This post is about one such trip.

Now many people would not think of  Stoke-on-Trent as being exotic but it is situated on the Trent and Mersey Canal and so has cycle routes to some local places.

Being an Old Age Pensioner and having purchased a Senior Citizens Railcard getting to places is quite affordable and so I set off from Derby to Stoke with Belisha

The canal path is adjacent to the railway station and so soon I was on my way and it was not long before I saw a symbol of this area's historic heritage and why the area is known as ' The Potteries '

The Bottle Kilns were common in this area and , firstly the canals, and later the railways, were used to transport clay in and goods out.

Moving all this stuff is hard work and so to assist small wagons were built and a selection of them have now been converted for use as seats where people can rest and watch the world go by.

Once out of the city and into the countryside the scenery gets greener and one soon encounters some of the many canal boats which still use this waterway.

These waterways also act as a great haven for wildlife as both the heron and I enjoyed the tranquil surroundings

After about 15 km I approached my destination

The canal path was good for cycling, the only real problem being the tree roots disturbing the surface making for a bumpy ride in parts

and then it was time to stop for coffee

The return journey meant just retracing my steps but the weather turned to biblical proportions with thunder, lightening and torrential rain so no stops for photographs. Indeed the weather only relented once I had reached the shelter of Stoke Railway Station but I did not let the weather dampen my spirits and now I am planning my next trip out with Belisha.


  1. Peter--Isn't it interesting that the Industrial Revolution left us--whether or not its progenitors intended it--a nice infrastructure for cycling? I am referring to the canals and towpaths like the ones you show in this post. Also, old industrial areas like that are bucolic in an odd sort of way.

    Some of my favorite rides in this part of the US are in such areas, along canal towpaths.

    1. Thank you Justine...whilst the state of our tow paths can be 'challenging ' to a road bike they do have the advantage of making you slow down and admire the view.. Not discussed in the post are portraits of a number of people I stopped and chatted to on the ride..on a road trip I would hardly ever do that.