It was another day cycling various routes around the Island, mainly on routes 1 and 3, with a few other lanes thrown in as well. Often when we are out and about we focus on the big picture, looking at the dramatic seascapes or photographing towering cumulus clouds whilst missing out on some of the small features. Bikes are the perfect vehicles to allow us to view these smaller features, which are often missed whilst driving.
We headed into St Helier and whilst cycling around the harbour my eye was caught by a riot of colour at the base of a wall. It was a plaque to commemorate those Islanders who served in Burma from 1941 to 1945, and had been unveiled the day before. Amazingly as we stood and considered the information that it contained we were joined by two other people, one of whom was the son of the first named person on the plaque.
After a stop in Gorey for coffee and cake we decided to head back west on the Cycle Route 3. This is one of a number of cycle routes, which cross the the Island, further information about the routes is available from Visit Jersey. Cycle Route 3 is one of the hardest options as it goes straight across the Island, up and down numerous valleys. Just over 14 miles in length with nearly 2,000 feet of ascent.
As you follow the route you come across some features, which are almost unique to Jersey. Many of these would be missed if driving or they are in places where it would be difficult to stop and examine them in greater detail. We came upon this Parish Boundary Stone at a road junction.
This toad made me stop and look in Waterworks Valley. It has been developed by Michelle Caine and Alcindo Pinto, working with the National Trust for Jersey. I had been away from the Island when the project was launched therefore it came as a complete surprise, and I thought I knew may way around the Island pretty well.
The final surprise was a rather old everyday object. A Victorian Post Box! Post Box No. 45 was made between 1861 and 1871 and still has a collection at 09.00 Monday to Friday, although I do wonder how many letters are posted here each day.
These are just a sample of the interesting features that can be encountered when cycling around Jersey. We are already planning a different route for next week.
It has been a couple of weeks since I had been out on the bike and I was keen to get a few miles in the legs. A quick circuit of some of the western parishes, with lunch thrown in for good measure seemed like a good idea. It is interesting just how many good cycling routes on Jersey, particularly if you know where to look. We started along the Railway Walk, surprised how many people were out walking. It appears that the Island is managing to attract a reasonable number of active visitors during the autumn months . The Railway Walk is such a great resource for visitors and locals alike.
The cycle route turns north at Les Quennevais and skirts around the Airport, where there was still some activity after yesterday’s Battle of Britain Air Display. From there we cycled through St Peter’s and down the narrow lanes into St Peter’s Valley so that we could ride on the recently opened cycle track.
The track has come in for some criticism from some people in the media but it is a valuable addition to the islands network of cycle routes. Hopefully there will be many more developments to come.
One of the great things about cycling in Jersey are the number of narrow, virtually traffic free roads, which are available to be explored including the Green Lanes. Around the Island there are about 50 miles of roads where the maximum speed limit is 15 mph and priority is given to cyclists and walkers. They were designated from 1994 onwards, and are perfect for cycling along.
Once we had cycled up La Dimerie we had regained the higher land of St Mary and passed through the village with its lovely parish church.
Our destination was a little know feature alongside one of the roads in the parish of St Ouen. There aren’t that many places on the island where it is possible to see whale bones.
After the excitement of whale ribs we were in need of some food and chose the delights of Plemont Cafe, with its extensive views of the other Channel Islands. Features were particularly clear as we were under the influence of Polar Maritime air.
From here it was a particularly easy run along the west coast of the Island, passing the St Ouen Millenium Stone on the way. 25 miles of varied cycling, mostly on designated cycle routes or virtually traffic free lanes.