Forum home Road cycling forum The cake stop

taking a wrong turning

oblongomaculatusoblongomaculatus Posts: 413
edited March 2015 in The cake stop
Ever chosen a route then wished you hadn't? Here's my favourite.

Last November I spotted a diversion on the map from the main road, basically a loop of about three or four miles. I thought this would be a way of missing out a stretch of potentially busy A road, so when I got there I made the turn. There was a small village about half way along, and after that the road became rougher. There was a slick of wet mud all over, and an increasing frequency of potholes, but it wasn't too bad. At first. The potholes became bigger, then whole slabs of concrete were tilted up at bike-breaking angles, compelling me to slalom round them at walking speed. I considered going back, but thought that maybe this was just a short stretch of bad road and it would soon improve again. It didn't.

The surface got more uneven, the mud thicker and deeper, until you couldn't see the concrete at all. I got off to walk, still hoping for an improvement. Soon the mud was ankle deep (or more) and I had to stop every couple of minutes to scrape football sized clods of it from around the brake calipers so that the wheels would go round. By this time it would have been pointless to turn back as I was more than half way. Eventually I reached civilisation, another village on the junction of the A road. I spent about 20 minutes scraping mud out of my cleats with a stick, and from round the brakes and rear mech. For all the filth that still caked the bike, it then ran surprisingly smoothly. Usually I check back roads I don't know beforehand on Google Earth in case they are really farm tracks, but as this one had a village half way along I thought it would be OK.

And the A road I had been trying to avoid? Hardly a car on it.


  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 7,230
    Reminds me of an ill-fated club ride. Not my route, I hasten to add.

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I was riding across New Zealand in 2001 and the map appeared to show a minor road that cut the distance to be covered that day by about 10km. I came to the turn and took the minor road. It was a lovely ride past lots of small fruit farms and orchards. Eventually after maybe an hour in the saddle the road ended. It was a 20km odd cul de sac! It ended at a crevasse. About 100m below was a small river. The opposite bank was only a couple of hundred metres away and I could see another road almost in line with the one I'd been on that ended just before the other side. It had been a small scale map and it looked like there was a continuous road but on closer inspection what had appeared to be an errant spec of ink was a gap between two different roads. There was no way to cross and it took about another hour to get back to where I'd started with lots of riding still ahead. Nice ride but it made for an awfully long day in the saddle!
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    Ben6899 wrote:
    Reminds me of an ill-fated club ride. Not my route, I hasten to add.

    Yes, I have also been victim to a ride leader who hasn't questioned the Google Map routing algorithm..... fools.
  • cc78cc78 Posts: 599
    Not a map error but more of an underestimation of roadworks...

    I was on a road I ride fairly regularly a couple of Septembers ago with a mate when we came across a "ROUTE BARÉE 5km" sign... It will be fine, we thought, they'll just be resurfacing, and we carried on regardless. All was well until we eventually reached a section with rocks and boulders strewn randomly across the road, we then turned a corner to find a trench roughly 20m across and maybe 5 or 6m deep, where the road had been dynamited to make way for a new ski piste. Fortunately this was a Sunday so there were no actual explosions in progress...

    We scrambled across to the other side via a cowfield and eventually finished the climb, but I did feel quite sorry for my friend's brand new £££ shoes that were more than a little bit the worse for wear by the end.
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 18,074
    peat wrote:
    Ben6899 wrote:
    Reminds me of an ill-fated club ride. Not my route, I hasten to add.

    Yes, I have also been victim to a ride leader who hasn't questioned the Google Map routing algorithm..... fools.

    Me two, always when you take the best bike out
  • Yes been there and done it.

    Looked like another road on google maps, ended up being a farm dirt track / forrest trail in the middle of nowhere. My biggest concern was puncturing, so I walked the few mile pushing the bike along next to me.

    Also once jumped a road closed sign thinking it doesn't look that bad from the sign, only to find a few miles up that workmen had done some forestry work and left debris and big clumps of mud all over the road , then sheet ice and snow on the higher ground.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • Also once jumped a road closed sign thinking it doesn't look that bad from the sign

    I did that the Xmas eve before last, because it's usually roadworks and you can nearly always get through those on a bike and in this case it would have meant a 15 mile detour otherwise. It was a flood. Some brook had overflowed and about 100 yards of road was underwater. I decided to ride through it, hoping there weren't any big holes under the surface. Made it through OK taking it steady in a low gear, my feet soaked. At the far side a car was waiting, its driver watching my progress to see how deep it was. (About 8 inches at the deepest). I felt quite intrepid.
    When I first moved to South Manchester a couple of years ago I used Google Streetview to plot a few routes and one dull afternoon at work did one of them in ‘real time’ so I knew every junction and turning for the evening ride. Or at least I thought I did.

    Somewhere around Hale I realised I didn’t recognise a bloody thing. The houses were getting bigger, signposts were non-existent, the scenery becoming more rural again. I was fairly sure that I was not in Wythenshawe – a suspicion confirmed when I found myself on a dual carriageway going underneath the Airport runway. By now it was getting dark and panic was starting to set in. I managed to find my way back to Wilmslow, jump on a train to Piccadilly and then endure a hellish twenty minute ride through the City Centre and back out to Didsbury.

    If anyone driving along Oxford Road one night circa April 2013 was startled by a wide-eyed and frantic idiot cyclist dressed in black on a crappy Moser bike with no lights on then I’m truly sorry.

    (Any Hale locals may be interested (or not) to know it was because I’d carried straight on at Arthog Road instead of a left onto Park Road.)
  • That's easier to do than you ever suspect, until you do it. I took a wrong turning a couple of summers ago and got sucked into Peterborough. I don't know the place well, so navigating back onto my planned route was going to be tricky. Eventually I spotted sign to the railway station. I decided to get a train to Huntingdon, which I do know. I stood in the ticket office queue, clutching my Roubaix, then out onto the platform just in time to miss the train.
    The next one rolled in half an hour later, I got on. It failed to move. For an hour. It had broken down. It was 32 degees in the shade outside. There was no air conditioning on the train. I was not a happy bunny.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    I took a detour whilst cycling through france, got completely lost but came across a grave marking, in a forest of 2 resistance members, a young man and woman who had been executed in this area, during WW11, it was in the middle of nowhere but there were fresh flowers on the grave stone, it was very moving.

    Carried on into the nearest village, found a cheap hotel and was served by a Swedish waitress, who knew my then (Swedish) girl friend, as they d both travelled through Asia for a short while.
  • solosuperiasolosuperia Posts: 389
    Did one of these orienteering things on mountain bikes a few years back.
    I thoroughly recommend them, great fun.
    I digress, well it was somewhere in deepest darkest South Wales, the bridleway to the left about a mile or so in connected with another and then veered off.............. Great can switch to the other one and get to X.
    WRONG Completely overlooked the contour lines, in 2D touched.... in reality(3D) thousands of sheer feet difference in height(poetic license).
    Out with the OS map and plan B.
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