Commuting from Greenham to Basingstoke

daniel_b
daniel_b Posts: 11,766
edited June 2019 in Commuting chat
Morning all,

so my 5 minute walk to work only has another 11 months or less to go until they relocate to a brand new office in Basingstoke.

Good news is:
- Secure bike parking
- Workstand and tools
- Lockers
- Drying room
- Showers

And if I can leave a computer there, I may be able to go rackless, and just use a large under saddle pack thing.

Bad news is that the main route down there is the A339, which is not ideal on a bicycle at anytime of day, though I have ridden on it a bit at weekends.
I can see a route of sorts slightly off to the east, but alas bury's bank road is also a bit of a mare - although I appreciate I could just mtfu, but I also need to get this past the missus, who is bound to be thinking about the safety aspect.
I will have ample lights, Lumos helmet etc, so no risk of me not being lit up like a christmas tree, though I appreciate that is no guarantee of actually being seen.

I could drive part way, and park up to complete I guess, but that would mean the van was unavailable for my gf should she need it, and also parked up somewher potentially random where it could be at risk of damage or broken into.

Probably fairly unlikely, but has anyone ridden a regular route between the two places?

I'll do some recce runs in the summer at weekends to see what is feasible.
Will likely be working from home 2-3 days a week, so just hoping to ride into the office maybe twice a week.

The shortest route (18ish miles) is across the common, but that doesn't seem very practical, as I will likely want to be on a roadbike for decent levels of speed, so if I go the road route, that's more like 20. Google maps has a load of squiggly bits near the end, which I suspect are intricate little cycle paths, which might slow me down overall.
Used to manage the same distance commute to Reading in an hour, but that's along a pan flat and fast A4 for most of the way, I wonder if this will end up more like 75 minutes.
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Comments

  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Unable to help personally, but cycle Basingstoke might be able to give you a sample few clues
    http://www.cyclebasingstoke.org.uk
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    Unable to help personally, but cycle Basingstoke might be able to give you a sample few clues
    http://www.cyclebasingstoke.org.uk

    Cheers WB :D
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • eyko
    eyko Posts: 68
    So I haven't lived in Greenham for nearly a decade, so not sure on current traffic levels but I'd rather take the rat run that is Burys Bank than the A339.

    As for through the common, I feel that would mainly be down to time/risk. You could probably* do it on a road bike as the paths are quite compact, however I imagine it would be slower than Burys Bank even if it is shorter.

    Sorry I can't really be any help.

    * I wouldn't do it on anything less than 28s
    FCN 7
  • Tashman
    Tashman Posts: 3,436
    Never ridden it myself but driven the 339 many times. Definitely wouldn't be my first choice road to cycle, especially the windy, up and down section at your end
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    Thanks gents - no agreed, I have ridden the 339 on occasion, but only at weekends, and for short stretches.

    I ride on the common fairly regularly, and despite the hard packed paths, it's not that hard packed, so is pretty bloody mucky, and although I will have mudguards on, I don't overly fancy it - although I will likely give it a try.

    I let Strava plot a route for me, and that went with towpath, but it's even more mucky than the common tbh, although I will consider it.

    I agree that Bury's bank should be ok, as long as I am carrying some decent speed, and am lit up like an hgv, which I would make sure I would be - and I'd likely be doing it at around 06:30, so should be light in terms of traffic - different story on the return leg of course.

    Alternatively, I plot a longer route to see if I can circumvent the crapness.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • For that kind of distance, provided the commute is relatively flat, this is what you want.
    The quest carbon allows you to travel in style at 30 mph

    http://en.velomobiel.nl/
    left the forum March 2023
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    For that kind of distance, provided the commute is relatively flat, this is what you want.
    The quest carbon allows you to travel in style at 30 mph

    http://en.velomobiel.nl/

    Looks fantastic, who wouldn't want to rock up to work in effectively a giant cucumber :D
    main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=47376

    €6.5K is a bit of a stumbling block though, especially come April, it will probably be more like £7.5K.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    One of my favourite rides is through Ecchinswell, over Watership Down you end upon a road near Whitchurch with signs to Overton, does that get you close? Alternatively there's a back road to kingsclere over Headley ford. Like many an A road the 339 is fine to ride on just not pleasant
  • Daniel B wrote:

    €6.5K is a bit of a stumbling block though, especially come April, it will probably be more like £7.5K.

    Only in a no deal scenario, which is very unlikely at this stage.

    Not to dig in your pockets, but you are not shy when it comes to cycling expenses... might as well buy something a bit special, rather than yet another pair of disposable and overpriced yellow shoes... :wink::lol:
    left the forum March 2023
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    Daniel B wrote:

    €6.5K is a bit of a stumbling block though, especially come April, it will probably be more like £7.5K.

    Only in a no deal scenario, which is very unlikely at this stage.

    Not to dig in your pockets, but you are not shy when it comes to cycling expenses... might as well buy something a bit special, rather than yet another pair of disposable and overpriced yellow shoes... :wink::lol:

    aha, yeh I'll take that :D I here what you are saying, but it's not just the large cost, it's also the space it would require in my garage, I wouldn't be hanging that up by the front wheel in a few seconds!

    Oh and the power of yellow shoes can't be underestimated ;-)
    craker wrote:
    One of my favourite rides is through Ecchinswell, over Watership Down you end upon a road near Whitchurch with signs to Overton, does that get you close? Alternatively there's a back road to kingsclere over Headley ford. Like many an A road the 339 is fine to ride on just not pleasant

    I'll certainly have a look at that route -thanks for the tip, definitely rings a bell.

    I normally come from the same camp as you re A roads, and know plenty of people who believe the A4 to not be safe to ride on, but personally I could not think any differently - it's pretty flat, and critically mostly nice and wide, And now, or soon, has\will have a larger amount of cycle path (might be segregated now as well, and I'm not saying whether that is good or bad, as have not ridden it, merely stating it has or is happening) which theoretically makes it even safer.

    I have ridden a bit of the 339, at a weekend, and it was far from fun, as it's very twisty AND rolling (Also has double solid white lines down the centre for a large amount of the way), so I was going pretty slowly at times, and I can only imagine what is is like at rush hour - although I could likely avoid it on the way in, no way on the return trip though.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    The A339 is alot more scary than the A4. I have no problem with most of the A4 personally. I ride as little as possible of the A339 when I pass that area. Burys bank is OK, but the turn right onto Crookham hill is pretty tricky and you have to wait a long time when busy. The routes through watership down are fantastic as stated. The route through Tadley isnt too bad although nicer to go through Brimpton Common and Ramsdell.
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    See when I were a lad I used to put my woolly hat on and cycle from Bishops Green to Park House school on the 5 speed Raleigh Arena. That includes a good two mile section of single carriageway A Road (then on the pavement where it doubles up the hill to Tesco, though it was all grass and meadows back then...).

    Wouldn't let my kids anywhere near an A road these days, woolly hat or not.
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    Hoping to carry out my first recce this weekend - currently looking like only the last 1.6 miles will be cycle paths, so be interesting to see how usable they are - or not.

    Managed to get it down to 17.5 miles with allegedly 1000ft of elevation - fairly rolling, so an hour would be nice long term, but have to see how the roads\paths pan out.

    Route should take me through:
    Headley
    Ashford Hill
    Wheat Hold
    Ramsdell
    Charter Alley
    Monk Sherbourne
    Sherbourne St John

    (Name wise it sounds delightful, and like something out of midsomer murders....)

    And then into the belly of Basingrad for the last 2 miles.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    itboffin wrote:

    Basingstoke is especially scenic this time of year - and afterwards I am riding to my sisters near Egham - that ride looks less pleasant, just trying to avoid the A30 in the main.

    Thanks for that route - the bit that I will be riding, is identical to the route on there, which gives me confidence - heard of that site before, but never used it - good is it?
    Is it similar to Strava 'popular' routes feature?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    So had a crack at this Saturday morning.

    My plan to ride on the footpath along the A339 which looked pretty ok on streetview, soon turned out tbe flawed - really unlevel, holes, crap all over it, overgrown hedges\foliage meaning you nearly fell into the road on occasions, so that was not a pleasant start.

    *I wouldn't normally ride on pavements AT ALL, but these footpaths are VERY rarely used (And here is great visibility as it's just a long straight road really), and I would be a decent road block for a fair few vehicles, and that's not even thinking about my own safety.
    The time I went was not rush hour busy, but I wanted to find out if this was a viable solution, and it was not.

    I digress - from the time I turned off the A339 to about 2.5 miles from the destination, it was all going well, roads were decent quality, wide enough, and no significant climbs to speak of at all really.

    About 2 miles away the cycle paths of Basing came into play, and this is where it went wrong - really narrow, so no way to carry decent speed, and even in one instance a curb to bump up and down, so will be re-routing for the last bit.

    The first bit (A339) seemed more tricky to fix, however I have plotted a route out west on the A4, and despite it irking me to start by going in the wrong direction, this cuts out the A339 totally, and only increases the mileage by less than a mile, which is great news.
    That does bring one climb into it, but I don't think it is much to speak of.

    Will try another recce of this new route sometime soon, and also work out a better way of completing the end bit with less cycle path involvement.

    Speaking of which, not sure how much vitriol I will draw when I likely cycle on the actual A4, as they have wanged a load of segregrated cycle paths along a fair chunk of it's length, much to many motorists dismay, but apparently you basically have to give way to eveyrthing else as you cycle along it :roll: Making steady progress somewhat tricky.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18