Thursday, 21 May 2009

tayside singletrack

I headed off on Sunday for a ride across the Tay through the town of Wormit, which lies at the other end of the rail bridge. Interesting to see Dundee and the bridges from a different angle, and the weather was fantastic. I had headed off in that direction after being told about a foot path along the Tay. To get there I ended up riding my bike through a farmer's field, which was fine since it is a designated Right of Way in Scotland. Essentially any path that joins two places and was used at any time for 20 years is legal to continue using to this day, regardless of the ownership.

As Nice as this situation is, it is superceded by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act. From
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (which came into force in 2005) gives everyone rights of access over land and inland water throughout Scotland, subject to specific exclusions set out in the Act and as long as they behave responsibly. These rights are sometimes referred to as freedom to roam'.

You can exercise access rights for crossing land and water, for recreational purposes, for educational purposes, and for some commercial purposes. There is no definition of recreational purposes', but the Access Code suggests a range of countryside activities that would be appropriate, including cycling, horse riding and wild camping.

What this translates to is incredible access for cycling- like an unheard of in the US level- as long as you behave responsibly. Amazing. When I found the path I was looking for I was instinctively nervous that I'd be yelled at for riding on it, but the few people I saw just smiled and stepped aside. Amazing. The path crossed through farmer's fields, in with their sheep and horses, over their fences (some of them had signs saying how welcome you are to walk there). I only explored about half of the path before needing to turn back (I calculated that I'd used up the goodwill I'd banked by keeping the baby busy while my wife slept), but I'll certainly head back there. The best part: sections of it were beautiful singletrack, ridable-to from my house.
The bike continues to impress and make me happy, as well.

1 comment:

  1. I'm getting more jealous all the time... I'm pleased to here to bike is coming through too.