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I have been rediscovering some of the many disused railway and other off-road routes in the local area. I have used at least some parts of most of them a long time ago. In the intervening years they have been recognised as usable and interesting, in some cases upgraded, and incorporated into national or regional cycling routes. Some of the routes go into areas to which one would rarely consider travelling. Each route has its own characteristics and has something to offer cyclists with an interest in gravel riding and off-road experiences.

I am considering putting together a loose programme of mid-week (Tuesday or Thursday) off-road rides to explore, link and enjoy some of the routes local to Tyneside and also slightly further afield. If any members are interested in joining me please let me know and I'll go ahead with this idea. Here are some of the routes that I have in mind (asterisk denotes ones I have tried recently):

- Coxlodge waggonway *
- Hadrian's cycle route (part) *
- waggonways of North Tyneside *
- North Walbottle waggonway *
- Tanfield Railway Path *
- Bowes railway path and Monkton cycleway *
- Derwent walk *
- Wylam waggonway *
- Waskerley Way
- Lanchester valley route
- Deerness valley cycle way
- Bishop-Brandon cycle route
- Consett to Sunderland route *
- Ryhope to Haswell
- Haswell to Hart walkway
- Castle Eden walkway

Keith Aungiers

20200107 110141