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The Cornish Way

When I started cycling from Land's End I was surprised to find that there isn't an actual End to End cycle path going to John O'Groats, instead you just have to follow the roads. Sustrans, the UK cycling charity have, however, created a network of cycle routes around various parts of the country, so I based a lot of my route on 'The Cornish Way'.

I took a Sustrans map of the route with me, though it is very well signposted. Once you've spent some time on it though you realise that it is very much a leisure route, it doesn't take you from one place to the next the shortest way, and they're quite happy to divert you fifty miles to an offroad cycle path that they're particularly proud of. Most of the route follows minor roads, few of which have dedicated cycle lanes, and they have a very bad habit of taking you straight into the centre of every town through all the traffic you've been eager to avoid; obviously for the benefit of local businesses.

The Sustrans routes do make it easy for families to go cycling along a posted route, but if you can mapread you'd be just as well to buy an Ordnance Survey map and work out your own route on similar roads. Personally, I think Sustrans would do better building protected cycle lanes with raised kerbs along the sides of major roads, similar to those in much of mainland Europe, making a safe, practical alternative to travelling by car in the UK.

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