New Sefton Circular Cycle Route attracts huge numbers

Ready for the 'grand départ'

New Sefton Circular Cycle Route attracts huge numbers

Sunday 21st May 2017 saw the eagerly awaited launch of the Sefton Circular Cycle Route, a 24-mile route around the borough that takes in many of the most picturesque parts of Sefton.

Being predominantly flat, the new Sefton Circular Cycle Route was designed to appeal to riders of all abilities and the proof of that was impressively demonstrated on the opening day, when well over 400 riders arrived across the three starting points, ready to embark on their very own Tour de Sefton. At Crosby alone more than 250 riders started from the Lakeside Adventure Centre; the assembled group was made up of seasoned riders on high-end bikes, families on borrowed bikes, children on tag-a-longs and sporting stabilisers, ladies on loop frames with wicker baskets, recumbent trikes and  two tandems. Together, they created a cycling spectacle that outshone the jet-skis whizzing by and provided an impressive sight as rider upon rider snaked their way along the access road and past the lake, before disappearing north on the coastal path to Ainsdale.

Smaller but equally impressive numbers had registered to start from Formby Station and the Mecycle Cafe in Ainsdale, following the same route but starting further north. The multiple start points were organised to provide easy access for residents to take part in the ride and this proved to be the case with more than 150 riders departing from the other two start points. 

Heading north the cyclists enjoyed a slight tailwind, and at request we had asked for the sand to be swept from the promenade from the Lakeside to Crosby Leisure Centre, so this enabled a good clear ride upto and beyond the Lifeboat Station and onto Hightown, where the first of the very quiet road sections began. The route is around 24 miles in distance and enjoys approximately 21 completely traffic-free miles, making it ideal for those looking for a peaceful, trouble free route.

Turned out nice

Passing by Altcar Rifle Range and then into Formby, we negotiated the next stretch of road. While some riders dipped into Formby village for a refreshment stop, we continued on towards Freshfield and then Ainsdale Woods, a beautiful and fun section to ride, with the only really notable slope of the entire route. Exiting the woods and going under the coastal road, we left the coast behind for the time being. We would see the beach again when we returned to Crosby, but for now we were at the northerly most point of the route, so it was time to turn inland and head south along the Cheshire Lines to Maghull.

Although the ride was self-led, a group had remained with us since Crosby and were happy to sit in behind us. We were just as happy to to set the pace and began to pick up other riders who had started from Formby and Ainsdale. Once at the end of a very green and pleasant Cheshire Lines, we crested Jubilee Woods and headed into Netherton where we turned right onto the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. We were close to home now with time to enjoy the sight of ducklings on the canal.

Before we knew it we were at Rimrose Valley, were we encountered a few slight issues with the signage. Duly noted, we rounded up some more, slightly confused riders and headed for the home straight, crossing at the Five Lamps crossing and sailing down Great Georges Road. Those riders we had towed along saw their opportunity and like a scene from the Tour de France, a full-scale overtake took place as the group sprinted down the hill back to the Crosby Lakeside. Smiles abound with some tired legs in evidence, but overall the feedback was extremely positive and the day was deemed a great success.

With so many cyclists in attendance - and many who couldn’t make it on the day - there is definitely a healthy appetite for cycling within Sefton and beyond. 

The Sefton Circular is a new route that Cycling UK's local Cycling Development Officer has planned, mapped and signed to accompany a further 15 routes within the borough. For more information on cycling in Sefton, please visit the Cycling UK local groups page, find us on FaceBook or visit our partner website Sefton Active Travel.

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Membership gives you peace of mind insurance, discounts in cycle shops, rides & routes