Leaving Broomhill, we were following the course of the river Dearne and it was raining so the paths very muddy with very large , deep puddles that over time people had cycled around, making for steep slippery sides. Between Me borough and Conisbrough , the Earth centre that was closed has reopened and there was a lot of shall I call it , experimental music blasting forth. Then it was on through Sprotbrough and into Doncaster. The signage into the centre is good and its easy to access the supermarkets there and get back onto the track.
In Bentley, there is a bit on road , over a railway crossing and there has been a new road bridge built a mile or so heading north. We then entered Owston Wood after opening the gates of another level crossing. This is part of an old road that nature is quickly taking over. The surface is deeply cracked with splits that will swallow a cycle wheel and the levels of the sides can differ by 2 cms. The surface was very slippery and it was trying to cross one of these cracks that I came off. Landing on the bramble patch was a blessing in disguise, as a hard landing on the road would have resulted in greater injury. As it was, DH had to extract me as painlessly as possible but I was very scratched and bruised. This was reported to another Sustrans ranger when we got to Braithwaite.
By now , we were absolutely caked in mud but the next section was a joy to ride. It is on the towpath of the New Junction canal which runs about 4 miles up to Sykehouse and is well surfaced. Then the route is back onto roads over Topham Bridge over the river Went and then across a couple of field paths and on road again crossing over the M62. Once down in Gowdall, we stopped in the bus shelter for a break and I got the water bottles refilled by a nearby lady in a house. The minor road takes you towards Snaith and over the bridge across the river Aire. We stayed on the footpath here as it was quite busy with cars and lorries.
The minor road takes you through Carlton and then the Bursts until you come to the towpath of the Selby Canal. Again , there is a route choice. We were heading north up into Selby and we stopped to buy supplies for a couple of days. The route then goes on minor roads up to Barlby and up towards Riccall.
There’s a lovely little camp site and B&B run by the Swanns on a loop just off the A19. Its best to have your own sanitary arrangements which we have. Peggy made us very welcome as we’ve stayed there previously.(www.southnewlands.co.uk)
Riccall to York is about 10 miles of well surfaced path but watch out for a few tree roots that are rippling the tarmac in places. Near Naburn, the most heart warming sight awaited us. The Trust Hut.
No one serves you, its DIY and its all on trust that you pay what you believe its worth. Please don’t abuse it. Such a wonderful thing to do and the lady makes these super biscuity,sconey things that are just the thing a weary cyclist needs.
Carrying on up the track , you come to a small housing estate and then alongside the A64, under a bridge before crossing the racecourse and following the good signage into York.
Am I likely to use the TPT again. On the east side of the Pennines, most likely but I don’t think I will ever cycle the Dunford Bridge to Woodhead pass unless this is radically improved. Even unloaded mountain bikers were walking up this path so what chance for fully loaded cycle campers in their 60’s.