In the footsteps of Romans

With Autumn well and truly here (and beautiful colours), Winter is on its way, so a reminder to make the most of every weekend for biking! After being out yesterday for a walk and seeing the salmon run, I headed up to the Cheviots for a “short” loop along the Roman Road of Clennell Street and back via Usway Burn.

Climbing up onto Clennell Street I was reminded how hard work it can be riding uphill on long wet grass over boggy ground.

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Typical Cheviot landscape
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Hard work on grassy, wet terrain
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Big horizons
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Wind damage following felling

Eventually the edges of Kidland Forest are reached, but after the logging, the worst bog so far has to be traversed on foot.

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That would keep my wood-burner going for a week or two…
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Riding by the Usway Burn
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Looking back to the grassy descent

There is then a long grassy downhill to meet the Usway Burn, turn south and start to head back to the car. First highlight on the way is Middle Hill, which has a very atmospheric woodland.

Climbing up Middle Hill
Climbing up Middle Hill
The beautiful, rooty descent to Usway Burn on a carpet of pine needles
The beautiful, rooty descent to Usway Burn on a carpet of pine needles

Last time I was cycling in the Cheviots, we headed south west over the hill to Barrowburn, enjoying a great descent, but had spied the Usway Burn path. Today was the time to check this out.

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Immediately after crossing the bridge, narrow trail, rocks and routes make an appearance. Amazing views though!
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Early section of the Usway Burn trail

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Riding above the Usway Burn
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One of the less narrow sections of trail
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Almost at the end of the nicest singletrack

This is what singletrack is all about. Sometimes only the width of your tyre, other times widening out by the river, the Usway Burn path hugs the waterside tightly, sometimes with a big drop into the water as a penalty for inattention, but never too likely. Absolutely beautiful.

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