Big thanks to everyone who turned out today to help clear leaves off the various cycle paths around Dumfries. It was a gloriously sunny if chilly day, and many hands definitely made light work, especially in the morning.
We started at Castledykes Park, where a combination of beech mast and leaves, bends and steep gradients has caused problems for many cyclists at this time of year. Although the path had clearly had some attention, the banks of leaves on either side were just waiting to be blown back over the path – while there was a fair build up of ‘leaf jam’ even on the swept sections.
Forty minutes later we had 8 bags of leaves and a much wider path – round one completed!
After fortifying ourselves with mince pies we set off to our next port of call – the Maidenbower Path. With a 12% gradient, and overhanging trees, this is a spectacular route from Georgetown to the Crichton but leaves very little room for error when it’s leafy underfoot (or underwheel). The crew were so eager to get going we didn’t manage a proper before photo.
Once again, it didn’t take long with eight helpers to reveal a much wider path underneath all those leaves.
After a well-deserved warming lunch of soup, courtesy of the Rutherfords, a somewhat depleted crew headed to the Caledonian path, which always seems to be thick with leaves. By this time, arms were tired and we’d already killed one broom and fatally wounded a rake, so we concentrated on the worst stretch, from the Moffat Road down towards the station.
The leaves had begun to break down and were well stuck to the tarmac but we were pretty practised by then and managed to get the worst of it off and once more reveal a much wider path than you might expect. This means not only are cyclists safer on their bikes, but there’s more room for everyone on the path, reducing conflict.
While we were out on those paths, the Rotary Club were also hard at work on the Maxwelltown Path, with the viaduct looking absolutely sparkling on the way back. All in all, a good day’s work – and hopefully it will set us all up for a safer winter. Thanks again to everyone who helped out
We couldn’t do everything – and the leaves are still falling in places – but the council do sweep the paths when they get reports that it’s needed. So if your own route is hazardous with leaves, do let the council know, or tell us and we’ll pass it on.