I have lived in Normanton for nearly fifteen years, and for most of that time, there has been a little blue sign on a lamppost opposite my house with a cyclist and an arrow. If you are particularlyobservant, you’ll see similar signs all around Wakefield. In fact they are in a very approximate circle around Wakefield and they guide cyclists around the Wakefield Wheel.
The Wheel is a 58km loop around the city. It is mainly off road, with some tracks, some trails, and a few sections of road. It’s probably best tackled with a mountain bike or cross bike. And it passes right in front of my house.
Why then, has it taken me fifteen years to bloody ride it?
I don’t have a good answer for that, but I have looped around the Wheel four times now in the last three months, and I absolutely love it. This perhaps coincides with the fact that I bought a cyclocross bike this year, and immediately fell in love with it, but it’s also provided some great opportunities to have social rides with friends.
In the three to four hours it takes to complete the Wheel, there are lots of opportunities to chat along canal towpaths and old railway cuttings. There are several places where a welcome cup of tea can be purchased, and there are also a couple of sweaty climbs and heart pounding descents to enjoy too. It has got the lot.
If you want to give it a try, all the details are at this link. The signage is great, though, and as long as you keep your eyes peeled for those little blue signs, you’ll be grand.