It is now a year since the repaired Byway known as Cradle Lane was reopened to allow motorcycles to use it, so I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to write this small article about its use from a motorcycle rider’s perspective.
When I first heard that Cradle Lane was to be reopened I walked it to see what work had been done and noticed that it was only the north end that had been resurfaced down to the ford. After attending the open village meeting, and as an interested party, I walked the byway again but this time with a camera and tape measure and plotted and photographed the existing wet and horse hoof printed areas in the Southern part.
I returned about a month later when it was open to motorcycles and, having ridden it, was surprised not to see any tyre tracks, just the usual horse prints and no difference in the lane surface compared to my earlier photographs.
Since then I have ridden it four times and have not seen any evidence of other motorcycle tracks suggesting minimum usage. On my last outing I made a closer inspection and was pleased to see that, in spite of this year’s exceptional seasonal wetness, the southern end of the lane was still in excellent condition.
It was also nice to see that the undergrowth has now softened the hard edge and the ditches of the resurfaced Northern end, making it far most pleasant to use. Hopefully, this softening will be allowed to continue but not to the detriment of the Byway’s surface.
As motorcyclists we enjoy using this Byway, although on one occasion the depth of the ford caught us out and we only just managed to retrieve the leading bike before it was totally immersed. A hasty retreat was in order and we have noted this and informed our TRF group not to use Cradle Lane during periods of heavy rain.