The original multi-use track that takes cyclists from Bude towards Marhamchurch, as part of National Cycle Route 3 east towards Holsworthy or south to Bodmin, crossed the A39 using a traffic island.
This crossing needed care and was a deterrent to use of the multi-use track, particularly for young families.
A significant element of the plan to improve and extend the multi-use track towards Holsworthy was to construct a new section of off-road track to take the route through an existing farm underpass, thus avoiding the traffic island crossing.
This construction work was completed in October 2011. Bude Partnership marked this significant milestone by organising a walk / cycle-ride to 'open' the underpass on
Saturday 29th October 2011.
The walk / cycle-ride started from Bude Bike Hire Centre at 11.30 am, used the existing multi-use track plus the new section to reach the underpass where there was a brief ceremony to 'cut the ribbon'
Who joined in?
Over 100 people participed in the walk/ride - children (in buggies, on scooters & bikes, even a couple on ponies), families, dog-walkers, cyclists and mobility scooters.
Refreshments at The Weir After the ribbon was cut the walk / ride continued along the off-road track, then again under A39, this time using the footpath underpass at Helebridge (cyclists may use this dismounted) and up the Whalesborough bridlepath to The Weir Coffee House. The Weir provided some discounted refreshments for participants in the area which houses a wildlife interpretation centre.
Most then returned to Bude Bike Hire / River Life Cafe at Pethericks Mill where there was also discounted refreshments for participants and information stands about the the Bude TRAC project, the Bude Valley and activitities in the Valley.
Return routes There were various routes for the return. Some returned by the outward route, there was a led walk back via the towpath and another longer led walk that used part of the coast path before cutting back across to the towpath. There was also a led cycle ride that used the Bike Hire cycle 'Loop1' route via the rest of the Whalesborough permissive bridle path, the coast road to Upton Cross and then back over Rodds Bridge to the cycleway.
Stamping scheme Each participant who wanted one was issued with a stamping card, to be stamped at the start, at the underpass opening ceremony and at The Weir. A fully stamped card entitled the holder to the discounts on some refreshments and goods at either end of the walk/ride.