Route Inspiration – Unclassified Roads

Whilst our local area may lack dedicated cycle infrastructure, one thing it isn’t short of is country lanes.

As you know, one thing we are a big fan of is OpenStreetMap. Using the same tool that gave us our parking map, by tweaking a few of the values we’ve been able to come up with a map of just these lanes, or “unclassified roads” as OSM calls them.

If you head to the Routes menu above, you’ll see two new entries at the bottom of the list –one for Cardiff, one for the Vale.

Words of caution

There are two things to note here.

  • Some things in OpenStreetMap can be mis-labelled and unfortunately the query doesn’t allow multiple “arguments”, so if a lane is tagged as an access road, a tertiary road or something else, it will not show up.
  • Secondly, country lanes can be used as rat-runs by motorists, often going faster than they should be. They’re also likely to be completely unlit, so you’ll need to either be carrying a powerful front light, or stick to using them during the day.

However, with care you may well be able to use these maps to piece a route together that you’ve never tried before.

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