Cats and Twittens

VecchioJo sneaks around the hidden corners of town.

by VecchioJo   December 7, 2012  


twitten n. Sussex dialect - a narrow path or passage between two walls or hedges. (see also - jennel, gennel, ginnel, twichell, entry, jigger, snicket, jetty, gitties, gulley, chare, ope, shut, cutting and snickelway in other parts of England)

Born from a need of something quick to do when time might be tight but really mostly for the Winter months when enthusiasm for yet another cold wet drudgery ride might be a little short. Something that might be fun, but in a usefully painful way. A route for the cyclo-cross bike that takes in all the alleyways, scruffy tarmac, lanes, steps up, steps down, pathways, parks and cut-throughs in the neighbourhood, with as little time as possible wasted on actual roads.

Peering into the folds of maps, zooming in on Google Earth, a large dose of local knowledge and a fair amount of snooping around parts of town that I thought I knew but still discovered giggly plenty conspired to convolutedly link together all the bits of path and park to finish up with a loop that’s a good 25 miles long, but thanks to it’s drunk spider nature never more than 5 miles away from home, so if things get a bit cold and nasty it’s a quick escape. And as a happy circumstance of the lie of the hills around here the route is an extended intervals session, surprisingly hard work if ridden with feeling and all the steps are run up till the knees buckle.

Even in the middle of the day riding the underpasses and alleys is a secret experience. Pedaling down the forgotten space between things, the gaps in houses, the ribbons through islands of woods used by dog-walkers and schoolboy drinkers, short-cuts the preserve of cats and lost shopping trolleys, past tatty allotments, dodging collapsed fence-panels, fag-packets and the lazy discard of modern life. Ancient ways through town fallen into disuse, all left forgotten as people rush busy down fatter arteries. At night it’s an even more furtive experience, racing through the unlit unsafe labyrinth to pop out into the real world for a brief noisy bright moment before sneaking back into the thin dark unsavoury shadows of back passages.

The record is 14 startled cats.

5 user comments

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That can of lager is huuuuuuuge… where do you get them then?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
7th December 2012 - 19:12


pay attention Tony, this is going to get even more complicated


posted by VecchioJo [808 posts]
7th December 2012 - 20:13


Ha ha brilliant Devil Devil

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [493 posts]
7th December 2012 - 20:24


How strange. I hung up my road bike on 31st Oct and have been riding my old steel Voodoo Wazoo cross bike since, enjoying the something different feeling exactly as outlined here.

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [264 posts]
8th December 2012 - 22:58


tony_farrelly wrote:
That can of lager is huuuuuuuge… where do you get them then?

Agreed! The path looks wide enough for a mountain bike or a couple of people to walk side-by-side - what a weird perspective!

Like the article though.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
10th December 2012 - 10:35