Hiking routes to Woods Interiors

18th June 2020

Hiking
Hiking, by Jo Simon, Licence CC BY 2.0

William Woods of Woods Interiors, Harrogate, has written a controversial article in the Yorkshire Post in favour of the motor car and against provision for active travel.

Air pollution & Coronavirus

Coronavirus has affected people disproportionately in regions with heavy air pollution, and health outcomes have been worse. More people have died. "The evidence we have is pretty clear that people who have been living in places that are more polluted over time, that they are more likely to die from Coronavirus," Aaron Bernstein of Harvard University told the BBC.

Mr Woods' solution? Stop plans to make Harrogate more friendly for people on foot and on bikes. Worry about 'vehicle access to the town' (I wasn't aware that it was in jeopardy). Remember that people who visit by car 'will need somewhere to park that is convenient, preferably free. To remove parking on James Street, Parliament Street, Cheltenham Parade and Station Parade sends out the wrong message.'

If and when the town centre plans do go ahead (and they absolutely should) there will still be hundreds of areas to park. Those of us who don't drive into town will be able to ride bikes safely. People will be able to relax and shop without fear of being run over.

But what about drivers who were desperate to park on James Street, and now have to park 50 metres away? I can provide help. I have devised hiking routes from parking places to Woods Interiors on Station Parade.

Hiking route 1 - Victoria Avenue to Station Parade

Level

Intermediate.

Distance

Ooh, 100 metres maybe?

Equipment list

Sturdy boots, tent (size according to number in party), cagoule, bobble hat in winter, thick socks, camping stove. Mules optional.

Itinerary

Day One

Am - park up on Victoria Avenue; take in view of library; stretch and limber up; walk 10-20 metres, according to personal fitness level. Pm - reach the Library Gardens; set up tent before nightfall; turn in for a dreamless sleep.

Day Two

Am - awake with the blackbirds; spark up camping stove and prioritise steaming mugs of coffee for the whole party; move out by mid-morning; two hours' psychological preparation before crossing Station Parade (making sure not to press the button on the crossing in case it inconveniences someone in a car -sacrilege!); arrive at Woods Interiors before closing time.

Days Three & Four

Retrace your steps, improvising and freestyling now you know the route.

Mark Twain's Ascent of the Riffelberg

My equipment list is positively modest compared to Mark Twain's for an attempted ascent of the Riffelberg in A Tramp Abroad. His expedition's Chiefs of Service included:

Among the Subordinates were:

The list of Apparatus includes 22 forty-foot ladders and 154 Umbrellas.

[Leaving Zermatt] 'I commanded the chief guide to arrange the men and animals in single file, twelve feet apart, and lash them all together on a strong rope. He objected that the first two miles was a dead level, with plenty of room, and that the rope was never used except in very dangerous places. But I would not listen to that. My reading had taught me that many serious accidents had happened in the Alps simply from not having the people tied up soon enough; I was not going to add one to the list. The guide then obeyed my order.'

[The procession was 3,122 feet long]. 'I and my agent were the only persons mounted. We were in the post of danger in the extreme rear, and tied securely to five guides apiece. Our armor-bearers carried our ice-axes, alpenstocks and other implements for us. We were mounted on very small donkeys, as a measure of safety; in time of peril we could straighten our legs and stand up, and let the donkey walk from under. Still, I cannot recommend this sort of animal - at least for excursions of mere pleasure - because his ears interrupt the view.'

Hiking route 2 - Odeon car park to Station Parade

Well, you get the idea.

Or...here's an alternative

Perhaps realise that no one is going to stop you driving into town if that's what you want to do.

Realise that you don't have to ruin things for other people who would like to bike into town or walk around in a pleasant danger-free and pollution-free area and do their shopping there. Be generous enough to let the local authorities provide for everyone not just you.

Recognise that we do have problems of global heating and air pollution, and we can't just carry on the same way as before.