This straight stretch of road is part of Strava‘s Burtle Loop. I’ve cycled it so many time that I’m currently the their Local Legend for this Loop. The tag of Local Legend is awarded by Strava to the person who has ridden that segment of road the most times in the last 90 days. Clearly, it is one of my favourite rides. Its about as far from anywhere that you can get in Somerset. Rough roads, lumpy bridges, cows going for walks, and strong head winds can be traded for big skies, yellow fields of buttercups, swans and if you are lucky a short eared owl on Tealham Moor.
On the north side of the loop, at Rattling Bow, a bridge spans the romantically named North Drain. Thankfully, it looks so much nicer than its sounds.
At the west is River Bridge. Whilst factually correct, as it spans the River Blue, it is not a name that narrows down its location.
At River Bridge is a plack
In memory of Albert E. Watts who was killed on this bridge Nov. 18th 1898 aged 33 years. Left a wife and 5 children.
Albert was killed on the bridge on his way home following a dispute with a local farmer at the Black Bull Inn in the nearby village of Mark
As well as farming there is industry on the loop. On the south side is Godwins compost and bark products. I assumed peat products were out of fashion but it always seems to be busy here. Nearby the old peat workings have turned into lakes for wildlife.
In the winter it can be visited by a million starlings.
At the east the loop passes through the village of Westhay. This village does cycle sales.
Always expect the unexpected on the loop. Recently I was held up by cattle being taken for a long walk down the road.
A fire engine came the other way, the cattle were quickly guided down a side drove. This was then followed by a second engine. Cattle, cars and fire engines are not a good mix on narrow country lanes. Hopefully everyone was safe.