Six refugees from the Christmas sales assembled in Bury for Tuesday’s club run. The day was dull but dry and very mild for the end of December with thermal clothing not being needed. We climbed out of Bury up the drag towards Ainsworth before descending to Bradshaw. We skirted Belmont and went over the reservoir dam which has been rebuilt over the past two years and still has the approach road fenced off but cyclists and walkers can squeeze through. With the wind behind us we made a rapid descent to Abbey Village and Riley Green and then on to Hoghton and Higher Walton. Here our favoured café was closed so we ate what provisions we had whilst debating where to go next.
Rivington was decided upon and so we carried on through Walton-Le-Dale, Bamber Bridge and through Cuerden Valley Park where the track was thankfully quite dry. On the outskirts of Chorley we passed the largest Mormon church in the U.K. and Rivington was full of visitors but we managed to get a table in the Chapel tea rooms .Revived by the hot tea we decided to go through Horwich and climb over Chorley Old Road which split us up into three groups before the summit was reached. We then followed Moss Bank Way and Crompton Way to Bury and Bolton Road where our group began to take different routes home with 55 – 60 miles covered on our last run of 2011, not a bad total for a short winter’s day.
The day dawned very windy and damp – a continuation of the overnight weather. There has been no report submitted so it must be assumed that rides were cancelled.
I only had a few hours available today due to family commitments so I decided to take the earlier start with the A group. The destination was Catforth, Mark promised a different route than the joint run a few weeks ago. When Mark says different you can take it he means hillier. With just a few miles covered it was noticed Mark had a SLOW puncture, see picture of the perpetrator, this devil would have stopped a Sherman Tank. What would it take to wipe-out those tyres he uses?
Punctures seem to named after animals or parts of their anatomy. Some time ago when I hit a pothole and the wheel rim cut into the tube Eric said “that’s a snake bite” and when Kev punctured last week he said it was ‘a part of a female mouse’s genitalia’. This one would have to be named after the final part of an elephant's digestive tract. We would have retrieved the offending item for the club archive but no one was prepared the carry it.
Five minutes later we were again heading north towards Edenfield, the well worn track through Haslingden and Baxenden soon had us speeding down a treacherous looking Accrington brew.
Just before Whalley I parted company with the boys and headed east towards Read and Padiham to pick up the Charlie route at Fence, then home via Todmorden. The strong headwinds and colder conditions convinced me to stop at the famous ‘bristol’s cafe’ (couldn’t have been anything else) but I couldn’t get in, it was as full as a ‘C’ cup on Katie Price. I somehow managed to struggle the last few miles and was home by 1pm with 50 miles covered.
Seven ‘B’ group riders, including two new members John and Darrell, set off for a new café destination that Eric had heard of which is located in the Bleasdale area. They got there taking the route over Roundhills, Blackburn, Wilpshire, Ribchester and Longridge.
John B and Darrell had an early return bidding farewell to the main bunch at the Britannia roundabout on the Roundhills descent. Then after Guide it was the long climb of Haslingden Grane into a strong headwind. This is a busy road and we were glad to turn of it near the summit at the Grey Mare pub in the direction of Edgworth. The wind was fierce on this exposed moorland road and we had to pedal the descent until we could eventually freewheel from the closed down National Children’s Home (where 1960s actress Shirley Anne Field used to live as a child) into Edgworth. Then it was a left turn and upwards again to the Walves crossroads and left to Hawkshaw and home via Tottington. A very healthy 30 or so miles covered (with the wind and the hills it seemed like 50).
En route along Bury road from Bamford to The Rock to meet the B group for the exotic Rivington run, I crossed paths with the hard men heading east on the A group run to Haworth. Seeing the bold Nigel on point I made a u-turn and rode alongside for a chat. I was sorry to learn that our friend and fellow club member James had come a cropper. We all wish him a speedy recovery!
I left the three A group riders orient bound, The Rock found a further 8 riders ready for the off, destination Rivington the mystery was via where? Considering it was the morning after bonfire night we had a wonderful clear cloudless morning. We set off through traffic free Castlecroft and the Woodhill cycle path, through Brandlesholme, Greenmount, Hawkshaw and Edgworth and onto the Roman road. Heading north with Darwen Tower on the horizon the riders were split massively by the fierce terrain. We regrouped at the summit above Turton and headed towards Darwen. At this point I left the group and returned home via Bull Hill and Bradshaw. Home by noon a mere 34 miles covered.
The others continued through Lower Darwen following our leader Eric until more familiar roads at Riley Green towards Hoghton Tower. The back road down to Walton le Dale was taken and a welcome stop made at the greasy spoon café.
4 'A' group riders headed north, en route to Settle. Mild but damp conditions with light winds made for a promising day. We took the well trodden route through Baxenden, Accrington and Clayton le Moors. By Whalley the pace was just a bit too hot for me so I headed for the scenic route via York Village. I stopped at the York summit to photograph the valley, the clocks had gone back to herald winter but the view and the feel of the day were more like spring. The sun had fully broken through by Roundhills top, the picture is again spring like. Over ‘Owd Bets’ and down Moor hill, home mid afternoon 50 miles done.
I arrived at 6 minutes past to find the assembled crank of 9 riders had decided on a joint A&B run to Catforth. 10 riders headed north in damp but promising conditions. Over Roundhills to the Britannia where JB left us in search of hillier terrain, we continued onto Wilpshire where newcomers father and son team left us to take part in a sporting event. And then there was 7. Ribchester was chosen as a natural break and to allow Eric essential running repairs.
Under improving skies and with pace we made the 12 mile dash to the cafe at Catforth. To me the return run from Catforth is what the CTC is all about, the pathfinders found mile after mile of traffic free cycleways, along the Ribble, through parks and disused railway.
We emerged at Chorley and headed for Rivington. Mike took a detour through Anglezarke (needed a stiff one), we met up at the Rivi church cafe for more tea and to listen to the pilk-plik-plink that on occasion threatened to break into tune. From Rivington back the easy way forsaking the Middlebrook trail, which would have been too boggy, home before dark with 81 miles and a smile.
The promise of improving weather tempted five riders to gather at the meeting point in Bury this morning despite the damp conditions. We proceeded through Rochdale to Milnrow and at Newhey the climbing started in earnest as we went over the Moorcock to Denshaw. More followed immediately as we turned onto the climb to Buckstones. The higher we climbed the more the mist closed in and two riders had to stop to remove spectacles as they could see more without than with them! There is usually a magnificent view in the area around the summit but today it was just dank and damp. On the descent past Nant Sarah’s pub almost miraculously the mist began to clear and the sun began to break through and a rainbow started to form over Scammonden reservoir.
We followed the West Yorkshire Cycleway over the tops until we came to a lane so steep that two riders got off and walked down it! In Marsden we found Angie’s café where we were tempted to all day breakfast followed by a large pot of reviving hot tea. The sun continued to shine whilst we ate but disappeared soon after we left and the dominant weather feature on the way home was the gusty head wind. As soon as we left Marsden we were into the long slog of a climb over Standedge and at the summit we could see Saddleworth laid out before us in the valley below. All the height we had just gained was lost on the fast descent to Delph but as soon as we were down it was up again over Grains Bar. From this summit Oldham and Shaw could be seen close by whilst we looked down on Holcombe Hill and Peel Tower to the west with Winter Hill away in the distance.
From Milnrow we retraced our route back to Bury with 50 odd very hilly miles covered.
After a week of unseasonably hot weather it all went to pot for Sunday’s club run. It was still dry (just about) as we met on The Rock with two newcomers present – father and young son. We all set off towards Edenfield and Rawtenstall for the ride to Gargrave. Terry and John, out for a shorter ride, left the group halfway down the descent into Burnley and turned off to ride through the beautiful Cliviger Gorge and into Todmorden. Raindrops were in the air but the temperature was OK so no need to cape up.
From Todmorden they took the main Hebden Bridge road and had a fast run into the town where they stopped outside the café opposite the park. Then it was on to Mytholmroyd to tackle the longest continuous climb in England – Gragg Vale. John watched as Terry seemed to float up the climb into the distance. Although long it is a steady climb and with not too much wind you could almost say it was enjoyable. The long climb is rewarded by the fast descent from Blackstone Edge into Littleborough. Here Terry was waiting for John, and after a swift Lucozade from the local shop they set off on the homeward leg through Rochdale back to Bury before the rain began. A very enjoyable ride of 50 miles in all.
Glad of the dry start and predicted dry weather, albeit a little overcast, quite a large group set out for a ride in a northerly direction out of Bury. Not enough interest was shown in riding to Saddleworth for the Beard Cup Hill Climb event which was due to start at 2pm in Diggle. John and Stan, out for a shorter ride, decided to head towards Saddleworth and after leaving the main bunch at Edenfield climbed over Owd Betts and dropped down into Rochdale. Onwards through Milnrow the twosome hit the long climb to Denshaw at Newhey. Stan paused at the summit to photograph the arrival of a gasping John before the fast descent which was interupted by road works traffic lights. The next village cycled through was Delph before arrival in Uppermill.
A pause for a banana here and then on the road again through Mosley, Stalybridge and Ashton before a stop at Daisy Nook Country Park toilets. The final part of the ride was through Daisy Nook itself and by way of a change we rode via Woodhouses village taking a back roads route eventually arriving at New Moston. On into Blackley and then the steep climb of Hill Lane which brought us out on Victoria Avenue. The way home from here has been ridden many times. Stan headed towards Heywood whilst John took a short cut through Heaton Park. With 51 miles covered in ideal cycling weather the rest of the afternoon was enjoyed at home.
The ‘A’ group comprising four riders headed for Burnsall, whilst the ‘B’ group of the same number rode out to Barley via Downham.
‘A’ riders please note that next Sunday’s ride to Ingleton will be setting off half an hour earlier at 8.30am – not 9am as published on the runs list.
We are still in the thick of the holiday season but a good turnout of seven riders showed up for the Sunday ‘B’ run. The planned ride to Southport was not popular so we decided to head north towards Dunsop Bridge. The usual direct Edenfield, Haslingden and Accrington road was taken to Whalley where the group split. Stan and John opted for a shorter ride and early return and had a pleasant ride on the lanes through Hurst Green before descending Gallows Lane and crossing the Ribchester bridge.
Then it was past the sadly half demolished De Tabley Arms and upwards through Salesbury and Wilpshire and onto the Blackburn ring road before hitting the cycle lane before a rest neat the canal on the old road short cut. Then it was on to the Roundhills with the wind behind us on the climb before the fast descent into Haslingden. We then retraced our outward route through Ewood Bridge and Edenfield stopping once to cape up in a shower. Back in Bury at around 2pm a check on the cycle computer showed that 53 miles had been covered on a lovely day’s cycling.
Considering it is early July and the weather fair there was a surprisingly poor turnout of riders for the weekly club runs. Alan and Mark turned up for the ‘A’ ride. Terry was at the start but set off for a separate ride with Phil and Vera Rigby meeting them on Walmersley Road. That left just Eric and myself for the ‘B’ ride. We decided on Catforth rather than the published planned ride to Wycoller.
We took the route over the Roundhills where the sun burst forth and warmed us up nicely. However black clouds loomed in front of us and by the time we were on the cycle path aside the Blackburn bypass raindrops were falling. We soon found it necessary to stop and cape up. We did so and continued on to Wilpshire and began the descent towards the river Ribble in ever increasing rainfall. On the final part of the descent approaching the Ribble stone bridge near the old De Tabley Arms the heavens had opened and the road suddenly became a river as a result of the deluge. Incredibly the road surface over the bridge was flooded too! No shelter available we had no choice but to continue on to Ribchester. We stopped here at the public conveniences and the rain was so heavy we had to wheel the bikes inside with us.
Normally you would expect rain this heavy to stop after a few minutes, but no, we were stranded for more than half an hour. After one false start and quick return to our shelter s the rain eventually relented and we set off into the village and to a flooded main road – getting deeper by the minute as water flowed down like two rivers on either side of the road from Longridge. We waded ankle deep but as our shoes and socks were already soaked it didn’t really matter. Escaping the flood and climbing higher the rain finally ceased and that was the last we saw of it all day.
We continued through Longridge and took our rain jackets off before Broughton where we crossed the A6 on to the lanes leading us to our lunch destination arriving later than planned. Here we met up with Alan and Mark just finishing their lunch. We had a long wait for our cooked lunch so Alan and Mark departed well before us.
Eventually back on the road Eric and myself took in many converted old railway line paths bypassing Preston. We were held up at one point by slow moving cyclists on a Sky Ride.They kindly let us pass and it was on through the Cuerden Valley Park to Bamber Bridge and Whittle le Woods. Thankfully Eric knew the way as I was totally lost in this region. When Winter Hill came into view I finally got my bearings. The last part of the ride was on familiar territory through Horwich and Bolton and back to Bury with over 70 miles covered on a day to remember.
Another perfect day for cycling brought out nine riders for the run to Barnoldswick. At the start we were informed that the cafe we had planned to stop at has now closed so it was decided that the day’s destination would be Gargrave – the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. We left Bury in warm sunshine and headed up Walmersley Road and soon passed through Edenfield, Rawtenstall and Crawshawbooth to Burnley Summit. The usual fast descent into Burnley was spoilt by an unusually large amount of motor traffic but we all regrouped once through the town centre.
We continued to Nelson and took the Blacko road stopping at Barrowford at one of the few remaining public conveniences for a comfort break and a snack. A rght fork was taken off the main road and it was then onwards and upwards on to country roads with commanding views on the way to Barnoldswick. On these undulating roads the cyclists on lightweight carbon bikes came into their own and the group had to stop a few times for John, in training for his forthcoming tour to Germany, to catch up. After Barnoldswick was passed through it was onto the Skipton road before a left turn in the direction of West Marton. However leader Eric had slowed down to wait for John and the main group raced on past the turning. Eric and John took the quite roads to West Marton and Bank Newton to Gargrave arriving at the Dalesman Cafe before the main group of riders.
After beans on toast and the like had been consumed we set off in a northerly direction towards Eshton Moor and to Bell Busk valley and Otterburn – all looking their best in the summer conditions - and the roads were virtually traffic-free. After a brief spell on the busy A682 near Hellifield a right turn took us over Halton Bridge and back on to quiet lanes over Paythorne Moor before the descent to Bolton-by-Bowland where we regrouped and took a breather. Rather than stop at the tea room here we decided to press on to Whalley and we took the direct route through Sawley, Chatburn and Clitheroe.
After the stop at Whalley Abbey cafe there was a split for the last leg of the ride home to Bury. Some decided on the more direct route via Accrington whilst four others followed the main road to Wilpshire then the Blackburn bypass (by cycle path) and over the Roundhills. A further stop was made at Haslingden and then the final few miles through Ewood Bridge and Edenfield to Bury. Total distance recorded on the writer’s computer was 87 miles.
As a footnote to a wonderful day’s cycling it is becoming noticeable that more members are riding lightweight carbon racing bikes rather than traditional touring machines with saddlebags. The days of new members turning up on a Dawes Galaxy or similar machine seem long gone. We need to be careful that the resulting higher speed of runs does not put off existing and potential new members wanting to ride at a more traditional average touring speed.
Good weather ensured a good turnout for the joint A and B groups ride to Marsden – including a potential new member. The outward route was Fairfield, Rochdale and Milnrow before the first long climb of the day out of Newhey and over the top and down to Denshaw where we halted for a regrouping. Pressing on it was straight on to the next climb to Buckstones where another stop was made at the summit. Then we enjoyed a long fast descent down past Nont Sarahs pub – so fast that some of us overshot the right hand turn on to the minor roads which would take us to our lunch destination. Soon back on the right road we enjoyed the undulating narrow lanes, part of the Yorkshire Cycleway, before the narrow very steep descent on which a few riders dismounted to safely walk it. Then it was a mile or so into Marsden and the cafe which we virtually took over.
Refreshed, we were back on the road ready to tackle the climb up to Standedge Cutting. After this it was a fast descent into Delph for another cafe halt. To continue the trend of the day it was straight on to another hard climb out of Delph along Grains Road which brought us to Grains Bar. This was followed by the enjoyable fast winding descent of Dog Hill and back through Milnrow to Rochdale and Bury. Around 50 miles were covered in total but with all the climbs it felt like more. Another very enjoyable day in the saddle.
Newcomer Karl Dennis joined the ‘B’ run and has sent an email to our Secretary which is basically a report giving a full account of his experiences on a difficult day. Don’t let it put you off if you are thinking of joining us for the first time. Here is Karl’s report:-
I decided to go on my 81 Argos/Sora tourer rather than my flashy new carbon Cube. Although the latter is somewhat lighter, I reasoned that my unprepared cycling body would favour the former for comfort - ha ha.
Five of us started, and I fear I cannot remember names, one was 53 and ex college lecturer and another older vet was on an old Raleigh. We soon lost a young rip near Edenfield who needed more speed (and another in Accrington - more to my slow hill ascents!). Went up to Rawtenstall then through Burnley, Barrowford, Sabden, Barley (I think it may have been here we had lunch at a cafe - shocking rain and wind from here), Pendle, Barrow, Whalley down through Accrington (bit of sunshine) Haslingden and back. The final mileage was estimated at around 65.
Needless to say that I had not anticipated going nearly so far (er, 30 – 40 miles max) as in my build up programme my longest to date was 26 miles a month ago. At the cafe rest (possibly 40 miles) when the rain and wind came I seriously thought I had better pack it in - really sore legs and bum. Trouble is that I had no way of getting back - save for calling a cab!! The others urged me on, and by Haslingden I was in not good shape. However as the signs to Bury increased, I summoned more reserves and made it, tottering to my front door at I guess 4.20. The rest of the day comprised of bath, and application of embrocation and grimaces when I went upstairs. I called my son and he was staggered at my achievement - I cannot still credit it.
As I write, although still sore, I am not too bad today. Suffice to say I will not be riding for a few days.
Did I enjoy it? Well, it was like the curate's egg - good in parts. It was too much really for me, plus the weather made matters worse so these were the bad bits. The good bits were the scenery, the achievement, and the camaraderie of the others - in particular the two older guys. I was also able to properly assess the bike which performed well aside from squealy and unconvincing brakes - different pads for sure. Dependent on progress I may consider converting to a triple - but as I get stronger this may not be needed.
I don't know if a report will be done on this ride, but hopefully and if so, could you mention me and mileage. This is not for an ego trip - it is just that many will not believe me!! Hopefully I will take part again soon.
The good weather was still with us this Sunday but this time was accompanied by a strong wind. A good turnout of ten riders showed up for what became a joint A and B run to Barnoldswick. We even had Mark joining the Bs prior to his 1000 miles tour to Scotland which was to start the following Tuesday. As ever the outward route via Rawtenstall and over Burnley summit was taken and soon after Burnley the town of Barnoldswick was approached via Fence. The outward ride was into the wind which added to the difficulty of the Burnley summit climb, but the reward was a generally favourable wind on the ride home.
For the first time in many years there was no Easter tour so Sunday club runs were in order with the 'A' group destination of Wray, famous for its scarecrow festival. As the days counted down the excuses were coming in thick and fast so it was no surprise when only three riders made it to the start; Mark, Nigel and visitor Nathan - up from London visiting his parents.
Our outward journey took us on our usual route through Edenfield and Accrington towards Whalley, on this occasion we used the by-pass to head direct for Clitheroe. It was here that we started seeing many other riders taking advantage of the fine weather. As we rode towards Waddington we chatted with some of these riders and found out that they were doing a charity event, The Pendle Witches Vintage Velo Bike Ride, and we were soon swamped by them. After a comfort break in Waddington we continued the climb of Waddington Fell, passing many of the charity riders on the way up and even more on the way down. In Newton we turned right for Slaidburn as the charity ride turned left.
In Slaidburn we stopped for a well earned cup of tea before doubling back on ourselves to take the road to Tatham and the climbs of Lamb Hill and Cross of Greet. With all the major climbs completed we enjoyed a fast, rolling descent into Wray and our Lunch stop – Bridge House Farm Café.
The morning had been spent going over hills and the afternoon was spent going round them (?) taking in Harrisend Fell, Beacon Fell and Longridge Fell before afternoon tea at Ribchester and then Round Hills to take us back to Bury.
The ‘B’group headed south. Sunday dawned with a light shower before a group of six assembled at Wilkinsons for an Easter Sunday ride to Cheshire. However Mike decided to turn off early and enjoy a solo ride. The remaining five carried on through Irlam and Culcheth to Dunham Massey for an early lunch stop at the tearooms. After a lazy extended meal break they remounted to tackle the return journey and enjoy the warm sunshine that had started to make a welcome appearance.
Next refueling stop was the tearooms at Astley where some of the members indulged in tea plus jam and cream scones. The team split shortly afterwards as Jim and Paul peeled off for a run home to Prestwich although Jim suffered the dreaded puncture at Clifton which slowed progress somewhat. However amid much cursing and the insertion of a new tube they were soon on their way. This concluded a very pleasant, easy days cycling, in fine weather that was more social than hard riding. Total distance for the day was approximately 60 miles.
A dry and sunny day was in prospect despite the chilly start for eight riders who showed up for the ‘B’ ride planned for Longton. The good weather prompted a change of destination and Setlle was agreed upon. The outward route through Edenfield, Haslingden, Accrington and Whalley was taken. After a pause at Whalley the more enjoyable part of the run commenced with the old disused road to Chatburn and part cycle path to Sawley.
At Bolton by Bowland John diverted off for a ride to Gisburn and a return home via Blacko and Burnley Summit. The main group continued on to Rathmell and into Settle for lunch. All arm warmers and gilets were removed for the return ride in lovely warm weather. The more than 80 miles in total for the day were covered easily in these conditions.
Nigel was tuning up for the forthcoming Paris-Brest-Paris Audax by riding down to Kidderminster on Friday, participating in a 300km Audax on Saturday and riding home on Sunday. He had perfect weather for it as did the club members on the less strenuous Sunday club run at home. It was nice to be able to ride in shorts and short sleeves at last. John, unable to make the 9am start, had a solo ride out over local roads taking in the Holcombe ciruit and the Roundhills road and it was most enjoyable.
No one had been caught out by the clocks moving forward an hour the previous evening and a group of six riders set off on the ‘B’ ride to Wycoller. The planned destination of Chipping was changed due to reports of the cafe there becoming too crowded and cyclist unfriendly. A dry day was forecast with only a light wind. After the ride up Walmersley Road and the usual brief stop at Edenfield, the Burnley summit road was taken. John turned right half way down the descent for a ride through Cliviger, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge before tackling the longest continuous climb in England – Cragg Vale. The others continued through Burnley and Colne before heading on to quiet roads up to Wycoller. The cafe is close to Wycoller Hall which is thought by some to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in the novel Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte.
Although disappointingly cooler than the warm mid-week weather it was a pleasant enough day and made for good cycling.
Only three members turned up for the ‘B’ ride to Catforth with John joining the ride on Ainsworth Road to make up a foursome. The damp start quickly dried up and after Egerton, on the road up to Belmont reservoir, blue sky began to show. Making the now tiresome diversion to bypass the reservoir road and climb through Belmont village the group topped Belmont summit and began the fast descent to Abbey Village and Riley Green. The direct route was taken down to Preston and after Walton le Dale John turned right for a ride home through Samlesbury, Blackburn, Darwen and Chapeltown. On the climb after Turton Tower he was passed by a fast moving Bury Tandem Club and later waved a greeting to member Make Tattersall out on a solo ride. The day gave a taste of spring weather but it is still far too cold.
A record 89 nine riders set out on the annual Charlie Westlake and Walter Pilkington Cycle Sportives on Sunday raising a grand total of £500 to be shared between Bury Hospice and Cancer Research. With 46 starting the 50km event and 43 the 100km event (named after the late Bury CTC Section Presidents Walter Pilkington and Charlie Westlake respectively) the day was considered a success by all who completed the rides and received their well earned certificates at the finish.
Both routes are challenging with plenty of hills to tackle and a hill top finish at Owd Betts. The 100km event has over 1,800 metres of climbing with Pendle Hill being the biggest obstacle.
John Butterworth, Terry Hodges and Stan Feerick manned the registration desk in the Castle Leisure Centre foyer issuing each rider with a route sheet. The event was first run in 2002 as a memorial invitation ride for Bury cycling legend Charlie Westlake who had passed away the previous year. Numbers have steadily increased over the years with the best ever turnout on Sunday. The dry weather no doubt helped. This year there was two start times to avoid the potentially dangerous situation of a large group of cyclists all setting off down Bolton Street together. The 50km ride started fifteen minutes after the start of the 100km event. There was a few teething problems as some of the 50km riders in their enthusiasm departed early, but we aim to resolve this issue next year.
There was light cloud with blue sky peeking through for the start and the prospect of sunshine later; however winter wear was definitely in order at this early part of the year when winter tries to fight off the approach of spring. Notable among the entries was Chris Heap and his young son Bradley on a bike and trailer. They finished the 50km ride in the very creditable time of 3 hours 2 minutes. Entries from outside the region included Nigel Stottie from Haxby, West Yorkshire, Nigel Dawson and Shane Seiga from Merseyside, John Ramsden from Burnley, Kevin Parr from Wigan and Tatjana Troll from Chorlton. This time no representatives from North Wales as in the last two years and alas only five ladies were present - and all in the 50km event. We hope to see more lady entrants next year. Quite a few CTC members had entered to earn points for the annual CTC Tourist Competition for which we are now a qualifying event.
Marshalls Frank Jefferson and Peter Roscoe had to check through the riders participating in both events until the routes separated at Peter’s control at the Britannia roundabout above Blackburn. They did a fine job which we will simplify next year. Mark Cranshaw checked the 100km riders in at Downham, and Jim Holden and Roy Turner did the same at Waterfoot. Phil and Vera Rigby assisted John Butterworth in checking all riders in at the finish control in the warmth of Owd Betts pub. A big thank you to all marshalls for giving their time.
Although this was not a race or speed competition it is always interesting to see who was first home. In the case of the 100km event it was Jordan Cottrell and Tony Crowther who both finished in 4 hours exactly. First home in the 50km event was Bury CTC’s very own Stan Feerick who started late but finished in a time of 2 hours 14 minutes (just four minutes outside the record time of 2hrs 10mins) closely followed by Paul Smith just eleven minutes later. Paul actually arrived first but had started earlier.
Stanley Feerick, wait till I get my hands on you, Grrr...
“I'm glad I did not clean my bike yesterday” commented James, while I looked down on what had been a clean bike with shiny new chain with utter disgust. Fortunately it rained really hard in the afternoon and cleaned both our bikes, boy were we relieved.
At Monday night's club meeting there was much talk of improvements to route 6 leading to the bottom of Rainsough Brow. I had planned to check the validity of these claims with Stanley on Sunday morning but he never showed up so James and me ( the full complement of today's A riders) headed for Radcliffe and Route 6. Far from being improved, this was the same quagmire that I had experienced several years ago.
And the rest of the ride? – 95 miles, relatively flat, leading to an average of 13mph. Lunch at Delamere, full breakfast for me as usual, afternoon tea at Knutsford, headwind and light rain in the morning, tailwind and heavy rain in the afternoon. Even fewer turned out for the B ride; potential participants being put off by the “rain all day” weather forecast.
Webmaster's note: only Nigel, the author of this report, could say in a club run report 'fortunately it rained really hard in the afternoon'.
Sunday’s A ride was a 77mile round trip to Settle run off at an average speed of 11mph. To find out more read on...
Not for the first time as I (Nigel) left my house I thought riding on my own was a definite possibility. However Stan and Mark were waiting patiently at Wilky’s. We waited a few more minutes in case Mike turned up but at 09:15 we set off. The weather forecasts leading up to Sunday had all predicted copious amount of rain so it was a pleasant surprise to be setting of in dry conditions.
In Accrington we turned right, away from the usual route, in order to get to the bottom of the main event for the day – the Nick of Pendle. Stan was due home for lunch so instead of heading for Padiham we turned early and headed for Simonstone where Stan turn left on the main road and headed for home. For Mark and I it was straight across and the leg warming climb of Trap Forge. A quick descent in to Sabden and we were immediately climbing again. At the top of the Nick I quickly adjusted my brakes for the descent. Across the busy A59 and we were soon back on the usual route through Sawley, Wigglesworth and Rathmell ably assisted by a strong tail wind. Just past Rathmell we finally caught up with the rain, at first it was only light and it looked like we might make it to the cafe without rain wear but it was just the beginning and we stopped under the railway bridge to cape up. Back on the bikes and Mark was on a mission to get to the cafe, gone was the steady pace replaced by a 20mph sprint for the last two miles. That and the strong winds had helped us achieve a near 13mph average but neither of us was looking forward to the return journey into the wind and rain.
While the rain coats were doing a good job of keeping the top half dry on the way home they did nothing for the legs and as we tackled one patch of flooded road I got soaked up to my knee caps. By Chatburn we had escaped the rain and in Whalley I took off my coat. Due to the rain we had taken the shortest route back to Whalley and our route home from Whalley was no different, opting for Accrington and rising Bridge instead of the planned York and Round Hills.
Mike did turn up – along with five others – for the B ride to Dunsop Bridge. The outer route via Haslingden, Accrington and Whalley was taken aided by a favourable tail wind. On his usual half day outing John turned off after Haslingden and took the high road past Ski Rossendale and onto the undulating Lancashire Cycleway to Waterfoot. It was then a pleasant steady climb aided by a tail wind to Crown Point. On turning right in the direction of Deerplay summit, the wind was so blustery that he was forced to dismount and walk to avoid being blown into the path of passing cars. The wise decision was made to return to Waterfoot but this time into the fierce headwind making it necessary to pedal the whole way down. The joys of cycling.
While Mark was left to his own devices for the A ride the rest of us wimped out and met up at the much later time of 09:30 for the B run. No one fancied that either so it was a trip to the excellent Delph diving centre near Eccleston that was agreed on. A group of seven was reduced to six as Stan turned for home at Haigh Hall. The descent to Red Rock caused a split but we re-grouped in Standish where Mike tried to locate the source of some strange noises apparently coming from the rear of his bike and Adam arranged tea with his mum.
At the dive centre Nigel undid all his hard work with the usual fry up and Nik caused consternation by ordering a scrambled egg salad.
After lunch Nigel was keen to get home and was joined by Mike for a slightly quicker return ride via Rivington while the rest of the group went to drool at the biking bling at Buy A Bike near Charnock Richard.
At last, a frost free and dry day. Seven riders turned out for the B ride to Walton-le-Dale. Heading out of Bury up Ainsworth Road, we rolled through Bradshaw Chapel and up to Egerton and then the country road up to Belmont reservoir. The diversion is still in place before the reservoir so we had to ride down to Belmont village and up the main road. Continuing to the summit of the moor, John turned off towards Tockholes for a ride to check out the 50km Charlie Westlake ride route whilst the others descended to the greasy spoon cafe at our destination.
Despite the miserable weather four hardy souls turned up for what was effectively a combined ride to Sowerby Bridge. There were no dissenting voices when a direct route to the cafe was suggested and so Mike, Nigel, Stan and Terry turned their backs to the wind and headed for Rochdale and on to the climb of Blackstone Edge. With a direct route and a generous tail wind we were soon at the cafe in Sowerby, all thoroughly wet.
The High Pennine moors were fairly grim with a tail wind so a direct return into the wind was not going to be attempted. Instead we headed for the valley run through Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, using a part of cycle route 68 along the way. As we returned into Littleborough the time was only a little after 1 o’clock so it was decided to leave our combined wet footprint in another cafe while we enjoyed a warm drink and reminisced of warmer days and foreign tours.
Back on the bikes in the rain once more and it was not long till we reached Rochdale and the group diverged, wet but content.
Next week Mark, Mike and Nigel will be Audaxing.
Only two riders turned out for the planned ‘B’ ride to Downham. John and Adam were met by a Bury Times photographer who had arrived without our prior knowledge so it was a pity more weren’t out to be included in the photo. Riding out up Walmersley Road faces were stung by a sudden hail shower but it was dry after that. The two riders split at Rawtenstall – John to ride along the valley road in the direction of Bacup and Adam continuing towards Burnley for a longer ride. Any weather other than snow is welcome now after weeks of having to stay at home due to recent icy roads.