It’s cold, it’s foggy. Sunday morning lie in sounds like a good idea. However guilt wins the day and I head off, to hopefully, if they are not all having a lie in, meet a few like minded, or crazy, take your pick, CTC riders outside Wilkinsons. The forecast is for the sun to put in an appearance at eleven so, maybe, just maybe, it will be a good riding day. There is nobody about when I arrive, but for once I’m early so we shall see. I’m already working out a solo ride in my head when Kevan turns up. A few more trickle in and eventually we are six. It’s good to see Nick out on his Fixie.
Time to discuss where we are going. The runs list is not cast in stone and most are not too bothered about riding out to Rivington, It’s not really far enough for a full day so other options are kicked around. Agreement is reached to head out through Bolton towards Eccleston, to a new to me, café called the Bispham café. “Bispham! I cry, too far for me”. “No is the chorus it’s not at Bispham!” “Oh, ok then.” An easy pace out of Bury along Bolton/Bury road. Peaceful enough until we hear a bit of a commotion behind us. Steve is ranting at some driver who thought it was perfectly reasonable to almost slice Steve’s leg off when he tried to overtake at a pinch point. Ahh…the joys of sharing the road.
We roll through a quiet Bolton centre and hit the canal path out of town. This is where yours truly decides to have a puncture. Amid much cursing the offending item is removed and patched [too tight to use up a new inner tube]. The culprit is glass, probably hidden under the new carpet of leaves. We are not delayed for long. I’m an expert with punctures. Eight already this year and now two this week. The rest of the run is uneventful, thank goodness. Still cold though and this low mist is staying with us. A nice run through some quiet country lanes leads us to our lunch stop. It’s a busy place and there is a queue at the door. A good menu to be perused as we queue and the prices are reasonable. It actually does not take long to be served, even after Nick totally confusing the girl behind the counter as she goes through the menu for him. Again! At one point she tore up her order paper and started anew. Come on Nick!
Funnily enough the place starts to empty as we go to sit down. Funny that. Nothing I said. Kevan has nabbed a table in the window. Even though it sports a reserved sticker. Never mind. The lunch is pretty good and the service very pleasant. Be nice to linger a while. We reluctantly trail out into the continuing mist. That eleven o’clock sun has failed to turn up. It does not help that Steve has been told on the phone that it is lovely in Bury.
So it’s back through the lanes and onto familiar roads to wend out way at a good pace to Rivington chapel for afternoon tea. It’s here that the sun makes an appearance. Either that or it has been here all along while we were shivering in the wrong part of Lancashire. No queues in the tearooms today, which gives us more time to chat and take the Mickey out of each other. Has to be done I’m afraid. I am not going to mention Nick’s hat. Though I did take a picture.
Usual route down from Rivington. The motorbikes are out in force and there are many potholes on that stretch down to Horwich to avoid. The main roads are pretty quiet and we make good time. Once more we hit Bolton Centre and climb swiftly out towards Bury where I turn off to run through Radcliffe and into Prestwich. Dark now, so lights are fired up for the last couple of miles. Mileage back to Bury for the club would be 60ish but a pretty flat nice run. A bit more sun would be nice but whatever. Still a good day out.
P.S. The ‘A’ group heading east over Blackstone Edge had warmth and glorious sunshine. Jackets were taken off for the climb.
Sailors and cyclists. We are governed by the weather. We check it all the time. Saturday I was forced off my local ride by the miserable weather so was champing at the bit for a ride out with the club on the Sunday. But the forecast was changing by the hour. Who wants to be stuck out in the wilds of Lancashire in the wind and rain miles from home? Not this wimp. So it’s going to be up early on Sunday morning to have a final check before a decision is made whether to venture forth. Luckily we have an extra hour in bed this Sunday thanks to the clocks going back, so I’m not really up that early.
Well it’s looking good, so off I trot suitably dressed for a cold day on the bike. The riders on the Rock [sounds like a song] totalled seven. A decent turnout for a ride at this time of year in cool weather. The original plan was to head for Hurst Green but evidently there is nowhere for lunch there anymore so we decide to head for Clitheroe. Kevan informed us that there was an untried, to some of us, new café within a bike shop in Clitheroe. News to me but, why not. We set off at a decent pace up Walmersley road until we had the traditional stop and regroup at Edenfield.
The climb continued up to Haslingden and Rising Bridge where we were entertained by the sight of a fun run in progress though some of the participants did not seem to having much fun. We even spotted a guy doing the run in flip-flops. Some hard people over there. Down the exhilarating run into a sleepy Accrington before the climb out towards the A59 and then left to descend into Whalley for a comfort stop.
Jim entertained a couple of local ladies clipping the council flowerpots by sliding off his bike on a wet metal grid to fall gracefully at their feet. They were not amused, neither was he but then again their carefully placed bag of rubbish broke his fall. No harm done to rider or bike. Off we trot. It’s an easy enough run into Clitheroe and we end up at the Green Jersey Bike shop. It’s a bike shop at the front with a decent café at the back. I have to say it was really good. Baked beans or two eggs on toast for £3 and a cup of tea for a £1. Brilliant! Cafes are getting expensive these days and this place is a breath of fresh air. Recommended. I’ll be back.
We retrace our steps to Whalley then Billington. Langho and Wilpshire before turning left toward Whitebirk and then the inevitable climb up over Roundhills. It’s not a bad climb but does go on a bit. We decide to head for tea and cake. Well you would after that climb except for Alan who heads for home. Nice and warm in the Church hut with a pot of tea in front of us time for a bit of talking nonsense, like you do. Eric ends up splashing out 50p on a DVD of that superb comedy “The Plank”. Amazing what you come home with on a bike ride. We are eventually coaxed out into the cool of a rapidly darkening afternoon to head back over Edenfield for a direct run into Bury and home before we need to switch our bike lights on. Only just.
I was not so lucky as lights were needed for the six miles down to Prestwich.
A good day in good company and a new café to add to the list. It only gets better. A nice short run for Bury CTC with 50 miles on the clock.
You can tell the days are drawing in. I was in my winter gear, goodbye shorts, hello longs, as I set out to join the CTC ride at the Rock in Bury. There were a few riders already in attendance as I drew up. Some of these were members of Bury Clarion meeting up before their ride to watch the Rake Hill Climb.
There were seven CTC members braving the dry, but cool, autumn weather for the A/B ride out to Marsden. The usual route out was taken along Rochdale Old Road up past Fairfield hospital at a steady pace, as we needed to warm our legs up before we met the big climbs. [Well big to me, as I’m a wuss].
We rolled up to the lights at Bamford road junction and as we sat peacefully waiting for a green we were subjected to an ear-splitting blast from the horn of the woman motorist sat behind us. The lights were still on red! Strange behaviour. The lady decided to pull over further up the road to berate us and inform us that we were in her way. We weren’t actually. But she seemed to be quite upset that she may have lost a second overtaking us. It seemed to escape her that she was losing even more time stopping to berate us. Her children sat in the car did not seem too happy with mom though. Anyway. Part of cycling life’s rich tapestry and we decided to move on. Not worth spoiling what was a nice dry autumn morning. Perfect cycling weather.
Onwards and upwards. Certainly upwards as we turned off at Newhey to tackle one of my hated hills. I’m one of the slow heavy guys in the club but I do get there. Well I was until I mis-shifted and my chain fell off. I’m soon back in the saddle and we all breasted the hill and had the reward of a long run downhill to the junction at Denshaw.
John left us here to ride into Delph and Ashton as he was only out for half a day. The rest of us rode on up onto the A640. Up we rode, greeting walkers parked along the Dowry reservoir. Climb some more and we are rewarded with sun trying to break through the mist over Castle Shaw reservoir. It’s worth the effort just to view this.
We eventually turned off the main road into quiet lanes to zigzag down into Marsden. It’s busy down here today as there is a Jazz festival in full flow. Our designated café stop for lunch has a different, limited, Jazz menu today instead of the normal variety. There is beef sandwiches, beef and roast spuds or beef sausages. I don’t know what beef has to do with Jazz, but however, I go for the Beef. To be fair they do a great pot of tea. So Eric was happy.
I’m glad I don’t have an overfull stomach on this run as we are soon climbing again to leave Marsden behind. It’s not a bad climb to be fair up the A62. It’s slow and steady. Well I’m slow, but it’s not too bad and we soon hit the top where we turn off to ride the quieter lanes into Delph. Delph is very quiet but we have a nice tea stop here for a welcome brew in the small café.
There is a good selection of cakes here provided by two very nice, chatty ladies. Mark has left us here declining to stop for tea as he is working later. The five of us make the most of the food on offer and linger over our drinks. We are not in a great hurry as this is a shortish ride.
We set off again for another short climb out of Delph up to Grains Bar. Stop for a breather and wait for a slower rider [me] to catch up. Then we have a good fast descent into Newhey where we ride the flat busy route along Milnrow road into Rochdale. We make our way down into the swarms of traffic jostling and fighting to claim a place in the Tesco car-park. I think we are having a nicer day. It’s good to find ourselves leaving all that chaos behind to join the comparatively quiet road, past Springfield Park and up the gentle climb to Heywood. The lights at Green lane is the point where Paul and I break off from the now diluted pack to ride up to Bowlee, cross a peaceful Simister and return to Prestwich.
Another great day out with I think 50 to 60 miles in the legs. [Forgot to turn my GPS on so you readers will have to take my word for it] Sorry about that.
Easter Sunday and a dry but misty day. It was still cold but the weather report promised that the sun would make an appearance and warm us up as the day progressed. So it was that twelve enthusiastic riders assembled at nine am outside Wilkinson’s in Bury. After the usual greetings and banter seven riders slit off to join the A team ride to Lytham. The other guys including myself opted for the easier B run to Bretherton
Off we set down Bolton and Bury road at a good pace until all was almost lost as Jim dropped his banana from his pocket. Luckily he was in the middle of the group and the offending item was spotted and Jims snack was retrieved with haste. Small things matter sometimes. Back to the ride. The mist stayed with us and indeed seemed to get thicker as we climbed up onto Belmont. Indeed as soared down the other side it was decidedly bitterly cold. Soon after riding under M65 and eventually bearing left to skirt Walton-le Dale reached Bretherton to enjoy a welcome lunch.
The hotpot looked good and even the sun decided to turn up for a while to warm our faithful steeds parked outside. We also had the welcome appearance of Tommy who had driven out to meet us and was riding a local loop.
The return journey involved riding some quiet local lanes though the sun had deserted us again and we were back riding in a bit of a mist. We wended our way over to the Chapel tearooms at Rivington. It was a bit of a battle to get there past the reservoir as the road was very busy with parked cars, so cars, motorcycles and of course us five jostled for position. Times when you are glad you are on a cycle as you squeeze through the standing traffic. Unusually the tearooms were not so busy so we were soon served and had plenty of time to sit and talk our usual nonsense.
The sun was blazing away as we left the tearooms. An uneventful warm return journey through Horwich and Bolton town centre to climb out onto Bolton/ Bury road and home.
The author cut off to drop down into Radcliffe before climbing back out to retrace his journey to Prestwich. Seventy miles in the bag for the author. Another good day.
Oh. I was informed by my good lady that it had been warm and sunny in Bury all day. Ah well, you can’t have everything.
Seven riders assembled on the Rock for the untried destination of Hellifield station. We rode north through familiar territory to Rawtenstall and Burnley where we stopped to discuss our onward route. In Nelson Steve W had a puncture which delayed matters briefly then it was onwards and upwards to Blacko followed by some swift descending to Gisburn. From here we followed quiet country lanes to Halton West and in Hellifield we turned on to the long approach road to the station.
Surrounded by green fields the station was once an important interchange between the Midland and Lancashire and Yorkshire railway systems and in the days before corridor coaches and restaurant cars it was an important stop for refreshments for passengers travelling between London St Pancras and Glasgow and Edinburgh. Even today steam locomotives are attached here to special trains travelling over the Settle to Carlisle line. No such luck on our club run but it was still an important refreshment stop for us as it was for other cyclists who had arrived before us. The café is now run by a former owner of Settle Cycles.
After lunch we rode briefly along the busy A65 to Long Preston where we turned back onto quiet lanes to Wigglesworth and Bolton-by-Bowland where another stop was had for reviving tea. Then it was onwards to Chatburn and Whalley from where the direct route home through Accrington and Haslingden was taken. Your writer arrived home with 76 miles covered.
As last week ten riders showed up in Bury for the ride to Bretherton The weather was similar to last week too – a chilly start but soon turning into a warm perfect day for cycling. We headed up Ainsworth Road and took the familiar route through Harwood and Egerton up to Belmont reservoir. The swift descent off Belmont moor brought us to Riley Green where we took the road to Brindle. Close to Leyland we had an encounter with an unfriendly and impatient motorist (not an unusual occurrence) at some traffic lights. Thereafter we rode in two groups through this busy section. However, we soon left the busy roads behind and entered the flat winding lanes through agricultural country to our destination – the antiques shop café at Bretherton.
Alan suggested a return ride through Parbold with the chance of seeing a fly past of aircraft from the Southport air show. The group split in Croston with some taking the road through Rufford. We all came together and tackled the tough back road climb up Parbold Hill which is a prettier alternative to the almost parallel main road. After a brief pause at the top to let heart rates settle down we continued but unfortunately no aircraft were spotted. The ride home from here was through Coppull and into Rivington for a brew stop at Rivington chapel cafe. After this we rode through Rivington Park into Horwich and onto the main Bolton road before diverting off and taking the quiet cycle paths route into Bolton. On arriving home in Bury the writer had recorded 64 miles for the day.
A good turnout of ten members set off for the run to Cheshire. The runs list stated Great Budworth as our destination but a decision was made to change this on the basis that there was a better a cafe at Dones Green a little further on. The miles through Little Lever, Farnworth, Little Hulton, Astley and Leigh flew by on this very pleasant September morning. We were in open country around Glazebrook and over the Warburton bridge to Lymm. We were well and truly on the Cheshire lanes for the rest of the ride to our café destination where very little traffic was encountered. Dones Green is a transport café and they have the service down to a fine art. At first daunted by a queue to get served it actually didn’t take long for us to be sat down and eating.
On leaving here we rode through the lanes once again and went through the picturesque village of Great Budworth. We halted outside the ice cream / tea shop and were approached by the proprietress touting for business. We didn’t have the heart to tell her we had already been well fed elsewhere.
Pressing on, other than a slight route deviation due to navigation issues we soon found our way back through High Legh and back to the Warburton bridge from which we retraced our route home .A halt was made at Astley Hall café for a final brew before returning home with 81 miles of enjoyable cycling on a perfect day.
A lovely sunny Sunday morning greeted us as we gathered at Wilksons for our run to Garstang. There were six of us in total. It had been a very wet day on the Saturday and many of the roads were still drying out after the heavy showers, so we assumed some of the members thought the dire weather may be continuing today.
No matter, we were the lucky ones with a fine days cycling in prospect. After much discussion we decided that the intended lunch stop was starting to get too expensive for the meagre fare on offer. The lunch at Walton le Dale seemed to be a much better prospect so that was the unanimous destination. We set a good pace up to a five minute rest stop at Edenfield. We had a new member with us today and he was struggling slightly so we backed off a little to compensate. Alan was somehow leading the pack so his enthusiasm had to be reigned in a little. A good climb over Round hills took us down into Lower Darwen, Feniscowles and into the little café for a welcome early lunch.
Lunch was a bit of a wait as the poor proprietor was working alone. Bury CTC and a bunch of other hungry cyclists from the Tandem club had descended upon him, all at the same time.
No matter, we were in no hurry. It’s a very good breakfast here but the only downside is having to climb the hill straight from the doorway as you leave. So with full stomachs we climb slowly away to ride through the lanes. We cross the M65 and look down at the poor souls trapped in their cars, glad to be on our bikes in the late summer sun. We are following the route of the Leeds/Liverpool canal now as we head towards Rivington. It’s at the canal lock that four of us branch off towards the tearooms at Rivington Chapel whilst Eric and co take a flatter route.
We reach the tearooms ahead of Eric and our new member and Alan and two others decide to carry on into Bury while Jim, lured by the thought of fresh coffee, stops at the tearooms to await the arrival of Eric and our new friend. They soon turn up and after putting the world to rights over refreshments we embark on the last few miles towards home. Jim turns off early to run through Radcliffe towards Prestwich and a well-deserved hot shower. A good day out in good company sees the author clocking up some sixty-four miles.
Today saw one of our longest rides of the year. Nine hardy souls turned up for the run to Burnsall in Wharfedale and the usual route was taken through Burnley, Nelson and Colne before crossing into North Yorkshire at Thornton in Craven. From Gargrave we went to our destination via Cracoe and Linton. There were many roadside signs regarding the pending visit of the Tour De France to this part of Yorkshire and many farmers look set to make a few bob by turning their fields into car parks for the day.
With 48 miles covered a good feed was had at Burnsall before we took a roller coaster route through Appletrewick to Storiths and round the back of Bolton Abbey we encountered a few cattle grids and a ford at the bottom of a steep hill in either direction which had some of our group walking. Quiet lanes were taken to Embsay where we saw the steam railway across the fields and a fast descent into Skipton was followed by a grinding climb back out on the way to Gargrave again. Here a decision was taken to go via Bank Newton, Newsholme and Paythorne to Bolton-by-Bowland where the tea room was closed but the owner, knowing that we were regular customers, brewed up for us and we ate cakes and scones.
Revived we made good progress through Clitheroe to Whalley and then we took the hills though Clayton-le-Moors and Accrington steadily. With the worst over there was almost an atmosphere of euphoria as we returned to Bury with around 110 miles covered and more for those members living in outlying areas.
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There was a low turnout for our last Club run of 2013 but we did welcome new member Dave on his first ride with us. Good progress was made to Bradshaw and Belmont where the calm conditions were commented on, however, this was not to last. At the summit of Hordern Stoops we experienced the full strength of the wind which slowed our descent to Rivington where we stopped for lunch at the Chapel House Tearooms. We were joined here by Phil and Vera Rigby who had made their own way over the moors. In the afternoon we opted for the line of least resistance, retuning via Chorley New Road to the centre of Bolton and then through Breightmet to Bury. It had been a pleasant ride in dry and mild conditions and we now look forward to the lengthening days of the New Year.
A bright morning ensured that the small hardcore of regular Sunday club run riders showed up for the pleasant short ride out to Todmorden for our annual Christmas lunch at the Staff of Life. The later start of 10.30am works out perfectly for arrival at pub opening time (12 noon). We rode out through Jericho to Bamford and Rochdale and on towards Littleborough. To bypass Littleborough we forked left to tackle the climb through Calderbrook and down to rejoin the main road into Todmorden. We carried straight on to the Burnley road and began the pleasant winding climb to the pub. Here we were greeted by Phil and Vera Rigby who were already sat outside with their bikes waiting for the doors to open. No sooner had we all dismounted and locked our bikes then the landlord opened up. We all took the main central table and settled down before visiting the bar for the first time. Not long after, Steve and Elena Willetts showed up with veteran club members Jim Holden and Roy Turner. They had made the journey together by car. After Steve and Elena took a few photos and having enjoyed a superb meal and much banter we forced ourselves to leave.
The return ride was a tough one up towards Cliviger then the steep and narrow section of the Lancashire Cycleway which took us up to the Bacup road. We continued climbing to Crown Point where we turned right and enjoyed the long decent to Waterfoot. From there it was the well use route home via Rawtenstall and Edenfield with lights being need for the last few miles. A most enjoyable day out.having covered 36 miles or so in total.
Six of us set off from The Rock just after 9.30am heading out to Clarion House in Roughlee. Me, Eric, Paul, Mark, Kevan and John toiled our way up the Walmersley Road with a short delay to fix Kevan’s puncture. In Rawtenstall Kevan and John peeled off for a shorter loop back to Bury. Tommy turned up at Clarion House minus bike until his fitness improves. Managed to miss the worst of any rain on the return on a very pleasant mild December day.
Five turned up for the run to Gargrave on a dry, breezy Sunday morning. At The Rock we met up with some Clarion members meeting for their ride to Rivington. We made our way through Edenfield, Burnley, Barrowford, West Marton to the Dalesman café at Gargrave where we met Mark. Our return trip took us through the beautiful countryside at Hellfield, Nappa, Bolton-by-Bowland and onto Clitheroe. Final run up ‘Accy Brew’ and back to Bury for tea time. A superb day’s cycling in glorious weather.
Terry turned up at the start having literally just completed a 300km overnight ride to Shrewsbury and back in training for his London-Edinburgh-London Audax in August. It was a chilly start considering it is mid-June, but it soon warmed up and arm warmers and jackets had been removed by mid-morning. A decision was made to forget the planned ride south and we headed for one of our favourite cafés located in Bretherton. Fifteen year old Ryan was with us and his riding has improved considerably since his first ride out with us last winter.
We rode up to Belmont where rain clouds threatened and then turned right for Tockholes and enjoyed a fast descent to Feniscowles. We then rolled through Riley Green, Brindle and towards Leyland before hitting Dunkirk Lane and the wonderful quiet road to our café destination. We enjoyed our usual egg and beans on toast while Paul opted for the full breakfast. Terry really looked as though he needed a kip in his sleep deprived state but it is necessary training for his big ride. Once again Tommy showed up at the cafe - he must have some sort of tracking device fitted as Bretherton wasn't on our runs list!
After our feed the sun was out as we set off through Croston and on arrival at the A49 the group split – the main group heading towards the BuyaBike cycle shop whilst John and Ryan made for home via Coppull, Adlington and Horwich where they arrived during the Horwich Festival of Racing. After watching the racing cyclists pass for a couple of laps they pressed on towards Bolton. In Harwood they made a left turn for the climb up to the Affetside summit and then the long (and dangerous due to poor road surface) descent to Walshaw and home. Another 60 plus miles day in fine conditions.
Eight riders met at Wilkinson’s for the run to Catforth. The weather looked promising as we tackled the climb up Walmersley road to the first break at Edenfield. After a breather we headed off towards Round hills. We were halted on the climb as one of our new members suffered a problem with his chain. Further up the road Jim was cursing, having picked up a puncture.
Both problems were speedily resolved and with chain released and a new tube fitted, off we trotted to our next stop at Ribchester. As we entered the village Jim noticed that his new inner tube was flat and once again the tyre and wheel were removed. The culprit for both punctures was found to be a piece of glass hiding away within the tyre. With that patched we set off again for our lunchtime stop. We picked up Tommy on the way as he had decided to drive part of the journey.
Lunch was a pleasant surprise as the café, previously called the Gusta Gusto, had once again changed hands and the prices were more in line with a cyclist’s expectations. We took full advantage and some of us dined outside in the rare summer sunshine.
The return journey was ridden at a good pace to the afternoon tea stop at Rivington chapel tearooms. We were once again serenaded by the “accomplished” pianist while we devoured our well-earned food and drink.
Once again a good pace was set on the final leg of the journey through Bolton and Horwich. Terry took a more direct route towards the centre while we opted for the quieter canal side journey before hitting Bolton road towards Bury where Nick decided to hare off into the distance only to brought to a halt by a chance meeting with a couple of A team members. After a quick chat we headed into Bury centre and home
A good day out in good weather. Wonderful.
A good weather forecast ensured a decent turnout for the ‘B’ run to Slaidburn. It was decided that the café facilities at Dunsop Bridge were better so we set off up Walmersley Road to Edenfield and Haslingden before the fast swoop down into Accrington. On arrival in Whalley we had a stop at the bus stop toilets before pressing on into the lanes through Mitton, Bashall Eaves, Cowark to Whitewell. Everyone commented on how the roads had deteriorated badly over the last few years making it more necessary to concentrate on the road rather than the surrounding beautiful springtime scenery. The final push from Whitewell alongside the river Hodder took us into Dunsop Bridge and a very nice café meal.
On leaving we retraced our route beyond Whitewell and then took the road to Longridge via Chipping and this was taken at quite a pace. We were soon through Longridge and arriving in Ribchester where a refreshment stop was made. The local flag enthusiast was flying the Weimar Republic German flag today.
Then the climbing began at the late lamented converted-to-houses De Tabley Arms towards Wilpshire and the Blackburn ring road prior to the assault on the round hills road to Haslingden. Some of the group then stopped at the Ewood café for a final brew whilst John rode directly home after having had a breather near the round hills summit. A great days cycling with around 75 miles covered.
I think I now have some idea of how Paris Roubaix riders feel at the race finish after such a non-stop bone jarring day over potholed roads.
This must be a first – a puncture caused by a discarded Stanley knife blade. It all started well for the ‘B’ ride to Bretherton on a sunny but cold day. The slightly warmer than recent weather tempted two riders to turn up in shorts for the first time this year. This better weather had attracted a larger than usual group of riders and after chatting with the ‘A’ riders who were off to Lytham we all set off along Bolton Road where before long a loud bang signalled the aforementioned puncture. The million to one chance of a discarded blade being flicked upright by the tyre causing it to be slashed had happened. It could have meant the end of the ride for the victim but Jeremy offered to ride home to Ainsworth and provide a replacement tyre. Agreeing to meet up later on the main group of riders continued through Bolton and on to the series of off-road pathways alongside a railway and through a golf course which took us to Horwich. Here we all regrouped and the whole bunch were together again as the ride continued through Adlington to Coppull Moor, Eccleston and Croston before the final miles to our cafe at Bretherton.
After lunch we retraced our outward route to the A49 where we turned left to visit the Cycle shop where Eric purchased some pedals. After having looked around the shop we pressed on via a canal towpath and other back roads led by Eric to Rivington and a final stop at the chapel tea room. Then it was the direct route home to make the day’s total distance around 60 miles.
Only Mark Cranshaw, Terry Hodges and one other turned up in the inclement cold and windy weather. Mark because he rides in any weather and Terry because his planned training event (the Chirk 200km) for this year’s London-Edinburgh-London audax was cancelled. The third rider abandoned but Terry and Mark managed an 80km ride to Hebden Bridge. They tried to ascend Blackstone Edge but the road was closed due to snow, so rode straight back home via Todmorden and Littleborough as it was very very windy. Never mind, British Summer Time commences next weekend.
Only 3 turned up at Bury for the ‘B’ run to Wycoller (Eric, Dean and new junior member Ryan Harrison on his new, slightly over-geared road bike). We met John B at Edenfield on his way back from a short early start run - he joined us as far as Rawtenstall where he went up to the Ski slope to get some hills in. The 3 of us took the usual route, through Burnley, Colne and on to the cafe in Wycoller village where we met the ‘A’ group of Alan and Mark who were just finishing off their pie and peas. We joined them and filled up with the same while getting warm.
The ‘A’ team left us to take a longer route home. We 3 set off through Trawden, up and down some rather leg sapping hills. We took a small break at Briercliffe and again hit the hills to Cliviger where we took a short cut up the Lancashire Cycleway onto the Bacup Road. It was then up to the top and then a welcome ride downhill into Waterfoot and then home. Ryan hit a pot hole in Walmersley and had a double puncture which was sorted by Eric in double quick time and then home - some 50 miles completed on a completely dry, if cold, day.
At last a day that was guaranteed to be dry and bright (if not exactly warm). Not bad for February. The ‘B’ destination on the runs list was Tockholes but we felt a longer ride was in order on a day such as this. So the group set off for Walton le Dale by the longer route via Haslingden and over Roundhills. Having skirted Blackburn passing Lower Darwen, Blackburn Rover's ground and Feniscowles we came to Riley Green and shortly thereafter took a left turn on to the quiet lane away from the main road. This very enjoyable ride was halted at the level crossing on the descent to the café at Higher Walton. This was a first as we have never timed it to coincide with a train crossing before. Jim took a photo while we were waiting and then it was mainly downhill to the café. After a quality greasy feed we set off retracing over the level crossing again (this time no train) and we climbed to the summit. Here John and Nigel Blandford turned left for a more direct route home over Belmont. The others turned right for Brindle and returned via Rivington and Horwich with 50 or so miles covered.
It was a foggy [or is that misty] start for the six riders that gathered outside Wilkinson’s for the B ride. The destination was Barley in Lancashire. We decided on taking a different route this time turning right in Rawtenstall along Bacup road, then left at Waterfoot to tackle the long climb up the Burnley road where we were greeted by the first sunshine of the morning. Before descending to Burnley, we lost the company of Kevan and John who were out for a half-day ride.
A well-deserved fast descent into Burnley followed, on past the football club and then an easy climb up towards Fence.
We were now in the Pendle lanes and riding in the shadow of Pendle hill on our left. As we approached our lunch stop we were surprised to meet the A team of Mike and Mark. So we were six again as we settled down in the warm tea room.
With full stomachs we set off to climb out of Barley, through the quiet lanes, before we joined the main road into Whalley for our afternoon tea. The hall was quiet except for one lone cyclist tucking in. This turned out to be club member Tommy who was out for a short solo ride! We get around us cyclists.
Suitably refreshed we left Tommy in peace and set off on our usual route over Round hills. Once we entered Haslingden we met Nigel - another member out on a solo jaunt. Now we are seven and there followed a brisk ride back into Bury.
A fine day in good company with a few surprises along the way. Plus the forecasted rain failed to make an appearance. Approximately sixty miles on the clock.