It makes a change to be able to record a ride that was done in weather that at times was positively spring like. Clearly sufficient club members thought the effort worthwhile as a total of 22 turned up at Chevin for the 2 rides. 8 opted for the 30 miler that was led by Phil and 13 undertook the 50 miler led by Steve. A new rider Rob introduced himself and went on the short route. Caran joined at Elslack riding on her expensively repaired bike and Rick caught up with us at the Swan in Carleton. Both rides were following the same route as far as the Hellifield Road junction above Paythorne. I’m told that the 30 milers had a cafe stop at Hazy Days and again at the end of the ride at Bean Loved!
This junction seemed to be club ride central as the 20 odd of us were joined by a dozen or more cyclists from another club. We parted company with the 30 milers and rode onto Bolton by Bowland for the traditional toilet stop there.
We had already had our fair share of potholed roads up to this point but the climb of Holden Lane to the Slaidburn Road was further evidence of the crumbling infrastructure and dangerous conditions on Lancashire’s roads. Can they be worse that NYCC? Today’s evidence suggests Yes!
This long climb split the group in to two and at the catch up the faster lads and lass set off to get to the cafe stop at Slaidburn. We had booked ahead but this didn’t seem to have much effect on the speed of service which was both slow and confusing. Drinks were served first followed by food, eventually. The sausage sandwiches were the slowest even though ordered first and were not of very good quality. It was a surprise when Mark reported that he could pay with his Apple Pay app!
Those who hadn’t visited Slaidburn before were somewhat fazed that the extra miles to the cafe from the top of the hill had to be ridden back up hill to do the second half of the ride back to Tosside and Wigglesworth, The effort of climbing up the hills all the way back to Tosside took its toll of those who had opted for sausage sandwiches as the group was straddled across about half a mile when we had a catch up. There are obviously some lessons to be learnt from this. Reconsider sausage sandwiches for lunch before riding up a hill or let non-sausage eaters have their head and forget about catch ups!
The exhilarating descent from Tosside down to Wigglesworth and the River Ribble beyond is one of the writers favourite stretches of road as speed is built up and sustained for about 2 or 3 miles.
From Hellifield we cut across to Otterburn, Bell Busk and over to Eshton before the final ever “popular” hill to Broughton and the A59 along to Heslaker and then a coffee in Bean Loved. to finish off.
54 miles and over 4000′ of climbing but a great day out!
More of these please .