It was another healthy Stockport Community Cycling Club turnout that made at Cheadle Baths for Neil’s new Chorlton ride. These large turnouts are creating a few ride management headaches in that for rider safety we have had to split into more than one group, and this becomes ride-leader intensive. Thankfully, we had quite a few leaders out today, and I would lead the second group with Sarah being my back-leader for this group.

First, however, there was a little ceremony with Jim handing over the ‘Unsung Hero of the Year’ trophy to Gill.  She had been ill on the day of the recent SCCC Annual Club Lunch, but better late than never. Well done Gill!

Gill receives the ‘Unsung Hero of the Year’ award from Jim
Neil, ready to begin his new ride

Since Sarah and I were leading the second group, the photos taken are mainly of the riders joining us on this ride.

We began by making our way through Cheadle.

We briefly joined the River Mersey.

Leaving the river we picked up NCN Route 62, which forms part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

We followed this through Didsbury, alongside the metro route.

Crossing the metro line, we made our way through Didsbury village.

From here we cycled through Northenden.

Then past Kenworthy Wood to Chorlton Water Park.

We briefly rejoined the River Mersey.

Before weaving our way through the back streets of Chorlton.

Our coffee stop was at the Post Box Cafe in Chorlton village. We arrived here only minutes after the first group who had got a bit lost on the way. Considering thirty cyclists descended on the cafe all at once the staff handled the situation very well. For Sarah, sadly there weren’t any specific gluten-free options on the menu, but she did say the omelette was excellent.

Leaving the cafe, we briefly skirted the edge of Chorlton Park.

This took us on to Nell Lane, which we followed to Withington, and then through Burnage.

Then back through Didsbury.

After picking up the River Mersey once again we followed the path to Gorsey Bank.

Crossing over the river, we picked up the new path.

This took us back to Cheadle Heath.

Finally, we joined NCN Route 558 which took us back to the start.

We had cycled 17 miles today. This had been a new and interesting urban route around south Manchester and Stockport.

You can view the Chorlton route below:

WOW Drop Off Ride

Friday was a Women On Wheels event to try and encourage women to start cycling. This ride started from Cale Green Primary School with the idea that women could drop the children off at school and then join in a led ride, hence the name ‘WOW Drop Off Ride’. There were some bike technicians on hand from Woodsons Cycles and Cera Cycloan.  The  cycle ride was being led by Stockport Community Cycling Club. This event was organised by a wonderful lady called Mel.

The ride was being led by Andy Shaw and Jim with Tracey and myself to assist. Unfortunately there were no women who turned up, however, the five of us went for the ride on what was a cold but lovely day. Leaving Cale Green Primary School we made our way towards Edgeley.

We then headed towards Stockport Station where Mel showed us the Stockport Cycle Hub there.  From there we made our way to the Tandem Coffee House, where we stopped for a drink. The Tandem Coffee House is a great cycle friendly coffee house, which also sells some interesting cycling related goods as well as great food, well worth a visit if you are in Stockport!

Alison from Tandem Coffee House

Leaving the Tandem Coffee House we cycled past Robinsons Brewery and down Lower Hillgate.

We cycled down Great Underbank and then on towards the new Redrock Centre in Stockport centre.

I had not been to the Redrock centre before but it certainly looked like it would be worth a special trip.

From the Redrock Centre, we cycled towards the Stockport Plaza.

At Stockport Plaza, we then turned right, passing the back of the hat museum.

Crossing over King Street West we cycled through Hollywood Park.

As we exited Hollywood Park at Edgeley, the views back down over Stockport were great!

We passed close to Edgeley Park, the ground for Stockport County.

Our route then went between the reservoirs and towards the edge of Adswood


We then cut through a passage and made our way back to Cale Green Primary School.

There were some lovely designs on the path outside the school.

It had been a lovely ride of about five miles which took in some of the landmarks of Stockport whilst keeping off the main roads. We all really enjoyed it.

Cuerden Valley 2018

This was to prove a busy weekend for Sarah and I. We were due to run the Southport Mad Dog on Sunday. Before that, however, there was the little matter of the Stockport Community Cycling Club Cuerden Valley 2018 Saturday ride beginning at Whittle-Le-Woods. Before that, we had started the morning by joining in with the Cuerden Valley Parkrun.

Having rushed over to Kem Mill Car Park we joined our fellow club members. Jim was leading today’s ride, and Sarah was the back-leader.

Entering Cuerden Valley Park we soon picked up NCN Route 55. We had run the first sections of this just an hour previously.

The park and the path through it follow the River Lostock.

We crossed over the M6.

Before entering Bamber Bridge.

Some of the underpasses are just for little people …

Next, the route took us into Preston Junction Local Nature Reserve.

We followed the paths through the nature reserve, before crossing over the River Ribble and in to Avenham Park.

We stopped at The Pavilion Cafe for our morning break.

Back-Leader Sarah … that cup of tea has clearly just kicked in
Ride leader Jim

After the break, we followed the River Ribble for awhile.

This section of the route also forms part of the Preston Guild Wheel.

Soon, we turned off and made our way through Walton-Le-Dale.

We then split into two groups. One, led by Jim, took the slightly easier route back. The other, I took over and led. We began by heading up Higher Walton Road. This was the start of a steady climb.

When we turned off on to Gregson Lane, the steady climb ramped up into a more significant one.

The top was eventually reached at the T-junction with Sandy Lane.

The latter stages had also seen us join NCN Route 91.

After dropping down and crossing over the M65 to the village of Brindle, there followed one final climb.

We then cycled along Denham Lane for a short stretch.

Finally, we dropped down into Whittle-Le-Woods again to finish the ride.

This had been a fine Lancashire cycle ride around. By the finish, we had covered nearly 15 miles.

You can view the Cuerden Valley 2018 route below:

High Legh 2018 Ride

Sunday was the SCCC High Legh Ride. The ride started from the Gatley Station car park. Although Jim, the club leader, was not coming out cycling he met us there in the hope of being able to hand out some medals to the club members who had not been able to attend the club lunch the previous week. He was able to hand out another five before the ride started, making his trip worthwhile.

Paul receives two medals!
Paul receives a medal
Ian receives a medal
Rachel receiving her medal
Julie receiving her medal

The High Legh ride is one that we did last year. There were 25 members that met in the Gatley Station car park.

We split into two groups as we set off, to avoid causing too much traffic disruption. Andy led the first group, as he was scheduled to lead the ride, with Graham as his back leader and Andy S lead the second group with me as his back leader. We had only gone about a mile when we came across a rider from the first group who had lost his chain – the chain link had broken. Graham then came back to see him (he had sped off to let the first group know what had happened and then came back to help out). Dave had some spare chain links and was able repair the chain so that we could continue.

We made our way to Heald Green.

We picked up the Airport Circular route as we made our way to the boundary of Manchester Airport.

We headed down Moss Lane towards Altrincham Road.

The two groups met at the junction of Moss Lane and Altrincham Lane.

Altrincham Rpad lead down to the Airport boundary.

We followed the airport boundary fence for a while.

The route then went across to the country towards Wilmslow Road and the airport tunnels.

We followed the cycle path along Wilmslow Road through the airport tunnels.

The tunnels go under the airport runways.

We then turned off down Mill Lane towards Ashley, up a hill.

Heading towards Tatton Park but then turning off towards Bucklow Hill.

Bucklow Hill has changed recently since the new bypass was opened. We just crossed over the ‘old’ road but I could see that there was a wide cycle path that appeared to follow it.

We then headed off to High Legh Garden Centre, where we were stopping for lunch.

The High Legh Railway was closed (until February).

Although there was a huge queue in the cafe,(mainly due to there being 25 of us!), the food was served exceptionally quickly and was very good.

Just as we were leaving the garden centre we were joined by John, another club member, so there were now 26 of us.

As we headed towards Dunham, we crossed over a narrow footbridge. A bike just fits through.

Waiting to cross over the footbridge

Snowdrops – Spring is on the way!

From Dunham we split into three groups as the roads there get very busy.

At Bowden we turned off the main road and followed a quieter road towards Hale.

The level crossing at Hale was closed for roadworks, so we had to divert. Somehow part of both the first two groups had got split up and some riders went in the wrong direction. Eventually we managed to all meet up again! We then reverted back into our groups and set off towards Wythenshawe Hospital.

Regrouping in Hale near the level crossing

Having skirted round the edge of the hospital, we then cycled down Hollyhedge Road to Gatley.

Reaching the edge of Gatley, we headed back to Gatley station.

Arriving back to Gatley Station
The three Amigos – ride leaders for the day!

Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the ride. We had cycled about 30 miles. You can view our route below:

Droylsden – And a Visit to the Moravian Settlement

Sarah and I had planned to run a 10k in the morning, and then put our feet up in the afternoon, resting before the Sunday club ride. However, one of our ride leaders had to withdraw at the last minute, and Sarah stepped forward as a replacement back-leader. So it was that we found ourselves at Houldsworth Mill ready for a cycle ride to Droylsden.

Before the ride, Jim presented Arthur with a gold medal for cycling over 1,000 miles with the club.

The weather had been pretty rotten in the morning, but thankfully it was warming up by the time we left. There were eight club members who set off on this afternoon ride.

We began by heading around the back of the mill on a path towards Tarvin Avenue.

Then after weaving our way through Heaton Chapel we joined Nelstrop Road North

We then picked up the Fallowfield Loop.

We followed this to Fairfield.

After leaving the Fallowfield Loop we crossed over Ashton Old Road.

And made our way on to the Ashton Canal.

We cycled alongside the canal for a short while before turning off up a passage.

This took us to the Moravian Settlement. It is a place we have visited quite a few times (see here for example), and it is always an enjoyable return.

Group photo

The Moravian Settlement opened in 1785. It was planned and built by its own people, with its inn, shop, bakery, farm, laundry, fire-engine, night-watchman, inspector of weights and measures, an overseer of roads, and even its physician. There were community houses for sisters and brethren, who applied themselves to the varied work of the Settlement. While there may no longer be a night-watchman, and the farm meadows are now streets and houses, the church and community continue to thrive.

Back on our route through Droylsden we passed Delamere Park.

After cycling through Abbey Hey we briefly rejoined the Fallowfield Loop.

We turned off for a cycle ride around Debdale Park.

After leaving Debdale Park, we once again rejoined the Fallowfield Loop again.

At North Reddish, we turned off and made our way down the back passages and streets.

Cycling through North Reddish Park.

Before returning to Houldsworth Mill.

This club ride had been a mere 10 miles. However, it had packed a lot in!

You can view the Droylsden route below: