A ride to Astley

Saturday was the SCCC cycle ride to Astley. Andy and I cycled to the start but stopped off at Longford Park for the Stretford Parkrun, which I ran and Andy watched.

The cycle ride to Astley started from the car park near the Robbin Hood pub in Stretford. There was quite a good turn out.

Gill the ride leader

We set off into Trafford Park, passing Kellogg’s, making our way onto the Bridgewater canal, using the Bridgewater Way.

Trafford Centre entrance from the canal

We followed the Bridgewater Canal for quite a while, briefly leaving it and then picking it up again, as we followed the Bridgewater Way.

We passed through Worsley.

Worsley Dry Docks

As we reached The Moorings pub we came off the canal and made our way towards the Leigh Guided Busway.

The Moorings pub

The Guided Busway was quite interesting. It was the first time that I have been along it.

Guided Busway

We left the Guided Busway at Tyldesley to make our way to Astley. We went to the Damhouse Tea Room for lunch.

Damhouse Tea Room

Just as we were finishing locking up our bikes to go into the cafe for lunch, who should turn up but Graham (fashionably late as he often is)!

Graham arriving a fashionably late!

After some great refreshments we set off again, passing the entrance to the Astley Green Colliery Museum. We didn’t stop off there but we have done numerous time in the past – well worth a visit if you have never been!

entrance to Astley Green Colliery Museum

Our ride then took us across Chat Moss towards Irlam.

Alpacas and ostrich along the way

Crossing the Manchester Ship Canal
Manchester Ship Canal

Having crossed the Manchester Ship Canal, we headed through Flixton then onto DavyHulme and Urmston.

Moss Park

Having passed through Moss Park, we made our way back to the starting point. It was a great ride. You can see our route below:

Redesmere Ride via Jodrell Bank

It was a bright but rather cool day on Sunday for the SCCC Redesmere Ride. We met up at Davenport Green.

There was some excitement among the ‘boys’ at the start as Paul turned up on his nice new bike!

Graham the ride leader for the day

We headed out into Cheshire by skirting around Bramhall village.

Along Blossoms Lane, then past the Deanwater.

We then headed out through Mottram St Andrew.

We then turned right onto Chelford Road and make our way to the National trust car park at Alderley Edge.

Andy the days back leader

We made a brief stop at the Alderley Edge National Trust car park to make use of the facilities in the car park.

Leaving Alderley Edge, we then took the back lanes to Birtles.

We didn’t stop for very long at Redesmere as it was decidedly chilly! We then pressed on towards Jodrell Bank, where we would be having lunch.

Redesmere

Jodrell Bank entrance
Jodrell Bank visitor Centre (and cafe)

After lunch we set off towards Peover Heath then on through Marthall.

One point Emma had to get out of the way of a fast moving car (I didn’t see this) and I believe that she ended up in a ditch. The upshot was that she then had a problem with her brakes, which needed some running repairs. There were lots of willing helping hands to sort her bike out for her though.

Fixing Emma’s bike

The main group continued on whilst Emma’s bike was being repaired. I took over as the back leader until we were all back together again. They soon caught us up though!

We took the track around Lindow Manor Farm and then made our way into Wilmslow.

Once we reached Wilmslow Leisure Centre, the main group continued and three of us took a more leisurely pace back to Davenport Green. Not because the main group was going fast but because Lesley was finding things hard. Andy Sykes took over as the back leader for the main group.

I lead the second group (of the three of us), Andy continued as the back leader. Lesley was able to continue at a steady pace and we followed the same route back as the main group, which was basically back to Davenport the same way that we had come out.

When we arrived back at Davenport Green, Graham was waiting for us and said that we weren’t very far behind the main group. It was certainly much colder in the afternoon but we had all had a great day out.

You can view our route for the Redesmere ride below:

Bodnant Garden in Winter

Sarah and I took the opportunity of a free day to visit Bodnant Garden. Originally we had been due to run in the Southport Mad Dog 10k but we had both withdrawn from this due to recent illnesses. Nonetheless, we decided to keep this day free for, with my Open University days reaching the final stages, this might prove to be one of the few opportunities we have in the next few months to get out.

So, it was a cool and fresh Sunday when we arrived in Tal-y-Cafn above the River Conwy. First stop – Pavilion Tea Rooms for coffee and cake!

Bodnant Garden was established in 1874 by politician Henry Pochin. Eventually being passed down to the 1st Lord of Aberconwy. And the latest lord is the current garden manager.

It might seem that in January there isn’t much to see but our visit showed this not to be the case, their were plenty of delights and surprises. Beginning with the snowdrops …

Bodnant House

We passed through the Winter Garden, which of course was in full bloom at this time of year.

There were a myriad of Irises.

Our first glimpse of daffodils brought a hint of spring.

We headed over to the terraces.

The views out over Snowdonia were fantastic.

The Pin Mill is a feature that was brought in brick by brick from another location in 1937, and along with the terraces displays strong Italian influences.

The Pin Mill and Lily Pond (though in February without the lilies)

Next we headed down to the Old Mill, passing the waterfalls on the way.

Next we followed the stream.

At the end was the skating pond.

I thought I should try my own version of skating …

On the return we passed the waterfall bridge.

And an interesting building called ‘The Poem’.

Finally, as we passed through the dell we went past a number of ‘Champion Trees’ for which Bodnant Garden is internationally known.

As we returned to the start, Sarah started ‘flagging’. She has after all been struggling to overcome an illness recently. So it was time to call it a day.

We had thoroughly enjoyed our time at Bodnant Garden, and we are looking forward to visiting the gardens again in the next season. This is a place worth visiting many times.

Bruntwood Park

It was a fine day as a large group of Stockport Community Cycling Club members met near Woodsmoor Rail Station ready for Graham’s cycle ride to Bruntwood Park. I was back leading.

Sarah with Bruce at the start of the ride

We began by cycling towards Davenport.

And then through Adswood.

On our way to Edgeley.

Passing through Sykes’s Reservoir.

For awhile we picked up NCN Route 62 – the Trans Pennine Trail.

The route follows the River Mersey.

Eventually we turned off and made our way towards Cheadle.

And on to Cheadle Hulme.

Our lunch break was at The Vinery in Bruntwood Park. It was just a coffee stop so Sarah and I enjoyed a brew and some cake.

Our ride leader Graham poses for the camera

Before setting off Jim handed out mileage medals to Geoff and Arthur. They had both been unable to attend the recent SCCC Annual Club Lunch 2017.

Leaving Bruntwood Park we next made our way through Cheadle Hulme and on towards Heald Green.

We joined Stanley Road and crossed the A34. The ongoing roadworks made this a very busy section of the route.

Eventually we turned off on to Blossoms Lane near Woodford.

Next we turned back towards Bramhall.

We followed the back lanes through Bramhall, before eventually dropping down to the roundabout outside the grounds of Bramhall Hall.

Finally we returned to Woodsmoor.

We had completed 16 miles by the time we arrived back at the start. This had been an enjoyable trip around the roads and paths of Stockport.

Delamere 2017 – From Frodsham

Delamere 2017 was the latest version of the popular Stockport Community Cycling Club spring ride (see here for the 2015 edition). I was pencilled in to lead the ride and Sarah back-lead it. Unfortunately I have been struggling with a hip injury for the last few months, and with that in mind Sarah and I decided to switch roles. And then Sarah picked up a chesty cough … and the weather forecast didn’t look too good.

So, it was a cold morning when eight of us met at Frodsham. Neil was cycling from home and due to join us, but phoned to say he was late and the roads where he was were rather icy. They seemed fine in Frodsham. Should we cycle or not? We decided to give it a go and turn around if the going got tough.

Vic – ready for the off

Sarah led us out along Chester Road and out of Frodsham (without Neil).

Soon we were turning off and up the first hill of the day as we headed for Alvanley. Thankfully as we left the main road the conditions were fine.

At the top it quickly became clear that leading was going to be  a struggle for Sarah. Thankfully Andy S was with us and happy to take over, meaning Sarah and I could spend the rest of the ride hanging on at the back!

Group photo (without Neil)

We turned on to Manley Road.

Turning off the main road we skirted the edge of Manley and then continued on in the direction of Great Barrow.

Eventually the route turned in the direction of Kelsall. We took a brief break on the roadside and took another group photo – still without Neil.

And just when we were about to set off – there he was …

Hi Neil! – As he finally catches up with us

And now there were nine.

We passed through Kelsall (including Neil).

And followed Longley Lane.

Before turning off and onto the track to Delamere Forest Park.

At the far end of the forest park is Delamere Station House Cafe. This was our lunch stop. It’s on the pricey side for a fairly basic cafe, but the portions are hearty and tasty.

After lunch we followed the busy Station Road for a short while, before turning off at Hatchmere and cycling through the forest along Delamere Road.

After leaving the forest we briefly turned back in the direction of Manley and then towards Manley Common.

Another group photo – with Neil

As we made our way back towards Frodsham on another section of Manley Road, the route continued to climb, eventually reaching the top near the Shepherds Houses.

There then followed a sharp drop back in to Frodsham.

This had proved to be a very enjoyable 26 mile ride. The weather, while cool ad overcast, managed to stay fine. And we were thankful.

You can view our Delamere 2017 route below.

Afterwards, Sarah and I decided on a cuppa before heading for home. Sarah had successfully managed to get round but was now pooped. My hip, while now a little sore, had held out ok too.