Todmorden 2017

It was a healthy turnout of Stockport Community Cycling Club members that met at Hollingworth Lake for the start of the Todmorden 2017 cycle ride.

It was a fine summer day. I was the back-leader for this cycle ride.

We set off following the path alongside the reservoir.

We left  the reservoir path and picked NCN route at Littleborough.

This took us along the Rochdale Canal.

We followed the canal for nearly seven miles until we reached Todmorden.

Here we stopped for the coffee break at the Bridge Cafe. We essentially took the place over! The food was basic, but it did offer gluten-free options. Always a plus.

After lunch we set off up Rochdale Road.

Cycling through Walsden.

It seems we missed our original point of return on to the canal and instead had to carry our bikes down at another point.

Group photo on the Rochdale Canal

Returning to the edge of Littleborough we split into two groups. The more vertically challenged set off towards Blackstone Edge.

There was a marvellous view higher up looking down over Hollingworth Lake.

The path took us over the M62.

Followed by a sharp and hazardous drop down Rakewood Road.

The sensible group continued along the canal before following the eastern side of the lake.

And stopping off for an ice-cream.

Not that the adventurous group missed out on the ice-cream. Having earned theirs, they enjoyed an ice-cream at the finish of the cycle ride.

This was another great Stockport Community Cycling Club ride. You can view our Todmorden 2017 route below:

Leicester Long Ride – SCCC Club Weekend Sneek-Peek

On the forthcoming Stockport Community Cycling Club weekend, there will be two cycle rides available on the Sunday. The Leicester Short Ride, and the Leicester Long ride which Andy S and I will be leading. On the recce weekend, we took the opportunity to test the long ride route out.

After leaving the University of Leicester we headed out towards Stoughton where picked up NCN Route 63. This took us past Leicester Airport.

The route took us through villages of King Norton, Gaulby and Illston on the Hill.

This first part of the ride is quite lumpy.

To the next village, Goadby, we climbed probably the sharpest hill. At the top, we decided to have a brief rest and recover before moving on.

Leaving Goadby took us on to NCN route 64.

A section of this forms the Gartree Trail.

We followed this to the village of Great Bowden, on the edge of Market Harborough.

Next, we joined NCN Route 6 and picked up the Market Harborough arm of the Grand Union canal.

A few miles further on we reached Foxton Locks.

Here we found the Foxton Locks Inn where we decided to test out the food offerings.

Having found the food tasty and enjoyable, we went for a brief look around.

Soon, it was time to move on and cycle up the side of the locks. These are the UK’s longest staircase flight.

Following the climb up the locks, there followed another climb, this one up to the village of Gumley.

We cycled alongside Saddington Reservoir.

And followed the Guthlaxton Trail for awhile.

The game – I’ll push the gate open, and you have to get through before it returns and shuts!

Eventually, we reached Countesthorpe and then Blaby on the outskirt of Leicester.

Still following NCN Route 6 we picked up the Great Central Way as we entered Leicester. This path follows the line of the former Great Central Railway, which was once one of the most important main lines in Britain.

The last section of the ride saw us rejoin NCN Route 63 as we worked our way through the centre of Leicester. This included cycling through the University city centre campus.

Past Leicester Prison (no, it is not a castle!).

And through Victoria Park.

By the time we had finished we had cycled nearly 45 miles. Andy and I believe this is going to prove a thoroughly enjoyable ride for all who join us when on the club weekend.

You can view the Leicester Long Ride below:

Leicester Short Ride – SCCC Club Weekend Sneek-Peek

On Sunday Jim and I set out to recce the Leicester Short Ride for the SCCC Club Weekend in September. The two Andy’s went off to recce the longer ride.

We left Leicester University Halls car park and headed out towards Leicester Airport.

Our route took us through Stoughton.

Passing close to Leicester Airport.

Helicopter landing at Leicester Airport

There was a steep climb, which Jim decided required closer inspection on foot.

I had to be in at least one picture!

We stopped for a quick cuppa at Dolly’s Tea Rooms in Great Glen. It was a lovely cafe but quite busy and we thought it would be too small to take our group.

Leaving Great Glen, we cycled on towards Newton Harcourt.

Then past an old Church and down a steep hill where Jim shot off and left me as I stopped briefly to take a picture but I caught him on the next climb.

We stopped at Wistow Rural Centre where we had lunch in their cafe.

A cutlery brush

Leaving the Wistow Rural Centre we continued on towards Flickney.

We then cycled on towards Kilby.

From Kilby we then cycled on to Countersthorpe.

A stop in Countersthorpe to check the route

The route was then back to Oadby where we had started from.

The route had been 26 miles. It included a few hills but the scenery was lovely. I am already looking forward to the SCCC Club Weekend away in September.

Rutland Water – SCCC Club Weekend Sneek-Peek

 

With our club weekend beginning to appear on the horizon, this weekend a group of Stockport Community Cycling Club leaders set out to Leicester to recce the rides.

The first cycle ride planned for the club weekend will be around Rutland Water.

The main car park is at Whitwell. We arrived at lunchtime and headed over to the Harbour Cafe for lunch.

After lunch, we set off for the cycle ride around the reservoir.

We cycled past the Sykes Lane visitor area.

And along the dam.

Past Mowmire Beach.

And towards Normanton Church.

This church was saved in the 1970’s from a watery grave. Now mainly used as a wedding venue and occasionally as a museum, it was originally known as St Matthews and served as the parish church for Normanton and in particular the wealthy Heathcote family.

We continued on our way past the locals.

The big climb of the day was after Lyndon Visitor Centre and up to Lyndon Road.

We followed the roads towards Manton.

You meet all sort of folk on cycle rides!

Next stop was Egleton.

We picked up National Cycle Network Route 63.

And followed this through Barnsdale and back towards Whitwell.

Before we finished there was the obligatory stop for ice-cream.

This is an enjoyable 15-mile cycle ride around Rutland Water. We are confident the club riders will enjoy this excellent circular route.

You can view our Rutland Water route below:

Blackpool to Stockport Ride

Having ridden the Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride on Sunday and stayed overnight in Blackpool, Monday was time for the return home Blackpool to Stockport ride. The first job of the day was to go out for breakfast – we went to the Weatherspoon’s pub called The Layton Rakes. We do like breakfast at Wetherspoons and it is good value too.

Feeling refuelled, we had a last look at the sea before it was time to start our ride back to Stockport.

We took a rather different route back, trying to generally avoid the busy roads and generally keeping to the National Cycle Network (NCN) routes.

On the outskirts of Preston, we picked up the Guild Wheel cycle route. We have cycled other sections of this route in the past.

We cycled past Miller Park and then into Avenham Park.

We stopped at the cafe in Avenham Park, which we have been to many times before. In the past they have always been out of gluten free cake but my luck was in and there was some very nice gluten free cake available!

After our break, we set off again following a route we have cycled before but in reverse.

Mind your head!

Passing through Bamber Bridge, we then went through Cuerden Valley Park which again we have cycled through on club rides in the past.

Leaving the Cuerden Valley Park at Whittle-le-Woods, we were back on the roads again and headed towards Chorley.

From Chorley we made our way towards Horwich.

Lower Rivington Reservouir

As we reached the edges of Salford, we picked up the Roe Green Loopline which was great to cycle along.

We then picked up the Bridgewater Way.

We passed near the place where Debbie had had her accident the previous day.

The Trafford Centre

We came off the Bridgewater Way onto Chester Road in Trafford. From there Andy took us down a side road that I had not been down before. We were then very surprised to encounter a bridge with lots of steps over the train line. It was not at all cycle friendly but we fought our way over, I carried up my panniers whilst Andy carried up my bike and then we went back to collect his bike and panniers. Having crossed over we then hand to do the same relay process to get down again. It was the most exhausting part of the ride.

We then cycled through Longford Park.

Then wiggled our way through Chorlton and Didsbury

We were now on familiar ground, cycling into Cheadle and then on to Stockport.

We had cycled 61 miles and had managed to dodge the rain. You can see our route below: