The Manchester 100 Charity Cycle Ride - 2nd September 2018

On Sunday 2nd September I rode the ‘Manchester 100’ charity cycle ride, a lap round Cheshire starting and finishing in Wythenshawe Park in south Manchester. It is an event I have participated regularly over the last number of years to raise funds for the Christie Hospital where my late wife Christine was a patient.

I opted to do the 100km ride this year as I felt my fitness was not up to doing 100miles following a month’s lay off the bike whilst away visiting my daughter in the States. This was wise decision as I found it very hard riding with my cycling group on the 60m ride to Cartmel on the Thursday before the event having only arrived home the day before.

I had actually entered for the 100m prior to my departure and was given a start time of 7.30 am so initially I was amongst 100 milers and got into a nicely paced group but after the point where the routes split I found I was isolated and for the rest of the ride I was mainly riding solo.

At the finish I did not feel absolutely shattered but I was very tired (I think I still had not recovered from jet lag from returning home) and I seemed to have no power and unable to sustain the effort particularly on the rises and even on the flat although in the last 6m I got behind a group that seemed to be in a hurry to get to the finish and we were bowling along at 23+ mph. Overall I found it the hardest and slowest Manchester 100 I have done in a long time.

The weather on the day was quite warm even at the start and as the day progressed became increasing warmer so much so I had to discard my Christie’s logoed white top partway through the ride – hence I finished wearing a red top. 

According to my Garmin the 100k was 61.2m, the ride time was 4hrs and the average riding speed was 15.3mph.

I have received kind and generous donations for this most worthwhile Charity which currently stands in excess of £250

John Laws

Ride to Staveley via Beetham, Sunday 16th September 2018

Given the driving rain at the start of the day, it was little wonder that only Matt and Neil appeared at Beaumont for the Secretary’s ride to Staveley via Beetham Garden Centre. It was decided in the circumstances to truncate the ride at Beetham and return home (where most sensible people had stayed)

This plan was blown off course by Ian and Norman turning up at Beetham (making plain their expectation to ride to Staveley) and a marked improvement in the weather (promising blue skies and balmy breezes).

Thus it was that the ‘group of 4’ headed north to Staveley via Sedgewick, The Helm (pausing to take in the stupendous panorama across Kendal to Lakeland), the precipitous descent of Meal Bank (now nicely resurfaced), and Burneside. At Wilf’s Café, lunch was taken outdoors with caps donned to avoid sunstroke.

Wheels turned in the direction of home, over the hill to Crook, along undulating lanes through the woodland to Underbarrow and Brigsteer, and through the National Trust parkland to Levens Village. From Levens, the miles passed quickly, over Heversham Moss, through Dallam Park to Silverdale, where Ian and Norman were tempted to take a mid-afternoon tea stop.

Neil and Len headed home for their afternoon teas, reflecting contentedly on fast-ish 60 miles, completed in the near-perfect conditions of an Indian Summer.


Photos by Ian Wood

Ride from Barrow to Glasson Dock, Thursday 13th September 2018

Barrow to Glasson Dock ride 13th September 2018

Oh hell is it that time already (06.30) better get a move on who the hell suggested this ride we are setting of in the middle of the night and I will probably be asleep till Barrow.
Bikes loaded into van and waved them goodbye. Hope there isn”t a bike sale on at Burton services (hopefully).
Managed to get a strong cup of coffee on the railway station.
Reunited with the bikes at Barrow station all in good order, thanked Dave (the man with the van) and set off towards Walney for the official start.
Everybody thought I knew Barrow but aiming for the submarine sheds Walney was easy to find even for me.
Once at the start with a promise of reasonable weather and with a slight following wind, 11 Pensioners In Lycra On Cycles (PILOCS) plus Dave from Arnside (who decided to join us) we set off for Glasson Dock 81 miles away.
First we had to negotiate the busy streets of Barrow till we arrived at the quieter part through Morrisons car park!!!!
Once through the car park we were on the quiet and interesting tracks through the dock area to rejoin the road at Rampside then we had a few miles on the coastal road to Roosedeck where we turned inland heading for Leece.
Travelling through Leece, Dendron, Gleaston (where a group stopped at the little cafe and this was the last sight we had of Neil) the rest of us skirted over Birkrigg Common and rejoined the coastal road in Bardsea heading passed the Bhuddist priory at Conishead we got to our coffee stop in Ulverston at 20 miles. 
Leaving Ulverston we headed inland and through Mansriggs we then turned east as we headed for Penny Bridge then Greenodd passing under the A590 to cross the Leven estuary via the foot bridge and the next bit was cursed by the riders on "skinnies" (yours truly).
We headed towards Low Wood and the BEAST of Bigland Hill. At least we knew that once over this it was a nice down hill into Cartmel.
We did contemplate various dinner stops Cartmel (with pub) or Grange (with pub but didn't do meals) so it was a "no brainer" and Cartmel it was for dinner.
Following dinner we headed along the lanes to Cark so we could detour via Flookburgh into Kents Bank and Grange-over-Sands.
We all realised that we were now on familiar ground as we headed over Meathop and into Witherslack to take the old road to Levens.
No stopping us now as we took the moss road to join the B5282 into Arnside and hoped for a  welcomed brew at The Heron but it was shut so The Albion it was and I have to admit it was the first time I have been in a pub and just had a coffee!!!! ( am I turning into a teetotaller???)
Then into Silverdale passing Holgates, then via Wolfhouse Gallery.
Heading towards Warton the route had a nasty sting in its tale because it took us over Warton Crag!!!!! then Crag Bank, Bolton le Sands, Hest Bank where we joined the promenade through to Morrisons.
Knowing we were on the last leg (and our last legs) and knowing that there was no way we were going to finish it before it went dark we continued along the old railway line into Lancaster and continued along the railway line into Glasson Dock where we arrived at about 20.15.
At this point there was just the three of us Mike, Ian and myself we decided as Mike hadn't a front light to reverse our route back along the railway line to the sewerage works then home for about 20.45 with 91 miles under the bum.
A great day out, good weather, good miles and GREAT COMPANY
Is this going to be an annual "do" if so suggest earlier in the year possibly May/June/July for the extended day light hours.
Jim and Co
Photos by Nick Hall

Ride to Knott End via Cockerham, Sunday 9th September 2018

Five met at Millennium Bridge in light but persistent rain for a dual start.

Mike led the moderate ride, joined by Nick. Neil devised a normal ride to Casterton and Arnside and was joined by Ken and Adrian.

The moderate ride headed south via Haverbreaks and past the Boot & Shoe, taking route 6 to 5 Lane Ends and then across the A6 at Potter’s Brook. Continuing to the A588, coffee was taken at the Cockerham Pudding House with Matt and Mary, who were already there.

Matt and Mary choosing different route for their recumbent trikes, we continued via Stalmine to Knott End, accompanied, but in the opposite direction, by a strongish wind, evidenced by the white horses on the sea at force 5 to 6!

A pleasant lunch at the Knott End Cafe lasted and hour and so we set off home, just as Matt and Mary arrived for lunch. Nick and I bade them farewell and set out with a beautiful following gale and not-so-beautiful scattered showers, getting us back to

Mike Codd 9 September 2018

Ride to Leighton Moss via Casterton, Sunday 9th September 2018

We all met up at Millenium Bridge for the 2 choices of rides, Mike leading the ‘gentle’ ride and Neil the ‘traditional’ ride.

Leaving Mike and Nick, who were heading for Wallings Café, Neil, Ken and Adrian set off in the persistent rain through Nether Kellet, Over Kellet and Capernwray, by which point the rain had changed from persistent to frequent showers. Taking the road to Newton via Docker Farm, and onto Wennington, we rode through Kirkby Lonsdale and onto Casterton Golf Club, for a well earned break and a chance to dry out. Relaxing for some time in the club café, we managed to solve all Brexit issues, and agree on a way forward with the social housing issue.

Finally leaving the café with the world now in a far better place, we returned to the task of the day, cycling through the showers for another well earned break, this time in Arnside. Given the weather conditions and the gloomy surroundings, the ride wasn’t particularly memorable as we rode back through Kirkby, Hutton Roof, Burton and onto the Yealand’s. We arrived in Arnside to find that our preferred café was actually full and we would have to wait an hour for a free table. The decision was made to ride a bit further before lunch, and when Ken had tightened his saddle to prevent a quick exit from his bike, we carried on through Silverdale, passing Jenny Brown’s Point and Wolf House Gallery, and arrived at RSPB Leighton Moss for lunch.

It is a smooth operation at the café and we were soon seated with our lunch before us.

After our second relaxing break, where this time we didn’t need to dry out, we set off for home, splitting up as we neared our different destinations.

A good, testing ride of 46 miles and 3300 ft of ascent, we certainly made the best of a less than inspiring day of inclement weather, and were home for 2.30, in time to see the sun breaking through.

Neil Westwell

Ride to Settle via Dunsop Bridge, 6th September, 2018

13 Riders met at the Boot and Shoe for Neil’s ride to Settle via the Trough (the easy way). Before we set off Ian and Jim confessed their intention to ride to Settle missing out the climb over the Trough, thus reducing the numbers to 11. The ride took us up the steep climb through Quernmore crossroads towards Jubilee Tower but before reaching said Tower, Andy was wishing he’d joined the other 2 on the alternate route, so he turned back. Down to 10! Unknown to the rest of us, Sandra had secured a lift from Stuart to Jubilee Tower, so was ‘on the ride’ albeit in front of the rest of us.  Back to 11! As we reached the tower, the leader began to think that Jubilee Tower wasn’t the easiest route over the trough, even though Nick said it was! Stopping at Jubilee Tower briefly, it became apparent why this route, although a tough, unrelenting climb, is so attractive on such a clear day, the views from here were absolutely breathtaking.

We undulated (good verb that!) along the moors to reach the top of the Trough with the tremendous descent before us to Dunsop Bridge. On arrival, we were welcomed at Puddleducks cafe as usual and partook of a well earned tea/coffee and lots of cakes break. Tim decided not to continue with the ride and returned home via the steep way up the Trough. Back down to 10, although we hadn’t yet caught sight of Sandra!

Continuing through Slaidburn and up the spectacular hairpinned climb beyond, the riders continued their undulations through Tosside and onto Wigglesworth, where we turned left towards Rathmell, and, crossing the A65, into Settle, where we not only found Sandra, but Ian and Jim appeared from behind a pillar in the cafe! Back to 12!

After a leisurely lunch in Settle we set off as a bigger group, although Sandra had departed before the rest of us. Riding along the quiet lanes we were treated to the wonderful views of the Yorkshire Dales, culminating in  the sight of Ingleborough dominating the horizon.

Arriving at Bridge House in Wray for our last stop of the day we found that Sandra had already arrived and we joined her for yet more coffee/tea (and possibly cakes).

A good, albeit testing, ride with varying numbers of participants on a clear day with magnificent Lancashire and Yorkshire scenery. 63 miles and 5500ft of ascent. Beat that!!

Neil Westwell

Ride to Ingleton via Clapham, Sunday 2nd September 2018.

Ride Report Beaumont to Ingleton via Clapham on 2 September 2018.

9 riders met at Beaumont for Neil’s ride to Ingleton for lunch, with a stop in Clapham for coffee and cakes en route. Rather than split into 2 groups, one of eight and one of one, we set off as one group and made our way through the road works towards Halton. Riding steadily upwards through Halton a good, even pace was set which suited all participants and the group was pretty compact when the Aughton turn off was taken. The long descent was enjoyed as the country views opened up before us, being particularly outstanding on such a clear day. Through Gressingham, Hornby and Wray before joining Mewith Lane, a popular route for our cycling group.

The views were wonderful and it was great to see the countryside returned to a super fresh green colour after the extreme ravages of the hot, unrelenting Sunshine turned the landscape brown. Passing Clapham Station the ride continued into Clapham to find Ruth waiting for us at the Bunk House Café. A nice relaxing break was enjoyed by all until departure time arrived.

It was surprising and welcome to find that all 9 original participants were continuing the full ride as we set off towards and through Austwick. Now in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the views were nothing short of spectacular, especially on such a clear day. Turning North at Helwith Bridge towards Horton in Ribblesdale the views became even more spectacular as we passed Pen Y Ghent and cycled towards Whernside in the distance. We paused awhile at Ribblehead Viaduct but were not blessed with the passing of a train, steam or otherwise. With Ingleborough on our left  we climbed away from the viaduct and took the right turn to Chapel Le Dale where we joined hundreds of contented sheep on the fell road to Ingleton, although we weren’t impressed with their Sunday Lunch menu! Arriving in Ingleton we made our way to the Inglesport café where we partook of a leisurely lunch.

Ravens Close, Wennington, Wray and onto the cycle track was the route home. It had been a very scenic ride through the Yorkshire Dales and continued the theme of ‘back to front ride’, as we have ridden these roads before although Ingleton first and Clapham for lunch on previous occasions, but doing the ride in reverse uncovers scenery not seen before, and it was extremely impressive.

A ride of 59 miles and 4150ft of ascent, what a super day to be a cyclist!

Neil Westwell

Thanks to Ian Wood for the photos.

Ride to Cartmel via Levens, Thursday 30th August 2018

Upside down or back to front?

If you are a fan of the TV programs, where people look at houses and then do or don’t buy one, you will be aware of upside down houses. So why not back to front rides? We do tend to have fairly fixed routes and unless you have eyes in the back of your head you will be only be aware of half of the views available.

So take a route we normally do and go the other way! Leaving Kellet X we went over the mast and down to Bolton le Sands and onto the canal tow path. Here the concept of riding in two or more groups was challenged when the second group ended up in front of the 1st. Even leaving the canal was somewhat problematic but at Crag Bank the order was re-established. In two groups of 8 (or 9) the route continued via Silverdale Station and Storth to cross the flats and on to Levens Hall for coffee. Nick who had done sterling service leading his group passed the route plan to Mike C for stage 2.

Not liking the climb to Levens village we went via the flat lanes to Sampool and Gilpin Bridge. We followed the ‘old road’ towards Witherslack but, out of character, turned left across Meathop Moss to Grange. The cold start we had endured relented and tops came off or at least unfastened. A slightly uphill road led to Allithwaite and a right turn, the actual RIGHT turn might have been the one, before the one we took but such was the spirit of the group no one commented. Soon Cartmell was reached and my group headed for the cafe named something to do with ducks. The 2nd group soon followed and passed our cafe, maybe L’Enclume was more their cup of tea

After lunch we gained another 3 riders and set off NE to fork right and make our way towards High Newton. Here the back to front route paid off with stunning views towards Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man. A short climb led to the top of Tow Top. The way down has deteriorated over the years from being bad 30 years ago to even worse today but at least we went down! The group pressed on to Witherslack and back along the ex -A590 to Levens. Instead of dicing with death trying to cross the main road we turned into Heversham. Ackenthwaite and Holme Mills gave way to Cinderbarrow and the main Burton road. Here the group split some going via Priest Hutton and the others Greenlands Farm. I returned to Nether Kellet 60 miles since I left neither upside down nor back to front.

Brian Greenwood

Ride Report - Picnic at Sulber Nick (Rained off), Sunday 26 August 2018

After getting rained for a good part of this week in Cumbria I had hoped for a little sunshine today so we could enjoy the ride over to Clapham with stunning views of the limestone fells from Sulber, but it was not to be. 

Nick turned up at Beaumont and it was already raining, so we set forth and went to Wray (someone said all rides go to Wray). After a pleasant coffee stop we returned to Lancaster as the rain steadily increased. 

Maybe it’ll be third time lucky if I put this ride up again next summer? 
Nigel Cole

Ride to Beacon Fell via Gt Eccleston, Sunday August 19th

It was with some trepidation that the leader of Sundays ride approached the Millenium Bridge in Lancaster with reports of the tail end of storm Ernesto arriving from the Atlantic on his mind. Others may have felt the same as only Neil and Roy met him there and despite a few minutes wait the three club members were the sum total for the days outing. 

Despite an occasional short shower things weren't too bad as they went along Aldcliffe Road and via the canal towpath and Ashton Road to head out to Cockerham with just a strong south westerly breeze to moderate their progress.

The route across Pilling Moss proved simplest and quickest to get to Stakepool given the threat of further precipitation and taking it in turns to act as windbreaks at the front they speedily reached the toll at Cartford Bridge and the Courtyard Cafe in Gt Eccleston. Despite Nick having failed to check if the coffee stop actually opened on Sundays they were in luck and were soon recharging burnt calories. 

The easy flat lanes continued after the stop and were navigated past Myerscough College, across the A6 and up into the thick mist which completely obscured Beacon Fell. The least arduous climb up the hill to the Visitor Centre was found but nevertheless only Neil managed to stay on his bike to the top without pushing.

The centre was unusually quiet for a summer's day due to the non existent views and lunch was hastily eaten in the swirling cloud. 

Michael Fish Junior had foretold of improvement in the afternoon but the reality was full waterproofs all the way to Garstang and a decision to break for home while the going was good. The advantage of this was getting home by mid afternoon after covering over 50 miles.

Ride to Austwick / Clapham via Wray, Thursday 16th August 2018

The 14 riders met at Kellet Crossroad and were split into 2 groups. One group was led by Brian and the 2nd by Patience. The route was via Halton and the cycle path to Caton. Here the riders continued through Brookhouse, where those who had studied the weather forecast realised they were over dressed. The road led towards Hornby but the 2 groups turned towards Wray before the village was reached. Although cloudy the rain held off and at 10 o’clock they reached the Wray cafe. Here another 6 members joined the riders before most of them returned to Lancaster.

The 2 groups made their way up the steep climb and onto Mewith Lane. This road is often followed by our members but usually in the opposite direction. However on this particular day the party was rewarded with fine views towards Ingleborough and peeping round the corner of the high moorland Pen-y-ghent.  The ride continued via Keasden to the railway bridge at Laneside. A sudden sharp shower led the riders to don their waterproofs as they rode on to cross the A65 into Austwick. Following the cycle path alongside main road the party reached Clapham and the cafe for lunch.

There’s nothing like a gentle climb after lunch and the road towards Ingleton is nothing like a gentle climb. But the reward for the two and a half mile climb to Cold Cotes is the very fast descent to Ingleton.  The road was followed through Thornton in Lonsdale to cross the A65 at Lower Westhouse. One of our popular lanes was taken, into the strengthening wind, to Burton in Lonsdale. At the bottom of the steep hill a sharp turn to the right led onto the twisting climb up onto the road leading to Ravens Close. It was downhill for a change. Some of our party went to Wray cafe for tea, others headed for the Gressingham climb whilst a third group turned down the Lune Valley.

Brian Greenwood

Ride to Cartmel via Sizergh, Sunday 12th August 2018

Ride Report Beaumont to Cartmel (Grange) 12 August 2018

Given the weather forecast it was surprising that anybody turned up at Beaumont for Neil’s ride to Cartmel (including Neil).

The weather was, against the odds, fine at the start as the 5 of us left Beaumont and headed towards Kellet Lane and through the Kellet’s to join the Burton road at Priest Hutton. A good pace was set which was comfortable for all riders and we all stayed together and no ‘catch up’ stops were required. The weather remained dry and the scenery was admired as we rode along.

Through Burton and Holme, Ackenthwaite and Hincaster, we arrived at Sizergh just before 11o’clock to find it pretty quiet and no queue in the café. Not just cyclists who are put off by the weather forecast then! We enjoyed our time in the café where we were joined by Sandra. As we sat on the covered balcony the rain arrived so we dallied long enough for the rain to stop.

A combination of previous engagements and sore knees reduced our onward group to just 2, Neil and Brian, so we decided to head for Grange and miss out Cartmel. Through Levens, Witherslack and onto Lindale where we climbed the start of Lindale Hill and took the turn up School Hill, which is a quite tough but short climb. We were then rewarded with an exhilarating descent into Grange with the view of a high tide in the bay before us. Arriving in Grange we spotted Mulberry’s Café was open, so we called there for lunch. It remained fine so we took one of the outside tables and chatted with a tourist who was passing through.

Just as we were preparing to leave the promised heavy rain arrived and we ‘coated up’ for the return home. However, ‘coating up’ had the desired effect and the rain stopped almost immediately. By the time we got back to Levens we were confident enough to ‘de-coat’.

We split up at Crag Bank and headed to our respective homes with no further interference from the weather.

An excellent ride in dry weather for 99% of the ride, the rain only appearing as we took our sustenance breaks, in spite of the forecast.

3290 feet of ascent, 58 miles and back home for 3o’clock.

Neil Westwell

Ride to Waddington via Dunsop Bridge, Thursday 9th August 2018

This was going to be Jim’s ride, and before that Tony’s and before that… someone else’s. When I took it over ‘cos Jim was busy I imagined the drag up Waddington Fell and the zoom down the other side dodging potholes… But I decided to follow Jim’s planned route which after a visit to Puddleducks via the Trough, went along the Hodder valley and through Whitewell. We didn’t go up Hall Hill to Cow Ark but kept on up the Dunsop Road to even out the climb. Rabbit Lane which led from Cow Ark towards Waddington was delightful with views, framed by trees, across the countryside to Beacon Fell with Longridge behind. Then there was a great if rather bumpy descent down Cross Lane. But at a very steep point we met a tractor coming slowly up with a load that was as wide as the lane and we all had to lean into the high verge. Having crossed Bashall Brook we had to stop again at the bottom losing all downhill impetus, to make way for a couple of large horses with riders coming down the hill in front of us. But we made good time to Waddington where the sandwich eaters found a spot in the sun on a bench in pretty the river garden. The rest of us gorged on eggs and beans and tea in the Country Kitchen, where Tim and his team were very welcoming.

The route home missed out Chipping, instead following the foot of Longridge to Hesketh Lane and then Whitechapel and across the River Brock. Walmsley Bridge Lane was not muddy as it usually is, but the road is still pretty rough. The bridge and river are pretty though… We then wound our way on pretty level route past Crabtree Nook over the Calder and past Carr Wood onto Sandholme Lane. All a bit too easy, so my Garmin took us along Eidsforth Lane and then onto Higher Lane with some short sharp hills and bumpy descents. It made sure we deserved a tea stop at Scorton where Neil got to enjoy a sundae on a Thursday in Daisy Clough. Great weather and a good route to a part of Lancashire we don’t often go. Thanks Jim!

Tim Dant

Ride to Fox's Pulpit via Beetham, Sunday 5th August 2018

The outlook was fine with a hot afternoon in prospect , as ten CTC members set off on a ride to Fox’s Pulpit on Firbank Fell between Sedbergh and the M6.

The cyclists met up with five fellow members at Beetham Garden Centre café, before continuing with a slightly depleted group of eight to Ackenthwaite and Millness.  The route from here made for the foothills to the west of the M6, via Gatebeck and Ewebank, before climbing steeply to a fine vantage point high above the motorway, looking down onto Killington Lake.

From here, our minor roads shadowed the M6. First to the west and then to the east, before leaving behind the hum of the traffic and turning right onto Firbank Fell. It was on the top of the Fell in 1652 that George Fox ministered to about 1,000 believers (thereafter known as Quakers ). The group enjoyed a picnic lunch from this elevated historic spiritual monument, with views south down the Lune Valley. Two visiting Quaker couples, from Connecticut and Limerick, brought the heritage of the Pulpit to life by telling of their recent visits to local Quaker Meeting Houses, on their ‘pilgrimage ‘ vacation.

Turning our wheels towards home, we gingerly descended the steep and winding fell road to the junction with the Sedbergh- Kendal highway, then followed familiar by-ways down the valley to Casterton, where another convivial break was taken at the Golf Club café.  Reinvigorated by the teas and cakes, the final leg was completed via Whittington, Docker Park, Capernwray, and the Kellets.

A total of  56 reasonably hilly miles, with a destination highly appropriate for a Sunday ‘ awheel’.

Len Howard & Patience Cooper

Photographs by Ian Wood

100 Miles Challenge Ride – Tuesday 31st July 2018

A new initiative was discussed at our last Committee Meeting and it was agreed to trial a 100 miles challenge ride, with a view to making it an annual event, if popular.  The object was just to complete the 100 miles in a non-competitive and leisurely style; and so a relatively flat route was chosen, mostly to the south of Lancaster, apart from a warm-up climb from Caton over “Happy Valley” via Quernmore to 5-Lane Ends.

Early rain at 7am did not deter us as the forecast said it would be dry with sunny intervals for the rest of the day, and so it proved to be.  16 brave souls met at Millennium Bridge for an earlier than usual start at 8am.  Gillie was planning to ride only as far as coffee, but was nursing a long-standing knee injury, so the left the group soon after Caton, not wanting to delay the pace.  She later reported a successful loop back to her car at Halton via Galgate and the University.

15 of us continued to The Barn at Scorton for our first refreshment stop.  Len and I, in good Hobbit style, had 2nd breakfasts of tasty bacon butties.  We carried on in increasingly sunny weather with a delightfully cool breeze, as we skimmed the edge of Garstang before passing through Nateby on our way to Hambleton which was the crux of our “figure of eight” route.  We briefly joined the main road over Shard Bridge, soon turning right into Wyre Country Park and a scenic off-road ride along the river’s edge through Skippool.  We passed the atmospheric boat moorings with their decaying wooden piers on stilts that resemble Malaysian riverside villages. 

Advantage was taken of the public loos at the Visitor Centre at Stannah, before we regained the tarmac roads, making a bee-line through Thornton to Cleveleys, where we joined the promenaders as we made our way southwards into a stiff breeze.  Soon after passing Blackpool Tower we were led by former local lad Roy to “the finest ice cream in Blackpool” at Notarianni’s who have been serving the tourists and locals since 1928.  Some of our group fancied a more beery lunch and went ahead of the main group to the Station Pub at St Anne’s, where we re-united for a leisurely lunch break, some having brought sandwiches, and others dining out.

Jim and Ian suggested a slight deviation from the planned route, heading initially north, then east, through Westby and Wray Green on our way to Kirkham.  Our route then took us further east to Woodplumpton on the outskirts of Preston, then past Myerscough College and White Ash to St Michael’s on Wyre.  We crossed the river here and stayed close to it as we briefly revisited Hambleton. 

At this point Roy and Brian decided to head directly for home, having calculated that they would complete their hundred miles by taking the more direct route.  The rest of us still needed to notch up a few more miles, so carried on via Staynall, Stalmine and Preesall to Knott End for a late afternoon tea break.  It was now 5.30pm and the cafes were closed, but the Squash Club was happy to serve hot and cold drinks and some of us stocked up at the Co-op on edible fuel for the final push.

Suitably refreshed and with a welcome following wind we picked up the pace for the final leg back home, via Pilling and Cockerham.  At Conder Green we split up, with some taking the cycle path and others taking Ashton Road back towards Lancaster, via Stodday and Aldcliffe.

Len and I arrived back in Bolton le Sands at 7.30pm, tired but elated at clocking up 106 miles.  The pace-pushing at the end of the ride upped our average speed for the whole day to a very respectable 12.5 mph.  All 15 of us achieved our goal of the “ton-up” and agreed that this should become an annual event.

Patience Cooper

Cycling UK's Celebration of Women's Cycling, Friday 27th July 2018

On Friday 27th July a women-only ride was arranged as part of Cycling UK’s Womens’ Festival of Cycling, which saw events being organised throughout the month of July all over the country.  Unfortunately, as Social Secretary, I didn’t try hard enough to advertise the event, so only 4 of us turned up.  However we were very pleased to meet Angela Singleton for the first time, who is on our mailing list and was tempted to try this event.

We enjoyed a leisurely ride along the Lune Cycleway to Conder Green, then on to Ashton Hall Garden Centre for morning coffee.  Anne and Jan both had to be home for the afternoon, so just Angela and I extended the ride and looped around via Galgate to Scorton and a second pleasant refreshment stop at Daisy Clough, before making our way back to Conder Green via Cockerham and Glasson.  We took the cycle track as far as Aldcliffe, then went up into the village, and down to the canal-side before returning through the town centre to Millennium Bridge.  We posed for a couple of photos before taking the cycle track to Bare where we parted our ways for the return home. 

35 miles was a rewarding distance for our new recruit and we hope it will inspire her to ride with us again soon.

Ride to Cleveleys via Garstang, Thursday 2nd August 2018

Arrived in plenty of time at the Boot and Shoe to be met by Sandy and Debbie sheltering from the rain how many will have struggled to shake off Tuesday's leg aches??
Finally Norman turned with John, Ian, and Mike C, just as we were leaving Nick appeared so off we went into the rain.

Usual route through the Uni then up to Five Lane ends to turn right down Whams Lane going left at the bottom passing through Forton to arrive on the A6.
Instead on crossing the A6 which meant we would have meandered or crossed back we decided to travel down the A6 to turn left to pass Daisy Clough( get behind me Satan) into and through Scorton to arrive truly wetted at the art centre in Garstang. We were welcomed with open arms!!!!!

After a much needed break, and with the weather improving, waterproofs were stashed away and we crossed the A6 at the lights to go through Nateby then Out Rawcliffe and finally over Shard bridge (does this sound familiar to some of you????).
We then went through Poulton (and no I didn't get lost) and on via a new road to reach the A584 at Little Bispham and finally the dinner time stop at the regular fish and chip plaice (ha ha) in Cleveleys.

After dinner we went on to the promenade and headed north to Fleetwood and to our amazement the work on the prom has been finished and it is open all the way to Fleetwood. On the way to Fleetwood we fell in behind a Wyre Borough lorry who helped by clearing pedestrians out of the way so we caught the 14.45 ferry and with a nice following wind made the Pudding House in plenty of time.

All in all a great day out smashing company and for me another 50+ miles in this week with no sign of tiredness in the legs.

Jim Gardner

Ride to Dent via Ireby Green, Thursday 26th July 2018

Meeting at Kellet Crossroad we split into 3 groups. Taking the Committee’s advice, each group leader was provided with a route description sheet. There was no need to keep each group in sight and the groups were more able to pace themselves. Tim led the more agile group, I followed with a slightly more sedate party and Nick led the more leisurely group.  (my thesaurus wasn’t much help).

We proceeded via Nether Kellet towards the Redwell before dropping down to Gressingham for a general regrouping. More concerned with the self imposed ease of producing a route description, we then followed the A road via Melling and Greta Bridge to Burton in Lonsdale. (Future editions of this ride will go via Wray and Ravens Close.) From Burton we followed the pleasant lane to the cafe. I’d told the cafe to expect between 12 and 20 cyclists for coffee but when the 24 starters and a couple more arrived they easily coped and most of us enjoyed the outdoor seating.
After coffee some returned home and we split into two groups. Tim, again leading the charge and me, the calmer group, (thesaurus – dignified, sober?). However the road works on the A65 or the M6 motorway closure led to some very undignified crossing of the main road, as we scrambled between the linear car park of stopped vehicles. This had to happen 3 times as we zig- zaged between Ireby, Leck, Overtown and onto the Roman road. Clear of this mayhem we followed pleasantly into Barbondale. Over the Barbon climb and down to Dent we were ready for what the cafe, picnic or pub had to offer.

Sustained we pedalled into Sedbergh, as one group and were soon on the quiet lanes to the west of the depleted River Lune. With the sun blazing down the climb up to the T junction above Egholme Farm was always going to be tough. This however didn’t allow for the driver of an inflated SUV who forced her way alongside the stream of toiling cyclists. I saw a looming wing mirror, made an involuntary move to the left and running into the grass had to climb off. Another rider suffered in the same way and we walked the next section before we could remount. Where was Matt, with is camera, when you need him?

The descent to Rigmaden is always a pleasure and on to Kirkby Lonsdale. Here we split, with a group going to Wray for afternoon tea and the rest of us heading for Arkholme and our own homes. It was an eventful 60 miles, on one of the hottest days of the year.

Brian Greenwood

Ride to Arnside via Barbon, Sunday 15th July 2018

Once more sunshine was the order of the day as 11 riders met at Beaumont for Neil’s ride to Arnside with a coffee stop in Barbon.

Given the number of riders, it was decided to split into 2 groups with safety in mind. Len kindly offered to lead the second group, so after a short briefing we headed towards Halton, and took the turn up Kellet Lane. At this point the roads were pretty quiet and it made for relaxing cycling as the panorama opened up before us. Passing through the Kellet’s and onto Capernwray where we paused to re-assemble, the group took the turn off towards Docker Farm. We took the turn off along Keer Holme and the turning past Wash Dub Wood, the intention was, of course, to include a few extra hills, and this was serving the purpose admirably! We came out on the Burton to Kirkby Road and continued as far as the Hutton Roof turn off where we, once again, re-grouped.

Through Hutton Roof and taking the right turn to arrive at Kirkby Lonsdale after riding through High and Low Biggins, we headed for Devil’s Bridge, encountering dozens of motor bike riders, some young, some old, some even older than us! We then took the narrow track past the caravan site and onto the old Roman road, along Barbondale to the Church Mouse at Barbon, where the first group were surprised to find the second group had already arrived. We also met up with several other riders who had arrived independently. A very leisurely break was taken as we all sat outside sheltering from the hot sunshine.

A couple of riders had planned to return home after coffee and an extra rider joined us for the second leg to Arnside. Again in two groups we went back through Kirkby Lonsdale, the Biggins’s and onto Burton in Kendal.

Heading through Yealand Redmayne and Yealand Storrs we passed RSPB at Leighton Moss, Silverdale Railway Station and Waterslack before arriving at Arnside The majority of the group had sandwiches and enjoyed them on the jetty on the bay. The remaining three had their lunch in the Heron, where, once again, we were given a warm welcome. The rest of the party made their way ti the Heron for coffee and cakes, before we took our leave and headed for home via the Knot and Silverdale.

A wonderful ride on a typical (?) hot British Summer’s day in excellent company and a few marvellous quiet, hilly roads in the area which suits cycling so well! 54 miles and 4500 feet of ascent.

Neil Westwell