Four men started from the Boot & Shoe on a cold morning, and were soon joined by another as we crossed the A6 to ride along Ashton Road, over the Stodday hump and then a left up Tarnwater to get warmed up on the short climb, to take Highland Brow to Conder Green (another hump). Continuing the process of avoiding the A588, we crossed and took the back lane via Glasson to Higher Thurnham, staying thereafter on the A588 to turn left for the road to Old Holly Farm for a welcome warm, coffee and cakes and a meeting with three riders who’d made it there without our help.
After the break, we continued, with an extra one who’d joined us from Preston. Summarising a zigzaggy route, we crossed the A6 and took route 6 until we turned left to pass Claughton on Brock RC Church, with a quick L/R shimmy to bump down to Walmesley Bridge, where the leader got the map out for several lefts and rights through Whitechapel, ending up at the Cobbled Corner cafe and the Sun inn in Chipping for lunch. Our Preston rider sat in front of the church in a short spasm of sunshine, out of the wind, to eat his sandwiches, before he retired to join 3 of us in the pub.
After lunch we lost our Preston rider who escaped down Windy Street back home. Our route was now straightforward, taking us through Bleasdale, up Delph Lane, through Oakenclough and below Harris End Fell, to join route 6 for the return via Galgate and the University to Lancaster.