The Boot and Shoe to Calder Vale - Sunday May 20th

Sunday 20th May dawned bright, warm and sunny for the planned ‘bluebell ride’ and around a dozen riders turned out to see the spectacle of the flowers in the woods surrounding Calder Vale. It was really pleasing that some riders not seen for quite some time felt able to join us - Ray and Linda coming down from Carnforth and Audrey testing out her new electric bike amongst them. She was the envy of many of us when we tackled the steep climbs that were to come. 

The ride set off, first along the canal and then the cycle path to Glasson Dock, before taking Jeremy Lane to Cockerham and then to the new, for us anyway, cafe, Bridge 64. The staff were over-run with customers so our coffee stop was rather longer than the leader had planned. However we met up with some other club riders who joined us at the cafe so convivial chat was the order of the day.

Suitably refreshed we continued on, crossing the A6 and into Garstang, before following Route 6 via Sandholme Mill, all the way to Inglewhite. Given the time spent at morning coffee it was agreed that lunch should be eaten in Inglewhite, rather than Chipping, apart from two riders who forged on to the original lunch spot, and another who returned back to Lancaster. 

The group then headed roughly north, avoiding the one way system of Beacon Fell and then rejoined the more traditional route from Chipping at Higher Brock Mill. Audrey’s bike came into it’s own on the steep ascents at Higher Brock Mill and Jack Anderton Bridge. Regrouping at this point the last climb before the bluebells, High Moor, was tackled  before turning off at Rough Moor to Calder Vale School and a first viewing of the magnificent bluebells on the steep and winding footpath down to the village and the welcome afternoon tea provided by the Calder Vale WI and St John’s Church. Here yet more club members greeted us, one sporting a new knee! Everyone agreed that this had been a very enjoyable, social ride where meeting friends was as important as the riding itself. 

However it had not necessarily been an easy route as Harris End Fell had yet to be climbed before making our way back to Lancaster via Street, Five Lanes End and Galgate. Everyone agreed that those club members who chose to garden or attend to housework had missed a rare treat!!