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!