Ride from Preston Dock to Rufford, Sunday 10th February, 2019

A small group of 5 riders met at the Car Park on the quay wall at Preston Dock on Sunday for a car-assisted ride, starting in cloudy, cold weather and led by Mike Bridges.  They headed east along the Preston Guild Wheel then south along the Old Tramway (NCN Route 55) to Walton Park, using back roads and cycle routes to bypass most of the traffic through Penwortham and Leyland as far as Worden Park.  A short wintry shower caused waterproofs to be donned.

Having reached Worden Park in Leyland, the continued using NCN Route 91 southwards, bypassing Croston to reach Eccleston for a break at the friendly Manna cafĂ©.  The weather remained cold and clear with sunny periods and no further rain.  One member returned to the start at this point.

The others continued gently then more steeply upwards to the highest point of the day at Harrock Hill, where an extensive view northwards was enjoyed.  The sights included Preston in the middle distance, with a backdrop extending from Heysham via the Bowland Fells to Winter Hill.  Descending, the group followed minor and B roads to reach the lunch spot at the Boat House Brasserie.

A short distance on the A 59 brought the group to another section of Route 91 from Sollom to Bretherton, crossing Red Bridge over the Douglas on route to Bretherton, with extensive views across the Lancashire Plain to the West Pennine Moors.  More minor roads took the group to Walmer Bridge then via Hall Bridge to Longton, Hutton, to reach Penwortham.

A quiet cycle route traversed Penwortham and descended to the river for the last leg to Preston Dock.  A most enjoyable ride, giving a pleasant introduction to an area not often visited by the Lancaster and South Lakes Group.