Friday had me preping the bike for todays ride. What I thought was a faulty wheel bearing wasn’t which is just as well as I would have had trouble sorting it. energy drink was prepared too as I didn’t want a last minute rush.
I’d set off in good time for the start and made the home of the co-op, Rochdale in good time. Finding the start proved to be a bit more problamaticle. I’d stopped at a garage for directions and the chap I showed the map to said it looked nothing like the route to the start. Another two people were stopped and I made the signing on with less than ten minutes to spare. Ray and Craig were there and Ray had found me a spot to park, thanks Ray.
With the Edge set to Navigate route it was right at the mini roundabout just down the hill from the pub. After a while we took the Todmorden Road and passed through Calderbrook and summit. Todmorden had barely woken up when we went through. The route was mainly A roads but traffic was reasonable and before you know it we are in Burnley. Around here we have our first stop for food and water.
Our next stop after this is Gisburn where we have to note what is behind the toilets. There has been a fair bit of climbing and a fast descent to get to Gisburn.
Once on Mill lane we are on a different ride, off A roads it’s a lot quieter, It’s a sunny day and the views are great. Further on it’s Bolton by Bowland heading towards the next stop at Waddington.
The original cafe checkpoint has closed so it is a couple of K’s further on we stop at at Bashall Town shop/ cafe/brewery. Here Ray and I decide to have an ice cream. It is the middle of Febuary after all. Ray asks for the one with two scoops, so I’ve got to have the same. Now I wasn’t expecting what came , Ray certainly wasn’t these things were monsters. We were laughing like kids trying to eat them.
In the village before this picture the signs were telling us to go in one direction and the Edges in another. We followed the Edge which is always proving to be the right thing to do these days. Late in the ride when we are hooked up with some local riders we come to a roundabout with multiple exits . The locals take the second exit and stop as we go past the first exit the Edge is saying we should have took the first. Two of the group later pass us on a climb and say we are on the right route.
Rays been on fine form today there were a few times when I was in danger of getting dropped. On one of the climbs back to Rochdale Ray was leading out Rochdale Triathlon Club members. Craig and I were down the road wondering if they where going to give him an honary membership. Lots of the climbs were at a 5% gradient the steepest gradient on the day comes out at nearly 15%. If you look at the route profile in Motionbased it has us climbing 5,454 ft, the Edge had it coming out at 4754. Either way it’s a fair bit of climbing when you’re used to a flat Wirral and the Cheshire plains.
On the descent int Rochdale we pick up a local rider while waiting at a set of roadwork traffic lights. The descents have proved to be good as the Edge has me clocking 39 mph on one of them. The cycle lanes have curb stone lane separators every couple of hundred yards to force the cars out of the gutter. Cycles pass straight through, they seem to work. Anyway as I’ve got through a set of light near Rochdale Town hall I have to wait for the others, the Edge is saying left at the next set of lights. Our newly aquired riding buddy tells Ray he knows a short cut back to the start.
So right at the lights it was, now I’d been this way in the morning when I got lost. It was up the hill to the set of lights at Drake Street, along Drake Street right at MFI and a couple more turns and we end up in Mattalan car park dodging Saturday afternoon shoppers. It gets better, as we go down Oldham road under the rail bridge the traffic becomes gridlocked by roadworks further on. Now some of us are filtering down the outside of the traffic, our new guide is doing 20 mph down the pavement past rows of shops.
This stops at the next set of lights when we are in the same boat as the traffic. A bus picking up at every stop is our next hold up but it’s soon past and we veer of down a one way street marked on the route and back to the start. The pub is busy with customers and wedding parties but we find the control point in one of the rooms at the front. Once signed in it was a well deserved pie and peas to finnish what had been another great day.
It had been sunny throughout the day, blue skies and very little wind. The scenery has been good with rolling hills dotted with sheep. I’d say Cheshire is more cows as there is a lot more slurry on the roads, Yorkshire seemed free of it.
Stats: 75 miles, averageing 13.6 mph, max 39mph, 4726 calories burnt, Gaining 5454 ft and losing 5448 ft. Average heartrate 128/9 bpm for 5 hours 28 minutes. Max 167 bpm.