Rochdale Canal Commute?

efreeti

New Member
Location
Halifax
I know there are quite a few people on here local to me so wondered if anybody had any experience of the Rochdale canal route. I did Sowerby Bridge to Todmordon on Sunday and it was a nice easy route.

According to Wikipedia the canal is now open all the way to Manchester (32 miles). This would be a great occasional commute route for me as I imagine it cuts out most of the steep bits of the Pennines.

Has anybody tried it? Is the tow path open all the way?
 

Simba

Specialized Allez 24 Rider
Yes its open all the way to Manchester, I don't use it as the path is gravel and grass, very bad for my slick tyres. But if you are up for a bike ride just let me know.
 

dan_bo

How much does it cost to Oldham?
Location
Failsworth
Give us a wave on your way past- i'm in failsworth.

The towpath is continuous until it crosses the M60 by footbridge but it's all cycle path.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
The Hebble Trail will get you most of the way from Halifax to Sowerby Bridge . From Sowerby Bridge to Littleborough is fine but I don't know what it is like from there into Manchester. You might be lucky or it might go through some dodgy areas where you might not want to be encountering the local hoodies.

Canals always miss out the steep hills - otherwise they would be called waterfalls! ;) The worst hills you'd encounter are a few rises by locks.

That would be a pretty long, slow commute. You'd be lucky to average more than 12 mph so that would be 2.5 hours each way!
 

Sun Superlight

New Member
I've cycled the Rochdale Canal route a few times and much of it is through very pleasant and enjoyable Pennine scenery.
I'd agree with Colin 531s comments though, in that it would be a slow commute over that distance.
I prefer it as a leisurely ride out with a pub stop or two, best kept for a warm day and preferably mid week when there are fewer walkers on the towpath.
 

RedBike

New Member
Location
Beside the road
I cycled the Pennine Bridleway this weekend. As I passed through Hebden Bridge, Summit, Todmordon and Littleborough I kept getting glimpes of the canal. I was highly jealous of how flat it looked as I went up hill after hill.
 
OP
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efreeti

New Member
Location
Halifax
Thanks everyone.

My main interest in the idea is that the most direct route from my house in Ripponden to work in Manchester involves about 10 miles of silly big hills (over Pennines to top of Oldham) and then 15 miles pretty much straight down hill. It would just be intense agony followed by a lot of free wheeling. The return journey would be a long slow constant up hill battle, followed by the afore mentioned intense agony. Either way it doesn't sound fun.

The canal path gives me a flatter longer route which I presume is going to be better training for the Manchester-Blackpool. It might be quicker to go as far as Rochdale on the Canal and then swap over onto Rochdale Road, straight down in to Manchester.

Think I will try it next week and see what happens. Doing the return journey as well will pretty much give me the mileage I need to build up to for July. Might aim to do that a couple of times at least in June.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Each to his/her own I suppose - I'd much rather ride up from Ripponden over the hills! It doesn't take that long to get used to them you know as long as you take your time and use low enough gears. Are you riding a mountain bike? If so, you already have the low gears. I'd certainly suggest getting slick or semi-slick tyres - that would make a huge difference compared to knobblies.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
The problem with canals in anything other than flat terrain is that they meander a lot to follow the contours. Have a look at the Leeds-Liverpool between Colne and Skipton.
 
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