England : Lancashire Scenic ride - Cross o' Greet, Wray, Bowland Knotts - Sat, 6th August?

Good stuff :-)

They won't be coming along the B road from Newton as Colin has a gravel-strewn lane he feels obliged to cycle along, bypassing Newton, which means they'll come down the switchback hill from the direction of Wigglesworth (from where the Streetview view you posted is facing). Handily, there is now a bench to the left of the drinking fountain you can see on Streetview. There are also several benches on the open grassy area by the river, at the bottom of said switchback and about 100m. beyond the view you posted.

Thanks - local knowledge is priceless as ever.

The bench by the drinking fountain sounds good to me.

My arthritis means standing about for very long is not ideal, so I would have been looking for a perch.

Do I get the impression you may now be joining us a bit further along the route?

Either way, look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
 
Do I get the impression you may now be joining us a bit further along the route?
It depends how rapidly they get to Slaidburn. In theory, I'll leave home at 10 and come over the Cross of Greet, arriving at the bench by the drinking fountain / memorial at just about 1130. If I don't make it by then I'll be on the way down along the road which you'll be coming up so no need to wait in Slaidburn. Later on, I'll be peeling off left after Bowland Knotts, at the junction where you go right back to Slaidburn.

Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Sorry for my absence from the thread on Friday. My sister has been up and wanted a guided tour of West Yorkshire and Derbyshire between here and Bakewell so we were out all day. She is making a shortlist of nice places to consider moving to when she retires in a few years time.

Apart from that I have been fettling my CAAD5 for the ride. I wasn't going to finish in time so I put the old chain and wheels back on rather than messing about setting up the new transmission that I have for it.

I hadn't realised that the mounting bracket for my old Garmin GPS does not fit the new oversized bars. I have bodged it on for now using a self-tapping screw ...let's hope it doesn't fall off on the ride. (I could probably navigate this route from memory, but I'd rather not have to collect bits of broken GPS from the gutter ...)

Work has won, I'm afraid, which requires my presence tomorrow morning :sad:
Sorry I can't join you.
Have a good ride chaps.
Oh well, another time then!

I'll just watch the highlights of the Vuelta a Borgos and then grab a quick 5 hours sleep.

See anyone who turns up at Spring Wood there, and SoV and PR at Slaidburn.
 

Svendo

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Location
Walsden
Have a good ride chaps. I'm on family duties this weekend, visiting Hebden Bridge Vintage Rally. (I may get out early tomorrow for a leg stretcher if I can get up in time.) I also have a sore bum after being sideswiped by a lady in a car who turned left with me in Littleborough this week, so a long ride isn't really on either.
 
Another great ride, Colin. I look forward to the ride report. That lane from Tatham Fell to Wray was a very nice surprise and I'll certainly be 'using' it again sometime - what a perfect surface!

A good call on my part going back over Bowland Knotts to make it 'both sides of both' as I certainly won't be choosing to do that rather odd combination again in a hurry (loops being more pleasing). It ramped the ascent up to 2,400m. in 102km. or 'pretty hilly really'.
 
I had my doubts about cyclists coming from different directions managing to meet, but I shouldn't have worried.

We all arrived at Slaidburn within a short time of each other, so what could be called the northern loop of the ride was taken on by me, @ColinJ, @Sea of vapours, and Colin's chums Bill, Kevin and Carrie.

It was a typical Colin ride, well thought-out route through glorious scenery, but lots of climbing, including a couple of multi-km drags of which there seem to be several in this part of the world.

My ebike means I can whirr up them OK, but the descending doesn't appeal to me in quite the same way as it does most roadies.

Descents I've never ridden before, bends, potholes, gravel and oncoming traffic made for a couple of nervous moments.

But we arrived at the coffee stop at Wray with no serious drama.

It's a decent cafe, but there was a bit of - to use a north east phrase - mithering from the staff, first we were at the wrong table, then they wanted us to help them move it, then I was in the way sitting on a stone bench because they had to set up a barbecue, then my bike was in the way.

The next 'then' was either going to me getting cross, or us leaving - happily it was the latter.

At least the food was OK, although so it should have been at six quid for a sausage bun and coffee.

Plenty more climbing to be done on the way back to Slaidburn, including what I think was the longest ascent of the day.

I decided to have a bit of a go at that one, thinking on the ebike I might be first to the top.

Carrie and @Sea of vapours overhauled me in the last few hundred metres.

Good effort from them, as it was from the others who were only a few minutes behind.

About 40 miles for me, which - perhaps partly due to a couple of light ales last night - proved to be plenty.

Another enjoyable ride in good company.

Here's a pic atop one of the climbs.

Bill is on the left, then @Sea of vapours who looks like a proper cyclist and is one, Kevin, @ColinJ, and the pocket powerhouse that is Carrie, who after the Humber Bridge ride now feels obliged to stand on tip-toe for every forum pic.

Bowland.jpg
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Well, I suppose it is time for me to report! As you can see - I did actually survive the ride, but I felt a bit tired on Saturday evening and was busy yesterday and this afternoon, hence the delay ...

The weather was fine and sunny. I put sun block on for one of the rare times this year, but I didn't go quite high enough on one arm and it nearly burned. It was very red when I got home, but I just got away with it. Still, too much sun is a good problem to have!

Bill drove me over to Spring Wood so I didn't have to add the extra miles up and down the A646/A671. Carrie and Kevin were waiting when we got there. We dithered about a bit and finally set off at about 10:10.

We had an easy warm-up on the drag up to Cow Ark where we turned right and headed along a nice lane to the B6478 above Slaidburn. I remembered there being nice views from that road, and some steep downhills. I had forgotten that there is some climbing on it too, and Sea of Vapours was right - the surface is gravelly and broken up in several places. I like the road but would advise anybody venturing down there to exercise caution!

We managed to get to Slaidburn at about the time that we'd said we would, and met up with SoV and Pale Rider as planned. I seem to be slower than everyone else on the climbs and the Cross of Greet is a long one so I watched as my companions slowed pulled away from me. It is a bit frustrating that my fitness is not improving faster than it is, but there is no point in busting a gut trying to stay with fitter riders early in a long ride and then struggling later. I just pace myself well and can keep going all day. If I rushed in the first half of the ride, something would give later on!

I had told everyone that we would be going up a lovely lane that I had found from Ivah near Lowgill to Wray. When I did it last year with @Littgull the climb up from the river Hindburn was on a horribly broken up road surface but the descent to Wray after that was on immaculate tarmac. Good news ... the resurfacing has been continued nearly down to the river. It is now a real gem of a road! The views are superb - the Three Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales over to the E/NE and the Cumbrian hills to the N/NW. I think we will all head out that way again.

I finally caught up with everyone at the cafe in Wray. I quite liked it, but it is on the pricey side. I missed out on the situation with Pale Rider. He and SoV were sheltering from the sun near the cafe entrance, but I was sitting with Kevin and Carrie in a sunny spot across the yard.

After the cafe we headed east towards Keasden on undulating but gradually ascending roads. We came to a crossroads there, and turned right onto the foot of the climb to Bowland Knotts. I had been fooled by that ascent the first time that I tackled it. You think that you can see the summit ahead of you after a long drag upwards, but when you crest that summit, it soon becomes obvious that you are only about halfway up. The road eases off for a short distance and then kicks up again. It did my head in that first time, but I was ready for it on Saturday.

Kevin and I brought up the rear as the others went on ahead. When we got up to the true summit we found SoV and PR waiting. Carrie had gone just over the summit and was sunbathing in a wind-free spot on the other side. Bill had decided that it was too cold up there and had continued part of the way down the descent. He is skinny and feels the cold!

I set off after Bill and the others followed me down. Bill crashed on that descent when I first did it with him about 15 years ago! He had got distracted by the views, and had ridden off the road into a ditch and catapulted over the bars onto a dry stone wall. He had hurt his head, but fortunately not seriously - it is a remote spot and help would not have arrived quickly! In fact, it is the kind of location where you might not get a phone signal and it could be a long way to the nearest available landline. Anyway, no accidents on Saturday!

We rode down through Gisburn Forest to Stocks Reservoir and then climbed back up to the crossroads on the B6478.

SoV had originally planned to head home from there via Wigglesworth, but I think the sun must have gone to his head because he u-turned and rode back up Bowland Knotts in the opposite direction to his first ascent. So, he did both of the big climbs of the day in both directions - mad, but impressive!

PR turned right and headed back to his starting point in Slaidburn.

Bill, Carrie, Kevin and I headed back together. The road climbs another km from the crossroads and then there is a superb 7.5 km descent through Holden to Sawley. I had been very pleasantly surprised the first time that I rode down there - it just seems to go on forever, which is odd considering that it 'only' drops about 200 metres vertically.

After Sawley there is an undulating but straightforward ride back to Spring Wood via Grindleton, West Bradford, Waddington, Bashall Town, Mitton and Whalley.

Bill and I said farewell to Carrie and Kevin and drove back to my place where I was dropped off. I had a quick shower and then made myself a snack and a pint mug of coffee and settled down to watch my recording of the women's Olympic Road Race. I was enjoying that whennnnnnnnnnn ... SUDDENLY I ATTEMPTED TO BURN MY GENITALS OFF WITH HOT COFFEE!!!! :eek:

I had only dozed off with half a pint of coffee still in the mug in my hand! I ran into the kitchen and chucked a load of cold water over myself to reduce the risk of burns. I was lucky in that the coffee must have cooled significantly before I spilled it. My flesh was singed but not scalded! The ride must have taken more out of me than I'd thought. Mind you, only having 3.5 hours sleep beforehand probably didn't help ... :whistle:

Another great day out on the bikes - thanks for the company everyone!

I'll probably be doing that ride again next summer, so keep your eyes open if you fancy joining us in 2017 - @potsy - get in training now! :okay:
 
Well, I suppose it is time for me to report! As you can see - I did actually survive the ride, but I felt a bit tired on Saturday evening and was busy yesterday and this afternoon, hence the delay ...

The weather was fine and sunny. I put sun block on for one of the rare times this year, but I didn't go quite high enough on one arm and it nearly burned. It was very red when I got home, but I just got away with it. Still, too much sun is a good problem to have!

Bill drove me over to Spring Wood so I didn't have to add the extra miles up and down the A646/A671. Carrie and Kevin were waiting when we got there. We dithered about a bit and finally set off at about 10:10.

We had an easy warm-up on the drag up to Cow Ark where we turned right and headed along a nice lane to the B6478 above Slaidburn. I remembered there being nice views from that road, and some steep downhills. I had forgotten that there is some climbing on it too, and Sea of Vapours was right - the surface is gravelly and broken up in several places. I like the road but would advise anybody venturing down there to exercise caution!

We managed to get to Slaidburn at about the time that we'd said we would, and met up with SoV and Pale Rider as planned. I seem to be slower than everyone else on the climbs and the Cross of Greet is a long one so I watched as my companions slowed pulled away from me. It is a bit frustrating that my fitness is not improving faster than it is, but there is no point in busting a gut trying to stay with fitter riders early in a long ride and then struggling later. I just pace myself well and can keep going all day. If I rushed in the first half of the ride, something would give later on!

I had told everyone that we would be going up a lovely lane that I had found from Ivah near Lowgill to Wray. When I did it last year with @Littgull the climb up from the river Hindburn was on a horribly broken up road surface but the descent to Wray after that was on immaculate tarmac. Good news ... the resurfacing has been continued nearly down to the river. It is now a real gem of a road! The views are superb - the Three Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales over to the E/NE and the Cumbrian hills to the N/NW. I think we will all head out that way again.

I finally caught up with everyone at the cafe in Wray. I quite liked it, but it is on the pricey side. I missed out on the situation with Pale Rider. He and SoV were sheltering from the sun near the cafe entrance, but I was sitting with Kevin and Carrie in a sunny spot across the yard.

After the cafe we headed east towards Keasden on undulating but gradually ascending roads. We came to a crossroads there, and turned right onto the foot of the climb to Bowland Knotts. I had been fooled by that ascent the first time that I tackled it. You think that you can see the summit ahead of you after a long drag upwards, but when you crest that summit, it soon becomes obvious that you are only about halfway up. The road eases off for a short distance and then kicks up again. It did my head in that first time, but I was ready for it on Saturday.

Kevin and I brought up the rear as the others went on ahead. When we got up to the true summit we found SoV and PR waiting. Carrie had gone just over the summit and was sunbathing in a wind-free spot on the other side. Bill had decided that it was too cold up there and had continued part of the way down the descent. He is skinny and feels the cold!

I set off after Bill and the others followed me down. Bill crashed on that descent when I first did it with him about 15 years ago! He had got distracted by the views, and had ridden off the road into a ditch and catapulted over the bars onto a dry stone wall. He had hurt his head, but fortunately not seriously - it is a remote spot and help would not have arrived quickly! In fact, it is the kind of location where you might not get a phone signal and it could be a long way to the nearest available landline. Anyway, no accidents on Saturday!

We rode down through Gisburn Forest to Stocks Reservoir and then climbed back up to the crossroads on the B6478.

SoV had originally planned to head home from there via Wigglesworth, but I think the sun must have gone to his head because he u-turned and rode back up Bowland Knotts in the opposite direction to his first ascent. So, he did both of the big climbs of the day in both directions - mad, but impressive!

PR turned right and headed back to his starting point in Slaidburn.

Bill, Carrie, Kevin and I headed back together. The road climbs another km from the crossroads and then there is a superb 7.5 km descent through Holden to Sawley. I had been very pleasantly surprised the first time that I rode down there - it just seems to go on forever, which is odd considering that it 'only' drops about 200 metres vertically.

After Sawley there is an undulating but straightforward ride back to Spring Wood via Grindleton, West Bradford, Waddington, Bashall Town, Mitton and Whalley.

Bill and I said farewell to Carrie and Kevin and drove back to my place where I was dropped off. I had a quick shower and then made myself a snack and a pint mug of coffee and settled down to watch my recording of the women's Olympic Road Race. I was enjoying that whennnnnnnnnnn ... SUDDENLY I ATTEMPTED TO BURN MY GENITALS OFF WITH HOT COFFEE!!!! :eek:

I had only dozed off with half a pint of coffee still in the mug in my hand! I ran into the kitchen and chucked a load of cold water over myself to reduce the risk of burns. I was lucky in that the coffee must have cooled significantly before I spilled it. My flesh was singed but not scalded! The ride must have taken more out of me than I'd thought. Mind you, only having 3.5 hours sleep beforehand probably didn't help ... :whistle:

Another great day out on the bikes - thanks for the company everyone!

I'll probably be doing that ride again next summer, so keep your eyes open if you fancy joining us in 2017 - @potsy - get in training now! :okay:

The cafe 'situation' was neither nowt nor something, certainly not worth looking for somewhere else for the next edition of the ride, given it's ideally placed at half-way, the food is good, there's plenty of room for bikes, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Your climbing needs to be put in context.

Yes, Carrie was sunbathing and I was smoking a cigar at the top of the longest climb by the time you'd arrived.

But neither of us had been there more than a few minutes - I was only part way through one of my miniatures which don't burn for very long.

Ninety-nine percent of the population - including me - couldn't climb those banks on a pushbike.

It was a challenging route even for an experienced cyclist, so anyone who gets around it without pushing is doing very well.

Your climbing pace will be fine for me when we do the Isle of Mull, particularly if I'm still allowed to stop for a few minutes at the top.
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Your climbing pace will be fine for me when we do the Isle of Mull, particularly if I'm still allowed to stop for a few minutes at the top.
I will be happy to ride at any pace fast enough to get us back in time for the last ferry without having to rush towards the end, and allowing a sensible margin for fixing any punctures. I will have to check the ferry times and distances, but I don't think we would need to average a higher speed than we do here.
 
The 'cafe situation' was nothing Colin. Nothing in the sense of 'nothing to suggest not going there again' anyway. It was more comic than anything else: basically, we'd put ourselves exactly where they were about to do all sorts of setting up of stuff for some booked guests. Had it not been for liking the sun protection from the awning we'd have moved at the first 'table booked' instance. The best bit was the 'can you help us move the table which we won't let you sit at' aspect - most amusing :-)

As to climbing speed: Carrie and Pale Rider were 'going for it a bit' up Bowland Knotts I think, as was Carrie on the Cross of Greet (I was merely tracking Carrie), and you were only five minutes behind.
 
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ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Carrie has always been superfit. She only rode mountain bikes when I first met her about 15 years ago and she never bothered to go fast offroad, though I could see that she could if she wanted to. Since she got that road bike though she seems to have unleashed her inner competitor. She never dropped me on our mountain bike rides, but she drops me on every road climb now! Worse than that, she has even dropped me on the flat which shouldn't really be possible given our relative sizes. The only time she struggles is when there are strong cross/headwinds. Being so tiny, she gets blown about all over the place.

I am trying to persuade her to have a go at the annual Cragg Vale hillclimb event. I think she could do a good time up there, unless it happened to be a very windy day.

If I really was only 5 minutes behind on those long climbs then that cheers me up. I wasn't climbing at maximum effort so maybe I could have done them a couple of minutes faster. You all disappeared from view so quickly that I thought you must have been waiting 10 or 15 minutes for me!
 
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I'm sure she'd do pretty well on a hill climb, yes.

I was at the top for eleven minutes in total, so subtract however long you were there from that. It was not much anyway, and Carrie was definitely setting a good pace in the bid to catch Rob.
 
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