I've been doing my usual commute for quite a few years and in all that time I've spoken to about 2 people (not including "hi" to bikers and profanity at idiot drivers) Occasionally I take a different route home, this year I've been through cheetham hill/whitefield about half a dozen times and I've already chatted to 2 bikers. First my doppelganger the other week then a nice young lady last night who puts my 3 or 4 commutes per week to shame, she does Darwen to manchester EVERY day, she drives into work monday with bike and gear and leaves car there til friday. She drafted me for a while then showed me a shortcut - well not much shorter but it dodges a shedload of traffic - through radcliffe. She's also a mountain biker and a HTN-er like the guy the other week and she does the brownbacks series too.
Seems the A666 is a road of solitude while all the chatty people are down the A665.