Wednesday, 9 April 2014


For when singlespeed just isn't stupid enough! This lot are quite frankly mental. Took the long way home again, this time with more proper climbing. Took the outwood trail all the way to Radcliffe then jumped onto the bury canal, cobbletastic! Rattled my way out of town and then lo and behold more towpath upgrades, lovely. Spun up towards Elton, trail went a bit wonky there but got across Bury town centre without much trouble and joined the totty trail section of NCN route 6, some highly dubious signage sent me off course twice but eventually got on to some pristine tarmac that takes you from bury to greenmount traffic free, just the one ubiquitous busy road to cross with a pelican crossing that took an age to change. Through tatty tho it was lovely, lots of houses backing onto the trail and the majority of owners seem to take care of the scrubland between their house and the trail, was even a guy shovelling and sweeping winter run off and windfall from the trail. Nice! In greenmount, as so often happens, the dashed black lines on the map that looked like a straight route wasn't visible on the ground, road around to holcombe then i rode up the helmshore road, my legs grumbled, turned onto the bridleway too early up a silly steep cobble section, ouch went my legs, eurgh went the rest of my body as I rattled my way up. I ignored the bridleway straight up to the tower and back onto the road, not much further along I finally turned onto moor top. 63" is way too much for this stuff but I muscled and thrutched and swore my way up, finally got to the switchback and the gradient eased as I rode to the tower. Some nice views so decided I'd better stop and get some pics, got back on the bike and almost immediately found (and surpassed) the limits of the lateral/off camber grip of my tyres. A slick layer over a firm trail base meant my tyres slid for a hella long time before dumping me on the deck, covered in cold wet mud, nice.
 Down the steep hill road and off around the moor, tough going on my tired legs but doable, rode around to quarleton heights, had to push up the two stepped sections then ground my way up and around to the body farm. Fast downhill past crowthorne and down to entwistle, hit the tarmac climb from the res to The Duck with a lot of speed which disappeared very bloody quickly and I was using my whole body to eke out enough power to keep the pedals turning, around turton res, a carry up some steps at the far end, around the roller coaster (no chance of climbing the 2 steep sections) I hit greenmount road as a road club came passed so I jumped on my bike and rode the dirt track to turton tower with a notion of catching the club with my shortcut. Puddle infested section plus walkers meant I had to slow to a crawl at the tower so I got back onto the road just behind the club, the climb to the kings head got me pretty close behind (must be the club's easy paced group) got right up behind them in time for the downhill to turton school and drafted them down. Onto the chicken run at the bottom then home via the valley where more towpath works were in evidence, I'm liking this new push for upgrading traffic free paths, just wish they'd stick to urban stuff instead of also steamrollering sections of the lakes.

Had to hose down my burning legs when I got back, seems to have worked, just feeling a little tired this morning. Another long commute and i managed to ride more than I expected to, really would quite like some gears on this bike now tho please....

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