Sunday, 6 April 2014

Long road home

Not been out on a nightride for a few weeks, or weekend ride either so decided I'd better get one in on my way home, Friday I warned the mrs I'd be very late, had a very rough idea of riding canals and old railway tracks and end up at the pike for sunset. Set off, bridgewater canal to start, round deansgate basin then on towards old Trafford, got kicked off the canal at united ground, not sure if its temporary or united or flexing their might and not letting ROWs under their ground.

Diversion was advertised but none existent once off the canal, managed to get back on not too much further down the line. Towpath got really muddy near the Trafford centre but not for long, works afoot, gravel surfacing, will be nice when bedded in but a bit loose now. Was nice to be riding down the quiet path, only the odd walker once out of the city, no doubt surrounded by thousands of commuters desperately trying to get home through the traffic while I spin along the serene canal. Upto Monton and onto route 55, the old train line through worsley golf club, spun up there for a while before getting kicked off, short road section then back on all the way upto Ellenbrook where I could see quite clearly the trail stopped there. The trail ahead was a right mess, torn up for the new busway some seriously easy machinery in there, ripping the trees down and tearing up the ground, costing a small fortune, hope it's gonna be worth it. (is doubtful)
So onto the road (becoming a common theme) through to tyldesley the final back onto the old line, through Howe bridge, onto the Wigan line, screwed up in Hindley, the main trail ended up under 6" of water and further on 6" of mud, done this ride once before years ago, seem to recall there was a longer route which avoided this bit, bit of navigation trouble at dangerous corner but got back on track and onto good surface around Lowe hall park and onto the Wigan cycle way, whoosh high speed all the way upto the canal and up to top lock and onto the Leeds Liverpool canal. Was pretty tired by now  but managed to keep up the speed, was getting late and rivi still looked a long way off. Surface was mixed but mainly ok, after red rock it got a bit slow going then some more surfacing work but some of the wonkiest I've ever ridden along, got battered. Rolled into adlington pretty whacked, took the road to get upto rivi, snack above adlington, seriously needed a refuel.

I struggled up sheep house lane to top car park, was still just ahead of the sun, whoop, but could I climb AICR? As it ruined out yes, somehow made it up to George's lane, no chance of getting to the pike tho, rode upto the switchbacks then this being a cx bike, picked it up and ran up the steps to the top - ok, ok you got me, I actually walked wearily up to the pike.

Couldn't believe I had lucked out and timed it perfectly (quite by accident) took in the view for a while, a few snaps then down off the drops, obviously rode the full on mince line and easy does it down the ruts but cleaned it, impressed. Shifted down George's, had planned to do wildes but light was fading and I was pretty tired so gave it a miss, did drop into Acron village tho, was a wild ride down then sprinted through the village, whoop, cx bikes are awesome. Finished off dropping into barrow bridge by the dim light of my joystick then spun into town for a hard earned kebab (chicken obviously, my body is a temple) 43 miles in 4.5 hours not very quick but less nav stops next time should be quicker, 13 miles in the morning gets me my longest ride this year I think, hopefully will do this route again soon.

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