Cold (oh yes!) and misty early-on but a few miles done on the bike. (With freezing fingers!)
Yesterday over 10,000 and possibly 15,000 (depending on what you read) cyclists took part in this year’s Manchester Sky Ride. Along the route the roads of Manchester were closed.
Locally, around North Manchester, there are cycle routes along canal tow-paths and the Nature Trail, where you can cycle several miles traffic-free. Many local roads have cycle lanes.
Some of these routes, locally, are of course old canal tow-paths and ex-railway tracks that have been converted to footpaths and/or cycle routes. Most of them are ooparts (out-of-place-artifacts) and riding around them is like going back in time. For those as yet unfamiliar with the local routes a few photo’s are here as a route guide.
Seeking them out, with bike and camera, keeps you fit as well as being interesting.
Cooler this morning and the bike-ride, around Radcliffe and Bury roads, was easier as a result. A chance for some ‘wildlife photography’ presented itself too, along the Wellington Street Viaduct…
…as you can see, I’m no David Attenborough…
Erm, it’s a Grey Squirrel.
Warm bike-riding lately around the Bury and Radcliffe ooparts. Hogweeds will die-back from about now and Himalayan Balsam will line the local routes. This is harmless but does grow high and wild so take care if visibility is impaired by it.
Top photo is of the replaced bridge over the Elton Reservoir inlet. Around this rougher (?), northern side of the reservoir I believe other, newer, bridges have been installed and parts of the track improved. Not seen G. Hogweeds around there but H. Balsam is plentiful.
At the old footbridge next to the Wellington Street Viaduct, the overhanging trees, on the St. Gabriels side, have been shifted. They were, for folk on bikes, a nightmare!
Around the local bike-routes new Bramble shoots extend, at rider-level, across the lanes. These have myriad ultra-sharp thorns – take care.
While it’s warm folk wear shorts and sleeveless shirts. Brambles, Hogweeds and nettles are at their peak growths. Stay clear if possible.
It was already warm at eight-thirty for a ride-around Radcliffe & Bury. Everything green at Warth and a watch is being kept for a wild plant thought to be extinct – Agrostemma Githago – the Corn-Cockle. It’s poisonous with highly toxic sap…but at least it’s a native (oopart?) plant.
No ride out yesterday as working. So today an easy few miles done on the bike locally. 1970′s ? oopart on two wheels brought back to life yesterday! With 27 inch wheels to contend with (8mm axle on the front) it’s not so much the repairs as the sourcing!
(See Bike Repairs Page)
A quick ride to Radcliffe and back between showers this morning. Been keeping an eye out for young Yates from Bury in Le Tour. He was upfront yesterday.
They should put Radcliffe New Road, Ainsworh Road and Bury and Bolton Road uphills in Le Tour – that would sort Le Men from Le Boys!
Ed’s been going along The Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal to Little Lever, then down to the Manchester Arm to the Prestolee Road oopart (a nightmare on two wheels let alone one!) then to Ringley Road and then back down by Wood Street to Ringley Road Station and the Nature Trail back to Radcliffe. Along the old Manchester Arm it is, being summer, well overgrown, but still a good all-round ride with all sorts of road and track surfaces. Prestolee Road(s) shove two nasty hills into the ride too.
A fine sunny morning over the local ooparts. Rather than just roads, and in the spirit of Le Tour, a good few cobbles were ridden today.
From the neat and fairly tidy Wellington Street Viaduct the downhill path to Wellington Street, and then Hinds Lane, was taken. This is cobbled for the first 200 yards or so.
The Giant Hogweeds, at the start of this path, have been trashed and it’s okay for bikers and walkers. Along Hinds Lane, around the scaffolded bridge (near the old Benny’s/Farmers Arms oopart) are more original cobbles.
Riding over these isn’t too bad – just make sure nothing falls off your bike if it’s an oopart like mine! Shortly the Tow-Path is smooth tarmac, and apart from a few cobbles below two other bridges, an easy ride back into Radcliffe.
Ainsworth Road to Town Hall, left to Bury Road and to Manchester Road, around Manchester Old Road to the cycle-route, down to Hinds Lane and to Coney Green, back up Banana Walk – a good 7 mile circuit on my clock.
Sunny and warm this morning for a bike-ride around Radcliffe and Bury. Yesterday, Le Tour was a damp and dismal plod in rain and over nasty cobbled surfaces that caused many a crash. Luckily not too many serious injuries but Froome had to pack it in.
For a hundred yards, this morning, I went over a rough part cobbled surface, but I have the time to dodge the really bad bits as slow as I like. Le Tour riders were flying along at about 30 mph!
A dry run but everywhere was wet after night rain. Through Radcliffe and up New Road to Whitefield.
Then down the long, easy downhill Manchester Road toward Bury.
Go early and its fairly quiet traffic-wise. From the Bury Road junction up to the railway viaduct and then onto Bury & Bolton Road to come back down Grindsbrook and home. A good ride this morning and 7.78 on the clock, which was re-calibrated last night. It took five minutes under the hour including photo-stops.