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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Lancashire bites back - Day 8

Kelbrook to Manchester - 57 miles.

Bikes cleaned in the morning - thanks Philip.

Out of Kelbrook to seek out an entirely cycle network, mostly traffic free route into Manchester.
Steep, steep hill out of Salterforth.  Thank goodness for local cyclists giving us directions to the vanished signs for the network.

Along the canal super ride.  Off the canal, struggling to keep up with the route signs up some long, long, long hills.  Jake rode alongside Terry, a mountain biker who paced him to the top with Nic getting there but much slower.  Down into Lumb Valley, then up through Cloughfold.  Lost on the outskirts of Manchester as the signs off the canal petered out again.  We happened on the route and went down a track that was most definitely NOT bike friendly rocks, mud, stones, nasty slippery stones and big obstacles to lift the bikes over.

We ended up in Irwell Vale - beautiful, met Neil and his wife (carrying 3 cold, baked potatoes for the chickens) and they set us on the right road into Manchester.

Lost again we had a tip from a chap that there was a Nature Trail into Salford that started, "Just behind Asda."  Ah, ha our lost cycle route.  Great route in - no traffic but after the rain of the previous couple of days it was a mountain bikers dream, not for touring bikes and a road bike.  Jake loved it, of course until Crash! Slippery gravel, a stone pinged under Jake's wheel and down he came.  Up he got, great scrape below his knee and on we pedalled.

We reached the Holiday Inn at 9:00pm a very long day, crammed in a salad and piece of pizza courtesy Sainsbury's and the local take-away.

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