Favourite Routes and Rides

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Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 18 Mar 2016, 12:22

Got the bikes back out yesterday as it was such a nice day. Quite a while since I had been on my bike as last summer was spent doing the kitchen. I think I got out an odd time but nowhere near as often as in the earlier part of the year. My shoulder is mending up but I still know it's there so I was interested to see how I would go on the bike.

A gentle introduction for the for the first run, a straight out and back on more or less the same track. Canal corridor to Barrowford locks and back. This was the very same route I did as the first training session for the coast to coast. 11.5 miles predominantly on the flat, a few minor rises on the road bits between the entrance to the mile tunnel at Foulridge and the other end taking in part of the old railway track bed from the sailing club through to Slipper Hill. The canal towpath is good on the Lancashire side with the exception of the frequent pinch point gates where the handlebars will not quite fit so you have to stop and wriggle your way through. I think the idea is to keep motorbikes off the towpath but they are a bit of a hindrance to push bikes considering that the towpaths are part of the National Cycling Paths Network. I would not say that this is actually a favourite route but it is a good benchmark for measuring improvement. We completed it 15minutes faster than the first time we did it without rushing, this included a 10 minute stop at Barrowford. Probably down to a higher cadence, I know I stayed on the same front chain ring for the whole route only using the rear.

Shoulder held up until the last couple of miles, any incline where you tend to pull against the bars and It started to show the strain, the rise of Kelbrook Road back into Barlick a case in point. Not excessive by any means. I will have to mend it up a bit more before I venture into the longer routes around the Forest of Bowland or up into the Dales.
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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 20 Apr 2016, 18:14

I went on a decent walk yesterday so the sustained weather advantage had us with the bikes out for the second foray. Out of Barlick and down to West Marton, straight over the A59 and onto Marton Road road past Gledstone, through Bank Newton and on to Gargrave. Hills in the way on this one a few drumlins to negotiate heading towards the dales. We had 15 minutes down by the river and then set off back the way we came. Sorry Maz if you are reading this but I had my Lycra shorts on, T shirt and just my fluorescent top, too much it turned out, I had to lose the top layer for the ride back. It was quite warm in the sun and both of us have caught a bit of a tan on the face and arms. We did reasonably OK on the hills to say that we have not been out for quite a while. My shoulder was making itself known by the time I got back to Marton but it held up a lot longer than on the last ride. We came onto the canal bank at Southfield bridge and up to the locks. Out onto Greeberfield Lane and then through past the allotments and Victory Park, Skipton Rd and home. 17.7 miles, 1h 56min including our stop, a nice afternoon out in the sun and more calories earned than I can eat.

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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by Stanley » 21 Apr 2016, 03:11

You woke memories of long ago......
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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 04 May 2016, 21:30

Quite an eventful day today, we walked Monday and Tuesday so decided to get the bikes out today. It was a gorgeous day so we togged up in the required Lycra and set of for a nice afternoon ride.

Out of town down Skipton Road and over to West Marton, down Gledstone Road and then after a couple of miles took the left fork to go over Swinden to Nappa. This is where it went bad for me when starting the steepest bit of the climb over Swinden Top. I was on the largest ring (3) on the front cassette and as the hill got a bit steeper I knocked the left lever down one to the lower ring, problem was it didn't engage but jammed solid and brought the bike to a sudden halt. Fortunately there was a grass verge at the side of the road which I crashed into. Unfortunately it was thick with thistles and nettles so I ended up nettled down my left forearm and backside (Lycra is not very forgiving in this regard) and thistle whipped down my left leg, my right calf had slammed into the front cassette and has inherited a nice lump which without doubt will turn into a decent bruise. Pride hurt more than anything else. I tweaked the tension screw on the left handlebar changer to give a temporary fix to the changing problem, I will have to take a closer look at this before our next outing to get a smooth change.

After picking myself up we made it to the top of the hill where I was going to put my flashing strobe rear light on before hitting the main Gisburn - Long Preston road. I stopped and reached round to switch the light on but found that it had broken off its mount and was probably on the verge at the bottom of the hill. I certainly wasn't going back for it, it cost me all of £4.99 for the whole light set from Aldi. We carried on down to the main road and did the one and half miles down to our turn off down to Halton West.we stopped for 5 minutes down at the bridge over the Ribble for a water break.

Onward through Halton West and then took the Bolton by Bowland fork then the road down into Paythorne, we stopped here for 10 minutes for biscuits and a bit more water. It's quite a climb after crossing the river again up to the old Toll House at the junction with the man road. We were both quite pleased that despite our 12 month layoff we managed to beat this climb without getting off, I was panting a bit by the top though!

Back out on the main road again and down to Newsholme to pick up Knot Lane over to Horton. It's probably 18 months since I have been down here on a regular basis. The road surface has worsened considerably in that time and there are large sections with the top surface missing interspersed with lots of potholes. We normally take extra care on here as the main traffic tends to be farm machinery. We were picking our way around the potholes and making steady progress. At one point on the lane we had no option but to be in the middle of the lane due to the holes at each side and the amount of loose material on the surface. I was approaching a right hand bend in the road and made it to a stable surface just as an approaching car came round the bend on the single track road. I reckoned it was going a bit fast for the road conditions. Sally was about 10 yards behind me and as soon as the car passed me I heard heavy braking, skidding and a sickening thump. I anchored on and looked round to see Sally forced into the ditch with the bike on it's side and Sally wedged between her bike and the side of the car. I dumped my bike and ran back. The woman driver was already out of the car and very apologetic. Thankfully Sally was OK, she grazed her right knee as the bike went down and her left ankle when it hit the bottom cassette and was quite shaken when we picked her up. There was a guy following us in a Transit van who saw the accident from behind and had stopped to help. The lady driver was very apologetic and was relieved that Sally managed to walk away, she brushed off the dent and scrape down the side of her car. I reckon she realised that she was coming on a bit fast for the road conditions and was glad that we didn't ask for details. We took five minutes to make sure Sally was OK and then pressed on for Horton.

Over the A59 and back up into Barlick past Pop Harry's seat, Bracewell and Gisburn Road. Apart from us both falling off it was a nice ride in lovely sunshine. 18 miles, just over 2 hours including enforced stops, 1135 ft of ascents and over 1100 kcalories earned.

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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by Wendyf » 05 May 2016, 06:10

Oh dear! That sounds like a dangerous day out, pleased to hear you managed to enjoy it despite the accidents!

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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 05 May 2016, 18:28

Thanks Wendy, Sally is OK although she says she feels quite stiff today and has a couple of bruises in addition to the grazes, my nettle rashes have settled down but I have a couple of bruises as well.

The problem with Knot Lane is that it is the lesser of evils route if you will from lots of rides that go out or return via Paythorne. The present state of it though may exclude it from our use. Alternatives are main roads whichever way you go. A59 from Gisburn, which is an alternate gateway does have a cycle lane if you can call a 1ft wide lane on the side of the main carriageway a cycle lane. You can get quite a side draft from both wagons and cars if they are going fast.

Over in France the cycle lanes are an integral part of any road building and are totally separate to the main carriageways which is how they all should be. We have camped on the Ile de Rey off La Rochelle on a couple of occasions and took ours and the kids bikes. The island is only about 18miles long but it has over 100km of exclusive bike tracks. Where any of these cross the road network they have traffic lights phased in favour of the cycle lanes. I think we rode all of them while we were there. Most of the islanders ride bikes unless they have to carry a lot of goods.
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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 10 May 2016, 09:53

I went to Aldi the other day and found they were selling bike maintenance stands. I picked one up, quite reasonably priced at £24.95, (you can pay a lot more for one of these). It comes with a 3 year warranty as well. Its a five legged stand to provide a stable base with a central extending pillar and then a horizontal mounting bar with a quick release clamp on the top for gripping the bike frame. It has a stay rod arrangement as well for holding the front forks and handlebars straight. You can set it up so that the bike is held at whatever working height you require. It's robustly built from 2" steel tubing and can safely support 50Kg, folds back down and packs in a 5" square box. Makes it a lot easier for working on the gears or any other maintenance tasks on the bike. We should get reasonable use out of it, we have two bikes and our lad Jack has both a road bike and an ATB.
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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 12 May 2016, 19:28

As we were having a roast dinner tonight I decided to go out for a bit of a ride to earn a few calories. It was a lovely afternoon but I could not go too far with making the tea later. I did a quick elongated figure of eight down to Kelbrook, up Waterloo Road and then along Skipton Old Road. I was considering going round by Noyna then over to Foulridge but decided on the slightly shorter route on the back road either way there are one or two hills. Down into Foulridge and onto the canal for a level ride back to Long Ing, up through town and back home. Just over 8 miles in 53 minutes, 266ft ascent on the route, 499Kcal for my tea. Nice and warm on the bike only Lycra shorts and top required.

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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 05 Jun 2016, 18:19

Smashing day for a ride out today. We went down to Horton and then very carefully over Knot Lane (where Sally was knocked off the other week) to Newsholme. Left and up the hill to the Toll House and the road to Paythorne. There was a very early Army truck that had just pulled up by the toll house, we asked the guy driving how old it was and he said it was 1918, I didn't notice the make. On down over the river and up the hill into Paythorne. Through the village and on to the Hellified Road, we turned left here though and went down into Bolton by Bowland. We stopped here for breather, snack and a bit of re-hydration. It was very warm and we needed the water intake. Out of the village up the hill and onto the Gisburn road. Down to the mill bridge and then up the hill and onto the main road at the Auction Mart. Back via the A59 to Horton and home via Bracewell. No falling off today and both back in one piece for very welcome showers. 18.12 miles in 2h 14min, 1375ft of accumulated climb on the route. Look at the hydration in the stats for what we have to put back.

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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by Stanley » 06 Jun 2016, 02:13

Ha! I used to pick the milk up down there seven days a week and never knew it was called Knot Lane!
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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 06 Jun 2016, 15:53

Some interesting names down there Stanley. The lane has different name for sections along it's length. From the Coronation end it starts off as Green Lane until the first farm after Horton village, a short section is then known as West Ing Lane and then the rest through to Newsholme is Knot Lane. The lane from the toll house on the Paythorne junction is Neps Lane down the hill as far as the river crossing and then Kiln Lane on the other side of the Ribble up the hill and through Paythorne, finally turning into Settle Lane on the other side of the village.
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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2016, 03:25

I've driven all of them and never knew the names of any.....
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Re: Favourite Routes and Rides

Post by PanBiker » 23 Aug 2016, 18:28

Nice day for a ride out so I did all my home chores early and put some steak in the slow cooker that would be ready for my tea. Sally does early morning swimming on a Tuesday and then walks a friends dog so I was on my own for this one. I set off after lunch and went down out of Barlick and on West Marton. Straight over the crossroads and on Gledstone Road over to Bank Newton. I came up to the canal bridge above the top lock and was contemplating coming over the bridleway past Newton Grange which emerges at Harrisons Bridge and then continues up into East Marton. For some reason I decided to take the tow path back which soon turned out to be a mistake. The towpath on the Yorkshire side of the canal is in an atrocious state with lots of ruts and dozens of muddy potholes, many are down to the hardcore level of towpath so are very rough to traverse. The towpath is gated on the Yorkshire side about every quarter or half mile, there is no cycle round so you have to get off to open and close the gates. Lancashire side has pinch gates (not wide enough for the bars on my bike), so you still have to stop to negotiate them. I find this aspect of towpath riding very annoying particularly as towpaths are designated and signposted as part of the National Cycling Network. I bet with the hazards of the towpath on this stretch and the man made gate obstacles I had to get off about 20 times despite the whole 5 miles of this section of the route being on the level. I did all the hills on the outward 7 miles without any of this nonsense. I came through as far as Greenberfield locks and then out onto the lane, over Broad Ing and then up past the allotments and into Victory Park and home.

Route is 13.7 miles, 1h 51min, average speed down to 7.5mph, 520ft ascent and 850kcal earned, 15fl oz hydration and more to put back. I had to wash the bike off when I got back it had picked up so much mud. It was very warm and I was ready for a shower. Steak hit the spot as well. :grin:

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