RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here

Meeting on the Riverside car park just before 10-00am we were able to witness the hundreds of runners who had finished their regular Saturday 5km lap of Towneley Park make a mass exodus in their cars before the parking charge came into force.

Our pre-ride cuppa was taken at the garden centre, but we had to ride there. Oh well, what’s a half km pootle when there is a brew at the end of it.Leaving the garden centre it is about a mile along the park’s main driveway to join, unfortunately, an uncomplete cycle-route to the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. This area is part of the inner Burnley rejuvenation, so I’m fairly sure when this will be nearing completion the cycle-way will be too.

We reached the only climb of the first leg of the ride as we neared the Gannow Tunnel, it was steep, but very short and soon we were in Ightenhill. We next zoomed down the track to cross the River Calder and join the Burnley Way to Padiham. There was much evidence here of the earlier flooding, in fact many premises in the centre of Padiham were still sand-bagged, including our café.

When I planned this ride I was hoping we could visit the recently re-furbished Gawthorpe Hall and enjoy the cromulent delights of its tea room, but the opening has now been put back Easter. So a visit to the Mooch Cafe87 in Padiham would be our lunch destination, we have never been disappointed on any of our visits there, so I had booked us a table; it does get busy on Saturdays.

After lunch we joined the Padiham Loop Line, an old railway route, and continued to pootle to its end, well, for cyclists anyway, at Molly Wood Bridge. Here we re-joined the canal, through Rose Grove and as far as the western portal of the Gannow tunnel; again the climb above the tunnel was steep as we approached the subways and sunken pedestrian / cycle roundabouts of junction ten of the M65.

Having safely negotiated the maze of sunken routes we descended back to the towpath and followed it into Burnley as far as the Straight Mile, near Rose Hill. Just a jink or two through the streets brought us back into Towneley Park and the descent to the end of the ride.The weather; well, we had a little hail, a little snow, a little sunshine and a lot of wind, in fact we were fighting the wind on the descent to Padiham, but it blew us back to Towneley, can’t be bad. An enjoyable half day with the Fellowship.

See you all at Turton Tower on our next ride, Brian.