RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here

After a stay over at the York Rally where I enjoyed Geoff & Rob's rides, I got the last direct train home on Saturday night. A few hours of sleep later & I was heading down to Barrowford to see who might turn up to enjoy the delights of Pendle. Quite a few of the regulars were still enjoying themselves at York.

Six of us started the ride with the first climb up Pasture Lane towards Roughlee. I've done this climb quite a few times recently and it certainly seems to be getting shorter and less steep to me, but I'm not sure how everyone else was feeling about it. There's a moment just after the crest of the hill with one of my favourite views in Pendle, one day I might stop and take a photo, but since i'm always enjoying the downhill, I think I may have to ride in the opposite direction before this happens. We followed the river from White Hough on the bridleway and enjoyed a brew stop at the cabin.

From here more climbing as we followed the track past Ogden Reservoirs. A group of mountain bikers passed us and headed straight up a track looking confident about their route. This wasn't the bridleway, so we decided to carry on to the official right of way. Was it a folly decision, the track was too steep to ride and we started pushing our bikes up the very steep grassy field. A few moment later, I could see the group of mountain bikers at the bottom of the bridleway, and it seemed as though the farmer may have turned them back. One of those guys almost cycled the entire section, with his mates questioning what he 'was on' to do it. We regrouped by the gate and chatted with the guys who were also bound for Weets Hill. We told them to to wait for us.

The bridleway along Pendle was dry and mostly rideable without too much rain damage from recent weather. After the initial sharp climb, it follows a steady contour all the way to Pendle House. Then we began the long fast tarmac descent through Twiston to pick up the Lancashire Cycleway and the track through Middop.

Here we met two guys from Southport Cycling Club out on a 100km audax. Our low gears helped us up the hill to the Gisburn Road, where the guys on their rode bikes were struggling a little bit by this point. Hopefully they completed their audax and had a lovely ride.

We veered off up the rough track towards the summit of Weets Hill. The climb is easier than you would expect, although one newly dressed section was best walked. By the summit we were checking the time for a plan of action. The carpark barrier had indicated it closed at 5pm, so we had to make sure we were back by then. After Ian reminded me that it was father's day, we decided against lunch at the Langroyd and instead headed down the hill to the Cross Gaits instead. We sat outside for lunch and some drops of rain were threatening us with the forecast.

After lunch we dropped down to the canal then up the other side on Red Lane. This usually quiet road was very busy today. I wonder if father's day paired with traffic problems had meant this route was busier than normal. By the Langroyd my tyre had an instant flat and team work ensued to quickly fix it. There was no offending item to be found and the hole was on the inner side of the tube. So far it is still up and the exact cause is a mytsery. By now the rain was getting a bit heavier and this puncture delay had set the rest of the route in stone. We would get close to Boulsworth, but not ride the bridleway beneath it.

Now with some time to play with, we climbed through Winewall & onto the bridleway that runs parallel to the Trawden main road. At the far end of the valley we retraced out route on the far side along Carry Lane and the rains were getting very heavy. Following Deborah's investigations, we tried the riverside path which was rideable and a lovely alternative to Albert Rd. From here it was a short spin back to Barrowford where we enjoyed a hot brew just before the cafe closed and I bought a father's day card for Frank to give to Stephen. Thanks for reminding me, Ian!!
Thanks to Ian, Ken, Sharon, Eileen & Nick for your company on the ride.

Some photos from the ride can be seen here and thanks to Sharon for taking some that are here too.