RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here



Jan Sad 1

Given the weather forecast it was amazing that nine Saddinistas, plus Mick Ely who was doing his own thing, turned up at the Lime Kiln for the January ride.  A shame that Dave found he had a faulty valve just before setting off to join us and he too ended it doing his own thing up to Hartshead Pike (respect!) - a salutary lesson to us all about checking our bikes well before the ride!


Jan Sad 2 Jan Sad 4Still we set off in the dry weather with the daunting task of getting out of the Tame Valley and over into Medlock Vale - a vicious climb whichever way you do it.  Since Mick was off down the canal to Ashton we accompanied him as far as Friezeland where we began the long grind up to the Old Original at Scoutlhead via, Clough Lane, Lovers' Lane and Doctor Lane.


It took a while but we eventually regrouped and it was downhill all the way (honest) to lunch at Daisy Nook Garden Centre.  There is one very tricky descent on the Medlock Valley Way as you come down from the railway embankment at Lees which crosses the river.  Clare to her eternal credit and our relief not only confronted her demons but successfully rode down the slippery steps to great acclaim!


The Medlock Valley Way, mostly cycle-able, is a delightful linear green space mostly hidden from view of the busy urban townscape above us.  We emerged from the valley at the ancient cottages on Alt Lane and rode through the more modern Alt Estate to Park Bridge, which in its day was the largest ironworks in the north and where the rivets for the Eiffel Tower were forged. Find out more about Park Bridge here: Now it is a delightful country park, well hidden from the nearby main Ashton to Oldham Road, a real oasis of calm and we followed the long disused canal to Daisy Nook and a well deserved lunch.


Jan Sad 5

As we set off on the return leg, the sky was turning increasingly grey and threatening and it was soon after we had ridden through Park Bridge that the rain began, at first a drizzle but then it got a bit serious.  Heads down and plough on became the order of the day as we followed the former Oldham to Ashton railway line alongside Alexandra Park, through Matalan Car Park (Don't ask) and then skirted the town centre on what sadly looked like the fly-tipping centre for the whole of Oldham.  The railway line out of the town centre has been named the Yellow Brick Road by Tish and the name fits because of the distinctive materials used to construct the cycle route and so onwards in the rain, with just a Jelly Baby stop (where we found out the professionals' way of eeking out the sugar rush form Jackie!) to get us to Grotton Station where, if Lydgate Tunnel were still open we could continue back to Uppermill on the flat.  Unfortunately Lydgate Hill, the cause of the tunnel, was in our was and so we braved both the hill and the traffic of the main road to reach the summit.  Now it really is downhill all the way back to Uppermill and we said goobbyes to Tony and Clare who dropped off en route and six of us made it back to the Lime Kiln.  


By now we were somewhat soggy and cold and even the thought of a brew in the cafe could not tempt us to stay.


Thanks everyone for great cheer and good company on what was really quite a demanding ride - well done to everyone.


View more photos on Flickr here:


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