RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here


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Do you remember that feeling you used to get when you’d enjoyed being on a school trip but the next day the teacher says “Right children, now we’re going to write about it”? I hadn’t even finished the ride when Sir (Mr Newton) collared me for a ride report. Teachers, eh?

The icy blasts of the previous day gave way to a positively balmy 7 degrees and an almost sunny start for the February Saddleworth circuit. It was good to see some new faces amongst the usual suspects having a pre-ride coffee in the Limekiln but on the stroke of 10.25 a.m. Mr Newton reminded us it was time to gird our loins and gather our helmets ready for the off. Rumour had it there were 22 riders but there’s always one kid lurking in the toilets (me). What with that and a slight rucksack malfunction I managed to miss the start and, although Sir had told us we were breaking with routine and setting off UP the canal to Diggle, I forgot and shot off in the opposite direction. Luckily one of the local dog walkers pointed me in the right direction and I caught up with them several locks up the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at Ward Lane, Diggle before Sir had noticed I was missing. From there it was uphill to Running Hill Pits and a nice, slippy downhill to Saddleworth Church. No-one took up Mr Newton’s offer to visit to Bill o’ Jacks’ grave and we pressed on past the Church Inn and uphill to Knowl Top. 

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Leaving the tarmac behind for a while we made our way down Old Thorn Lane to the hamlet of Tunsteads and headed towards Dovestones Reservoir.  I’ve only ever ridden down Bradbury Lane to Forty Row, which is a lot of fun. Riding up it was more challenging but I think we all made it, joining Intake Lane at Fern Lee. I naively thought we might turn downhill at Friezland Lane to take the easy route along the canal to the lunch stop at Roaches Lock but instead Sir led the group uphill along the track below Buckton Castle and on to Carrbrook.  Mr Newton guided us all safely through one of his secret snickets  to Stalybridge Country Park and on to the canal for our well-earned pub lunch.  


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Lunch over, a small group of scallies sneaked off along the canal back to Uppermill whilst the rest of us dutifully followed Sir down a nice, flattish bridleway by the River Thame. We were soon pushing hard up a steep bridleway (Midge Hill?) bringing us out on Mossley Road , quickly turning sharp right onto – Quick Road. More uphill to Lydgate, then downhill to Mossley, then uphill towards Grotton. With the prospect of another big uphill lurking I told Sir I’d suddenly developed a cold and asked to be excused. Jane tried to follow me down Thornley Lane but Sir spotted her and called her back to the group.  I headed home for an early bath whilst the rest of the group gained full marks for completing another of Mr Newton’s excellent rides. 

Tuckey minor

More photos can be viewed on Flickr here: