RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here

NP&SP Rsf Leisure Ride from Ashton under Lyne.

Sunday 21st May 2017


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This was an inaugural ride of what it is hoped will become a monthly series of more leisurely rides of about 20miles, relatively flat, not technically demanding and suitable for all abilities and types of bike. It is a surprisingly rural excursion through a major conurbation yet with minimal on road riding and replete with both wildlife and industrial heritage.

 We left Portland Basin just after 10 o’clock and took the Peak Forest Canal as far as Woodley. It was good to see that the surface had been much improved particularly after crossing the A57 at Hyde. On reaching Woodley we dropped to the River Tame and the Trans-Pennine Trail but not before getting confused in a housing estate trying to find the start of the track. We followed the river downstream until we reached the A6017 where we turned right along the TPT which passes through an estate before reaching Hyde Hall Farm. From there a track took us over the M60 and down to Reddish Vale Country Park and Reddish Vale Horse Centre Cafe. After an hour’s relaxation and refreshment we climbed easily to South Reddish and Heaton Chapel where we were able to take a track that passes between Highfield Country Park and Houldsworth Golf Course to join the Fallowfield Loop. This former railway led us northwards to Debdale Park whereupon we were able to follow the line of the old Stockport Canal until it met the Ashton Canal at Openshaw. From there it was a short trip to the Velodrome. We did not tarry but carried on through Clayton Vale eschewing the MTB courses that form part of the facilities provided by The National Cycling Centre. The visitor centre at the eastern end of the vale was open so we stopped for drinks. On leaving the Centre we had some little difficulty locating the start of the track that runs through Medlock Vale to Droylsden. After one or two false starts we eventually found it and discovered that it had recently been given a new superb tarmac surface. This took us by a series of steep switchbacks to a narrow bridge across the railway and to the start of the disused Hollinwood Branch of the Ashton Canal. The old towpath took us directly over the M60 and into Daisy Nook Country Park where we stopped for ice creams. From there we took tracks back to Ashton with a final ½ mile through the back streets. We had covered 23 miles of which not much more than 2 miles was on road. 

John Kemp

Irene’s photos available at: