RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here

Mist and rain often deter cyclists but in Saddleworth inclement weather seems to bring them out in droves!  Hence on a miserable March morning 20 cyclists turned up at the Lime Kiln ready for a ride.  We’re made of strong stuff up here in t’North!  So much so that is was a pleasure to welcome Roger back into the fold after his health problems!


The plan was to climb a couple of hills in the morning and have a leisurely afternoon.  The first climb is approximately three miles long as you leave the Huddersfield Canal at Friezeland and climb steadily along Clough Lane, through old Grasscroft, up to Lydgate and on up Quick Edge Lane!  The usual splendid views of the Tame Valley were shrouded in mist and the rain was falling heavily by now so a quick bit of route planning on the hoof led to me taking the group down the “Yellow Brick Road” - the former railway line from Saddleworth to Oldham before turning off down a tricky, especially when muddy, slope to the Medlock Valley which we followed, off and on, until we reached Daisy Nook Garden Centre for lunch - who can resit their soup and a sandwich, brew and a cake specials?


P1030003P1030008If the weather cleared up, as promised, we could go back over Hartshead Pike and get our second big climb of the day under our belts.  It did and so we did!


First though a little detour to sample what remains of the former Bardsley branch canal, a little known lane skirting Ashton and the southern section of the former railway line which used to run from Oldham to Ashton.


Up and up, Alt Hill Lane, Twirl Hill Road and Lilley Lanes take you to within about 100 yards of the Pike when you are presented with a nicely challenging bit of really rough and steep bridleway.  One way or the other we all made it to the top and had a well earned rest basking in the sunshine and enjoying the views over Manchester and Cheshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire in the distance.


It’s then downhill all the way, as long as you avoid the scrap metal merchant’s wagons which tear up and down this road, through Top Mossley, confusingly also known as Brook Bottom, and down to the Huddersfield Canal and home.


Amazingly I only lost one cyclist on the whole ride - Tish who was still recovering from my little Sunday excursion into Cheshire and took an early rain check!  Thanks to Phil for herding everyone else so well!