Aftermath (without pictures)!
Well seeing as I have a spare few minutes at work I though i'd put down some words about Saturdays ride.
I'd planned the ride in Rossendale for a couple of reasons, firstly it was local to good number of NW&NWA Retrobikers, secondly the riding was achievable for members who fancied giving a retrobike ride ago and finally because these are the trails I learned on BiTD.
So it was bit of a disappointment when it emerged only Woody (Chris) and I arrived at the start point, the White Horse pub in Helmshore. However its sometimes nice to have these more personal rides as you get to know each other that little bit better. Also Chris always brings bikes of great interest and so there is always plenty to talk about. This time he brought he's newly built Litespeed which is absolutely stunning and I rode the ti-mega for a change.
Off we set, immediately off-road on a bridleway to the beautiful village of Irwell Vale, we then followed the Irwell river to Ramsbottom and followed the road to the town center. I had given warning about a couple of hills in this ride in the introduction, but myself and Chris made light work of the infamous Upper Ramsbottom Rake with Chris annoyingly hardly breaking a sweat! This is hill commonly used for training by keen cyclists due to its savage incline.
Once we reached the top of the Rake the view to our front was of Holcombe Hill with the Peel monument towering high above us, we would be climbing this later, this time we headed around the side towards the 'Horse shoe'. The horse shoe is a nice bit of riding that skirts around the old Krypton Factor assault course, but as luck would have it the Army were using the rifle range and so access was restricted. We doubled back at the red flags and hit the long dusty climb to the top of the hill. After enduring the climbing, heat, dust and a rather poor walker/comedian/retard we reached Peel tower, built to celebrate the life of Prime Minister Robert Peel it towers high and gives great views over Manchester, Pendle and the Rossendale Valley (on a good day you can see Inglebrough too). We stopped and had a breather and enjoyed the view of both Manchester and the newly named 'titanium tower' due to the two ti bikes parked below.
We continued on across the moors enjoying some nice singletrack and moorland tracks until we reached Pilgrims Cross, a monument that marks the spot that Pilgrims on route to Whalley Abbey would rest at. Here we took a few more pictures before hitting more singletrack that took us to 'Robin Hoods Well' on the corner of the moor overlooking Tor hill (a table top shaped hill where early human settlements have been found). A fast arm numbing downhill awaited us that took us back to the cars and the White Horse pub. This was to be it for a group ride, but Chris and I had blasted round in just 1 hour 30, so we continued on across the valley for more riding.
We arrived back some hours later after finding new trails, enjoying some nice forest trails, visiting an old LBS of mine and having another bash over Holcombe Moor. With tired legs a pint was in order but to my embarassment the pub (one I've recced many times before) was closed down and under going some refurbishment.
Sorry Chris we'll have a pint next time
, hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did. Pictures to follow once I get a chance to download them off the camera.