A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Crap cycling in East Lancashire

Posted by Alan on May 3, 2011

Having tackled the climb and descent into the Calder Valley, in the nicer weather of Thursday I went over another hill into the Irwell Valley. I started by using part of Sustrans (regional) route 92, though Kingsway Business Park, complete with anti-cycling gates.

Anti-cycling gate

Anti-cycling gate at Kingsway Business Park

Not long and I was onto Route 66 again, this time following the Rochdale Canal to skirt around the edges of town before picking up the A680 main road towards Blackburn and tackling the climb to Owd Betts/Ashworth Moor. It’s a longer and shallower climb so I managed it without pushing (unlike Blackstone Edge) though I did have to stop a couple of times, not least because my chain has developed an annoying habit of jumping off when I gear down…

The Windmills of Ashworth Moor

The Windmills of Ashworth Moor

From up here it was down into the Irwell Valley into Rawtenstall where I stopped for a cup of tea before climbing the valley to Bacup and dropping back towards Rochdale. Just north of Whitworth I picked up route 92 again, but only stuck with it for about 1 mile before returning to the road. Too circuitous and far too many obstructions – I think there were 6 kissing gates in 1 mile! For me this is a footpath, not a cycle path – I certainly didn’t get on wheels to stop every few minutes to lift my bike over an obstacle!

The Whitworth cycle track - route 92

The Whitworth cycle track - route 92 at Shore

After another cup of tea and some advice, I went back to route 92. Thankfully on the other side of Whitworth the trail does improve following more closely the ex-railway line over the stunning Healey Dell viaduct and the much less stunning, glass lined, Syke Tunnel. The signs then disappeared for a while whilst I weaved my way through the one-way streets of Hamer back towards the business park.

Access Denied

Access Denied - route 92 is closed

Here I found my earlier route had been a connecting route, with the main route 92 actually blocked through the business park. Shame as from either end it looked like a reasonable (if a little windy) off road route.

Closed

Closed

Notching up a little over 30 miles in one day, including a reasonable hill I’m getting much closer to being confident enough to cycle the c2c in 4 days.  Next challenges are to push the distance out to 40 miles in a day and to start to cycle every day. This will be hard!

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4 Responses to “Crap cycling in East Lancashire”

  1. ian... said

    That last pic is unbelie…actually quite believable. I wonder what the local Sustrans Rangers take on it is :>/

  2. Alan P said

    Here’s the other end!

    I think they’ve dug through the path as it undulates through the fields to build yet more large warehouses. Yet more urban development entirely reliant on the M62.

  3. […] it really over a year ago that I took a very similar photo? Yes it was… way back in May 2011 I wrote about closures on NCN 92, one of Rochdale’s own answer to The […]

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