First, I’m pleased to discover that Windows Live Writer is now working again.
Having received some positive information from Jan Williams at Saturday’s parkrun (congratulations to Sue on breaking her PB, by the way), I decided to cycle towards Manchester beyond Waters Meet, from where I know the Bridgewater Canal towpath has been resurfaced as far as the swing bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal.
I had thought the resurfacing on the Rochdale Canal link via Castlefield ended shortly after Waters Meet, so I expected to encounter mud fairly quickly. It was therefore a surprise to discover that the towpath has been resurfaced all the way to Castlefield. Great. If I was still working in town I could now cycle mainly off road on a firm surface and be at my desk within an hour, which is the time it used to take me by car.
No wonder I seem to be encountering more and more commuting cyclists when I go out at certain times. I just hope they remember that they are not the only users of the towpath and they respect others, especially dog walkers, who shouldn’t be expected to keep their charges on leads.
The top picture shows the new surface heading towards Castlefield from Throstle Nest Bridge, where the towpath crosses the bridge.
As I passed through Sale I noticed these ‘hooligans of tomorrow’ being herded in large numbers by their obnoxious parents.
If only we were allowed to trap them, I’m sure they would provide some tasty snacks!
Shortly before reaching Castlefield I decided to try to find an off-road route along the northern side of the Ship Canal, to get to the swing bridge and return home alongside the Bridgewater Canal. Taking a convenient bridge, this worked fine for a while, but beyond the BBC studios a short section of road was needed before the pavement incorporated a cycle track. The final section into Eccles was also along a road.
This ride does provide a good route from Timperley that doesn’t involve any mud. The path I took is shown below – it was over 32 km, but if the exploratory diversions are ironed out it would be about 30 km from Timperley Bridge.
Thanks to Jan for alerting me to this, and to Mike’s excellent ‘Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester’ blog that Jan also put me on to. Anyone keen on cycling off-road in Greater Manchester could do worse than take a good look at some of Mike’s postings.