In order to attend last night’s gathering of ex UMIST friends, Ken had arrived a day early for the Calderdale Hike. We wanted to get out, but not too energetically, so a local bike ride seemed appropriate.
In Dave’s case it wasn’t very local, as he drove down from Tarleton to join us. Paul was at a loose end and a ten minute bike ride away.
So the four of us enjoyed coffee and cake before setting off down the canal towpath to Sale. Nobody was enticed by my promise of fresh fish from Fleetwood at Daryll’s emporium just round the corner (sorry Daz) but Paul entertained us by allowing his tyre to explode. A new inner tube was inserted, but it protruded through a hole in the tyre.
We were in no hurry, so returned to Timperley, where I knew there was a spare tyre lurking in Ken’s bedroom. It had been there for years. Now it’s on Paul’s bike.
We set off again, passing through Sale and Stretford and turning right at Water’s Meet to head past Old Trafford football stadium. Leaving the canal at Throstle Nest Bridge, we turned sharp left and headed along the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, past the ugly tower of the War Museum, to cross the canal by the BBC’s buildings at Salford Quays.
The rest of the team posed on the bridge (top photo), then Ken dashed down to the Blue Peter sign with a request that he be pictured there. Request granted.
Cycleways and a short road section took us through Eccles to the swing bridge at Barton, from where we returned beside the Bridgewater Canal to Stretford. Here, the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) passes under the canal. It was blocked by work on the path, but after a bit of faffing we found a way around the obstacle.
Mud was encountered from now on. Quite a lot of it. After crossing the Mersey we found that the path had been diverted around Banky Meadow – a longer but more scenic route than the old one. It was now well past 1 pm and we were all hungry. Paul’s tyre incident was blamed. So we pottered on along the TPT to join the track of the now defunct Altrincham to Lymm (and beyond) railway line, which thankfully was drier than the muddy paths around Carrington Moss.
Paul redeemed himself by leading us down School Lane to Dunham Town and the delights of the Lavender Barn Tea Room. Two huge pots of tea and some nice sandwiches, not to mention the Victoria sponge and other cakes, went down a treat.
Then we pootled off down the muddy canal towpath. Just a short muddy stretch as we picked up the newly relaid section before passing the Bay Malton and heading back to base.
I reckon it was a leisurely 46 km, with not a lot of ascent despite Anquet (my mapping software) guessing at over 300 metres. If you click on the image you’ll see the route better.
An excellent and very sociable little outing. Thanks for your company folks.
Cleaning the bikes took some time…