Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 16 October 2021

A Visit to Didsbury

After today's parkrun at Wythenshawe (I volunteered, Sue ran slowly), we cycled to Didsbury to call in on Isabella, who has started to walk since we last saw her. Millie the cat is not impressed!

The Didsbury garden is under reconstruction, so for Dot to see the progress, here's what the back yard looked like two years ago. The paving stones had become very uneven since then.

And now:

This is the garden - then:

And now:

The back of the house used to look like this:

From a different angle, it's now like this:

Hopefully there will be some more changes in the next couple of weeks...and a depleted bank account.

Meanwhile, Isabella will continue to grow, and be doted on by her grandmas.

Friday 15 October 2021

Another Moore Lane Circuit on the bike

The first of a few bike rides, I suspect, as my poorly foot hopefully repairs itself. Today, Alastair joined me for an easy three hour ride on the 'Moore Lane Circuit' roughly as described here and elsewhere.

After some pretty grey days, today turned out to be a beautiful 'blue sky' day. These first two pictures were taken in Grappenhall. I probably have a big library of similar shots!

We stopped for refreshments at Acton Grange Bridge, where a passing barge added colour to the scene.

The dappled sunlight through the trees that line the Trans Pennine Trail beyond Thelwall is often delightful, and that was the case today.

Alastair peeled off at the site of the Bay Malton and I continued home on a TPT based route, unfortunately crashing into another rider when joining the canal towpath near Walton Road. Oops!
The 51 km ride took me about three and a half hours, plus a few minutes to hose down the freshly serviced Stumpjumper bike.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Where am I Now?

Another random view, this time from an evening walk on 12 July 2005. Is that there spec in the distance BC having an adventure? (You may need to click on the image for a larger version.)

Tuesday 12 October 2021

A View in the Glyders

This picture was taken on 23 March 2006, on a wintry visit to the Glyders. I'll maybe post a few more pictures and a diary entry when I have time.

Monday 11 October 2021

Sunday 10 October 2021 - The 22nd Calderdale Mountain Bike Marathon

Paul and Greg joined me on what was my 18th participation in this ride, organised as a fundraising event for the local Scout group. My reports since 2007 can be found here.

This 'Covid' year there was no mass start. You could arrive, register, and collect your number at the cricket pavilion in Sowerby Bridge between 7:45 and 9:00, and you were deemed to have started from the pavilion ten minutes after collecting your number. The system worked well, and social distancing was achieved as effectively as could be expected. I think everyone was glad to be back after last year's event was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

Despite having to come through fog on the M62, the weather for this year's ride was superb - sunny and not too hot, with fairly dry undertyre conditions. Minimal cleaning of bike was needed afterwards.

The three of us paused in Dean Lane for a couple of photos near the spot from where the usual mass start sets off.

We were delighted to discover that the course had been adjusted to avoid the steep climb out of Mill Bank. Greg went ahead, but Paul stayed with me at a slow pace until after about 10 miles.

Before the first food point, we got good views from near Moor End. My sunspecs kept misting up, as at this point did my camera lens.

An ascent near Moor End

Paul was waiting for me at the Hardcastle Crags checkpoint and food and drink station.

Support was provided at just two points this year, here (SD 987 298) after 9.2 miles, and later at Fly Flats (SE 036 317), after 17.7 miles. There were lots of drinks, flapjack, jelly babies and bananas, and plenty of cheery volunteers to encourage the riders. The bananas eventually ran out - I got the last one at Fly Flats.

Hardcastle Crags support point

A little further on, I saw Paul pedal off into the distance whilst I sought not to over exert myself on the climb up the grassy slope out of Walshaw. Others did likewise.

It's steeper than it looks!

I stopped again on a long ascent near Stairs Dyke. It really was a lovely morning.

The riders were pretty spread out, and by now the faster people were all ahead, so there was a fair degree of cameraderie on the long ascent on the new route after Grain Water Bridge, where we turned left up the hill rather than right towards the terrors of Midgley Moor.

The next section beside a culvert to Hebden Bridge Road and beyond was delightful. I stopped to take a few photos just before the road, above Grinding Stone Hole.

A mixture of tarmac and tracks on the well signposted route (so far) offered great views over the South Pennine countryside. My camera came out for the last time as we passed above Wainstalls after pausing for a while at the Fly Flats support point above Warley Moor Reservoir.

The next section to Luddenden involved some steep downhills and squealing brakes as a group of about ten of us made our way down. On Abbey Lane I think we must have missed a sign, or it had been removed, so instead of a steep track, we had a steep road by way of the descent, coming out at a junction with no signage. A left turn proved to be correct and we returned to the signed route at a junction with the A646 road.

From there, an undulating (mostly in the up direction) route took us up some very steep cobbles (I walked, but still found myself at the head of the 'group of ten') near Hand Carr Farm, before reaching Sowerby Lane and a fairly docile final 3km to return to the cricket pavilion.

Greg was some 45 minutes ahead, and his dad was a good ten minutes ahead of me, but there was time for me to enjoy soup and a roll and a coffee for lunch, before we returned home - no time for a beer as Paul and Greg had lots of commitments for the rest of the day! And we were all in Paul's car as mine would have been trapped by Manchester Marathon road closures, so I'd cycled in the dark to Paul's 'outside the Marathon zone' house earlier.

Here's this year's route - 44km (28.4 miles), with 1050 metres ascent. Click on the image for a better version.

Here's my CMBM spreadsheet, I've excluded the eBikes (17 this year).

Thanks, as always, go to the many volunteers who make this event possible.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Saturday 9 October 2021 - Wythenshawe parkrun number 443 - The Start

This is what the start of Wythenshawe parkrun looks like these days. Here you can see about 260 runnersin a long line, waiting to be briefed before setting off in a wide grouping between the start sign and a white cone.

Today it was Dan's turn to offer a pre-run briefing. Rufus the dog took over for a while, but Dan offered a spot of magic by turning the white cone blue.

And then they were off...

That's it. I took no more photos, being distracted by my first use of the 'barcode scanning' app on my phone, which provides a socially distanced means of scanning personal barcodes and finishing position tokens. I'm happy to report that five of us managed to do all the scanning, and the finish tokens were all handed in. A result!
Full results (Sue's there somewhere) are here.