Local Adventure 6

On Sunday I decided to cycle up to the Entwistle Reservoir again, as in stark contrast to last time the weather was absolutely glorious, clear blue skies and bright sunshine, so I thought I could get some decent photos.

After getting to the reservoir and going for a short stroll in the woods, the spirit of adventure possessed me and when I got to the A666, instead of turning left and heading back towards Bolton as I did last time, I turned right and headed up towards Darwen.

The countryside was just breathtaking, and I carried on until just South of Blackburn, halfway to Oswaldtwistle and turned right to head back towards Bury over the West Yorkshire moors.

The whole trip must have been about 40 miles, it took me 5 hours and when I got home I was absolutely exhausted. But it was an amazing experience, I really feel a connection with all of those places which I have never felt going through them in a car. And a real sense of achievement at actually doing it on a bike! Some of the looks I was getting from motorists going over the tops were quite incredulous, and I found myself thinking, I bet you couldn’t do what I am doing, dependent on your metal box with wheels!!

I’m still recovering today, both from the exhaustion and the mental high. Stunning!!

I’ve put up a couple of maps but my iPhone battery died eventually, I had to record it in two parts and I didn’t get to record the final leg of the trip.

In the first and last pictures you can see Scout Moor wind farm in the distance, from two completely different directions!!

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Local Adventure 5

I’ve been doing a fair bit of cycling recently – last week I did a 22 mile circuit in the pouring rain up to the Entwistle Reservoir (absolutely soaked to the skin but utterly invigorated), and today I went up to the top road to Edenfield to have a look at Scout Moor wind farm. I didn’t actually get right up close to the turbines, I’m saving that challenge for a future occasion. The weather for today’s trip was beautiful, so I took a few photos unlike last week.

Cycling is an amazing experience – you notice all sorts of things you don’t in the car. Smells are one thing – in the rain last week, all the lovely wet smells of the countryside came through, and I could smell coal or wood burning as I passed through villages, which seemed to vary with the level of affluence (more wood in wealthier areas, more coal in working class areas).

Today, so many people had a smile for me – from other cyclist to walkers and dog walkers. There seems to be something about cycling which means you can have a friendly interaction with others in a way that car travel precludes.

It was really hard work, both last week and today, but reaching the foothills of the wind farm today was really exhilarating – just the knowledge that I had made it under my own steam, and that the electricity from the turbines was very likely supplying a bit of my house somewhere in the mix. The 4×4 occupants cruising past in their hermetically sealed isolation could never know these thoughts and feelings. And the exercise and fresh air itself gave me a real high, as well as landscapes which, despite being so close to home, I had never seen before. I’m really enjoying these local adventures, they give a real sense of achievement. I’m going to run out of possibilities at some stage though, as bikes are not allowed on the Greater Manchester tram system, so I am limited to places within reach of home. Still, all part of the challenge I suppose!!

Local Adventure 4

I finally made it all the way to Bolton along the canal, and discovered Moses Gate Park, coming back along Bury Bolton Road. A 17-miler!!

It’s a good circuit with some nice surroundings, I might do it a few times before figuring out what my next challenge will be.

Local Adventure 3

Went a bit further today and discovered another stretch of the Bury-Bolton canal, and a cycleway called the “Bradley Fold Cycleway” which I didn’t even know existed!

Local Adventure 2

Went for another bike ride today, this time turning West at Radcliffe and exploring a bit more of the Bury-Bolton canal, down towards Little Lever where although the canal continued, I couldn’t see a way to get through.

I had meant to go out towards Bolton a lot further, but ended up taking a wrong turn and heading back down towards Radcliffe.

Came across some interesting and pretty sights, including what looked like some kind of old steam crane beside the canal.

Local Adventure!

Just got back from a really enjoyable bike ride! I did my normal road circuit route but instead of coming back my normal way, I joined the old Bury-Bolton canal to see where it went.

It was quite beautiful, although there was some litter in parts of the canal, other parts were quite overgrown and I saw all kinds of wildlife, and some beautiful views. For a little while I had no idea where I was going, which was really refreshing and quite an adventure!!

In the canal photo you can see Scout Moor wind farm in the background. Cycling up to the wind farm is on my hit list of challenges for the future! I think I’m going to have to get a bit fitter first though 😉

I went across a level crossing at one point too, and realised that it was on the East Lancashire (steam) Railway. I stopped on the level crossing to take a photo before I realised that the engine in the distance was rolling towards me! I moved my bike off the crossing and sure enough, an engineer got out and opened the gates, and the engine went across.

The route was about 9 miles.

Permanent Staycation – Part 2

I went on a staycation cycle ride the other day, just locally to where we live, and took a few photos as it’s surprisingly pretty considering we are in a relatively built-up area.

I use an iPhone app called ‘imapmyride’ which uses the GPS function in the ‘phone to give useful information on speed, distance travelled, route etc.

On the cycle ride I came across a house with an absolutely enormous solar PV array, taking up the roof of the house and also the flat roof of their single storey back extension. Very encouraging to see!! 🙂

Permanent Staycation – Part 1

We have had a week off work and decided to take a ‘staycation’, ie have a holiday but stay in this country, a much more environmentally friendly option and it encourages us to make the most of the beautiful country where we live, and let other people across the world enjoy their own countries in the same way, without having them damaged so much by tourism and climate change.

So last weekend around 14 of us hired a house in the country not far from York, for a friend’s 30th birthday and a long weekend away. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, we had a solar heated swimming pool and a hot tub, and took it in turns to cook, including a BBQ they had there. It was a great weekend, drinking chilled beer in the sun by the pool, playing games and popping into York on the Sunday for a look around the historic city.

It worked out at £123 per head for 3 nights, plus food plus petrol to York and back. Pretty good value, and at absolutely minimal cost to the planet. And it was a kind of communal experience that you don’t normally get on holiday.