'Where's the Brew Stop? The off-road cycle touring website'. About off- road cycle touring routes, cyclist’s cafes, off-road cycle touring, local group events and good photos. For cyclists who love off-road leisure cycling in Northern England
We use cookies to ensure that we give you best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use the website we assume that you agree to our use of cookies you read our site privacy policy at this link.
Cycling touring articles by Pat Lloyd and other folk
Thursday 2nd March 06. Further adventures of “The Biscuit Boys” As arranged I met “The Chairman”, on yet another of his epic series of Northern misadventures, at Puddleducks, Dunsop Bridge where we arrived simultaneously some 10 minutes early. Having already had a pre-lunch lunch at Waddington S.G. bravely, but foolishly, limited himself to only 2 courses this time (tea doesn`t count).  However foregoing a second desert later proved to be a miscalculation.  And not very much later. Setting off, from D.B. at 1.20pm, we pottered North up the Trough of Bowland road for a couple of miles to Syke where we turned West up the water boards rather grand tree lined drive alongside Langden Beck to the Watermans Cottage.  The route then changes to a stony, but mainly rideable, land rover track which climbs, and drops, for nearly two miles to the barn which bears the imposing name of Langden Castle.  Here Steve was beginning to feel “peckish” so he raided his emergency bonk rations.  The valley and fells here can give you a real feeling that you have somehow stepped through a portal into some Scottish glen.  Mid week this feeling is heightened by having the place to yourself. Ignoring the path that crosses the beck in front of “The Castle” and heads South alongside Bleadale Water before petering out on Brown Berry Plain we pushed on a little further West to the next crossing which leads “up and over”  Websters Meadow to Bleasdale.  This is where the climbing really begins with a fairly hard “pull”  up the rough and narrow track for about a mile and a half to the summit.  This was tough enough that even Brian Parkinson, the well known Lancashire “Wall of Death” rider, walked stretches of it on the last group crossing. For Steves introduction to this Lancashire “classic” we were blessed with a near perfect blue sky dotted with a few fluffy white clouds.  And, as we walked over the peat hags at the top, we were treated to glorious views over the Ribble estuary to the Irish sea.  To the South East lay Fair Snape Fell with the great hump of Parlick to the fore.  To the South we looked down on Beacon Fell which seemed very small from those commanding heights.  It is, in fact, quite a tough climb from down on the Lancashire plain. Once “over the top” it is a steady drop for about a mile and a half down to Hazelhurst and the farm/estate roads which took us to the road on Rough Moor where we headed North West via Oakenclough and Harrisend to Galgate.  We then followed the cycle paths through the university grounds and on to Booths supermarket.  Here we had a “route planning” stop so that Steve could assuage his hunger knock and steel himself for the hard 2 mile route downhill to my house. Friday 3rd March 06 Snowdrops were falling on my head. And not the flowered variety either.  S.G. had to be back in Preston for his train home by 4.30pm so it meant another chance to explore The Fylde (whoopee).  We rode down the cycle trail to Glasson Dock and used the coast path via Cockersands to cross the Cockerham to Pilling road near Shepherds Farm.  The little back road through Great Crimbles led us onto a bridleway through Lathwaite, and New Hall Farm, back to tarmac near Winmarleigh. From here we slogged into the teeth of a snowstorm some 4 miles to Stakepool and Pilling.  An excellent lunch at the Post Office tea rooms in Pilling (even more highly rated than Bell Farm by S.G.), where we watched a couple of more “flurries” of snow out of the conservatory windows, and  prepared for phase 2.  As we paid the bill a “light dusting” of hailstones started and covered the car park an inch deep in 10 minutes so we sat down to further route planning. Setting off we had to use the main road for half a mile.  This hadn`t been gritted and proved to be treacherous with cars having compacted the snow to sheet ice.  Cars going past too fast started to brake and put there hazard lights on.  Passing them we  came on a coach facing us, on our side of the road, with a people carrier embedded in the front, another car in the hedge and yet one more parked in the field. Riding gingerly past we rode down to Cartford Bridge and onto St Michael's on Wyre where Steve replenished his “meagre” food supplies.  After this I sent him off, on back roads, via Catforth to meet his train at Preston whilst I tackled another trail to Nateby and the across to the Garstang - Cockerham road.  One last experience was playing traffic cop at the narrow bridge over the canal at Snape Wood holding the cars back on one side whilst a large lorry vainly tried to climb the ice covered slopes on the other.  Eventually we both gave up and I set off home with one driver offering to swop his van for my bike.  No deal. Thanks to Steve for 2 excellent and “interesting” days.  And, believe it or not, he didn`t have any of my biscuits.  Perhaps because he couldn`t find them. Peter kenner