Road Bike Ride – Waddington

I'd arranged to meet up with three riders from my cycling forum ( Calum and longers met me here in Hebden Bridge at about 10:30 and we set off along the valley roads towards Burnley. Normally, I tend to stay off those roads as much as possible because the views are better higher up and there is less traffic, but there was still a risk of ice on the hills. It wasn't worth taking any chances, so we stuck to low-level roads today.

I'd met Calum and longers before, but not  PaulB . We met him at Walk Mill, just before we hit the outskirts of Burnley. He is a friendly scouser (native of Liverpool), who had moved to this area a few years ago.

Paul suggested taking to the lanes at Padiham to avoid a nasty stretch on blackspot A-road at Read (nicknamed The Devil's Elbow!). It's a route that I'd examined on the map previously but never got round to trying. It was scenic and quiet so I think that it will be my preferred option in future.

On said lanes, I attempted to prove that driving a car while talking on a phone is not a good idea, by demonstrating that I was incapable of even riding my bike, talking and operating my brakes at the same time! One minute I was chattering away to Calum, the next I was off the road and trying to find my brake levers as I headed for a dry stone wall! I came very close to crashing… 😯

It was overcast all day, and there was some cold drizzle as we passed through Whalley; nothing too bad though. Compared to the bitter conditions we've had recently it felt positively mild.

We eventually ended up at our destination – the Country Kitchen cafe in the village of Waddington. It's a firm favourite with cyclists and walkers, and rightly so!

We chatted and ‘refueled' in the cafe and then had our pictures taken outside.

The Usual Suspects!

From left to right: longers (looking cool), Calum (looking too young to be a student!), PaulB (looking ready for more cycling action), and yours truly – ColinJ (looking oversized, highly reflective, and somewhat gormless – that was supposed to be a smile).

Heading back towards Great Mitton, we made the now obligatory “Ooh, look – Llamas – where's me camera?” photo-stop…


Soon we were back on the scenic lanes to Padiham, from that direction including a 20% climb – nice!

We parted company with Paul at Walk Mill and carried on towards Cliviger Gorge. I've been riding up and down that road for years and its gradient always catches me out. It looks almost flat, but the effort required in that direction shows that it is a false flat. I checked the altitudes on my GPS unit (doubly checked on the map at home) and to my surprise, the road gains 300 feet in 2.2 miles – averaging about 2.5%. No wonder I always feel it after a long ride. Okay, it's not exactly a hill, but it is a real drag when feeling tired.

After that it was a good fast downhill to Todmorden, and a quick dash along the A646 to Hebden Bridge where I said goodbye to Calum and longers. It had been a good 59 mile ride and I was pleased to see how much fitness I've got for this early in the season. My back and neck ache a bit, but my legs feel pretty good.

Another good day in the saddle.

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2 Responses to “Road Bike Ride – Waddington”

  1. Sounds a good ride! I’ll definetly try and make the next one!

  2. You’d be most welcome Amy! I do quite a few rides over to the Forest of Bowland every year because it is so nice out there.

    You might fancy The Red Rose Ride from Halifax on June 14th. A few of us off the CycleChat forum might be tackling that. Another long distance ride in late June that might appeal to you is our plan to do the West Yorkshire Cycle Route in a day. That’s about 157 miles with a lot of climbing so it will be a very tough day out. We’ll be doing it as a full long summer day ride. It will be a case of setting off early and the only object is for everyone to get round comfortably in daylight. We won’t be going quickly – I reckon we’ll only average about 18-20 kph (11-12 mph) so we’ll probably set off about 06:30.

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