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Bike Train, 5th April 2010

Arriving at Glossop Station just before 10am on Monday morning, given the grey, blustery weather, it wasn't surprising that no-one was there. Then I recieved a phone call from Jen, who was coming out from Manchester to accompany the ride into town, to say that the train wasn't running to Glossop! Oh, what a good start. No panic though, as we were passing Broadbottom, so she agreed to get off there and I (we?) would meet her soon after. Shortly before 10am, one dedicated supporter turned up, and after waiting for a while to see whether anyone else would turn up, we set off to Broadbottom. As we were trying to keep off busy roads, we set off up the hill towards Dinting, then turned left down to the Carpenter's junction.

On reaching the junction we pushed our bikes through the broken glass on the lane up towards Gamesley, where we picked up the signed NCN 62 (Trans-Pennine Trail) cycle/bridleway signs. This takes you a little round the houses, and up and over a few hills that could easily be removed from the route if permission were obtained for cycle access via the tip (connecting Broadbottom to Brookfield via the bottom of the valley), but since this isn't the case, we hurried up towards Charlesworth then flew down Long Lane towards Broadbottom on our way to meet Jen. By now we were already 20 minutes late.

On meeting Jen we cycled (slowly!) up the hill towards Mottram before branching left on NCN 62 towards Hyde via Hattersley. A short section of the bridleway was too steep and muddy for bikes (especially our hyrbid and road-type bikes) so we detoured around the houses (again) before rejoining the route. After a reasonably long section of road, and another hill, we turned onto a track down towards the main route to Godley via the old railway line. This was a bit of a troublesome route - not ideal for any bike without suspension or skinny wheels (great fun on a mountain bike, no doubt), and certainly no good for anyone with a kids trailer or a recumbent as there were just too many deep, water-filled potholes to navigate.

After a couple of wrong turns, we nipped off the trail and arrived at Godley Station to find... people! The bike train was officially back on! Or at least, it would be as soon as we had sorted out a few punctures. Typical. Four puncture fixes and one stubbornly uninflated tyre later we were back on our way, now heading towards Reddish on NCN 62 via the river-lined trail through Haughton Dale. This section of the route, though a bit muddy in places, was a real pleasure to ride and is definitely recommended if you haven't tried it before! It's a remarkable piece of countryside tucked away for all to enjoy, and it was nice to see many other people out and about, walking their dogs, chatting with friends, as we passed by -- even if they were sometimes a bit surprised to see so many of us.

Eventually (thankfully, no punctures later) we arrived at Reddish Vale, and headed to the farm cafe for a cup of tea and some well-earned lunch. By now we were already well behind our original schedule, so after discussing whether or not to carry on, we decided to carry on into town, since we had already come this far. Once our refreshments were safely tucked way, we set off again, up the hill (again) to join NCN 6 into Manchester. A short detour later, and we were on the Fallowfield Loop (NCN 6/60), heading towards Platt Fields. This was a fairly long stretch of the route, but completey traffic free and on a really good surface, so we were able to speed along a bit without worrying about muddy bits or potholes.

Rides stop for a photo on the Fallowfield Loop

The ride reaches the Fallowfield Loop on the last leg before Platt Fields

At roughly 3.30pm we arrived at Platt Fields to find... well, not a lot going on! Luckily there was a playgrounds, so the kids in our convoy dashed around on there while the adults had a well-earned rest and a sugar fix in ice-cream form. Yummy. Soon after it was time for us all to head back to the station to catch the train home (some via Piccadilly, while others cycled back to Gorton via the Fallowfield Loop).

A big thank you to everyone who came along, despite the grey and uninviting weather and the bumpy nature of some of the trails.

If you missed this ride, we're probably going to sort out another one for later in the year, so send us your details so we can contact you nearer the time with details.

This event was organised in conjunction with I Bike Mcr.

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Copyright 2005 Save Swallows Wood Campaign
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