Todays ride

Share your rides with us.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

User avatar
RIP
Posts: 8960
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Surfing The Shores Of Sanity Since 1959
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by RIP »

....is to the railway station for a train to Stoke on Trent - 120 miles and less than an hour from Milton Keynes. Currently doing 128mph, got a nice brew and a bit of cake, and enjoying a stunning sunset.

This will be the second in the series of my "Crap Towns Tour", after Merthyr Tydfil in the summer. I narrowly missed Barrow In Furness in August, so that will have to be next year now.

I hasten to add that it's not my view that they are crap towns - quite the opposite in fact. They have fascinating histories, in Stoke's case tied up with coal mines, steel works, and obviously potteries. And of course how could one miss the National Toilet Museum. I suppose Stoke actually is a crap town then - with its associations with Thomas Crapper...

I'll be nosing around for a couple of days with some mates, with no fixed plan. Lots of cycle tracks and industrial remnants to amuse us.

Oh, and to add a bit of interest, navigation will be solely using a 1947 OS map (other than just following our noses obviously).

Image

Image
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
User avatar
fatbikephil
Posts: 6469
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:51 pm
Location: Fife
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by fatbikephil »

An oft ridden circuit close to the Perthshire hills and through the eastern end of the Trossachs - an easy 100miler

Image

Twas a properly sunny day, a welcome relief after the dismal weather last week. Not visible in this photo is a dusting of snow on high. In fact looking north east to the Cairngorms revealed a solid band of white above about 800m. Jeff wins the 'first view of snow of the season' award so I'll settle for second!
User avatar
Boab
Posts: 2163
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:36 am
Location: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by Boab »

Cracking sunrise this morning...
Image
There are theories at the bottom of my jargon.
pistonbroke
Posts: 2119
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:39 am
Location: Southern Cataluña
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by pistonbroke »

Nice photo!
Technically yesterday but just had pics from the photographers strategically dotted around the course. The Emburgada race starts about 200m from our house with 25 and 35km options. Some bits were barely walkable but the kms of beautiful single-track more than made up for it. I beat my best recce time by 10 minutes and finished mid pack overall and 2nd in my category. Pleased as I've hardly ridden the mountain bike this year,.
Image
redefined_cycles
Posts: 9177
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:19 am
Location: Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

Re: Todays ride

Post by redefined_cycles »

pistonbroke wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 5:59 pm Nice photo!
Technically yesterday but just had pics from the photographers strategically dotted around the course. The Emburgada race starts about 200m from our house with 25 and 35km options. Some bits were barely walkable but the kms of beautiful single-track more than made up for it. I beat my best recce time by 10 minutes and finished mid pack overall and 2nd in my category. Pleased as I've hardly ridden the mountain bike this year,.
Image
Nice one Duncan. Pic does indeed look top notch. 'Barely walkable'... You mean due to the narrowness of the path or the size of the rocks. What time did you get to bag such a high ranking pls :smile:
redefined_cycles
Posts: 9177
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:19 am
Location: Dewsbury, West Yorkshire

Re: Todays ride

Post by redefined_cycles »

Boab wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 12:16 pm Cracking sunrise this morning...
Image
Absolutely gorgeous. Deserves a spot on the 'pics you have taken' thread. Looks out of this world :smile:
User avatar
Verena
Posts: 1696
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:22 am

Re: Todays ride

Post by Verena »

redefined_cycles wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 8:22 pm
Boab wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 12:16 pm Cracking sunrise this morning...
Image
Absolutely gorgeous. Deserves a spot on the 'pics you have taken' thread. Looks out of this world :smile:
Wow.
User avatar
RIP
Posts: 8960
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Surfing The Shores Of Sanity Since 1959
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by RIP »

OK, no stunning sunsets here, or fabulous mountain vistas, or bucolic country scenes - ten a penny in This Place :grin: . No, we're down and dirty in Stoke on Trent.

Mates staying in some HairyBandB or whatever they're called, so I ended up kipping in the garden shed, although they deigned to let me in for breakfast in the mornings.

First day we decided to catch a train 20 miles up the line to Congleton, then ride back along some of the old railway trails, the first one being the Biddulph Valley Way to, unsurprisingly, Biddulph...

Image

Upon arrival, perusal of my 1947 OS map showed that the source of the River Trent was fairly close by at Biddulph Moor, so off we went on quite a strenuous 300' climb just to see a trickle of water. At the top we found a rather bizarre self-service milk shake bar which helped to slake our thirst, then a friendly resident pointed the way to the source although he did say "prepare to be underwhelmed". I'm rarely underwhelmed - it's always possible to extract some pleasure from the least-promising situations if you make a bit of effort and keep an open mind - and I enjoyed pouring some of my water into the well while thinking that a few days, and 168 miles, later it would become a minor part of the North Sea. I should have exchanged it for a similar amount of Trent water in return!

Image

Image

A high-speed blast back down to Biddulph for a spot of lunch and a chat with the locals in the Rose & Crown, then further along the old railway to Chatterley Whitfield colliery. The pit closed in the 1980s, with operations transferred to Wolstanton a few miles away, and it was turned into museum. Unfortunately the museum closed after Wolstanton itself closed down and flooded, but most of the colliery is still there, and is in fact the largest still-complete old coal mine complex in the country. Wolstanton itself was the deepest coal mine in Europe at a fairly mind-boggling 3300' deep.

Image

Image

End of the line for these coal wagons, but we continued to follow the old track down into Stoke with the rails slowly succumbing to the undergrowth 35 years after they last saw a train pass...

Image

Image

We picked up the Cauldon Canal and rode into Hanley, many of the old potteries factories are still surviving, albeit gradually crumbling and slumping into ruins. One or two of the 'bottle' kilns have been preserved, but look sadly out of place in the sea of shonky new-build housing which seems unlikely to last as long as the kilns....

Image

Image

Whilst it's easy to view older times through rose-tinted specs, at least they built some extremely attractive parks and buildings for the downtrodden potteries workers to enjoy on their few days off.... then it was back to our pad through the terraced streets of Stoke itself....

Image

Image

The evening was spent consuming a very tasty all-you-can-eat curry on London Road, then it was back to my, er, cosy shed for the night! The next day we opted for a cycle tour of the "Five Towns" of Stoke, using as many cycle trails and canals as we could, the first part of the route being along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Etruria then up into Hanley via various nasty supermarket car parks and retail unpleasantness....

Image

From here NCN Route 5 turns north through Burslem, passing more scrapyards, used-car lots, takeaways, and even the odd pleasant park... we were rather amused to read that No TomFoolery Is Allowed! What, us? As suggested by the sign, we were "'velocipeding' in our finest (bikepacking) clothes in the hope of being seen and admired". Not surprisingly nobody gave a monkeys and we were roundly ignored.

Image

Image

Image

With the surroundings growing ever more salubrious we continued up through Tunstall, the signals at Stop for the foreseeable future....

Image

Image

The numerous old coal mines in the area have left their mark, but less well known are the iron deposits that turn many of the streams orange, including the Trent & Mersey Canal at Harecastle Tunnel. Do you think my Trailshot would be up to the job of filtering it?

Image

Image

We had a nice chat with the Canals & Rivers Trust guy who told us all about the history of the tunnel, then while the canal took its almost 2 mile long path underground, with in past times the boat people "legging" their vessels through, we followed the way the horses would have been transferred to the other end - the clue's in the question...

Image

Along through the country park, we tested the various gym torture machines....

Image

By the time we'd reached the other end of the tunnel the C & R Trust chap had arrived there himself, and continued to tell us all about the voluntary work undertaken to maintain the tunnel and conserve the wildlife. A recent rather incredible sighting had been a beaver, which came all the way along the Cauldon Canal, then up the Trent & Mersey through the city, and unbelievably made its way through the 2-mile tunnel to Kidsgrove. I hope it had more luck being fed there than we did - nearly all the pubs and cafes were shut.

Up until the year 2000, the massive Shelton Steel Works was still operational on both sides of the canal at Middleport, but sadly it has now all been swept away and replaced by the usual retail religion worshipping establishments.

Image

Similarly most of the old-style potteries have now closed, leaving just Middleport to fly the flag, with its original bottle kiln still operational, amidst numerous life-expired old buildings. Even in their decrepitude these still show their Victorian pride in design and construction.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Arriving back in Stoke, the canal dips down under the railway, itself under a footbridge, thereby here showcasing three (no, four!) non-road transport modes that are still providing a valuable and in most cases unobtrusive service....

Image

A quick final pint in a Stoke back-street boozer to discuss and mull over our rides, then it was back on the train to Milton Keynes.

So perhaps not your average bikepacking tour, but given the choice between it and yet another, albeit superb, view from a remote mountain top I know which one I find more fascinating and interesting :wink: .

'Reg'
Last edited by RIP on Wed Oct 25, 2023 7:53 pm, edited 6 times in total.
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
frogatthefarriers
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:31 pm
Location: Wrexham

Re: Todays ride

Post by frogatthefarriers »

RIP wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 5:32 pm
A quick final pint in a Stoke back-street boozer to discuss and mull over our rides, then it was back on the train to Milton Keynes.

'Reg'
I always think that a “de-brief” at the end of a trip is, while not a highlight, a very pleasant way to round off the occasion.

And…

Some nice nostalgic pictures there. Thanks for sharing.
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...
User avatar
RIP
Posts: 8960
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Surfing The Shores Of Sanity Since 1959
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by RIP »

Thanks Lu. Sadly not much left of Brymbo Steelworks these days, or I'd propose a toddle round there with you. Still, there's always the odd relic or two round at Minera..... maybe next year :smile:
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
User avatar
MuddyPete
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:47 am
Location: Beds/Bucks border

Re: Todays ride

Post by MuddyPete »

Excellent stuff, Reg.

Gritty urban realism is underrated :grin:.
May you always have tail wind.
User avatar
ledburner
Posts: 2034
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47 am
Location: The worsted place in West Yorkshire,

Re: Todays ride

Post by ledburner »

Gritty pics indeed.
Do they still do pat cakes for breakfast (yum- yum) in those . I remember getting them from a cafe with a hole-in-the wall kiosk /hatch-door?
I hope you think you know, what I might of exactly meant.
Warning - may contain value odded typos & ither mythspellings..
User avatar
RIP
Posts: 8960
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Surfing The Shores Of Sanity Since 1959
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by RIP »

Oatcakes, yep! Nearly as good as Derbyshire ones with a bit more practice :wink: .
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
User avatar
PaulB2
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:32 pm
Location: Stafford

Re: Todays ride

Post by PaulB2 »

RIP wrote: Fri Oct 27, 2023 9:44 pm Oatcakes, yep! Nearly as good as Derbyshire ones with a bit more practice :wink: .
That’s fighting talk in these parts
User avatar
RIP
Posts: 8960
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Surfing The Shores Of Sanity Since 1959
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by RIP »

It certainly is, but there's only one winner :grin:

""Derbyshire oatcakes are much thicker and bigger. One student ordered a bunch of them and I warned him that it might be a bit too much," Katie explained. "He said, 'I'm from Stoke. I can eat my oatcakes.' He sat there for an hour to try and prove his point but he didn't manage it".

https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/whats- ... e_vignette
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
User avatar
RIP
Posts: 8960
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Surfing The Shores Of Sanity Since 1959
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by RIP »

I'll grudgingly admit that when we strayed inadvertently over the border on holiday last year, we tested a few from Leek Oatcakes and they were almost acceptable :wink: . Bonus points for selling them to us through the back window.

I'm told you can buy oatcakes 'ready packaged' from supermarkets but obviously they can't be proper ones.

https://leek.nub.news/news/local-news/l ... dge-151758

Image
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
User avatar
MuddyPete
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:47 am
Location: Beds/Bucks border

Re: Todays ride

Post by MuddyPete »

Dorset.

Last night's BIBLICAL :shock: rainfall on Bulbarrow created the essentials for an hour of good, splashy fun on the C2WFH this morning :-bd on the tried-and-tested "Airman's Loop". https://maps.app.goo.gl/s8pETg2kXCZMd4Pr9

Start from Okeford Hill; head for the WW2 memorial; a slithery blast down to Hedge End and up the hill to Bulbarrow.

A good start to the week :grin: .
May you always have tail wind.
User avatar
PaulB2
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:32 pm
Location: Stafford

Re: Todays ride

Post by PaulB2 »

RIP wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:14 am I'll grudgingly admit that when we strayed inadvertently over the border on holiday last year, we tested a few from Leek Oatcakes and they were almost acceptable :wink: . Bonus points for selling them to us through the back window.

I'm told you can buy oatcakes 'ready packaged' from supermarkets but obviously they can't be proper ones.

https://leek.nub.news/news/local-news/l ... dge-151758

Image
They come from the Staffordshire Oatcake company so one would hope they're proper - not that I've had any in the last few years since half the family went gluten free.
User avatar
MuddyPete
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:47 am
Location: Beds/Bucks border

Re: Todays ride

Post by MuddyPete »

Same route as yesterday, but with more sunshine :-bd .
Riding along Bulbarrow ridge gave me a lovely view of several small cloud inversions across Blackmore Vale :cool: .

Back to Beds today to prepare for "Storm Reg" on Thursday :-SS
May you always have tail wind.
User avatar
summittoppler
Posts: 1270
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:27 am
Location: North Wales

Re: Todays ride

Post by summittoppler »

On Sunday I had a good old mooch around the Dorothea quarry in Snowdonia. As Reg would agree, it's a fantastic place to explore due to it's vast network of former industrial slate workings. Despite it being a World Heritage Site, there's plenty of bivvy spots off the tracks away from dog walkers.
Dramatic views...
Image

Image

I'm not the first to bike around here.....
Image

Don't slam the door!
Image

Image

Image

Talysarn Hall which has been taken over by nature...
Image

Image

Image
BAM: 2014, 2018 & ......
2024 Bikepacking nights: 3

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/summittoppler/

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/user/jefbricks/videos
User avatar
summittoppler
Posts: 1270
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:27 am
Location: North Wales

Re: Todays ride

Post by summittoppler »

When we get a nice calm weather window in the spring I usually head up to the summits of the Carneddau. However as I didn't have my mojo back then it didn't happen. luckily yesterday was one of them days so I headed up to the summits of Drum, Foel Fras, Carnedd Uchaf, Foel Grach and Carnedd Llewellyn.

The Isle of Man visible 70 miles north of Puffin Island
Image

A few Carneddau ponies on the Roman Road
Image

After a lot of huffing and puffing, the views from up there were sublime
Image

Looking towards the summit of Carnedd Llewellyn in the far distance
Image

Yr Elen in the distance
Image

Foel Grach refuge hut
Image

Snow!
Image

Looking towards Carnedd Dafydd from Llewellyn
Image

What a day!
Image
BAM: 2014, 2018 & ......
2024 Bikepacking nights: 3

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/summittoppler/

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/user/jefbricks/videos
User avatar
fatbikephil
Posts: 6469
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:51 pm
Location: Fife
Contact:

Re: Todays ride

Post by fatbikephil »

:-bd
You beat me to the first snow of the season Jeff! Good effort getting up there....
User avatar
MuddyPete
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:47 am
Location: Beds/Bucks border

Re: Todays ride

Post by MuddyPete »

Well, this weekend's really.
My stepson's first cycle/camp/bivi/motorsport trip and most definitely not the sort of things he learned on DofE Gold :grin: .

Friday: train to Penrith; cycle to Keswick for lunch, then ride to Borrowdale YHA to camp. £10 per person camping: £12 for 2 pints of beer (what sort of youths are they trying to attract? :roll: ). 2 pints at the Scafell Hotel 1 mile away was £9.

Saturday: ride to Honister slate mine to watch the Vintage Sports Car Club Lakeland Trial . Millions of ££££s of Land Rover advertising budget undone by a few 90-year-old Austin 7's :lol: . A couple of Bugattis, too like this one ->https://www.vscc.co.uk/page/events?eventID=1859 being treated like a workman treats his Black & Decker :cool: .

Here's a taster from 2021: https://youtu.be/HUgB4V5iQ2g?feature=shared

Then a long, absorbing and pretty technical ride along the Little Gatesgarthdale bridleway to Derwentwater's west shore and dinner in The Packhorse, Keswick.
Keswick Christmas lights look lovely :X

Sunday: early rise to the 3rd consecutive day of beautiful clear sky; followed the Keswick-Penrith rail trail for breakfast in an old track gang's cabin (I was ridiculously excited to find somewhere sheltered for a brew :lol: ), before following back roads to Keswick and train home.

A great trip and my 2nd or 3rd bivi in a row...this may be developing into accidental BaMming :smile: .
May you always have tail wind.
User avatar
faustus
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:30 pm
Location: Newbury

Re: Todays ride

Post by faustus »

Lots of vicarious enjoyment from reading and seeing pictures from summitoppler and Muddypete - great work! :-bd
User avatar
ledburner
Posts: 2034
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47 am
Location: The worsted place in West Yorkshire,

Re: Todays ride

Post by ledburner »

summittoppler wrote: Wed Nov 08, 2023 8:44 am On Sunday I had a good old mooch around the
Dramatic views...
I'm not the first to bike around here.....
Image
So a small front ring is not a relatively new idea!
I bet it was a 15T rear cog though with that 22T front ring. (Yes I counted them :geek: )

I wonder wher the rear suspension went?
I hope you think you know, what I might of exactly meant.
Warning - may contain value odded typos & ither mythspellings..
Post Reply