Off Road Cycle Club

Trough of Bowland


Four of us met in Slaidburn for our annual road ride on a fine September morning. We had thought there might be a couple more but when they hadn’t appeared by 1020 we decided that we had drunk enough tea and we should set off. 


Up the hill and round the hairpin, why do we always leave Slaidburn this way? Whichever way there are hills. We turned off to the right onto a wonderfully signed ‘Quiet Lane’ This one is a pleasant narrow road undulating and eventually reaching Cow Ark. Then to Chipping and a cafe, the last one for much of the day. Suitably refreshed and with supplies for later we were off again, skirting around the Bowland Fells on lovely lanes, at least one of which was another ‘Quiet Lane’ We had good views over the Lancashire Plain, Blackpool Tower was spotted at one point and then later the sea in Morecambe Bay, to say nothing of the rolling hills of Bowland. Frank stopped to talk to a bird, feathered variety, which appeared to have a broken leg and was moved off the road. We found some big stones to sit on to eat our sandwiches before the major ascent of the day. We continued to climb, mostly gradually with the exception of one double chevron climb, short but steep, but Mick Ely wasn’t with us to benefit! The road then takes one through a lovely area of open mature mixed woodland before emerging onto the purple heather clad moorland and eventually the summit of the Trough of Bowland where an old boundary stone marks the Yorkshire/Lancashire divide before the counties were changed. 


A welcome descent to Dunsop Bridge where Mark left us to ride home. Frank, Nev and I continued to the cars and cafe at Slaidburn. I was tiring now, not surprising as we had ridden more than 35 miles with over 1200m of ascent.

The Bowland Fells are an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and it is well deserved - the scenery was lovely today especially with the heather in full flower. Thanks for your company, Frank and Mark, it was an excellent day out


View the embedded image gallery online at:
Jane Gill

Some General Information First


The RSF has members scattered across the globe. Most, of course, are UK-based. Membership includes free copies of the Journal and access to many other RSF publications. If you're interested in joining, then details can be found here.

The RSF also publishes the bi-monthly Rough-Stuff Journal which is circulated to members free of charge. The Journal includes a wealth of news and trip reports from around the UK and further afield. Here's one of our older journals in PDF form for you to read at your leisure, we hope you enjoy it.

The RSF promotes responsible access to the countryside. We have a Code of Practice, which members are asked to adhere to. For legal reasons, the RSF has formed itself into a Company. More details of this, and of insurance issues, can be found on the Legal & Admin page.


Not for motor vehiclesIn The Beginning...

The history of the Rough-Stuff Fellowship goes way back to its foundation in 1955, long before anyone had ever heard of Marin County. It was formed by cyclists who wanted to get away from roads and cycle off-road on tracks, and byways.
Bikes then were a world away from their modern-day counterparts. Steel frames, no suspension, no disk or V-brakes and gearing to make your hair curl. That was only part of the story though. Clothing, too, has seen major advances in materials and design in the intervening years. Of course, some still prefer the more traditional approach...



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