Up close and personal with the Prisons
- Written by Geoff Smith
This is the route I intended to take.
Basically I set off with Keith Watson in glorious sunshine to do the above routes anti-clockwise but with a huge element of there and back. We set off from my house in Euxton down a quiet country lane, then through Buckshaw Village and on to the A49 past the 6th form college and through Worden Park.
Quiet Country Lane:
After going through Worden Park we exited by turning right at the bottom onto the recently constructed shared path (cycling OK) round the bottom of Wade Hall Estate, when we got to Slater Lane we crossed Schleswig Way and onto Slater Lane proper the entrance to a concessionary Bridleway is immediately on the left, not as shown the route. This is an upgrade to a footpath by the British Horse society (well done guys) but you have to leave at Ulnes Walton Lane because of a vociferous objection by the local WI (booh) to the last bit then its on to Nixon Lane which turns in to a track heading towards the Prisons.
The track has a few puddles in fact one spectacularly big one, I cycled through the middle on my electric bike but didn't stop to photograph it as it was over a foot deep and I was worried about short circuits. However, I did photograph the buildings by the track, they look like they are from a long forgotten military camp, not the case, they are in fact bunkers that used to store High Explosive for use in filling shells at ROF Chorley (now Buckshaw Village)
We made a navigation error as we reached the Prisons in fact we cycled past a sign that said "HOME OFFICE PROPERTY NO ADMITTANCE" we were gently told of the error of our ways and the correct route was pointed out to us, I think as one who normally ignores signs I would advise that if the sign is like the one we passed do not ignore it.
In all the years I have lived in the area I thought these were just open prisons for people who don't pay their TV licence on time, I was very wrong one houses the worst kind of prisoner, Rapists, Murderers and the odd Pedophile (in solitary apparently) the other isn't far behind Manslaughter, GBH, Robbery and that sort of stuff - no wonder we should have taken the sign seriously. In fact even when following the correct route you get real close the the prison wall.
So the route was rounded off with a coffee in Croston and we made our way back mainly by retracing the outward route.
All in all only about 20 miles, mainly off road but a delightful day out in the glorious sunshine, with the birds singing.
North Yorks Moors Group off To Good Start
- Written by George Nutt
Three months have elapsed since we started the North York Moors Section and it is pleasing to report that despite some very difficult weather conditions over the winter here in North Yorkshire we have managed to fulfil our fortnightly rides programme. Our inaugural ride took place on a very cold but gloriously sunny late autumn day when 6 members rode 26 miles traversing Rudland Rigg 1600 ft above sea level before enjoying the old Rosedale railway track to lunch at the Lion Inn, Blakey Rigg. Further swift progress took us along the railway track to the summit of Rosedale Chimney one of England’s steepest hills. From here a visit to Anna Cross then a 4 mile rather bumpy decent to Lastingham before a short road ride to our start point at Hutton le Hole. It was clear from the reaction of those attending they were committed to supporting a full programme of rides.
Our next ride started at Hovingham following bridleways and short sections of road to Castle Howard for lunch we then undertook a ridgeway ride across the Howardian Hills to our start point. This ride proved rather muddy due to recent heavy rain, whilst some walked sections others continued in the saddle even though their rear wheels were spinning at twice the rate of the progress made.
The first ride of December attracted 6 riders despite recent heavy snow and sub zero temperatures, some amendments were made to the planned route through Dalby Forest but still we encountered unridable roads due to ice and snow and as a result had to walk for about 4 miles in total. Likewise on our next ride from Sutton Bank visiting both Byland and Rievlaux Abbeys we encountered snow and ice again necessitating several miles of walking.
Our first ride of 2018 was again in most difficult weather with gale force winds and subzero temperatures, however 4 riders braved the element. We headed on low ground west into the wind from Pickering avoiding the hills until we reached Kirkbymoorside then the climbing started, 3 miles later we turned east to enjoy a 25 mph tail wind first to Lastingham for lunch then on to Cropton and Newton on Rawcliffe before returning to Pickering. Despite the wind and dull conditions we finished the ride in good spirits having covered 30 miles and climbed over 2600 feet.
The next ride again promised below freezing temperatures and icy roads yet again 4 hardy soles took part in the ride over bridleways and minor roads that took in Hovingham, Ampleforth Abbey, Coxwold and Byland Abbey.
As January drew to a close the weather improved and 7 riders lead by Paul Bean tackled a circuit of Cropton Forest, to some it appeared that we were going in ever decreasing circles but Pauls route whilst almost all off road kept us from the worst of the winters mud baths. A fine lunch venue with log fire at Keldy Forest Centre warmed the cockles before a rather cold ride back to Pickering.
Altogether a fine and optimistic start for our new section. 12 different riders have so far join our rides including one new recruit to RSF. Riders joining us from York, Driffield and Teeside as well as those resident in the North York Moors area. We now have a full programme of Tuesday and Sunday rides extending to the end of October and look forward to more riders joining us as the winter subsides.
- Written by Rob Newton
Thanks to Phil, Roger and Alan for leading the ride and Jackie for being the tail gunner.