It's been quiet in Lancashire of late, to quiet! So I formulated, as Baldric would have it 'a cunning plan'. I would tempt people out by starting at the Cuerdon cafe, ride over to Rivington and do a loop around the area calling at the traditional RSF haunt of the Chapel tearooms and then ride back to the Cuerdon valley passing the Top Lock Hostelry on the way.
Well something about this appealed, sitting outside at the start waiting for the coffee machine to gurgle, rumble and perculate as coffee machines do eight other members appeared. One or two unable to resist he idea of a bacon butty presumably to avoid the dreaded 'bonk' at some point in todays ride which was obviously passing through trackless wastes (hah!) where there would be a dearth of opportunities to refuel. Most were there in plenty of time but naturally there's always one or two who just about make it. You know who you are.....fortunately I have a very philosophical atitude to these things so we just sat back for a few minutes longer.
I won't bore you with the minutae of the ride but basically it involved two crossings of Healy Nab, a visit to Liverpool castle, not actually a castle but a folly built by lord leverhulme the soap magnate. No not that sort of soap, he was never involved in Coronation Street or Eastenders! Then a quick loop around and above the arboretum before a bite at the midpoint. I elected for a slice of cheesecake, to be honest I always go for the cheescake, it's really really good. However when Jackie Aspden left some chips I admit to pilfering one or two ...possibly a few more.
Back over the Nab and along to White Coppice looking rather rather picturesque in the sun and then a quick left took us past the old BAE storage facility, one more small hill and we arrived at the Top Lock where while we discussed the possibility of 'a swift half' Geoff Smith emerged pint already firmly in hand! Ah well, no point rushing, so again we sat in the sun watching the world go by. I can recomend the Orchard Thieves cider, very refreshing.
30 minutes later and we were back at the start although we had shed some riders along the way, many having ridden from home, I got the feeling that the cunning plan had indeed worked.
As the Garmin figures totted up I reflected on the fact that we rode between 26 and 30 miles (depending on the start point) and climbed 1834 feet. Some bits had been added in as we were all good riders but I had described it as 'an easyish ride suitable for any bike and possibly anyone new to off road riding'. I might just have to revisit what I consider an easy ride to be. I also need to take more photos and remember everyones names next time....