Optimistic New Years day bike ride…1/1/14

After spending part of 2013 getting back into shape I was keen to stay on top of the road cycling. So today I was out bright and early with Dave Burrows starting from Shaw up in Oldam.

Now I’ve worked hard to shed weight this last year and done quite well. Dave on the other hand has the body mass of a  Masai  warrior, but leaner. he could run a 10 miler no problem at a great pace. Faster if the police were after him no doubt. In fact he’d be the perfect bag snatcher because you’d never catch the fucker. First (and last thing) you would know about it, would be the sudden piroette  you would be doing as your bag went another way and the sound of receding (fast) footsteps.

I on the other hand I am built sturdy. Like a pit pony. But thinner like one that’s been starved for a while.


We took off and headed up to Hollingworth Lake  then took a turn through Rochdale up towards Edenfield. It was the first of a series of climbs from the back of Spotlands (rochdales ground) running up to Old Bettes – quite a nice pub lunch venue. The first two climbs went fine and we hit the third in  reasonable high spirits with Dave saying

“Last one. It  just climbs a bit more round the corner.”

Until, that is, we hit the corner and looked at a good mile or so straight climb. I have to say your heart drops a bit and you’re thinking

“O Fuckaduck.”

So it was a case of looking at each other (me thinking not for the first time, “You lying bastard“), (Dave probably thinking “Hahahaha.”) And getting head down and on with it. Hard work but worth it to be honest because – when you can finally breathe again – the view is fantastic..

Great view at the summit looking out across the vista beyond the reservoir, from Oldam, Rochadale, across Manchester, taking in Ramsbottom, Peel tower and all the HUGE windmills on our right as we descend to Ramsbottom.

Would be even better on a clear blue skied, sunny, windless day. On this day though the wind was just starting to rise and the rain begin to drop.

we dropped down into Ramsbottom side and as we began a guy was climbing in the opposite direction reeeeeally working hard. And I shouted over to him “Nearly there mate!” thinking he’s got a great descent  going back the way we had come from. But I also thought “he’s making hard work of that,”  because tbh it was’nt a steep climb coming up towards us just nice and steady.

Until, that is, some 10 minutes later when we finaly hit the bottom and I just thought
“|Thank Christ we weren’t climbing that bugger.”
Because it was ALL down hill, and this poor bastard passing us must have spent about half an hour trying to ride up it.
No wonder the poor fucker just grunted coming the other way. I think he would have appreciated a small oxygen tank. And an engine.

From there on in the weather just turned and it rained and blew and rained and sprayed and – you get the picture. But, By this point theres no easy route back to the start so it was onwards and upwards. Straight in and out of Bury, Up into and out of Heywood drop down into the back of middleton. A nice snick through  brought us out near the Rose of Lancaster then off up to Oldam past the ground and a final wind down ride to Daves. Where, you find out exactly how wet, cold and numb everything is. Toes so so, hands fabulous with the new Castelli Gloves on, upper body top dollar feeling great. And, Nuts non existent. I actually think they recede  to my armpits on rides like this. But that’s a guess because I’ve yet to find exactly where they go. As long as they come back that’s all I’m bothered about.

But, a great ride and always good company. Someone you can have a good conversation with is essential and Dave is certainly that. When I can hear him over the wind that is. Otherwise I just shout “Yeah. That’s right/wrong!” depending on what I guess he’s said…

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