Canal, Pennine Bridleway and Roman Road bike ride 13th July 2013

Bit late writing this but have been preoccupied with kidneys and life.
Chris and I started at her house using the canal path to get to Littleborough. It’s a well made path so a pleasure to ride on. Chris then guided me through Eelees woods which was a footpath so we walked across to Hollingworth Lake visitor centre via multiple kissing gates which was quite a challenge.
Got onto the bridleway to commence the big ascent we sensibly planned for a very hot day! This was a bit of pushing so we stopped for lunch and to gird our loins for what was to come.
A short flat stretch then we were at the base of the big hill going up to Blackstone Edge. We wanted to stay off the road but this meant footpath and Roman Road. A stiff climb indeed which was all push with frequent stops. Totally lathered when we got to the top.
Across to the White House pub which we’d held out as a carrot to reach the top. Imagine our disappointment to find it shut! Just like the last time when we were frozen and needed hot choc. They are missing a trick that’s for sure.
So onwards passing 3 reservoirs along the bridleway, destination Gaddings Dam. To reach it there is a paving stone footpath which we only sometimes managed to stay on. Extreme cyclists we are not! See video. Once at the dam Chris parked me in a quiet spot, got into her swimsuit and into the water. She only did a short swim but said it was lovely. I thought I was filming her but had pressed the wrong button so just a still.
After Chris had changed we got back on the bikes to some quite hard paths but then soon to the road and a lovely whizz down to Chris’ house.
She came over later to our house and we had barbecued chicken and mini burgers with salad We sat out by the new shed!

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Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

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Cold bike and hot (first ever) jog

Sat 16th March

Chris and I met just below the White House and cycled along the reservoirs to the point where you can see Gaddings reservoir. It was bitterly cold despite all the gear and I had a bad case of white finger which always makes me panic slightly. This was our first bike outing together this year so we kept it short and flat. On the return stretch we were going into the wind and we both felt quite weak with using muscles we’d forgotten existed. By the time we got back I had not only white toe but white foot even though I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t actually feel it either. We tried the White House for a warming cup of hot chocolate or even a snack but to no avail as they were just closing so we whizzed down to the best named Moorcock which I’m sure is some harmless wee birdie from these parts but allows me to indulge in teenage humour. This pub was open and we got hot tomato soup (bit odd) for me and spicy burger for Chris all washed down with a pint of Peroni for her and half of Landlord for me. Then it was suddenly time to go and pick up Carol from the renal unit and to be ribbed by the nurses for boozing whilst she was being a “poor invalid”. Poor invalid, my foot, stuffing herself full of biscuits, sleeping and reading, life of Reilly!!

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Sun 17th March

I’ve bitten the bullet and have just returned nice and hot from my first ever jog. This has been a mental leap for me to do, partly I felt it would be bad for my knees, partly I thought I would look a berk, and partly I wasn’t sure I could do it.

I did 28 minutes which got me to our nearest reservoir and back, this was a total of 2 miles. I ran one minute and walked the next so as not to kill myself on the first outing. Now I know what’s possible in half an hour I can build it up. It did take a long time for me to get hot but it was pretty cold out today. I even picked up some litter. Runkeeper tells me I’ve burnt 223 calories. It will take a while for me to be able to run a mile in 12 minutes which is my goal but at least I now know that it’s possible. Hooray.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Blackstone Edge 29th July 2012

After waiting some time for the torrential rain to stop, including eating our lunches indoors, Babs and I parked near the bottom of the big hill that goes up to Blackstone Edge.
We set off up the hill along a good path, the main feature of which is the Roman Road. There is a lot of controversy as to whether it is a Roman Road or not. It certainly says it is on the map. The path leads up to the Aiggin Stone which was a marker stone for ye ancient travellers and this definitely has been dated to be 600 years old.
We headed back down a bit and then cut across under Robin Hood’s Bed (but not his breakfast) and circled round to meet the Pennine Bridleway and back to the car.
We had a lovely 4 mile walk and it didn’t rain on us, which considering the forecast had been for very wet all day long was a real plus. The sun actually appeared and made us warm at the end.

Roman Road
Roman channel
The Aiggin Stone
Me and Aiggin Stone
Babs, glam companion!

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Hiking and biking

Sometimes you have to change things around a bit, so I got the bike out and cleaned it up and sorted it out. Then I cancelled the gym membership because I’d got so bored, and made sure that the same day I was out on the bike.
I used to go to the gym first thing in the morning which was good because it meant I got a decent car parking spot at work, I’m only actually getting up quarter of an hour later so I still get this anyway. My new routine means I get home from work, have a little snack as I’m always super hungry at this time, quick change and then out for half an hour. Just sticking with half an hour at the moment, but doing this most days.
At first I was a  bit wobbly on the bike and couldn’t even remember how to change gear, it seemed very fast as well! Now I’ve got a bit of confidence back and it’s all just like riding a bicycle!
The roads around where we live are fairly quiet and I manage to go just a little bit further each day and because the outward journey is nearly always uphill, I can roll back very quickly.
Yesterday I put the bike in the car, met up with Chris at the White House on Blackstone Edge. We managed not to become part of a sponsored bike ride for the British Heart Foundation and instead continued on our ride around the reservoirs on the top of the Edge. It was cold at first in the wind but we soon warmed up and had a nice little off road ride. No photos, well maybe one from my phone a bit later on…

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Blackstone Edge 17th July

No photos at all because truly horrible weather. After some nagging and a bit of Jak moaning, Babs, Cath, Cath and I all met up at Babs’ house. I passed through driving rain and dense fog on my 20 minute drive which unfortunately was in the area where we were due to walk. The valley was a little better but not much. So we drank Babs’ coffee and tea and then took the quick drive to the start of the walk just below the White House on Blackstone Edge. A lot of pfaffing whilst we togged up, getting quite wet just putting the anti wet gear on. Eventually set off into the horizontal wet. We did a quick change of route to go a bit lower and shorter as it was so vile, we managed to do a few kilometres and then lunched standing up. Cath D had already made her roll disappear but then did the same trick with a Kabanos, or should that be kabanos? Cath B had some ciabatta and an apple. Babs had a fancy combination which I’ve forgotten but about 4 ingredients and Cath D also produced a beef and horseradish roll whilst I had 2 nan breads with beef and cheap, sweet, yellow mustard. I also finished off last night’s apple and raspberry pie and had 2 bits of malt loaf. Then we took the quick route back to Babs’ house. Babs drove me back up to my car and then we all sat around in Babs’ house drinking tea and eating digestive biscuits etc. We listened to Robert playing the piano and generally had a great time talking technology and walking….
Thanks guys!

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Night nav on Blackstone Edge 07/05/10

This one is specially for Peter M!
This was a welcome relief from the real nastiness that’s been exposed because of the E word. I was in good company and we didn’t even touch on it.
BB met me and CD at the biker pub in Littleborough. BB assured me that the bikers were mature and quite nice really. Sadly just these ones were not very handsome, well there was one who I wouldn’t have pushed out.
After a quick meal and change of clothes, CD and I drove up to Blackstone Edge and parked up in the layby at 8.30. It was very cold and windy so we headed off first south along a good path and then east along a less good one, all in daylight. We had to go fast just to keep warm, and this was with both of us wearing 4 layers. As we approached the road, we could see the moor was on fire but we worked out it wasn’t blazing just where we were going and also that the wind would be taking it away from us.
By the time we got to where we had to cross the road, the light was going and here we made our first mistake, by thinking we were further down than we were. This meant we were not the side of the gully that we thought so we did a quick change of plan to follow the gully. We stood under the pylons in the dark trying to take a bearing, Cath convinced the electricity was affecting her compass but actually it was her phone. Basically we stomped around in the clumps and dips for a while  and eventually reached the top of the gully.
We had decided to aim for a spot height, however both forgetting or not seeing that there was a water way to cross! Another change of plan, to handrail along the drain which we did, using timing and pacing. And then lo and behold, in the middle of all this nothingness, was a little footbridge and post to cross the drain. So we did, then more pacing to find the spot height. This was harder to locate as the local map is marked in 5m contour intervals and so a spot height would be hard to find in daylight let alone at night.
We next headed due West for another drain with a name like Cold and Windy Drain which we found although it was about 20-30m beyond our estimation. We followed this drain to the fence whereupon Cath said “what’s that white line?” “it’s the road!” At this point, she decided to roll around on the tussocks. First Aid was not needed. I dazzled some cars with my beacon headlight and soon got back to our cars. It was nearly 11.30 by then!
When I got home I was so cold I had to put the heating on, make a hot water bottle and drink whisky. I didn’t really warm up properly until lunchtime today!

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.