However we went to that famous DIY store for some stuff to finish off insulating and plasterboarding the garage ceiling (as our living room is right above it) and had a wonder in the garden section… well, bet you don’t need to guess we blew our holiday budget in there! BUT… we got a beautiful Japanese maple tree so all is good!
Anyhow… Yesterday my Mr showed me an article on the Guardian “Easy riders: 10 scenic cycle routes” and said… “we could do the Hebden Bridge ride tomorrow on the Rochdale canal“. I looked up the weather forecast (you know, you don’t want to assume there’ll be sunshine) and that was that!
Well… I am home, slightly aching but not as much as I was expecting, and I can definitely tell you that it was an amazing ride, especially as after having lunch in Todmorden we decided to cycle a bit further, and a bit further, and a bit further… well… we cycled all the way home!!
I may be bit achy with few bruises and grease marks… but I can’t tell you how wonderful I feel and so proud of my overall ride of 36 miles!
So here’s some pretty pictures and brief commentary… as pictures speak for themselves!
We rode to Victoria station and got a train to Hebden Bridge. Once we got there we had a nice look around town and found a flea market fair… don’t need to say that to me twice! We had a delish coffee and cupcake for £1.60 (!) and I found an old-ish but still good OS map of Manchester for £1.50, which I will be able to use to plan more rides and not worry about marking it with notes etc!
Once we got to Todmorden we stopped at the pub next to the canal for lunch… and ended up having the biggest “Giant Yorkshire Pudding” ever with sausages and veg… getting going again was hard!
Instead of catching the train back we thought let’s continue a ‘little’… but as the weather was so nice (albeit a tad too much headwind for my liking) we ended up cycling all the way into Manchester!
Here we are close to the highest point of the Canal: 600ft above sea level. The surrounding landscape was breathtaking… I wish more people knew how beautiful this part of the world is!
We got to Durn and stopped to read about the Rochdale Canal history, I didn’t know it was reopened for navigation only in 2002!
Around Rochdale/Middleton (not sure exactly) the wind got stronger and stronger and turned headwind! Arghhhh! It got heavy going… but the view made up for it and we kept on pushing…
And so we rolled into Manchester, cycling through Miles Platting, which I really like. I think people should give Miles Platting a break, considering how much it has been let down by the local authority, developers and designers alike, there’s still so much energy and some great stuff goes on… for example have you heard of “Manchester Tart”? It’s a quirky recipe book that celebrates the culinary heritage of Miles Platting, Collyhurst and Ancoats! You can find more info here. I am not sure if you can still buy it. I’d love to be involved with some work with the community… I hope, one day :)
Then we finished our super ride in Port Street Beer House for a well deserved cold drink!
The final 5 miles ride home after that cold drink was reaaaaaaally hard! My legs had seized up by then eheh :D but a few stretches once I got home and I am not too bad now!
Right! I am off watching the snooker final… that Judd Trump is quite unreal!
And about the Rochdale Canal… I recommend it to everyone! The fact that often it crosses villages with train stations means that if at any point you feel tired, you can easily hop back on and get back to Manc on a comfy seat. I think it’d be suitable, in shorter sections perhaps, for families with children too.