Monday, 26 January 2009

MCC Club Ride

SUNDAY 25th JANUARY was the first club ride of the year for Middleton CC. It was expected to be a ride with a fair few riders as very few of them had actually done any riding over Xmas and new year and this would be the perfect opportunity to get out and spin the legs ready for the new season on a nice flat route.

How many turned up at the Velodrome? TWO - me and Paul. Fab 'club' ride eh?!
We set off with me leading and setting to fast a pace for poor Paul, so had to slow it down or keep slowing down when I noticed he'd fallen off my back wheel!

The route was one of our usual routes to Dunham Massey but with a few tweaks; so it began as normal heading out through Didsbury and Wythenshawe and along the now finished Shaftesbury Rd (been roadworks on the bridge just literally once you get off the roundabout for ages), to come to Altrincham itself.
Usually I either turn off along Barrington Rd to get to Atlantic St or I'll turn up Dunham Rd for a climb to a huge junction before turning off to head straight to Dunham Massey Park. This time, I turned onto Church St before getting onto Oldfield Rd for a nice quiet suburban road section before coming to a halt at the single lane bridge at the end of it where it meets Seamon's Rd. As the lights turned to our favour, I stomped down on the pedal to push off and nearly came off! I'd been so happily pootling along that I hadn't changed gear for the red light, so was trying to push off in the most definite wrong gear. Loud clunk, cleats came out of pedals and a huge bruise right on the calf muscle (I was stood on pedals when it clunked and slipped), Paul yelling at me if I was OK. Tad embarrassing, but I had to recover super quick as traffic was building behind us.

The lovely lanes of Broadheath followed with lots of sheep and cow-filled fields and the beginnings of potato crops pushing their leaves through the clag. All too soon, we were on the outskirts of the park and turning into Dog Farm for the Lavender Barn tea rooms.

After tea cakes and hot chocolate I set the pace again (again too fast so had to slow it down) and took Paul on a little diversion along Whitehouse Lane and onto Sinderland Lane an Sinderland Rd to Manchester Rd. The route became our usual one again with us heading towards Manchester on this road before turning off onto Marsland Rd and through Northenden where a very loud hissing sound began to emit from my front tyre.

Couldn't see the problem initially until I shoved the wheel into a puddle and chuckled as it happily bubbled away. Bugger! After hoicking the bike over and pulling the tyre off we then spotted the hunk of glass that'd gone right through the tyre into the tube. Now for a lesson for Paul in the speed of a co2 canister - he was pleasantly surprised, but as he rides an mtb he's rather happy with using brute force to get his tyres pumped up!

Once the wheel was back on and we'd cleaned ourselves up a bit, we carried on with getting home. Again the route changed a little with a trip through Kenworthy Wood, across the Mersey and through Chorlton Water Park. Barlow Moor Rd followed with a turn onto Yew Tree Rd and we were back near the Bike Docs. Only a little way to go now!

I think Paul sensed we didn't have too far left as he seemed to pick up the pace a little as we headed fro Alan Turing Way where every set of lights were against us, so lots of resting time! Once on Ashton New Rd by the huge Asda Walmart store I kinda got a little bit mean and left Paul behind so I could have an uphill sprint along here and North Rd. Paul didn't mind thankfully and soon caught up when I stopped to wait for him before heading off to my place while he went to his.

I carried on along North Rd to Lewis Rd for a lovely straight section, although it is permeated with speed humps. Damn those traffic planners. All too soon I was back home ready for a bowl of pasta and a hot bath. Fab!

View Interactive Map on

Boring bits -
Windy (15 mph headwinds) but mild (7 degrees) and a little damp.
Maximum mph: 27
Average mph: 13.4
Distance: 36.21 miles
Climbed: 377ft


  1. Poor Paul.

    I hope you're not planning or sprinting off after buses when I ride with you!

  2. I'll try not to, but I can't promise anything ;oP