Home > Event > Roach Bridge 2023
11 June, 2023
Matalan Car Park, Cuerden Way, Bamber Bridge, Preston. PR5 6BP

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Other suitable titles could be “Slowest Ride Ever” or “WBCCC does carry on cycling”

The route was fine Geoff, just one of those days, one of those long days…….

Got off to a great start, glorious weather and everywhere smelling fresh after the previous evenings rain. Four of us met at Standish and had a quite brisk ride to Bamber Bridge to meet the others, slight delay in setting off but it mattered not in the slightest as things panned out. Allan F had kindly (bravely) volunteered to lead the ride in the absence of the injured Geoff (get well soon). First of the days hiccups happened after only a mile or so, the route on Allan’s Garmin was playing up and somehow showing we were off course, Allan hadn’t done the route previously and those who had, couldn’t remember the way. On we plodded until it tried to send us down a private road, we were just about to go for it when the owner happened to arrive home and kindly directed us to the correct route several hundred yards up the road. Got the impression it was a frequent occurrence for her. Plain sailing from here until the lunch stop although we did have several brushes with a white transit van, complete with green canoe on top. Must have bumped in to him, pretty much literally, on every narrow road we went down, came as a surprise when we didn’t. We reached the Fielden Arms for lunch at half eleven, only opened at twelve so the delayed start actually worked out well. Decision was made to soak up the sun and wait rather than find an alternative. Didn’t get a photo but, Denis looked rather smart wearing his knotted hankie as a sun hat. Frank has since gone on a diet after his wooden chair collapsed under his colossal weight, Denis ever the opportunist suggested he complained and got a free lunch, Frank was having none of it though.

After what was a rather protracted stop we finally got underway again with about 14 miles to cover, took us the best part of three hours, visions of the carpark at Matalan being closed when we got back. Denis at this point was getting rather concerned about the battery level on his new bike and had decided to turn the electrics off and use it as a normal bike. Apparently he’d already done a couple of rides on it and for those of you that know him it will come as no surprise that he hadn’t bothered charging it back up….. Few miles in and it was that man in the wars again, whether the lack of electrics played a part in it is pure speculation, first steep hill we came to resulted in a tumble for him, i’m sure he’d love to explain the details to you in person. Both himself and the bike got off relatively unscathed, bit of self administered first aid for him and a multitool for his bike saw them both mobile again. Few tentative pedal strokes and he was back underway once more, not for long though. On the next steep section he was frantically searching for a low gear when the chain got caught on its guard, wrapped round the crank and dragged the rear derailleur into the cassette, wasn’t his day. This happened just round a blind bend on a pretty narrow road with traffic flowing in both directions. Couldn’t move the bike unless we carried it so Elaine stood guard on the corner to warn oncoming motorists and we affected a repair on the spot with the odd car insisting on passing as close a possible as we were doing so. Quite stop and start the rest of the ride with several gates etc to negotiate but thankfully incident free. The 25 mile ride took us in total, five and a half hours, with more to come for some of us.

Four of us headed homewards, three towards Standish and yours truly heading through Cuerden Valley. For me as it happened the fun wasn’t over, ended up getting lost and riding a few miles in the wrong direction. Been a while since i’d done that particular route, took a corner and expected a steep hill in front of me, which there duly was, but something didn’t feel quite right. Couldn’t quite place it but it it also looked familiar, must have done it at some point in the past. Eventually decided a u-turn was the best option, retraced my steps and finally made it home almost 10 hours after setting out… Long long day in the saddle

Really enjoyed it though, great company as usual and many thanks to Allan for stepping in to lead. Probably wishes he hadn’t if truth be known.

Trough of Bowland next up, great route if anyone fancies it. Only a few climbs…… Ask Allan R

Preston Mod’s convention. Denis went awol at this point, stopped for a natter with them.

Not quite familiar with that hand signal?

Trouble on the horizon.

We have a man down.

And he’s back up again, cut, bruised and pride wounded.

Concerned Meerkats.

Milking the attention.

All good again.

Why is it always Denis?

Our smiling traffic marshall.

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