Ride Reports

Saturday 15th May 2021

B2 ride report - Cow Ark Roller Coaster - Phil Doyle
Not sure if it was the weather forecast, the chosen route or the choice of RC but as Ste Woodward commented "they are dropping like flies' and so a group of 8 became 2 as Ste and myself were the only ones that made it to the Bellflower.
They missed a great ride with only intermittent light rain to deal with and even a little sunshine at the lunch stop the weather was no problem. We saw the B1's leave and passed the 2 C groups on Dimples Lane as the route took us up the less popular climb of Smithy Lane to Claughton via Walmsley Bridge. The signs say the lane is open to pedestrians and cyclists and it is, but only just! Dismounts and care needed to negotiate the roadblocks and gravel.
We circled round Beacon Fell and took in the first part of the climb over Chaigley before taking the left fork and joining the well worn route to Cow Ark Farm for our first rest stop. We paced ourselves well up the climb from Cow Ark over the Easington undulations but it is a little disheartening when your co-rider takes the lead, stops to take a photo and then passes you again before the top! The exhilarating descent was the reward and we soon reached the lunch stop, the Riverside cafe at Slaidburn. Ste declared the bacon sandwich the best he had ever had!
The steep climb just after Slaidburn nearly did for me, how can it have got steeper since I last did it??? This was a sign of things to come as each incline that followed seemed to get harder than I remembered. The road surface between Slaidburn and Dunsop Bridge has some really dangerous patches. We toyed with giving the climb up the 'Little Trough' past the Wild Boar Park a miss but we are made of sterner stuff but this was a real leg burner and we both struggled. The c.4000 feet of ascent took its toll and each little incline seemed to get more difficult.
We parted ways at the end of Dimples Lane in Garstang with Ste getting a soaking on his way back through Pilling and me staying dry back to Barton.
Great ride through some of the best countryside Lancashire has to offer, lots of beautiful villages with a great cafe stop, where was everybody??? Thanks for the company Ste I would have been on my own without you "in the middle of nowhere". If you are interested my figures for the ride were 60.17 miles, 4072 feet and 13.4 mph.

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