Feb 042018

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Winter ride with Centreville Cycling Club South Pennines

Pauline well wrapped up near Bridestones and looking forward to the caff

There’s no doubt that there are better seasons than winter for cycling: the optimistic emerald brilliance of spring (remember, there were at least three days like that last year I’m almost sure); the long summer days when you can reap the full benefit of your training (or plumb the depths of it’s absence); and the scented crepuscular richness of autumn’s golden days (which are best enjoyed chucking up your intestines on the finish line of a hill climb), to name but three.

Still, when your luck’s in there is a particular pleasure in dodging the bad days, and today’s Centreville social ride was one such lucky day, snuck in under the wire before a week of nasty temperatures and pricipitation. Apart from a flurry of snow on the way out through Cliviger we dodged the ice, sleet and snow that has made cycling over the last month a hit-and-miss affair. There was no ice on the major but scenic roads we chose, and only the first third had a headwind. Both the Long Causeway and Cragg Vale had a gentle tailwind, and how often does that happen? Panoramic views with snow against grey skies and shy shafts of sunlight ensued.

Winter social ride with Centreville Cycling club from Littleborough

Adam Nettleton, Gary Lake and Nigel Bishop enjoying winter’s special pleasures

It’s good to see Gary Lake out with us able to ride on the hills again as he gradually recuperates from back trouble, although perhaps there is a fixed amount of back pain apportioned to each UK cycling club, as it seemed to have transferred by osmosis to Pauline. Gary is Centreville’s secret scholar. Ask him one year and he is studying early renaissance art, whereas today in the café he was reluctantly admitting to photography and an evening course in film production.  His mum told him learning is for life, and he has taken her at her word. You can tell Gary is getting better, as when a lone cyclist overtook us on Cragg, he requested special dspensation to go after him. It didn’t take him long to catch and drop him. As Gary said, “It’s Centreville. Doesn’t he know who we are?” Not very social Gary, but fun and club dignity was upheld. Adam turned left on Blackstonedge to double the distance and climb by adding the lanes to Slaithwaite on his way home to Hyde.

Winter riding with Centreville cycling club Manchester and South Pennines

Dan’s ‘white’ sleeve after last week’s reliability ride, the result of sitting on Ben’s flapless wheel on a wet day lead to some humorous exchanges on Whatsapp

*Winter rant’s a comin’ in….

Delights of a different kind were experienced at Centreville’s reliability ride no.2 to Gisburn last week, enjoyed with rain and sleet all the way for the satisfaction of getting round a decent ride in testing conditions at a brisk pace. Another pleasure of winter cycling was also in evidence: getting sprayed with road gunk by….dare I say it? Ok I’m gonna: Numpty-Dumbties without mudguards, or even those who have mudguards but not a long enough flap at the back. What’s that about? Not naming any names, (except for Ben in the caption of course, sorry Ben) you know who you are! We even have bespoke club flaps, available from Dan, though I favour a cut down running shoe insole myself.

“But I want to ride my good bike,” I hear you say, “I wear sunglasses to protect my eyes”, “black doesn’t show the dirt, what’s the problem?” All well and good on your own, says I, but when riding in a club group it is only polite not to sneeze, spit, or spray on your mates. I mean, black road slime is bad enough, but when you go past farm-yards the product of cattle’s digestive tract is mixed in. Mmmm yummy, I can see the hit show now: “The Great British Crap Off”

Centreville Cycling Club South Pennines winter cycling

Jack favoured this product…others are available….

The club Whatsapp thread was funny, reading like an audition for the show, with blokes who had recently implied they had nothing to do with the housework or washing machines coming out in fine style, exchanging tips on stain removal. Excellent.

Let’s face it, grown up cyclists secure enough not to need to look like they are at the Tour at all times use mudguards in the winter. Mudguards and flaps have been good enough  for generations of seasoned pros. Train heavy, race light, or to paraphrase John Steinbeck: “What good is the uncluttered, rattle-free lightness of the stripped-down summer bike, without the mudguard faffing of the heavier group-friendly winter bike to give it sweetness?” from The Gripes of Wrath

*a personal view

Centreville cycling Club winter cycling South Pennines Manchester

Dan’s jersey looking shiny after treatment – no harm, no foul

Why not ride with Centreville? All levels and genders welcome, get in touch to find a ride that suits you

 February 4, 2018  Posted by at 8:28 pm 'B' Group, Reliability rides No Responses »
Jan 012018

Centreville is cooking up a nice winter warmer of a cycling stew for 2018, with something for everyone, whatever your riding tastes. Here’s a flavour, why not come and join us – but please always contact us through the website to make sure a particular ride is on that day if it’s your first time out with us:

Reliability rides

In addition to our regular rides, we will be doing three reliability style club rides increasing in distance, starting next Sunday 7th Jan with 55 miles from Rochdale Town Hall at 9am round Widdop; with 60 mile and 90 mile rides to be arranged in January/February around the weather. There will be a target time, but hey ho, it’s a ride, it’s winter, let’s enjoy it and get round eh, no harm no foul. Maybe a steady group and a faster one?

Regular rides

Most Wednesday evenings before the club night at Heywood Bowling Club there is a brisk 40k training ride (unless the weather is really bobbins – ask Steve and Ben about their memorable blizzard in December!), meeting at the Winston Churchill, Bury Rd. at 6.45, mainly valley roads. Contact Ben Whitehead first, usually arranged through Whatsapp group – other nights by arrangement.

Centreville Cycling club Manchester club night rides

It’ll all be worth it come the spring. Note the nifty club mudflaps – you’ll be needing one of those from Dan

Ad-hoc brisk long rides at weekends, 100 miles, often without a stop, base miles for the 2018 racing season, often from Heywood. Contact Steve Whittington, Ben Whitehead, or Dan Shackleton, usually arranged through Whatsapp group.

Steve Whittington

Steve Whittington making good use of his base miles riding in GB strip at the World Gran Fondo championship


2 regular options:

8.30 start from Rochdale Town Hall or Todmorden depending on route, around 60 miles with a café stop, 15-25mph, all welcome, no-one left behind: contact Owen Malkin

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester on pendle

We have some fantastic roads at our disposal, like this one from Downham up Pendle – come and ride them with us

10am start from the Wheatsheaf, Littleborough, a long-standing club ride, 30-40 miles with a café stop, brisk pace on hilly rides, no prisoners taken: contact Dave Grogan or Rick Clough

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester_Saturday training ride

Saturday 10am group: fit vet 60 Dave Grogan 3rd from Left, and multiple race-winner Rick Clough, far right, run this ride.


2 regular options:

9am Sundays from the Wheatsheaf Littleborough: Club social ride, no-one left behind, steady pace, good crack, but testing beautiful routes on hilly minor roads, start, 3 hours plus a café, usually back by 1-ish. Wheel-shaped enjoyment like wot it is meant to be! Contact Geoff Read

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester_Calderdale

Another great route on the Sunday social rides, this time heading for Cross Stones above Todmorden

9.30am Sundays: Brisk training ride, around three hours with a café stop, the main criterior being Dave must, I repeat must be able to get a bacon buttie: contact Dave Grogan

Wednesdays 10am from the Wheatsheaf, Littleborough Brisk training ride, as above, contact Dave Grogan

Audaxes and sportives

Any self-respecting cyclist will of course be looking to ride Centreville’s beautifully hard Goose Eye Grimpeur Sportive 2018 date tbc. In the mean time we will be entering some of the early Cheshire Audaxes into the spring to get the miles in without breaking the spirit. Come and join us:

  • 25th February Mere Century 160km undulating but not hilly down through west Cheshire;
  • Sunday 25th March Chirk from Poynton 200km – pretty flat, good for a mixed ability group,
  • Saturday 7th April, you can join Nigel on the hilly 300km Yr Elenydd, a fantastic route but only for the very hardy! So alternatively there is:
  • Sunday 8th April from Mytholmroyd a hilly but manageable 115km: Spring into The Dales (entry on the day ok, but bring a completed form)
  • Sunday 20th May the classic and tough Etape du Dales sportive, organised by Centreville’s own Nigel Bishop for the Dave Raynor Fund, which supports young racing cyclists. Enter and ride, and if not please volunteer to help (a good day out for a good cause) – get in touch through the event website.
Centreville Cycling Club Manchester busy Audaxing

Centreville at an information control on the Cheshire Safari 100 mile Audax in November 2017. Still none the wiser…

Trips away

Majorca training. Several groups from Centreville are heading to Porta Plença in Majorca for the classic pre-season mile-fest and jollities, mainly around the 2nd and 3rd weeks of April. If you are interested you can either arrange your own accommodation and meet to ride, or you can join a group going for 5 days 12th-17th April for £550 including breakfast, evening meal and bike transfer; they will ride at the speed of whoever comes, all welcome: contact Owen Malkin.

Majorca road

Now if that was in the South Pennines, it woud just go straight up the hill….

YHA trips. To be confirmed, but there will be several two-day trips staying at youth hostels this year. To express an interest, contact us.

Centreville Cycling Club Manchester YHA weekend

Centreville ruining a perfectly good view of Ironbridge in Shrophire on the Wilderhope YHA weekend 2017. No Nick, we are not doing one of those calendars, you can stop draping….

Looking ahead to the 2018 season

You can come and test your metal on the full range of events  with Centreville this year. Dan will be building on his very strong TT season last year, and will be joined by Ben in the Spoco TT series, with Paul Basson another strong TT rider who also road races.

Centreville Cycling Club tt races Dan Shackleton

Dan flying, and he is in danger of going faster this year

Kris Jon and Ben will be doing the Eddie Soens road race in March, with more to follow, and Steve will be tearing it up on the road and pushing for age group selection.  Our road racers have some some very big boots to fill historically, but most recently with Louis Szymanski who really stepped up last year, winning several road races in front of elite riders and gaining first cat status. We wish him well for 2018 as he moves onwards and upwards.

Centreville cycling club welcomes women riders

Pauline Cooper attacking a hill climb in style

Members will also be training and racing at the velodrome, and the end of the year will be topped off with the hill climb season, and there are whispers of mountain bike rides. Centreville welcomes riders of all ages and genders and we welcomed a pleasing number of new members in 2017. New women members are especially welcome to carry on the racing tradition of Mandy, our World Road Race Champion, or just to enjoy riding. Should be a great year, hope to see you!


PS, don’t forget your lights:


Contact us

Sep 242017
ABC Cenrtreville Cycling Club Manchester- soila ride cafe

A plague of cyclists at the bakery cafe in Slaithwaite, or Slawitt as we should pronounce it

Trust Centreville to find the one cafe in all the world with the one teenager in all the world who has always been terrified of cyclists – and then crowd onto the same table as her en-masse. It’s that kind of nuanced sensitivity that makes us the fine club we are today. To be fair there was nowhere else to sit and her mum said it was OK. She didn’t look too sure herself, even when I did my best disarming Gruffalo “Grrrr” to break the ice, along with a few choice dad jokes. Apparently when the family was out for, say a nice day in the Dales, as a toddler she would suddenly begin shrieking for no apparent reason, until they finally realised it was the cyclists in their sunglasses and helmets “Looking like insect stormtroopers.” John thought that was cool. Personally, I think we aren’t just any old insects, locusts are closer to the mark, plague or otherwise. If you liken the contents of a café to a field of crops we can munch the lot in thirty minutes flat.

Hmmmm...insect stromtroopers, you can kind of see what she means

Hmmmm…insect stromtroopers, with John, Jo and Dan you can kind of see what she means. Scary stuff.

I think technically seven riders is too small a number to constitute a plague though we had a good try. Surprisingly the mum had been defending cyclists to her rabidly anti-cyclist friend, channeling media memes, who would like us banned or retrained, or worse. She pointed out to her that cars were much more dangerous than bikes, and most cyclists also drive, so they are already trained in the rules of the road. As Dan threw in, 2 pedestrians are killed by cyclists a year, whereas 5 people are killed by bees and far more by cars. If you want to get into it, have a look at this graphic on all causes of death, which shows that in 2010 as an example 808 car drivers or passengers died, and 153 pedestrians were killed by cars. Not to belittle any individual death, each one of which is an appalling tragedy, but a little perspective is in order. On the whole we are the good guys, reducing death and expense caused by medical decrepitude and doing considerable less harm to the environment while on our bikes than when driving our cars.

ABC Centreville Cycling Club Manchester_soical ride

Nice turn out nicely turned out. A Centreville Sunday social ride gathers in Littleborough ready to lay waste to the land.


Why not come and infest the South Pennines with Centreville? We are always happy to have new insect stormtroopers along and we’ll look after you – all abilities and genders very welcome. Get in touch

 September 24, 2017  Posted by at 8:01 pm 'B' Group, Club rides 2 Responses »
May 072017
ABC Centreville Cycling club Manchester in Luddenden Dean

Nick and Jim on the only easy way up Luddenden Dean – top secret!

As Wordsworth wrote in his great long-form poem, The Prelude, “Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive, but to be on a bike was very heaven.” We wandered, but far from being lonely as the madding clouds, it was another ABC Centreville social ride, and as readers of these well thumbed web-pages will know, that means wheel-fueled bliss on routes that delight the eye, ravish the senses and knacker your legs up with their high climb to mile rate; all in the company of a mongrel group with the consistency and class of an Aldi remainder bin. But then who doesn’t love an Aldi remainder bin?

ABC Centreville social ride in Luddenden Ed

Newby Ed contemplates getting his racing Ed on with Centreville – see what I did there?

Luddenden Dean is a gem of place to ride, run or walk in, as beautiful as anything in the Yorkshire Dales. It does, however, have some notoriously steep lanes, like cobbled Old lane, which Cycling Weekly describes as “… a truly terrifying mixture of slippy, skewiff cobbles and a stupidly steep incline; it demands a flat-out effort just to avoid falling over. Like the most famous cobbles of Europe, it’s exciting to ride in the same way that sprinting on a set of rollers is exciting to ride.” Halifax Lane and Luddenden Bank is also up there on the ‘pig of a climb’ list,  along with Stocks lane, both having Hill Climb events on them that have been used for the national championship race. Yeah, we didn’t do any of them.

ABC Centreville social B ride in Luddenden 2017 2

Ah, civilised, a nice gentle unmade lane threading the sites of old water-powered mills in the valley bottom

The well graded and eminently rideable unmade lane that sneaks up by the river at least gets you to the bottom of another of Luddenden’s piggy climbs un-harmed, though the climb up Banks Lane from the bridge below Jerusalem Farm up the east side of the valley sets the record straight with it’s gradient and cobbled section. It gets you, albeit slightly the worse for wear, to the magic of Saltonstall Lane, which contours the valley past the home of Richard Saltonstall Lord Mayor of London in 1597. I read that in a guide to the Calderdale way, so it must be true.

ABC Centreville cycling club South Pernnines Luddenden Dea

The glorious Saltonstall/Heys/Low Lane

Once round the head of Luddenden Dean a sneakily steep few metres kicks you round on to another unmade lane which takes you back on the other side of the valley, again rideable on a road bike. Can’t beat a bit of rough stuff in my opinion, although there was muttering from the delicate roadie sensibilities in the ranks. Inspired by recent political events (who’d have though it, turkeys actually do vote for Christmas) I simply screamed “Back you dogs, down I tell ye!” which did the trick. Let’s make Centreville great again.

ABC Centreville Cycling Club social ride above Cragg Vale Jack

Newby no.2 Jack gets off the main roads on a lane above Cragg Vale. Yes sir, this is how we roll

Through Midgely and down the steep descent to Mytholmroyd, there was only a half Cragg between us and Craggies café, though Ed and Jack (soon to be gracing an A ride) used their young legs to good effect, put the hammer down and did a full Cragg and were pleased to do a PB. Mel, Jim, Norman, and Andy were therefore first in the caff, with Nick helping me with a gun-shot-loud rear blowout which was unrepairable: smart-arse off-roader gets punished straight away. I walked the bike up through the fields to Blazing Saddles and bought a new tyre. There are worse places to have a blowout, but then in heaven a bike shop is always there when you need it.


ABC Centreville social B ride Littleborough 2017

Andy, Jim, Ed, Norman, Nick, Jack and Mel back at the ‘Boro looking blissed out.

 May 7, 2017  Posted by at 3:46 pm 'B' Group, Club rides 3 Responses »
Apr 232017
Centreville cycling club social B ride South Pennines

The green beast by the Wheatsheaf. My bike is green as well

It’s a puzzle: if there are more people than machines, what’s the best way to cope? Perhaps each rider takes it in turn to run for a while? That wouldn’t have been a problem on this fine edition of the Centreville social B rides as it turned out. ‘A’ group regular Gary has started running on the quiet and has entered his first trail race for Todmorden Harriers – today he was having a recovery ride from his hard velodrome training for track racing, and was “Just here to ride the hills hard” in the course of what for him was a pootle. Fell runner Mark from Barnoldswick turned up with Pauline – late of course. He was wearing Pauline’s spare club strip, we didn’t like to ask if this borrowed wardrobe extended beyond the outer layer….and of course I have been known to run, though my underwear is my own.

Centreville cycling club B social ride Saddleworth

Gary getting fit doing the right thing – going hard to the top then riding back down to Andy

Once Norman had got back from his car where, from the time he took, he had done protracted battle with a pair of recalcitrant leggings in order to  keep his dodgy knee warm (definitely not shorts weather yet mate!) we were off on a classic Pennine loop of 41km with a mere 750m of climbing. Where it wasn’t lumpy it was bumpy. Gary popped off the front on the climb from Newhey and Mark and Pauline stepped on the gas on their….oh wait a minute, that’s what you do when there are 7 riders and 6 bikes, you take one of those thingumys, silly me, no one has to run at all: a tandem, that’s it. Andy is new to cycling but getting stronger every week sensibly elected for a pace that he could keep up to the end, which he did in fine style without blowing up. If he ever starts riding more than once a week he’ll be dangerous.

Centreville Cyling Club Littleborough above Ripponden

Mark modelling across the bonnet of his nice Dolan Tandem above Ripponden

We are adopting some serious etiquette for these B rides, which is both friendly and rational. We take it in turns to ride with who ever is at the back on a given day, and anyone who wants to ride hard up the hills rides back to the last person on the road, repeating until  satisfied or knackered whichever is the sooner. This has two advantages: people don’t get p****d off riding on their own and leave (you don’t need a club to do that after all), and the group gets tired at a similar rate. The bonkers habit of the fit riders getting more rest as they wait at the top, while the slower riders get little or no rest and get more and more tired, just increases the energy gap between the two and does no-one any good. It also has the benefit that everyone gets a workout and you finish the ride with a similar level of tiredness. Win, win.

Beatiful bike riding with Centreville Cycling Club, Littleborough lancashire

John D on his first ride back a few months after getting taken out by a drunk driver remembers just how nice it can be

It was good to have John D out with us again. As he said, “The biggest matter for me was that first ride back on the road in 25 weeks! following the 3.5 times over the limit driver hitting me, with you around on the ride (plus Pauline and the others) it greatly diminished my anxiety and apprehension though the ‘butterflys’ were there all the way round.” No problem big man, you’ve paid your dues to the sport over the years, what goes around comes around.


Mark and Pauline on Pike End Road on a glorious day for riding

There are no better roads on a sparkling fresh day like today than the moorland roads with vast vistas of space, and the twisting and challenging lanes, of the South Pennines – we are lucky to have them and to share eachother’s company in the fellowship of the wheel, the sunlight flashing on our spokes etc.etc, freedom, blah blah. Never mind all that crap, where’s the café? Back in Littleborough after racing the tandem off Blacktsonedge (you have to pedal hard, they don’t as it turns out) we quaffed some unfeaseably strong tea and got on the outside of some carefully selected scran while comparing the relative merits of an over-priced university degree versus an apprenticeship. Without Gary though, he was still out there riding, getting a few more miles in. He might still be out there now, for all we know….So that’s six riders , with four bikes now, or is it five minus…carry one, no, I’ve lost it now.


Centreville Cycling Club east Lancs and the South Pennines

Norman exchanges a career as a head teacher with being a good clubman, and on his first week of blissful unemployment keeps Andy company

Come and join us  – get in touch through the contact page


 April 23, 2017  Posted by at 11:57 pm 'B' Group, Club rides 1 Response »
Apr 162017

A spot of the rough stuff in Ripponden

A spot of unexpected off-road adds a frisson of the unknown to any road ride, and today’s social B route was no exception. This was on top of the civilised, planned and eminently rideable off-road half-way round. We were held up by an Easter-related delay, as Mandy obviously had to hide 13 eggs in the garden for daughter Rebecca to find before taking to the wheel, as you do. Usually the kids are younger than 22, but hey, tradition is tradition. The tradition of the young not dragging themselves out of their pit when visiting home from uni was also upheld, and not only did Becca not have time to find the eggs before setting off, she also had to forgo breakfast. Such is yoof.

New kid on the block Andy didn’t have a rain jacket with him, so I also nipped back for my knackered-up cag, which he just managed to get on his manly frame. It’s England mate, there is a slim chance it might rain! It did. We chatted up Blackstonedge and round the Blue Ball lanes. There was nearly a serious accident at the sharp left above Sowerby where we were going straight on, but the deep groove, trench even, worn by Centreville on their standard ‘Blue Ball and a bacon buttie at the Waterside’ route tried to send us left. Only Nigel’s bike-handling skills honed over years of top-level bunch racing kept us on track down through Sowerby and on to the canal bank to Elland.


Following the sat-nav again….

It’s tres continental along there, the broad tree-hung waters and smooth tarmac tow-path allowing two abreast riding. We only had two dog walkers into the canal, and I’m almost sure the old lady with the Airedale could swim. Mandy managed to kick off her mudguard stay as we grappled with the cheeky little sharp left up a 25% cobbled ramp to the road through Elland. The long drag up to Barkisland – all Viking names round here tha knows – was finished off with Becca beating her dad downhill for the first time ever. Perhaps it was the scent of baked beans wafting from The Robin’s Nest cafe in Ripponden.

The egg theme continued on our plates. Now I like a well cooked yolk myself, but the Bishops weren’t happy, not happy at all. They like ’em runny apparently. Having successfully put ourselves outside some calories and caffeine-laced beverages, we listened to Nigel (which you should never do, we know that now), who had found a lane on his phone he’d never done before. After an interesting corner of old and new houses tucked into the valley bottom, and some rideable though green cobbles, we hit a somewhat less rideable muddy slope. Nigel nearly made it, but didn’t, so he wasn’t able to use the line “You see, I told you, it is perfectly rideable.” As with hard yolks, I have no problem with walking a bit.


Who needs foreign holidays?

The rain finally came in as we headed into a headwind back over Blackstonedge and saw the classic sight which probably only can be seen in the UK, and specifically on the Pennines, of an ice-cream van rocking in the wind in the pissing rain on top of a hill; and someone coming to buy an ice-cream! There’ll always be an England. Mandy and Nigel were looking forward to aubergines al parmigiano. The secret is only adding the quorn to the tomato sauce after it has cooked down, apparently. By the time we got down to the Boro’ Andy had burst Hulk-like out of my cag, which was admittedly held together by gaffer tape in the first place and will now grace the bin. Becca was wondering if her hidden eggs would have been melted by the rain or eaten by dogs. I could no longer feel mine.

See you on the road, Geoff

 April 16, 2017  Posted by at 4:46 pm 'B' Group, Club rides 1 Response »
Nov 052014
Centreville cycling club in Saddlewort

Richard climbing Knott Hill Lane out of Delph

‘B’ ride: Saddleworth lanes to Edna’s

See what I did there? What’s your saddle wor….oh never mind. We had a good turn out for a Wednesday morning of seven, tempted by the low sunshine and blue skies to go out on a limb, forsake the Blue Ball circuit and have a look-see at the lovely lanes of Saddleworth. They are steep, scattered with lovely domestic architecture tucked up on the hillsides and fantastic views over the valleys and moors. There was muttering about potholes and mountain bikes, but in my humble opinion it is no problem on narrow tyres if you keep your wits about you. Of course if you have left them at home you could end up in a ditch or plastered on a gable end. I like the alertness factor myself, gets the synapses firing, both of them.

Knott Hill Lane_Delph_Centreville Cycling Club

The bunch disappearing up Knott Hill Lane. Very steep, vary narrow, rough surface: what’s not to like?

Ray and his son-in-law Neville (?), Dave G, first timer Phil Hodgson, Richard and myself rode to meet Pauline in Newhey then over Huddersfield Rd to Delph, Wham Lane, numerous small lanes through Dobcross to Diggle and the big climb up to Running Hill Lane, round Pots and Pans, Greenfiled then over Burnedge Lane to Delph and a stop at Ednas café. The café does good grub and as well as giving you free top-ups  of coffee or tea, and they claim it is part of the oldest individual co-operative in England, with the cafe, a craft shop and gallery sharing the same building. If you need to pick up a knitted figure resembling an in-law on your rides, this is the caff for you. There is good ‘Last of the summer wine’ banter to be had from the couple who run it, and the home-made flapjack is stellar.

By the way, my saddle is worth very little, but gives me a lot of pleasure. Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right…


 November 5, 2014  Posted by at 3:00 pm 'B' Group, Club rides 2 Responses »
Sep 272014
Centreville 'B' ride Saddleworth lanes

Centreville in ‘Different café” shocker

A bit of variety is good for the soul, so while Ray and Dave G plumped for the usual, I inveigled Pauline, Tony and new boy Richard into exploring the small and hilly lanes of Saddleworth on Wednesday, in a loop taking in Denshaw, Delph, Dobcross, Diggle (nice climb up and round by Pots and Pans), Greenfield, around the back of a hill whose name I can’t remember and back to Delph for, wait for it, a different café! We got there and nabbed the tables in the sunshine just in time, as about 25 other cyclists arrived shortly afterwards.

Tony thought the coffee was expensive, but in compensation a nice silver-haired old lady took a shine to him, asking him if he was all right and patting him on the shoulder. She had a twinkle in her eye, that one, she’d have had him round for a scone given half a chance I could tell. Well, he is a good looking chap.

Saddleworth lanes cycling route Centreville

Piggledy or squiggly? You decide.

Café legs are not the best for tackling Knott Hill Lane straight out of Delph, which is barely a road but is plenty steep and with stunning views over Saddleworth, but Pauline and Richard seemed to manage it all right as they disappeared up the road: the Strava effect, no doubt. We had done “Wham” lane, taken a wrong turn, as people often do, on “Lovers’ Lane,” negotiated a lot of pot holes, all with the help one of those funny flappy things people had before smart phones and GPS, what is it now? Oh yes, a map. Damn fine route though – gotta love those Saddleworth lanes: they are higgledy, and I might even go so far as to say, piggledy.

Richard’s ride (includes from Todmorden): on Strava


 September 27, 2014  Posted by at 7:50 am 'B' Group, Club rides No Responses »