The thaw has set in proper. However, with the sheer amount of snow we had, whilst the standing stuff was melting fine, anything that had been compacted by foot or car was turned to thick, solid ice. Good turn out with Toss, Weest, Wors and myself all up for a ride in what would be pretty testing conditions.
I elected to walk the 50 yards to Tossers house as I didn't like the look of the ice and found Weester putting a new cassette on his bike.
We decided to head straight down the Valley and over towards Dunscar. Our fears were confirmed after 10 yards. Slippery as hell. The Stairs into the valley were sheet ice so we slid down them on foot, only managing to get on the bike about halfway down. Riding through the valley and over to Eagley sports centre was a joke, we were all over the place.
So at Blackburn Road, we decided to just head up to Cadshaw along the A666. Its a long old climb this and on tarmac so it wasnt particularly pleasant. The only good feature I found was that my Propedal setting works brilliantly. The Turner never really moved under pedal load anyway being a 4 bar, but the extra stiffness of the propedal was really noticeable and made the climb seem a lot easier that I thought it would be.
At Cadshaw, the road up to Darwen moor looked to be a sheet, so we elected to head down to the Duck. Weester insisted on having a play in some snow drifts.
The chute down past Edge Fold was free of ice surprisingly, the ice being replaced by a roaring torrent of melt water over a rocky bed. Great fun and the first opportunity to use my front brake this year!
Past the sad building that is the Strawberry Duck. Still closed and lifeless. A real shame seeing the place like this. I think most of the inhabitants of Bolton have at one point in their lives had a sesh in this old place.
Over the Dam and up to Green Arms. We then decided on making it a real short ride and heading down the Witton Weavers. At the top, I gently rolled through a puddle, only to discover it was sold ice underneath. Bang, I'm on my arse before i know what hit me. Pissed wet through as I landed in the puddle, there were now concerned voices from my companions, just gales of laughter. I should have expected nothing less.Flying down the road, Weest and Wors were well ahead of me and Toss, until Jase found a patch of ice with his name on it. He went down pretty heavily actually, ripping his shorts and making a mess of his knee. He got words of concern and sympathy I noted. twats.
Toss took us down a new path though Higher Ridings, which although short I thought was ace. In summer it will be a right good quick blast.
Back home in short order to wash the salt off.
STW Lakes ride on Sunday. Cant wait.