Thursday, 19 February 2009

Nick O'Pendle

Why is it when I set out for a short unplanned ride and I'm not sure which way I should go, that I end up taking the path that leads uphill? On Sunday, after cleaning, adjusting and lubricating the derailleur on my restored commuter, I wanted to have a test run and with an hour or so at my disposal, it was a good opportunity to supplement my weekly commuting mileage.

Mist over Pendle - Witch country

At first, I was going to go west for a change, but decided at the last minute that heading off into the Ribble Valley was more desirable. When I travel the same route many times, I look for variations to make it interesting. In Whalley, instead of heading further towards Clitheroe, I headed our towards the delightful village of Wiswell and from there to Pendleton. Having reached it in what seemed like no time, the crunch decision came at the junction with Pendle Road. That gave me the option of an easy drop down to Clitheroe or toil over the Nick O'Pendle to Sabden. My old bike has 12 speeds but none of them are suitable for climbing hills, I know that, but still, for some reason, I took the route right up the hill.

It wasn't long before I was warming up to a steady boil and had to stop by the cattle grid to get my breath back. Another stop by Pendle Ski club to admire the view (and let off steam).

From here you get fine views north over the Ribble Valley and the Forest of Bowland. The rest enabled recovery enough to reach the 'nick' from which to catch the views of Sabden lying in the valley beyond.

Luckily no roadies were climbing the hill when I was so I didn't feel too embarassed. I exchanged nods with a couple going down the other side. They looked a bit more serious than me and perhaps were doing their winter training for the sportives that run in summer of these local hills.

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