Monday, 24 June 2013

Day Trip to Lancashire Part 3 - Cross of Greet

Slaidburn is a nice little village and my dad and I had lunch in the Hark to Bounty Inn and I can honestly say I had the best burger I have ever tasted. The dog approved as well and it was frankly a bit of a wrench to leave the shade of the pub beer garden to climb back into the car before heading towards the final ride of the day.
One thing I must point out about the village of Slaidburn is that it has a really stunning statue on the war memorial in the centre of the village. I feel foolish for missing the chance to take a picture of it. I also feel foolish for misreading the map and sailing past the war memorial and heading off in the wrong direction when trying to find the start of the Cross of Greet climb.

The road out to the climb once I did finally start heading in the right direction seemed to take forever and is at times narrow, poorly surfaced and steep. The only decent place to part was just past the summit in an over sized lay by. It was getting late in the day by the time I started my ride down to the start and I was feeling tired and not fully up to the task. Still the descent was technical, fast and fun and after a while it hit me that I was riding somewhere really special. The gradient on the climb is never too steep but you truly get the feeling that you are in the middle of nowhere on some remote mountain pass. The traffic is light and all I could hear was the sound of my own wheezing as I tried to inject some pace into my riding.

Apart from the sound of a fat man wheezing this was actually a very tranquil spot
In truth I failed as I was feeling just a bit too hot and road surface was proving to be quite coarse and draggy. As the climb continued my pace stayed resolutely slow and it was a relief to reach the final steeper stretch and the cattle grid marking the top of the climb.

That joyous feeling of rattling across the last cattle grid of the day

Still, it is another climb ticked off the list and my trip across the border into Lancashire had been productive and with an easier day planned for the following day my week up North seemed to be going well. More updates to follow.


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