Avoiding Manchester

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
axel_knutt
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by axel_knutt »

Sweep wrote: 18 Aug 2021, 1:16pm Speedsix if you want to avoid some of north Manchester if you book ahead you can often get very cheap trains on the Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe Line - going all the way or getting off wherever - I'd recommend somewhere after Blackburn - this avoids some pretty stiff climbs over the moors between Bolton and Blackburn. Pretty wild up there - there are even snowpoles! Northern rail is excellent with bikes - very easygoing - even if some of the bike stowage is less than ideal.
The Rochdale canal makes a good route north out of Manchester, it goes high over the moor, but it's all very easy gradient. You can pick it up at the start near the hostel, but I used to join at Middleton.
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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by Richard Fairhurst »

speedsixdave wrote: 14 Aug 2021, 10:05amCycle.Travel suggests a lot of cycle route 55 which heads from Stockport to Bolton, but it looks pretty urban. And a lot of Turn Left Turn Right Turn Left Turn Right through housing estates, which are a sure-fire way to get lost and waste a lot of time in my my touring experience!
Interesting - it looks like the surface quality (as marked in OSM) on NCN 55 between Marple and Stockport is dissuading cycle.travel from going that way, so it's following back streets instead. I wonder how accurate that is.

One trick you can try with cycle.travel is to click the "Find alternative" button if you don't like the first suggestion. Though in this case it avoids Manchester only to send you through Sheffield!

I agree that the Rochdale Canal is a lovely ride.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides
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Sweep
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by Sweep »

Richard Fairhurst wrote: 18 Aug 2021, 8:10pm
One trick you can try with cycle.travel is to click the "Find alternative" button if you don't like the first suggestion. Though in this case it avoids Manchester only to send you through Sheffield!
Have never noticed that button.
Must have a closer look.
Probably been staring me in the face.
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PH
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by PH »

I rode Derby > Southport a couple of years ago, headed West and skirted North of Stoke, then followed or close to NCN55, NCN 573 and the gap between Manc and Warrington. I recall a decent climb before Ipstones, otherwise nothing serious, though <Disclaimer> my memory always blocks the horrendous stuff. It sounds an absurdly long way round, but I think it added about ten miles to a 110 mile route, a fair trade for the simple navigation.
It's a long time since I've ridden Holme Moss so could incorporate that on a Pennine return.
The local CTC group went over Holme Moss in the rain and cloud on Saturday and back to Derby via the Strines in the sunshine on Sunday, I'm still recovering. I'm glad we did Holme Moss from the South, it's twice as tough from Holmefirth. I've done it once in that direction, it isn't a question of whether you have the fitness for HM, but whether you have any left for the hills between there and Derby.

EDIT - Not that there's anything wrong with riding through Manchester, I've enjoyed doing so several times.
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Sweep
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by Sweep »

On the subject of cycling through Manchester/its delights, in some reading unconnected with manchester I came across the factoid that Greater Manchester has no less than 236 Grade2* listed buildings. On a bike of course you have the great luxury of being able to stop on a whim and gawp if you see anything interesting.
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bigjim
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by bigjim »

Riding through the centre of Manchester is fine. Traffic is slow and they are used to cyclists. Just frustrating with the many traffic lights. Mick's route heading north is ok but Prestwich is very busy and crossing the motorway roundabout is not for the faint hearted or the roads just after. Once clearing those junctions it is ok through Bury and all the way to Blackburn and out to Preston. Some decent climbs but pretty steady.
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Sweep
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by Sweep »

bigjim wrote: 21 Aug 2021, 2:36pm Riding through the centre of Manchester is fine. Traffic is slow and they are used to cyclists. Just frustrating with the many traffic lights. Mick's route heading north is ok but Prestwich is very busy and crossing the motorway roundabout is not for the faint hearted or the roads just after. Once clearing those junctions it is ok through Bury and all the way to Blackburn and out to Preston. Some decent climbs but pretty steady.
Do you have any special approach for avoiding tram tracks Jim?
I found a certain lack of signed cycle routes in the centre which avoided them.
Luckily I am an experienced cyclist and Manchester city centre was pretty quiet, so I just took my time/care following the garmin through the centre.
There is of course (am sure you are aware) a decent traffic-free mild off roady route to Bury. A couple of tricky barriers, but otherwise fine.
If anyone is interested I do have a turn-marked (and actually ridden) GPX from Salford through to the Ribble Valley via Bury.
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bigjim
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Re: Avoiding Manchester

Post by bigjim »

If you use deansgate and bury new road you don't see any tram tracks. The off road route will avoid Prestwich and the motorway roundabout, but you wil have to dismount a fair bit. It's quite slow and busy with dog walkers ect. It can be quite muddy and bumpy in parts. You have to leave it at Radcliffe to cross their town centre and rejoin at the canal. I've done it on a road bike many times. It's very flat. Personally though I'd stick to the road. You can go underneath the dodgy roundabout, supposed to be barred to cyclists but nobody takes any notice. I then ride the deserted pavement for a few hundred yards to avoid a busy junction. After that it's fine.
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