Some Observations by a YHA warden

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steve.y.griffith
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Some Observations by a YHA warden

Postby steve.y.griffith » 21 Jul 2008, 4:49pm

Having just spent some time wardening Slaidburn YH ., Lancs ( on the CTC end to end route) can I offer some observations on LEJOG .

First of all the route from Chester to Slaidburn is not difficult cycling wise but is from a navigation point of view. the main problem is that north of Warrington the signs tend to point either west to Liverpool or east to Manchester when you want to go north. Careful route planning will save a great deal of time on this section. Also a number of people get lost around Blackburn where signage is very much designed to keep cars out of the town centre.

Slaidburn north to Carlisle, the hardest part is the first section to High Benthen over Tathem Fells . Pace yourself over this as the remainder of the day is easier.

Slaidburn the hostel is self catering but does keep a stock of food eg tins and cereal. The pub opposite ' Hark to Bounty' does excellent meals but is very busy Friday night when its a fiver a dish and wil do a full breakfast from 0800 if booked the night before. There are very good cyclist cafes in Dunsop Bridge 4 miles south ( which claims to be the centre of Britain) 0930 to 1630 and in Kirby Lonsdale which would make a good early lunch stop north .

Bikes : I was amazed given our weather as to the number riding without mudguards . Also the lack of low gears an inner cahin ring of 39 with a rear of 26 will not easily get you up hills especially if you are carrying luggage .

Riders: knee problems seem to be the most common complaint in some cases caused by a too high saddle or by lack of training. Also i would question if clipless area a good idea for the inexperienced rider

Hostel has a drying room and secure bike shed

As you are about halfway if you are taking it easy perhaps a rest day at Slaidburn would be worth considering. the village is owned by an estate and is a real time warp. Also there is great cycling around the area.

An easy ride would be to take the back road from Newton to Slaidburn it adds a couple of miles but scenically is wonderful with views of the Bowland Fells

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 21 Jul 2008, 5:34pm

Image

Ingleboro seen from the Slaidburn to Clapham road. Pic taken 35 years ago but every blade of grass is still the same.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 21 Jul 2008, 8:33pm

Good stuff!
Good advice!

Thank you.


(The mudguards thing always gets to me. Why do cyclists on long trek not use them? I know why. The stupid bike manufacturers don't provide for them!)
Mick F. Cornwall

Tynan
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Postby Tynan » 11 Aug 2008, 7:50pm

and the rider?

ianr1950
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Postby ianr1950 » 12 Aug 2008, 9:28am

Unless the bike is a pure racing bike most bikes have provision for guards.

I have done long credit card touring with and without guards and you still get wet if it is raining and it is up to the person themself.

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cranky
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Postby cranky » 12 Aug 2008, 10:36am

Even a pure racing bike will take 'Race Blades'
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Ben Lovejoy
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Postby Ben Lovejoy » 12 Aug 2008, 8:11pm

A broken bracket recently forced me to try the experiment of riding with no front mudguards on the TRICE, and it made surprisingly little difference to me and no impact on a ride behind. I'm going to leave them off from now on and just use the rear one.

Ben
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kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 12 Aug 2008, 8:40pm

Ben Lovejoy wrote:A broken bracket recently forced me to try the experiment of riding with no front mudguards on the TRICE, and it made surprisingly little difference to me and no impact on a ride behind. I'm going to leave them off from now on and just use the rear one.

Ben


Is there a front mudguard that actually works? I just get a bead of water from the front edge of the wheel that arcs gracefully through the air and into my eyes...

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Ben Lovejoy
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Postby Ben Lovejoy » 12 Aug 2008, 8:44pm

Not sure, but when I spoke with ICE, they described the front mudguards as 'decorative items' ...
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boink
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Postby boink » 20 Aug 2008, 3:20pm

All good Steve, but what about locking the doors to the hostel at 11? This was the only hostel we encountered on our recent LEJOG where you actually had to be in the building for 11 as opposed to 'no reception staff available' from 11.

Admittedly, theres not a lot to do in Slaidburn of a night but come on?...

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Postby eileithyia » 20 Aug 2008, 6:55pm

Guess it depends on the temporary warden "in Residence". A couple of years ago I got to hostel at 10.45 to find the door already locked despite the temp warden knowing I was booked in and told I was late arriving. It was clear as the weekend unfolded that the man was a complete pedant and stickler for the rules, all this for a hostel that on any other day of the week is unmanned with the key available at the local farm!
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tooley92
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Postby tooley92 » 20 Aug 2008, 7:15pm

I haven't stayed at Slaidburn since 1990 when 3 of us did a tour of the Yorkshire dales and trough of Bowland during the school holidays!

Remember sleeping under the water header tank in the gent's dorm hoping that it didn't leak or fall of on me :lol:

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Postby 2Tubs » 20 Aug 2008, 9:50pm

Ben Lovejoy wrote:A broken bracket recently forced me to try the experiment of riding with no front mudguards on the TRICE, and it made surprisingly little difference to me and no impact on a ride behind. I'm going to leave them off from now on and just use the rear one.

Ben


Never thought about it before but that makes sense.

On a two wheeler, the drain water out the gutter goes straight up your nose if you have no mudguards.

The front wheels on your trike don't line up with your nose.

Unless you have freakishly wide nostrils, of course >;o)

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cranky1
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Postby cranky1 » 21 Aug 2008, 12:58pm

Steve y griffith

Very good advise. I was hoping to go via slaidburn on my lejog (on a bike with mud guards and lots of low gears) but couldnt fathom a route through the maze of lanes around Blackburn and Clitheroe. I guess I,ll have to have another go just for this part of the ride.

boink
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Postby boink » 21 Aug 2008, 3:32pm

Hi Cranky1. We decided to go from Chester YH to Slaidburn via the ferry at Birkenhead and the main road up to Preston. Pretty straightforward on a Sunday and quite a lot of the way was on cyclepaths/pavement running alongside the main road.

Thats if you're in Chester of course. I wouldn't want to go C Langdons industrial N/W route, I know that.