Avoiding the big city bit

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
IGrahamL
Posts: 81
Joined: 10 Nov 2008, 11:54am
Location: sunderland

Avoiding the big city bit

Postby IGrahamL » 10 Nov 2008, 12:28pm

Whiling away the winter months planning my (fingers crossed that I can get the time off) north to south big one.
I’m planning my route using memory map and have a complete route set up – early stages and there’s a few bits I’m not happy with and a few bits are just stuck in because they’re going in the right direction.
Getting passed Preston, Blackburn, Bolton, Manchester, Warrington etc with minimum contact and off road would be nice.

Has anyone got any route suggestions as to avoiding the metropolises?
Time is ‘not’ of the essence ~ mmo or gpx would be nice.

Any suggestions gratefully received

Graham

2Tubs
Posts: 1272
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 8:35pm
Location: Birmingham
Contact:

Re: Avoiding the big city bit

Postby 2Tubs » 10 Nov 2008, 1:50pm

IGrahamL wrote:Whiling away the winter months planning my (fingers crossed that I can get the time off) north to south big one.
I’m planning my route using memory map and have a complete route set up – early stages and there’s a few bits I’m not happy with and a few bits are just stuck in because they’re going in the right direction.
Getting passed Preston, Blackburn, Bolton, Manchester, Warrington etc with minimum contact and off road would be nice.

Has anyone got any route suggestions as to avoiding the metropolises?
Time is ‘not’ of the essence ~ mmo or gpx would be nice.

Any suggestions gratefully received

Graham


I went via Settle to avoid much of that, still hit Blackburn mind you.

Wasnt' that bad.

My route is at http://www.hotshot-it.co.uk/sw/

Follow the "Route" link.

Also follow the link to the pdf download if you want an "offline" version.

Gazza
Why not Look at Sheila's Wheelers E2E Journal
Or My Personal Site
Or My Tweets
Whatever you do, buy fair trade.
And smile.

IGrahamL
Posts: 81
Joined: 10 Nov 2008, 11:54am
Location: sunderland

Postby IGrahamL » 10 Nov 2008, 2:25pm

Hi Gazza

thanks for the reply
I'm enjoying reading your trip write up and obviously zoomed in on the Settle bit - and then had a look at the 'Final Thoughts' bit
Think I'll give Settle a miss as it seems to be the only bit that you all have bad memory's of ~ time may have rose tinted your memories
but the rest of the route will get a careful looking at

its been two years since you did it, you'll be thinking about doing it again by now :twisted:
Graham

There is only one ‘end’ and I’m in no great hurry to reach it

2Tubs
Posts: 1272
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 8:35pm
Location: Birmingham
Contact:

Postby 2Tubs » 10 Nov 2008, 3:31pm

IGrahamL wrote:Hi Gazza

thanks for the reply
I'm enjoying reading your trip write up and obviously zoomed in on the Settle bit - and then had a look at the 'Final Thoughts' bit
Think I'll give Settle a miss as it seems to be the only bit that you all have bad memory's of ~ time may have rose tinted your memories
but the rest of the route will get a careful looking at

its been two years since you did it, you'll be thinking about doing it again by now :twisted:


No, we all feel very proud of the Settle Day. It was tough but if I did it again, it would be hard to exclude Settle as part of the route.

We joked about it and I got my leg pulled (to put it mildly) about Settle as I created the route.

I think I made some notes with alternative route suggestions somewhere in the site, but that would put you right back in Lancaster.

And yup, I'm thinking about another big trip >;o)

Gazza
Why not Look at Sheila's Wheelers E2E Journal
Or My Personal Site
Or My Tweets
Whatever you do, buy fair trade.
And smile.

AndyB
Posts: 921
Joined: 21 Feb 2007, 12:24pm
Location: Lancashire

Postby AndyB » 10 Nov 2008, 4:21pm

The CTC hostels route is quite nice through that section. I followed it earlier in the year. You can certainly avoid Blackburn (heading just to the West, through Houghton) and although it's fiddly, it's along a signed Sustrans (on road) route, so it's not too much hassle. Further south you come past Chorley, Leigh and Lymm, but can't remember the details - it's on the main CTC site if you're a member.

IGrahamL
Posts: 81
Joined: 10 Nov 2008, 11:54am
Location: sunderland

Postby IGrahamL » 10 Nov 2008, 6:51pm

we all feel very proud of the Settle Day

i know that feeling, but you'll have to admit a certain passage of time has to pass and a few grey cells have to go missing, before the feeling becomes positive
I'll keep it in mind though and if i feel that (when i get that far down) i need a bit more pain, maybe I'll head up to Settle.
And yup, I'm thinking about another big trip

a winter of planning - enjoy


CIC membership, must admit i haven't looked at it, the mean streak tends to clicks in on auto
But, maybe I'll have to, apparently there's a 'pack' to do with the LEJOG (or JOGLE in my case) might just be worth the membership to sort out a good route through the sprawling suburbia

plenty of time yet though, don't want to get the planning sorted to quickly,
I'd have to switch the computer of a and go out on my bike ~ slight tendency to be a fair weather biker

my route so far
Graham

There is only one ‘end’ and I’m in no great hurry to reach it

Ron
Posts: 1201
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 9:07pm

Re: Avoiding the big city bit

Postby Ron » 10 Nov 2008, 8:35pm

IGrahamL wrote:Getting passed Preston, Blackburn, Bolton, Manchester, Warrington etc with minimum contact and off road would be nice.
Any suggestions gratefully received

After Preston head west towards Southport and down the coast to Formby, Crosby, Bootle and on to the Cunard building on the waterfront at Liverpool where you get a ferry to Birkenhead then head south to Chester.
It worked for me, but would have been better had my visit to Liverpool not coincided with a big football match :D

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50334
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Postby Mick F » 10 Nov 2008, 8:58pm

Please don't worry about the Big Bits.

Carlisle to Preston A6 isn't busy. Even Preston isn't bad.

The A49 down through Standish and Wigan and through Ashton-in-Makerfield and on to Warrington isn't bad either. It's all straight through and do-able in a day easily.

Before you know it, it will be all behind you.
And it's FLAT-ish!
Mick F. Cornwall

ericonabike
Posts: 332
Joined: 24 Apr 2008, 4:05pm

Postby ericonabike » 11 Nov 2008, 2:56pm

Agree with Mick F. The A6 from Carlisle was one of the nicest bits of my JOGLE earlier this year - it's effectively been bypassed by the M6, and bypassed roads are always good cycling territory. The ascent and descent of Shap Fell was a delight, even in 'challenging' weather!

IGrahamL
Posts: 81
Joined: 10 Nov 2008, 11:54am
Location: sunderland

Postby IGrahamL » 11 Nov 2008, 6:49pm

I might just rethink how I get through this bit - the only bit of the ride I'd want to be 'over in a day'. the A6 which I hadn't at all considered and the A49 will have to be looked at a bit closer.
Some of that section as planned I quite fancy. its just the bits like Blackburn, Bolton and skirting Manchester that look disagreeable
I suppose I was hopping that Sustrans had this tree lined track that would cut through the whole section
still got the whole of winter to decide though

thanks for the suggestions people
Graham

There is only one ‘end’ and I’m in no great hurry to reach it

vernon
Posts: 1584
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 6:03pm
Location: Meanwood, Leeds

Postby vernon » 11 Nov 2008, 10:11pm

IGrahamL wrote:I might just rethink how I get through this bit - the only bit of the ride I'd want to be 'over in a day'. the A6 which I hadn't at all considered and the A49 will have to be looked at a bit closer.
Some of that section as planned I quite fancy. its just the bits like Blackburn, Bolton and skirting Manchester that look disagreeable
I suppose I was hopping that Sustrans had this tree lined track that would cut through the whole section
still got the whole of winter to decide though

thanks for the suggestions people


riding through Blackburn and the like is not that bad. it doesn't take too long and is only a small fraction of the ride.

The A6 and A49 are quite pleasant to ride along- like other posters have said - quite quiet and quite fast cyclign speeds are attainable.

User avatar
Dean
Posts: 1028
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 2:40pm
Location: Darlington

Postby Dean » 11 Nov 2008, 10:33pm

Another vote for the A6 - I rode it from Atherton/Bolton to Carlisle. It was fine - some of the roundabouts were a bit scary, and Kendal was a faff, but filtering through the traffic in Preston on a fully-laden bike was a real pleasure, and Shap was wonderful.

It was also very convenient for campsites at Bolton-on-the-Sands, and a slight detour for beer at Garstang :P

As an alternative, though, when I was riding through Chorley I approached a grizzled chap who was trimming the edges of a lawn. Mucky overalls, HUGE beard. He waved me down, and pointed to the west, where (he said) there was a path alongside the canal which was "As flat as anything". I thanked him, but as I was pressing on past Preston and Lancaster, I wanted to stick to the road.

While I was riding away, the rather uncharitable thought struck me that I may have had a lucky escape - for a few miles, my imagination filled the track down to the canal with the skeletons of abandoned bikes, and a mass cyclists' graveyard at the bottom...

User avatar
Dean
Posts: 1028
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 2:40pm
Location: Darlington

Postby Dean » 11 Nov 2008, 10:39pm

ericonabike wrote:Agree with Mick F. The A6 from Carlisle was one of the nicest bits of my JOGLE earlier this year - it's effectively been bypassed by the M6, and bypassed roads are always good cycling territory. The ascent and descent of Shap Fell was a delight, even in 'challenging' weather!


Shap? Weather?

Image

Tommo
Posts: 111
Joined: 27 Feb 2007, 12:01pm

Postby Tommo » 11 Nov 2008, 11:07pm

As much as I generally avoid A roads like the plague, I have to agree on this one. From what I remember the A6 past the Lake District was relatively easy and traffic free.

However, as much as it was easy riding there is no way cycling over Shap is as good as going through the middle of the Lakes and seeing the sights close up. The diabolical weather and a need to get to a bike shop scuppered it for me last year.

As for seeing sights the photo above shows a hell of a lot more than I got to see over Shap. Pretty scary for about an hour, I could barely see 5 yards ahead and I assume that nobody could see me either, but by that time it was a bit late to do anything about it.

PH
Posts: 9613
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Postby PH » 11 Nov 2008, 11:20pm

As you're already travelling in the unconventional direction, you might also consider sticking with the theme and going East of the Pennines. Not as daft as it may at first seem, adds around 100 miles, gives a few easy days in the middle, all major urban areas can easily be avoided, which has the other advantage of making navigation simpler. We came so far East we crossed the Humber Bridge, then as far south as Daventry before heading West, skirting the Cotswolds, just north of Swindon and on to Bath before picking up the more conventional route. Total distance 1,120 miles.