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21 February, 2004

Cycling again: Lancaster-Morecambe-Hest Bank-Halton-Lancaster

This has been the third consecutive weekend with good weather, so I went for my third consecutive weekend bike ride, taking the digital camera.  Again, I only had a rough idea of where I was going: Hest Bank, where the Chinese cocklers died three weeks ago.

After crossing the River Lune at Sainsbury's, I followed the cycle track to Morecambe. No photos there, as the view across Morecambe Bay was hazy, and who'd want images of Morecambe itself? It really is a shabby shadow of a seaside resort; rather squalid and depressing, so I didn't stop, following the promenade straight to Hest Bank. This is a pleasant little village, with some rather unexpected upmarket houses. I suppose it's a prime location for retirement, on the coast and close to the amenities of Morecambe, but not too close.
The sea front car park at Hest Bank is the usual starting point of guided walks across the Bay, and I think it's the place where the cocklers went onto the sands for the last time. Considering that significance, it's rather nondescript: a pleasant viewpoint on a clear day, but exposed and bleak in bad weather.

This was the furthest extent of my planned ride, so I consulted the map and decided to follow minor country lanes back to the Lune at Halton. Within a minute of leaving the coast road, the whole environment had changed, and there was no sign that the pretty village with the ugly name, Slyne, is only a short walk from the sea; this could have been rural Bedfordshire.
One of the reasons I'd taken this route was that I'd spotted a local landmark on a nearby hill: two communications masts crudely disguised as trees. I've noticed them for several years, and this was an opportunity for a closer look; see the photos.
The route onwards to Halton was unexpected slow, as I hadn't realised the road was so minor as to be an unsurfaced track, too muddy to ride my bike. Once on a real road again, the trip into Halton was picturesque, as was the ride along the cycle track back to Lancaster and Sainsbury's.

The whole ride took about two hours, with 26 minutes of stops, and covered 17.5 miles. That's rather slow, but includes over a mile of pushing the bike on rough ground.

Since I ended at Sainsbury's, I did my weekly shopping, so this might be seen as a trip to the supermarket, the long way!

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