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29 January, 2005

Cycle ride: Lancaster-Caton Moor-Hornby-Lancaster

One of my more frequent weekend bike rides is to Hornby along the Lune Cycleway (aka Millennium Park) and A683 main road, then across the Lune Valley floor to Gressingham and back along the top of the valley side to Halton and Lancaster.  It's a decent 20-mile ride, fairly photogenic and with a few moderate hills.  Today's varient added a more strenuous ~250m ascent over Caton Moor.

Two roads cross the Moor west-east: Roeburndale Road on the southern side and Quarry Road on the north. My PhD research catchment was between the two, so both roads became very familiar. However, though both are through routes from Brookhouse to Roeburndale (and on to Wray) and Brookhouse to Claughton respectively, I've only followed the full length of Roeburndale Road once or twice and, before today, had never explored Quarry Road beyond its highest point.

Frankly, I hadn't missed much; 1-2 km of steep gravel track wasn't much fun on a bike more suited to surfaced roads. At least I know now. It did pass Claughton Hall and the quarry supplying Claughton Manor Brickworks with clay, so I might go back to investigate further, but I think I'll ascend the unsurfaced track next time, perhaps on foot, and return to Brookhouse along the proper road.

Once back on the valley floor, I followed the usual route, as described above, though I locked the bike to a signpost in Hornby and walked a short distance along the River Wenning for a different view of Hornby Castle from the east. I also stopped at Castle Stede and Loyn Bridge to obtain replacements for a couple of inadequate photos I published here last year. Today's photos are here.

And that seemed to be that – the January light was failing rapidly, so I headed straight home. However, the sky was beautiful immediately after the sun dropped below the horizon, as was cloud which was forming around Clougha Pike, so I obtained a few more worthwhile photos.

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