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29 April, 2007

Cycle ride: Lancaster-Garstang-Nicky Nook-Galgate-Lancaster

Today's much-modified ride was comparatively short but enjoyable, filling gaps in my local knowledge and offering a few decent photo opportunities.

As usual, I got the lead-in out of the way as quickly as possible, by blasting straight down the A6 to Garstang at ~22 mph. Having studied the map, I thought I'd discovered a shortcut from there to the lanes south of Scorton: a ford across the River Wyre. However, I was extremely lucky that a Land Rover was crossing the river as I was about to start, demonstrating that the water was about a metre deep. Some ford.... There was a pedestrian bridge and footpath along the riverbank to the next surfaced road, so it wasn't quite a dead-end, but I doubt I'll try it again.

I had considered going on to Bleasdale and back via Oakenclough, but after stopping to talk to a horse (what?), I changed my mind: I'd stay west of the higher ground and simply head back to Lancaster via Scorton and the Dolphinholme/Galgate road.
Within a couple of kilometres I modified the plan again: since I wasn't cycling so far, I'd take the opportunity to stop and climb Nicky Nook for my first time. I was just scouting the route, really, as the weather wasn't great for long-distance photography of the views: hazy yet very windy. I'll return some other time.

The next stage was something of a mystery. The idea was to join the familiar road at Harrisend Fell, but the lane seemed to go on for several kilometres longer than expected, through farmyards and another ford. It looks so straightforward on the map. And I was bleeding; I'd caught the inner side of my elbow on a barbed wire fence.

The onward road was straightforward, passing Dolphinholme on the way to Galgate. I made another diversion there, though, following Chapel Lane, the 'back way' to the University and home from there, rather than face the wind on the exposed A6.

I'd been out for three hours, of which the bike was moving for two (and two minutes). I'd covered 40½ km (25 miles) at an average speed of 19.8 km/h (12.3 mph), exceeding 45 km/h (28.2 mph) at least once.

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