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23 November, 2007

Cycle ride: Lancaster-Dolphinholme-Lancaster

Contrary to expectations, I did need to visit campus today, but I didn't stay long: I completed what I had to, then bought some lunch and left for a bike ride, making more use of the sunny mid-afternoon than I'd have achieved in work terms.  I'm sure my boss would agree.

I didn't have a particular destination in mind, but being 5½ km south of the city anyway, it made sense to continue in that direction. I headed to Galgate via Green Lane (which used to be my daily route home in the mid-90s, so it was good to note the changes) then inland to Dolphinholme.
I pass the tiny village quite frequently, but this time I stopped to photograph the church and the 19th Century mill complex of Lower Dolphinholme. The latter was difficult, as the low winter sun was already being blocked by the steep valley sides; I think I'll have to return in spring.

From there, I followed unfamiliar narrow lanes to Street, then my usual route to the brow of Harrisend Fell. After locking my bike to a signpost, I climbed the fell on foot in order to eat my lunch sitting on the heather, admiring the view across the Fylde to Blackpool and across Lancaster to the Lake District. I really enjoyed that, and I'll remember it for a long time, but I'll have to: unfortunately, I was facing straight into the sun, so took no photos.

In hindsight, I'd limited my options by coming this way.
I could go on to Oakenclough and around to Scorton or Garstang, but that's a surprisingly long way, and I'd soon be cycling in the dark and, more to the point, cold: I'd brought lights, but only a thin jacket.
I could head inland up Wyresdale to Abbeystead then back to Lancaster via the upland road past Jubilee Tower. That was even further & colder, and all those hills were a bit daunting – I wasn't out for that sort of ride.
Or I could head straight back to Galgate and the A6 to Lancaster, passing Dolphinholme and the University again. Boring, perhaps, but that's what I did.

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