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31 May, 2008

Cycle ride: Lancaster-Dunsop Bridge-Chipping-Lancaster

My usual 74 km cycle ride through the Trough of Bowland continues to, or from, Slaidburn and the Lune Valley.  However, in 2005 I went through Chipping and around the southern margin of the Bowland Fells, avoiding the climb to Cross of Greet at 427 m asl.  On that occasion I rode clockwise, but today I reversed the route, dealing with the major hills first and the flatter sections later.

Though the weather was warm and sunny, it was also very humid. I can't explain the result: whilst the amount of visibility was excellent – I could readily see hills ~40 km away – the quality of visibility was poor – haze slightly obscured objects even 200 m away. As the accompanying photos show, I had excellent, atmospheric views across Wyresdale from Jubilee Tower, but not clear views.

I paused at the head of the Trough for short walk, to the edge of Blaze Moss for an overview of the valley, which was well worth the effort of climbing a near-vertical grass slope, and I'll certainly return on a genuinely clear day.

The rest of the ride was similarly punctuated by 5-10 min diversions on foot (not all of which resulted in photos worth publishing), including St. Hubert's churchyard near Dunsop Bridge, the Inn and wooded banks of the River Hodder at Whitewell, and Chipping village.
In total, I cycled 71.5 km (44.45 miles) in 3:52 hours (at an average of 18.5 km/h and reaching 52.1 km/h at least once), but was out of the house from ~10:30 to 16:33; that's over two hours spent off the bike.

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