The last day of April and a bit of real sun at last. The wind, though, is back from the East so the ride home was easier.
Capstick’s Marsh in the first pic and even that area looks better with some sun and a blue sky. Up at Elton Reservoir (which is mainly within Radcliffe) about a dozen ducklings were out and feeding along the embankment stones – not the best photo, but I got a few of them I think.
They were, at Elton, mowing the grass of the embankment and how that machine stays the right way up, along the slopes, is a mystery!
A cold and dull morning with few folk about but, on the way out, the wind made it easy.
The picture above is of a large male Mute Swan. (Cob) The female (Pen) was at the nest but both were thrown a crust in passing. There will be eggs soon (if not already) so a few folk are watching-out for Mink in the area. These are not indigenous and can decimate a clutch of Cygnets easily.
I’d heard that there was an Owl in the area and this morning was able to ask one of the Elton watchers if this was the case. There are, he told me, two or three small Owls locally. At present the watchers are sighting Swallows, Swifts etc.
Cycling, or sometimes walking, around the Radcliffe and Bury canals and reservoirs, in all weathers, just to get a photograph or two, is at times a solitary hobby. So a familiar ‘face’ now and then isn’t a problem.
Sadly this very familiar and, locally, well-known character has, due to quite serious illness, been put to sleep. This photo was taken last year at Elton Reservoir on a wind-swept and rainy morning. RIP Tinker.
Back to normal at last and there were quite a few folk out and pedalling this morning, but it was just a bit cold.
Gorse bushes, up by the viaduct, were flowering (yellow) with another flowering shrub nearby (whitish flower – which, I don’t know) so spring is here surely despite the cold!
A new inner-tube was fitted this morning and all was okay for the ride. That makes two new inner-tubes fitted in the past fifteen months which, compared to car-running costs, is negligible.
Clear and not too cold this morning with Holcombe Hill, and the Tower, easily seen from Radcliffe Canal by Withins stream. I’ve already been told to watch-out for Swallows and Goldfinches and saw both, fleetingly, this morning. There were several more serious bird-spotters by the hut on Elton Reservoir embankment, but what they look for I’ve no idea.
A clear view past the old railway abutments by the Red Bridge at Coney Green and, a picture from the other line, looking back along the line of the now shifted track, to the canal.
A white frost again this morning but no strong wind. Being early a few ‘urban’ photo’s could be taken around the Town Hall area.
Less wind but colder this morning around Radcliffe for the ride around.
Fishermen were out and, along the way, that old gate was spotted – just inside Radcliffe…
A famous local bridge was nearby and the far arch is well blocked with rubble!
Not far from there a curio or two was photographed, these from a different ‘age’.
One ‘curio’ is still used daily, here it is with a Metrolink Tram going to Bury across it!
From there to the canal and a cold but windless ride back.
Later, in Radcliffe Centre, Dave the Dancer was hard at it!
While, in the Market…
Wind and rain outside this morning but, once outside it wasn’t all that bad and, the rain did stop to let the sun come out. The wind – from the south – ish – was warm and very strong – going to Bury required very little pedalling. Coming back was a nightmare!
The noise of the water, up at Elton Reservoir, was awesome, and it’s only a glorified pond! Standing on the overflow shelf required some strength in that wind!
There were, as you’d expect, a few bits and bats of wind-broken branches about but, also, at Hinds Lane, for the bumpy cobbled part of the ride, the bushes were green!
Dull and bleak this morning and there was rain about. It wasn’t cold though and the rain has washed-away some of the thorny twigs along the cycle-routes. Nice.
Normally the old bike is quite silent as you pedal it but recently a major creak could be heard and the rear cassette seemed to seize-up from time to time.
The rear cassette (cogs) were taken off, stripped, cleaned and the bearings (very small, be careful if you do the same) were checked for damage, re-greased and the cog re-assembled. While the cassette was off the wheel the wheel axle was removed, stripped, cleaned and the bearings re-greased and assembled. The front crank was found to be loose and this was tightened to the bottom-bracket axle – the bearings here will be checked shortly – but after re-assembly the noisy creak has gone and the rear-cog spins easily on its free-wheel bearings. The chain looks a little ‘loose’ and so that may be replaced shortly.
It was dry this morning and so a ride through Radcliffe to Outwood (Ringley Road) via the Sculpture Trail was done.
A few ‘anomilies’ have been spotted on Google Earth, the ring of old megaliths being one of them, and by venturing off the main C.R. 6 Trail they were found between the trees – far easier than in summer when there are leaves!
Being off the main trail Ringley Road was reached and ridden along for a few yards to Ringley Road Bridge (Wood Street) and then the steep, narrow track that leads down to Ringley Road Station could be ridden down. This is awesome.
From there a right turn and under the bridge. But, not far along there are workmen and the trails are temporarily closed.
But a picture of Ringley Bridge was taken from ‘the other side’. It is massive!
Along the trail itself, in parts, is a muddy stream with trees in and around it – very swampy and primeval looking – as is the woodland around the trail itself. And, here and there are the sculptures, a couple of pics are at the Sculpture Trail Page, but better if you take a walk up there and find them yourself.
On the way back a familiar building was spotted in the distance – I think it used to be a pub…but which one?