Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sunday 18th August 2013.

Quiet and dry this morning for me bike-ride. Strong south wind though, so riding toward Bury is done at breakneck speed, yet the homeward stretch is like pedalling against a brick wall.
At the wharf, at Radcliffe, it’s like riding on a brick wall, over the cobbles, and, when you get home, it’s best to re-tighten all the bolts on the bike.
At the wharf I’m sure someone was fishing, which reminded me to mention that here, shortly, I may have a few second-hand-bikes for sale as part of the new Mail-Order strategy. But, all that is for the future – when the Duck-Weed dies back.
I’ve noticed, at a couple of other blogs, that Ayn Rand and Open-Source software are both, at the moment, surging in popularity. Here, both of these concepts have been studied, and indeed adopted, for quite a while now without any problems, and, not to be outdone, I can mention that very soon the new Firefox mobile-‘phone will be for sale in G.B. This dirt-cheap bit of kit is, I’m told, foolproof, and so I’ve been advised to get one.

Saturday 17th August 2013.

Very breezy this morning, but still very humid. A touch of drizzle in the air too, but a warm, dry ride, around Radcliffe, on the bike today.
The dungeon-like pedestrian archway below the Monkey Bridge, at the moment ‘prettily’ guarded by innocuous stands of Himalayan Balsam, is, from the traffic of Bury Road at Warth Bridge, like a portal in time to a transport mode that was hectic at walking-pace. Bicycle-pace is, really, too fast. Here even the cattle (cattle? in 2013?) take things lying-down and the swan, still with five large cygnets, is, at after nine-thirty, still asleep.
Very quiet around the Coney Green area. The recent activity at the defunct school buildings – one of them has been trashed and skipped – is, apparently, over.
There is, not a million miles away, a unicyclist. Yes, his bike has just one wheel. To get his present hi-tech unicycle he went onto the ‘net, ordered and paid online and, within hours, his bike was delivered and off he went. A very sleek operation indeed. (Nice folk at the other end too.) So, bearing this state-of-the-art operation in mind, I’ve got a few inner-tubes, pump-adaptors, bicycle-trouser-clips, cotter-pins (remember them?) in stock if anyone is in need. Just order and pay on the tow-path and I’ll get back to you within the week.
Wiggle eat your heart out!

Friday 16th August 2013.

A warm morning again and, for those unsure, like Mrs Condor, the Metrolink (Hogweed Express?) Car-Park is still open as far as I can see. The pic was taken this morning. Work, along the Metro lines, has closed the system over the past few weeks and buses have been running from the Radcliffe Tram Stop. Work, to the car-park itself, was supposed to occur and the car-park temporarily closed.
All quiet too at Coney Green School. Part of this was being skipped, on Monday, but now, ’tis once more, it seems, a hive of inactivity…(today’s pic)
But, after the morning rush, along one or two main-roads, the ride back, along ye olde Radcliffe Canal is still almost as it was two hundred years ago. (The bridges were far better built in those days!) So it’s perhaps best not to hold your breath when thinking about ‘modernisation’.

Thursday 15th August 2013.

It looked like rain early-on and so a waterproof coat was put on for the morning bike-ride. A mile or so later the sun came out and, inside the coat was like an oven! Now, though, it looks like rain at any minute.
As usual Bury Road was busy with morning traffic, but then, after the left-turn and a steep uphill fifty yards, apart from a regular dog-walker, it was suddenly quiet and still, on the bridge at Withins.
Again I heard no destructive noises around Coney Green and the defunct (?) school. So it was back up a warm and humid Banana Walk for a pot of tea.

Wednesday 14th August 2013.

Being a bit late, this morning, the sun was up and warm for me bike-ride around. After about nine o’clock the main roads around the Town Hall are quieter and it was an easy run up to Withins to get onto the canal, which is, when the sun shines, quite photogenic! (Both pics taken this morning)
Quite a few dog-walkers out too, but I avoid getting folk into ‘shot’ even accidentally.
There wasn’t any noise at Coney Green School – game over perhaps?
Went along the Sculpture Trail from behind asda’s, last night, with Ed on his unicycle. It’s much better now after Ringley ‘filled-in’ Bridge, as, right up to the motorway footbridge, half the route is ‘in tarmac’. Smooth too, and plenty of cyclists were already giving the surface a work-out. (Plus one horse and rider.) Photo’s were taken, but were not good due to lighting under the massive trees and, at one point, the sheer drops, either side, were just too ‘big’ to get into shot. But, a great trail for bikers, walkers and horse-riders. Oh, and unicyclists. Ed’s uni wheel is a 700c. The same as my roady wheels.
The ‘story’ is a bit vague as yet but apparently there’s a £20,000,000.00p ‘Government Grant’ (gee whizz, that’s our own money!) to ‘get more people cycling’ in the area. It’s (generally) welcome news, but let’s not forget the Motor-Car Insurance companies, governmental Road Fund Licence policy and simply the price of a car and its fuel, for getting folk back into cycling.
And, more importantly, of course, the Boys from The Black Stuff that have recently tarmac’d a major Cycle Route from Radcliffe to Prestwich (?) Nice one!
(To put things in context, you could, quite easily, blow that £20,000,000.00p by opening just one teeny-weeny bike-shop in the area – and then asda’s would suddenly get a ‘Cycle Part Shelf’ and render your investment a waste of time.)

Tuesday 13th August 2013.

It was quiet, coming homeward along the canal from Withins, but then I heard the noise of creaking and banging destruction.
They were knocking-down Coney Green School.
The idea is, I’ve heard, to build a Bus Station in its place that’s close to the Metrolink (Hogweed Express?) Tram Stop. So I’ll keep an eye out for that. Otherwise it was a quiet early bike-run, this morning, through Radcliffe by the Town Hall, to Withins and then, as said, back by the canal to Banana Walk. A longer ride was done last night with Ed on his unicycle. Down to Radcliffe and the Sculpture Trail, along to Wood Street Station and then up the footpath to Ringley Road. Along Ringley Road to Prestolee Road and then to the bridge over the Manchester bit of canal. From there across the aqueduct, up by the locks to the Meccano Bridge and from there back along the southern part of Radcliffe Canal to Radcliffe at Water Street. (First pic)
The bikes needed a rest at Meccano!
All along this ride the Himalayan Balsam lined (in some parts covered!) the route. The stuff is everywhere.
This is a good ride on two wheels, but on one?? For us too ninety-percent of this route is done off dangerous (for bikes) roads.

Monday 12th August 2013.

A picture, today, taken a few days ago. Yesterday, in the bathroom, a small plastic plumbing part gave up the ghost and needed replacing. Normally, a plumber has a £20,000 van full of parts and tools – I used to have one! But now, armed with just a bike and a moveable spanner, a repair was attempted. First a ride down Radcliffe to Carl’s place – recently opened and full of good stuff – if you’re a plumber, or interested in a good bathroom suite. A part was obtained and the bike-ride back – up Ainsworth Road in then, pouring rain – was done. Thank heavens for the daily ‘training-runs’!
The part was fitted – not without difficulty – and all is (more or less?) watertight. Mind you, I was already soaked!
The possibility of working as a bike-riding plumber has been considered a few times, over the past year or two, but the mornings ‘job’ has, if nothing else, made the decision ‘not to’ quite definite. It would be, simply, a nightmare!
So, does anyone need a bike inner-tube?

Sunday 11th August 2013.

Being a Sunday it was quiet but with a breeze this morning and so a traffic-free bike-ride down to Radcliffe centre was done. While there a visual check of the Hogweed growths – almost Town-Central – by Ye Olde Radcliffe Times building, was made and a picture taken. The Hogweeds are dying back (natural) but they’ll have re-seeded so will, most probably, be back next year only more so.
Further along Church Street West is the steeply upward sloping pathway to the car-park at Radcliffe (Hogweed Express?) Metrolink stop. (They don’t call them ‘stations’.) I’ve heard that here the car-park area is to be (magically?) increased to allow more car-users access to the Metrolink. To do this the existing car-park may be closed for a while. A short walk away and simply abandoned, after the church once upon it was demolished, St. Mary’s site would make a quite adequate car-park – with additional space further along Bury Road at General Engineering, if required. This would, at least, tidy-up the derelict sites. (The erm, Vatican, hasn’t the money, they say, to tidy-up the site…don’t laugh, years ago Bury Council ‘had no money’ to shift ye olde Radcliffe Town Hall!)
Not to mention that the Metrolink car-park is also, partly, Cycle Route 6, so, whatever is done to increase parking areas, access for two-wheeled folk shouldn’t be forgotten.
Strangely, on the other side of the tracks, there’s enough derelict land to build an airport let alone a car-park!
Now, there’s a thought for the visionaries.
‘Hogweed International’ – the name does cast a spell doesn’t it? But, around here you’d need a friggin’ wand…!
…and, while you’re waiting for something to happen, of a car-park or airport nature, a pair of pedals!

Saturday 10th August 2013.

A nip in the air around Radcliffe this morning, but a dry bike-ride on and off road.
Went out on the bike, the other evening, and took a few shots of Himalayan Balsam that’s everywhere at the moment. (See the H.B. Page) But, this morning the native, and much more vibrantly colourful, Willowherb, looked much better.
Went out with Ed last night as his new unicycle had arrived and is much larger and better to ride over distance.
This pic was taken last night along Elton Reservoir embankment.

Friday 9th August 2013

Friday, around here, is when the worldwide production of Flat Caps stops for weekend. So, for a change, no ride around Radcliffe today (yet).
Also Ed’s new and bigger unicycle arrived which needed assembly and adjustment. Once done he was away, and we haven’t seen him since…
Taking photographs wasn’t easy – the new unicycle is much faster – but I got him in one or two shots. With ‘You’ve Been Framed’ in mind I did take a short video clip – but Ed didn’t fall off. (I’ve always been destined for poverty, so nowt new there!)
More later – Ed’s back!