Tag Archives: Oct100

Meeting Point Rest Area Littleborough

Today, the kids and I took a little ride along the favourite towpath to the Meeting Point Rest Area, just alongside the Rochdale Canal about 3 miles from home.

What Is The “Meeting Point Rest Area”?

Basically, a bloke who loves biking (motorbikes, not proper bikes but we’ll let that go for now) has taken a piece of disused, derelict land alongside the canal, opposite the main A58 Rochdale-Halifax road that runs over Blackstone Edge, and put a couple of portakabins on there.

He’s put some tables outside and he retails refreshments to passing bikers, cyclists, walkers and even drivers, who can park in a smallish car park right in front.  This guy sits in his portakabin with his cute Westie terrier, quietly getting on with his life and providing a wonderful amenity to passers-by.

Meeting Point Rest Area Littleborough

Meeting Point Rest Area Littleborough

He’s an absolute boon to me, as the girls (aged 7 and 8) love the fact that there are no hills or traffic between our home and the Meeting Point.  It’s a cracking, if short, family ride when we have an hour or so to spare.  To everyone else, he’s a handy little cafe in a lovely position close to a few busy roads.  To some though, he’s a bit of a problem so they’d like to shut him down.

What’s The Problem?

The guy has, apparently, been on the wrong end of some complaints.  I’m not sure how the planning process works, but apparently his portakabins “aren’t in keeping” with the local architecture.  They’re certainly an improvement on the derelict plot they’ve replaced!  But, Littleborough’s a nice-looking place with some cracking buildings and I can see how people might see the Rest Area as the thin end of the utilitarian architecture wedge.

He’s hoping to put a permanent building on the site I understand, but first he has to await the decision of an independent planning hearing, which takes place in Bristol (why Bristol I wonder?), probably in December.

I hope he wins.  It would be a shame to see the place removed.  No doubt someone will stick some nice flats on there now he’s levelled and cleared it, but I’d prefer to see the Meeting Point Rest Area made permanent and give the guy a chance to put a nice, appropriate building on the plot.

Are there any locals or passers-by reading this blog who have an opinion?

 

In the meantime, pay him a visit why don’t you?  His brews are very tasty and reasonably priced.  He even does Bovril 🙂

 

Here’s a link to my Google Map.

He doesn’t seem to have got a Google Places account yet – I’ll have a word with him about that.

Breaking The Law, Breaking The Law…

Those who get the reference, hit this!

Lawless Risk-Takers

They’ve ripped up the train track around here.  If George Osborne doesn’t pull the plug, the plan is that the trains which used to run the loop from Manchester through Oldham to Rochdale will be replaced by spanking new trams.  To us, what this means is an opportunity to sneak onto a lovely, temporary cycle track of the type so loved by Sustrans.  Old rail tracks are usually pretty even and not too steep so they make ideal family trails.  Trouble is, this one’s supposed to be a building site.  “Ah, what the hell, let’s give it a whirl”, we thought!

I took my son along to make things look like we weren’t looking for trouble (officer), and because I knew he’d see it as a bit of an adventure.  Also, when he’s a grown man travelling on the line himself, he’ll remember the day he cycled it incognito with his Dad.

We got onto the track easily near Jubilee Bends, Newhey.  There’s an unmanned level crossing so we used the cycle gate and on we went.  This was a couple of miles from home, so we headed back towards Rochdale.  There was only one awkward bit, where a road bridge was almost totally obscured by scaffold, but we found a path through.

Caught By The Fuzz

Here you go. 🙂

No we weren’t.  The police helicopter was in the sky not far away the whole time we were riding, which lent a certain frisson to Number One Son’s ride.  When you’re 12, you actually believe they care about a bloke and his lad trespassing harmlessly on the railways.  But they didn’t notice us.  I think.  If you see me on Crimewatch next month, please don’t call them.

We rode along and I took a few photos before I dropped my phone and fell off my bike.  Then I had an attack of sensibility and before long we decided to get home for tea.  Scrambling up an embankment near Milnrow, we hopped over a bridge wall and headed back home via Firgrove playing fields.

It was cool.  A great way to have a slightly unusual ride with my boy.  Only 5 miles or so for the October 100, but I just hope N1S remembers it when he’s on the tram in years to come. 🙂

A Gentle #Oct100 Opener

Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

Last week I could have realistically hit my Sep100 target.  I had four days to go and a hittable target of 15 miles per day to get there.  But then things went awry: my Tuesday night long ride went west, for a number of reasons I won’t bore you with here.  So…. I failed.  this is despite the generous encouragement of £75 worth of charitable pledges from readers of this blog.  So, I’m sorry guys and gals but I’ll make it up to you somehow.

A Better Beginning For October

On a fine Saturday afternoon, I was gifted a couple of hours of “Me Time” so I took ’em!  I mapped out a loop to Tandle Hills and wasted some time converting kml to gpx so I could stick the track into my phone GPS app.  If you ever wanna do that, this little web-based app was what I used.  Geekiness over, out I went.

The ride was more pleasant than I’d expected.  A couple of short-cuts, found whilst mapping on the laptop, helped a lot and the climbs were more gentle than I thought they’d be.  It was muddy off the roads, but hey, mud = good.  That’s why I ride a mountain bike.

(hit the photos for a proper view, they’re a bit tall for these thumbnails)

I was in a rush to get back home after a short break at the rather great cafe at Tandle Hills, so I rushed home along Oldham/Rochdale Road to the canal, then a quick burst back homewards along the towpath to finish.  10.6 miles done and a decent enough start to the month’s challenge.  There’s a link to the October 100 spreadsheet in the little box to the right, so get yourself signed up and enjoy your month’s riding!

The map’s here if you want a look. 🙂

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