Those who get the reference, hit this!
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. 🙂