It's something of a tradition that when my birthday comes around a day out is called for, usually to a destination outside Lancashire. This year we decided to stay in Bowland. We got the electric bikes out and set out from Bleasdale taking Oakenclough Road and on over Harris End Fell. The morning was bright, the view out to the coast was clear and the heather on the fell was quite beautiful. At the cross roads we turned right to take the Trough of Bowland Road, the hedgerows were laden with fruits, hips and berries. A bumper crop for man and beast.
It's quite sociable with so many "Hi there's " and "Good Mornings" from all the on coming cyclists and occasionally from the ones overtaking (much younger, of course!). Most of the roads on this stretch were a steady uphill climb but when we reached the top I was glad we had chosen this way as the decent was so steep I would not have made it going the opposite way. Back to more gentle riding and on to Whitewell for an early lunch. The bike batteries were plugged in to charge under the table and we were refreshed with a cool shandy and refuelled with a ham salad and a roast beef dinner before setting out again for Chipping. This stretch of our ride was easier and much better with the recent road repairs. Arriving in Chipping (very busy) we made straight for The Flower and Produce Show in The Village Hall to see the display of gigantic vegetables and flowers of all sizes from the sweet little pom pom dahlias through to the great big mop head varieties. The standard of entries is so high, definitely worth a visit and the refreshments were just what we needed...coffee and cakes..
We did a quick double back to see the new exhibition at Brabbins Gallery then back up Garstang Road out of the village and the last hard pedal of the day. Easier going now on Fiddlers Lane and passing the gliders taking off and on towards Parlick with the para- gliders high above.
Riding back up our road, mid-afternoon, we felt it had been a day to remember. The weather was perfect and the views could not be bettered. Bowland at its Best.
An evening outing this weekend to make the most of the light nights..... Drove to Clitheroe through Chipping, Chaigley and Hodder Bridge, then on through Waddinton and over the fell to Newton. We stopped off at The Parkers Arms and enjoyed a very good meal. The reviews we had read lived up to expectation and so much local, seasonal local produce used.
Coming back out to the car it was a very dark sky with lots of stars. On the way home it was surprising how much wildlife we saw. On the downside there as a rat crossing the road but the upside was much better........ a hedgehog ( good to see a live one on the road), two tawny owls and a barn owl and last but not least, a very young deer that we passed very carefully after it was startled by the headlights.