Friday, 28 February 2014

Lunchtime jaunt - 2

Bollington - Adlington - Pott Shrigley

Following on from my previous post on a quick loop around Blaze Hill, here is another little route that can be done during a lunch break in the Macclesfield area.

The hills are not as severe as Blaze Hill, but as there are a few of them you still feel like you have had a good work-out at the end.

If you want to take a pub lunch afterwards, you are spoilt for choice for places to go. Considering the small size of the village, Bollington has a glut of pubs. Of course, I am not advocating drink riding!

From Tytherington go to Bollington via Dumbah Lane and Flash Lane where your legs are given their first little test. This is easy enough and is probably barely noticeable as a climb if you are feeling fit. At the Cock and Pheasant pub turn left and go through Bollington as far as the Dog and Partridge pub where you  turn left, passing the Vale Inn and the Middlewood Way car park. The road climbs quite steeply at this point as it leaves the village and you arrive in Adlington.

As you look to your right you can see Pott Shrigley above, which gives a sense of foreboding as you realise you have to get way up there before you can tuck into lunch! At least the climbing is steady and the gradient is never severe. Just keep turning the pedals at a regular rhythm and you get there.

It is worth looking around and admiring the views around though. Lots of farmers' fields with livestock, and beautiful trails adorn the green rolling hills on the horizon. At one point below you cross the Middlewood Way and the Macclesfield Canal where people are walking, jogging, cycling and fishing below. Even now I still have to pinch myself to comprehend that this is a fairly standard way to spend my lunchtime.

Eventually you reach the country house and hotel known as Shrigley Hall and then the road plunges downhill to return to Bollington. At this point you can either continue straight on to the Dog and Partridge to start a second loop if time allows.

Otherwise, return to base but not without the final testing climb up Church Street in Bollington. The climb is short but the gradient is around 20%. The thing I dread about it is if the road is wet I am obliged to ride the whole thing in the saddle, since an out-of-the-saddle effort just makes the back wheel spin. Also, the road is a little narrow so there's always a risk of having to give way to an oncoming vehicle. Usually, motorists give way to cyclists though. The drivers tend to look at you with a mixture of bemusement and admiration that you are even attempting to ride up such a steep slope.

At the top, you are then rewarded with a steady descent back to Tytherington via Jackson Lane/Oak Lane, passing another clutch of pubs, including the Red Lion at the top of the lane, and the Lord Clyde at the bottom.

This is a nice loop which can be done quite easily within a lunch break and you even have time to sample the brew at one of the many local pubs!
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