Sunday, 27 September 2009

Southport Airshow

Managed to combine a bike ride and a trip to the Airshow on Saturday. I drove to Tarleton, found a convenient lay by, parked and then rode to Southport. I found a route along the banks, (this earthwork keeps the water off the farmland) all the way to Marine Drive and then down the cycle track to the show. Its the best way to go the traffic queues were awful, miles and miles. Spent a couple of hours there watching the planes and listening to the excruciatingly bad commentary. took some really bad photos, planes too far away and too small!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Sunday Group Ride

The whole group was back together again for a long local ride, all the usual places. We stated from Georges Lane, up by the quarries, to the mast road, down to Walker Fold, Coal Pit Road, Winter Hill, down the steep end, Leadmines, White Coppice, Healey Nab and back via Rivington and the Pike. A long ride for me, 36 miles, weather absolutely superb, war and sunny. Trails very dry and dusty, makes a change from cleaning the mud off! Riders were me, Dean, Rob, Phil and Dave. We even managed a coffee stop at White Coppice Cricket Ground, where we found the café open!

Lots of people on the pike and even came a group of riders having instruction near the Pigeon Tower.

Photos HERE

Winter Hill Air Crash

I have been reading again “The Devil Casts His Net”, the story of the 1958 Air Crash on Winter Hill. It’s an interesting story of a tragedy that occurred not as a result of a single mistake or action, but a long list of circumstances and mistakes. These were weather, visibility, impatience, bad luck and finally air traffic control and pilot error. 35 were killed that day in February 1958; the plane was on its way from Douglas Isle of Man to Manchester Airport. It hit the highest ground in the region and remains to this day the UK’s worst high level air accident.

I have tried to find evidence on the ground of the exact crash site, but failed to do so, people have said there is a scar on the hillside and even evidence of spilt fuel, but I can’t find it, but it has been a long time. The aircraft hit the north side of the hill a couple of hundred metres from the trig point and near to where the “rocket” shaped antenna is positioned. The photo shows me looking to the direction the aircraft came from, towards Chorley.

Mabie Forest

The Phoenix Trail in Mabie I think is one of the first purpose built trail centres. The Phoenix Trail is 17 km long and traverses the forest; it seems to reach the boundaries and was conceived to have a maximum distance in the space available. From other reports I have seen it doesn’t seem to get an especially good press. It’s basically a ride through the forest on fire roads and single track, nothing spectacular anywhere, no particularly hard climbs and no special downhills, but reasonable distance But the scenery is excellent and if you are in the area worth a visit. It was very quiet when I was there, feels remote somehow. The photo of me was supposed to show me overlooking the loch, but taken too low, so sorry, missed the loch!