There are about 6,500 miles of Green Roads across England and Wales. Some regions are lucky enough to have a high proportion of these on their doorstep. Others, such as Lancashire TRF have to travel a little further afield. We caught up with Jonathan Guy to find out how they are using Facebook to help grow the club and find neighbouring routes.

TRF:

Hi Jonathan. I’m not sure that we’ve featured Lancashire TRF much in the past. It’s good to see you guys sharing your rides on Facebook. Is this a new initiative?

Jonathan:

It's fairly new yes. We are short of people who are tech savvy to give us a good quality on-line presence, so if anyone would like to volunteer and get more involved, make themselves known! We have 3 or 4 people who are admins on the Facebook page and a forum as well http://lancstrf.freeforums.net/ as not everyone is on Facebook, but it is definitely something that would benefit from a more experienced hand.

TRF:

The pics you posted were of your ride from Slaidburn to Kirby Lonsdale. What’s this ride like?

Jonathan:

This was the first time I had led this run, although I've ridden it before with another member, Chris, leading. It is probably the nearest half decent full day ride to Parbold, where we have our meetings, and the only one with a significant part in Lancashire.

There were 5 of us starting from Slaidburn. Adrian on a 550 Husaberg, Tony and John on their CRFXs, Rob on a Husqvarna FE350 and me on a KTM 350. We rode over Salter Fell which is a fairly easy 12 or 13 mile track with a nice rocky climb and one or two other bits to keep you concentrating.

Unfortunately Salter Fell doesn't connect well with other trails so there was then a fair amount of road through Wray and Wennington before picking up another trail which took us to Melling. The other side of Melling is a very rutted trail, the trick is to try to stay out of the ruts but once you are in you are in and it's paddle along feet down to the end.

Leaving Melling we rode on to the next trail, but on checking behind we were missing Adrian and Rob. On retracing our steps we found them at the side of the road. Rob had a flat front tyre and nothing to fix it with. We went back to a nearby garage, unfortunately shut, and after much discussion Rob decided he would ride slowly back to his van. I'm reliably informed he made it. There's a lesson there!

So then we were four. The next trail from Cantsfied is through a stream into a farmyard and then it opens out into what seems to be a farmer's field. It's quite hard to work out where the trail is in places without the help of a satnav but a very pleasant trail all the same.

From there we hit the roads again, into Kirkby Lonsdale and northwards where we picked up a couple of good trails. The first quite rocky and open, the second narrow and muddy. Unfortunately on the latter, Adrian's bar connected with an unyielding branch which sent him across the trail into a dry stone wall on the other side. He ended up stuck under his Husaberg and tempting as it was to grab a picture I felt obliged to pick the bike up first. Adrian would like to stress just how narrow and slippery the trail was. A quick straightening out of the bars in the yokes and no harm done, and on to Devil's Bridge for a burger, a chat and a look at the bikes that had gathered there on a sunny Sunday.

After lunch we headed towards Ingleton and the Yorda's Cave trail which is a rocky climb followed by a grassy trail with quite a few wet, rutted parts which get gradually worse (or better depending on your point of view!) towards the end. There are a number of large potholes with an underground stream at the bottom of them in the area which make interesting features. Unfortunately this trail ends in a no through road so we turned round and went back the way we came.

Next was a river crossing where unfortunately Adrian came unstuck and drowned himself and more importantly his bike. Fortunately he managed to resurface and grab his bike as it began to float downstream. I really must get a Go-Pro. We tipped it up, took out the spark plug and eventually it started. Adrian would like to stress just how deep and slippery the crossing was.

We then returned to Salter Fell via a couple of the trails done earlier. I stopped on Salter Fell waiting for the others and took a picture of the Lancashire Witches monument when John turned up without Tony. On going back to investigate, we found Tony had run off the trail, down into a stream and wedged his front wheel into the boggy bank of the stream. As you might imagine, the bike stopped very suddenly and Tony didn't, flying over the handlebars and fortunately landing on soft ground. The front wheel was well and truly stuck but after a lot of moving it side to side to break suction and heaving we got it out and continued back to our vehicles with a very shaken and quite sore Tony.

TRF:

What’s your Green Road network like over that side of the country? I guess you’re close to the Lakes and the Peak District?

Jonathan:

As mentioned before there isn't a great deal close to us, we tend to go to the Lakes, but that gets quite busy, or to North Wales, Glen Ceiriog/Llangollen. There is also a decent run between Hellifield and Hawes. I have been to the Peak District a few times but not for a while, it's under a lot of pressure at the moment as I'm sure you know. We have weekends to other parts of the country a couple of times a year as well.

TRF:

What’s the best way for anyone in the area to get in touch with you guys? Do you welcome new members?

Jonathan:

Our monthly meeting is on the 1st Tuesday of the Month at the Rigbye Arms, or we can be contacted on Facebook, via our forum as above or I think our secretary's phone number is published on the TRF website? We certainly do welcome new members. To get involved they really need to come to a meeting, get to know people and get some runs organised!

TRF:

Thanks Jonathan.


 

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