Nick Mackey -Trans Pennine Trail thoughts
Sunday 30th May – Wednesday 2nd June 2010 Bike – Dawes Galaxy. I set off from Southport McDonald’s car park Sunday 30th May at 11.30am, with a stiff breeze behind me and a feeling that I had plenty of time to get to Cornerstones at Sale by 6.00pm. From Aintree onwards it seems like a local sport to remove signs or swing them around wherever possible!! Keep looking for the reassuring stickers on lamp posts etc. and if in doubt look behind to see if there are corresponding signs pointing from the opposite direction. Predictably there is a lot of glass on the trail around built-up areas – I had my first puncture (a thorn) going through the recreation ground towards Speke. At the end of the section with the Bridgewater Canal on the right of the Trail, me and 3 other cyclists saw no signs and headed more or less straight on to Broadheath. If I would have carried on it would have brought me left on the A56 to the hotel, but I found a helpful Polish lorry driver and between us we decided I needed to turn back, then right onto Dairyhouse lane, where I picked up the TPT again. The hotel was excellent, with pizza/kebab/Chinese take-aways on the A56 in the direction of Sale Metro Station. I did arrive just after 6.00pm, most of the time being taken up by the puncture & stopping to check directions. Cornerstones was a fantastic place to stay.
Monday 31st May 9.00am start. The first thing was to buy a meal deal from the Co-Op opposite the hotel and head down the A56 to go across the M60 J7 and pick up the Trail just before the refuse centre. I had used up a few patches repairing the thorn puncture and also a ‘snake-bite’ compression puncture, so I turned off the Trail when I saw the glass pyramid in Stockport. Go Outdoors is near there, but I headed left and found Decathalon open on a Bank Holiday. I bought a new inner tube and a new repair kit and I persuaded the resident bike mechanic to let me use his track-pump to get the rear wheel back up to pressure. There was a nice Moorland route over the Woodhead Pass section and passing through Penistone I stayed at Wortley Post Office, arriving just after 5.00pm. The pub next door seemed to have a karaoke/hog-roast event on, so instead I walked down to Wortley Hall & had a great bar snack and very reasonably priced – I was told that the place is owned by the Trade Unions. The Post Office B & B was delightful and the owners charming – the gentleman is a bike mechanic, again I was able to get the pressure up on my tyres.
Tuesday 1st June From a 9.00am start the owners of Wortley B & B made up sandwiches and I bought other items from the shop for the journey. I lost my way in the Timberland Trail forest, but ended up being able to pick it up after only a short distance. The Elsecar Greenway was nice, but I had a glass puncture mid-day. The day was 67 miles and mainly full of drizzle all the way. There is an interesting section going over an old airfield near Burn, then in Selby just over the River Ouse you turn right in front of a row of terraced houses. Following nice lanes you arrive in Howden. (The) Bowmans in Howden was another good find – run by a young couple who were gradually re-furbishing the place bit by bit. Very reasonably priced and a great Indian restaurant (or Tapas bar to choose from), again good value.
Wednesday 2nd June Started off at 9.00am by buying another Co-Op meal deal from the shop opposite then on quiet lanes towards North Ferriby, where I chose the lower Wolds Way option through to Hessle. Follow Hessle Road to the large busy roundabout DO NOT TURN RIGHT HERE towards Clive Sullivan way A63. The actual route instead of going straight along Hessle Road turns LEFT to work through some quieter roads. I missed this, but if in doubt follow for the Railway Station. After going through a little park and the backs of some houses, you join the Hornsea Rail Trail straight to Hornsea. When you get to the roundabout at the end of Malborough Road you will see a couple of ramps nearly opposite, go up these to continue to the end of the Trail. After a Cappuccino on the seafront I cycled back to Hull and The Admiral Guest House for 4.00pm. It was clean and comfortable, if a little quirky, run by a genial host. On Hessle Road was a collection of Indian/Chinese/English places to get takeaway food from. The Guest House was about 20 mins push to the Railway Station the next day, as I discovered a front puncture this time and decided to get to the Station to repair it.
A fantastic route – well thought out. Who would have thought you could cover such a distance with 70% of it being off-road ? !
The surfaces vary a great deal. It is easy riding but you cannot cover the distances quickly because of this. Make sure you have all the correct tools, equipment and inner tubes.
Originally there were 2 of us doing this route. It would have been longer days in this case, having longer stops. I averaged 62.5 miles per day over the 4 days. For a more leisurely time 5 days may be worth considering.
I was the only rider I saw on a Touring bike. All the others were on mountain bikes or Tri-Cross bikes. For the first half of the Trail I was wondering if I had chosen the correct bike, but from Doncaster onwards the Galaxy was the better option.
I hope these thoughts have been of use. I can be reached on email@example.com if I can help anyone. Please head the e mail Trans Pennine Trail so it does not straight into the recycle bin !!
Pat and Bryan’s story has helped our Partners right across the Trans Pennine Trail network to see how changes can make the route more accessible. Take a look at what they've helped to accomplish.