Wednesday, 18 November 2009


" Wearing Boots And Short Hair Cuts
We Will Kick You In The Guts
But Now Look They’ve All Grown Up
They Drink Tea In A Cup "

Old school rules .

Back to basics this week . No car . Rode from ours . Up the canal , over to Borsdane , then through the Wuchie , and then over to Haigh Hall for toast . Oh , and lots of back wheel slippy slidy .

Bike of choice . Old ( ish ) , ( OK , mid -old ), Gary Fisher Big Sur . Silly skinny 1.5 tyres . Ace .

Jeff turned up at ours with two mates from some city way out west . Sevvo and Oz . No curly wigs , calm down , but trackies and trainees. We all met up With Tony . Definitely fully old school . We headed up towards Wigan on the canal , 'til we got to the Ince type of area , whereupon we turned on the the course of the old railway line towards the Hindley type of area .
I've been down here before , sometime , long ago , lost in the ether . After a short while Tony and I had put a little distance into the other 3 lads , so at a bridge we stopped to wait for them .

It took a few moments for the scene to kick in .

I dont know if the Hindley punks are still alive and kicking , but they've certainly left their mark .

Relevance of graffiti will be lost on people under a certain age . Bit before my time even . In '77 I was dressed like little lord fauntleroy.
Morrissey was in Slaughter and the Dogs , as was The Cult's Billy Duffy . They were/ are from Wythenshawe . A city back east.
Anyway . I thought it was cool . I like old graffiti . I saw some the other week that I remembered from when I was a kid .

Toast relevant to all ages .Haigh Hall has a toast policy . At precisely 11AM an impenetrable roller shutter comes down over the toaster , preventing further toastery . So we press on .

We should've made a left off the old railway ,that I missed , so we end up on the road into Hindley , just briefly , but it's for me , and Tony also, a bit of a nostalgia trip . In the 80s we made a weekly pilgrimage to a crummy old bike shop , in a garage down a back street in Hindley . It was a BMX only bike shop . It was a million miles away , and the centre of the universe . Dont know whatever happened to that guy , but I'd hope he's on a sunny beach somewhere sipping daquiris.

Borsdane was a classic . Is a classic . It's a tough ride , starting right off with a river crossing . Ok , there's a bridge , but that'd be easy . I hesitated and scoped the drop/splash in , but after deeming it only slightly more eroded than last time , I had a go , followed by Sevvo . Nice one . it's a baptismal , of sorts . Alan and I used to drop in farther up , but in the intervening 2+ decades that spot is just too eroded . O' level geography in action.

The other side of the water is a slippy singletrack through the trees . Up and down , rolling . There was , unfortunately , a few too many fallen trees hampering our progress . Jeff commented later it was a bit ' stop - start ' . It was, a little . But I still was on a nostalgia trip , instantly recalling lines and roots of old . What can I say ? it's a bit tricky , that's all .

We head out on the road towards The Wuchie . Another classic for me . I realise the nostalgia that I have for this place is only relevant to me . We rode there a lot in the 80s and early 90s before , sadly , someone was killed on an MX bike and the council in their infinite wisdom went to very great lengths to prevent us , anyone in fact, riding in there . It was a classic case of a sledgehammer / walnut scenario .It had great potential as a dedicated riding venue . Tough climbs up , a tricky ' spine ' through the ferns along the top , and a number of precipitous drops , culminating in the big one at the end . Sheer , with a rut to cross , and no run off to speak off . It was brill. Gaz fell off that time . His face looked like pizza.In the ether .
Anyway . We didnt do any of that. We rode along the bottom path , through the mud , and headed on over to Haigh . Oh , good downhill on the way in though.

Haigh Hall . We headed in and straight up . Toast beckoning . Off the main trails it was very slippy . Tough going . Character building , one might say. Before the caff I headed up to the top of the woods . I wanted to see just how slippy it was . It was slippy , and the wet exposed roots dropping down the other side were a welcome eye opener ,too.Tricky climb .
After toast ,( we beat the deadline ) and a chat with Gordon , we head down . Well , up , then down . Down ish . A politician would say the trend is definitely the reverse of rising. Overall .

I didnt bring my new super spangly phone , and my partially dead old phone was acting up , so no pics from me . Suffice to say it was very wet , very hard going , very muddy, very slippy , very dangerous , very steep , very silly .
And then we went home . Bit of a classic ride . Back up the canal. Sevvo and Oz seemed to enjoy it well enough , but after we split off from tony for the last hoof back home they really seemed to be feeling it . In total , extrapolating Tony's bike computer data ,we did a mid 20+ mile ride . I dunno , 24 , or something. Not too shabby then .
Spoke to Jeff in the week . He said Sevvo and Os were both complaining of sore arses on Monday morning . Well . It could've been worse . They could've gone out with the roadie gang .

Slaughter and the Dogs . If you're interested .

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