Hebden by Bike

My obsession with Warland Farm continues. It’s my favourite of the properties I’ve seen and, when Rightmove.co.uk indicated that it had been withdrawn from the market, I had palpitations. Turns out the problem was just a new uploading of data and that we’re still in the box seat. I booked the visit for Monica and I on Monday week, including a walking of the boundaries.

Then, I bestrode Stacy’s crappy ATB and cycled onto the Rochdale canal and up to the farm, just to see it again and to assess the ride as a possible future activity. It’s not far, 19 miles from Manchester according to an old sign on the canal, but it took me a while to find it in Manchester; and there were a few diversions that added time and effort to the journey. As well, the surface varied from smooth to cobbles to shale. Not much mud this time but that would normally add to the effort required.

After lunch of nuts and nibbles below the farm, I continued into Todmorden and on to Hebden Bridge along the canal, to time and assess those journeys from the farm. Tod is about ten minutes away, Hebden an easy hour. The canal’s overflows are worth noting: their cobbles are almost baby-heads and could damage a tyre thinner than an ATB’s.

By Hebden, the bike’s saddle was arguing with my posterior so I determined to research the train journey back to Mammy’s. The main Leeds-Manchester line runs through Calderdale, providing an excellent transport facility, even stopping in Walsden, a short walk from the farm. Forty comfortable minutes from embarking, I was back in the warm sunshine of Manchester city centre. After carefully orienting myself, I found Deansgate and the Stretford road home easily. Down to Rochdale, the train follows the canal so the ride has a Plan B in case of weather or mechanicals.

A fine day out; and a world record for Stacy’s bike!

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