Blackpool Ride June 2012

Moulton Bicycle Club ride 17th June 2012
Blackpool – Fleetwood – Pilling – Elswick – Blackpool

Seven Moultoneers met up by North Pier in Blackpool, which had inadvertently become a
temporary tram terminus, due to construction of the Elton John’s concert arena at the weekend; the
tramlines were blocked and a number of trams couldn’t make it back to their new depot on south
shore.

After the odd coffee & bacon butty were consumed (a bit too chilly for ice cream this morning) we
set off just after 10:30, riding on the coastal paths & promenades north through Bispham, Cleveleys,
passed the golf course and into Fleetwood. There must have been millions spent along this route in
the last few years and is considerably better than when I ride the route some years ago. We were
just in time to see the ferry crossing the River Wyre on the 11:30 scheduled run. We paid up &
queued up and shortly after the ferry’s return we were ushered on so we could store the bikes, or
so we thought, but it was really a ploy to get us to sponsor the skipper in a Lifeboat pull later in the
year! As it was in aid of the RNLI we each gave a little to support the Lifeboats. At 12 noon we set of
for the 3 or 4 minute crossing to Knott End–on-Sea; after disembarkation we had a brief debate as
to where to eat, café or pub and which one – thankfully for us Ken S was with us, who lives locally in
Thornton so his local knowledge was invaluable in this critical matter.

Zig zagging through the little lanes passed nice houses and their well-managed gardens on our
way to Pilling. We stopped at the first pub in Pilling that only served full “Sunday roast” lunches so
we carried on another mile or so to Stake Pool and the Elletson Arms for lunch. Good beer & food,
shame about the speed of service but at least we all got a good rest before setting off again. When
we got out we were all bathed in sunshine, most of us removed a layer of clothing before setting off.

Down the long straight road south to the Ecclestons, over the Cartford toll bridge – 20p for bicycles,
pedestrians free (we checked, it’s still 20p if you want to carry your bike so we all elected to ride!).
We ascended the big hill of the day (all 60 feet of it according to the OS map) rode on through Little
& Great Eccleston and on to Elswick.

We then turned west and into the wind, thankfully the Met Office got it right, the intensity of the
wind had dropped over the day but it still wasn’t welcome. On occasions we could see Blackpool
tower on the horizon as we headed towards it, passing through Singleton and then the outskirts
of Poulton-le Fylde. It’s surprising the number of undulations in this leg of the ride; towards the
end of the ride and into the wind it was an unpleasant shock. Back into Blackpool town centre a
short ride through the pedestrian area, there was one of their cycle hire racks in the precinct and
signs indicating buses & cycles were permitted to enter. A short distance on the other side of the
pedestrian area we came back to the tram tracks on the sea front by the North Pier.

Great company & conversation en route, no mechanical or pneumatic issues and as a bonus we
didn’t get wet!

Mark Taylor