Rush Hour Ride

Yesterday I decided to visit Rochdale after work. I set off at about 17:15 along the following route (give or take):

The sheer volume of traffic meant it was easier to keep pace, so for large sections I was riding at 25-45 km.h-1 or 15-30 mph (Yes, on a DL-1, they are faster than you’d expect and some of it is slightly down-hill) and I was amazed at how poorly motorists deal with a cyclist who is travelling consistently as fast as they are. I understand Jobysp’s frustration now, as he must encounter this kind of behaviour much more frequently (as he seems to usually commute on a roadie). Numerous times I was overtaken unnecessarily only to filter past at the next set of lights. Several of these overtakes were on narrow, blind sharp corners on the route between Shaw and Newhey. One guy nearly even crashed into an oncoming car just to get past me when I was comfortably travelling near the speed limit. I arrived in Rochdale at 18:45, although the last 5 km took me about half an hour due to my desire to explore.

I enjoyed being out in the cold crisp air, shame about the motorists though. If you live in Rochdale, commuting in to Manchester on an upright bike could be viable, although be prepared to encounter some stupidity.


9 thoughts on “Rush Hour Ride

  1. 20 – 30 mph???!!! wow, I am well impressed! Unfortunately encountering 'some stupidity' seems to be norm. Although I do think/hope that as there seems to be more cyclists out there, drivers will have to get used to us sooner or later… or am I just daydreaming?? 😉

  2. You actually chose to visit Rochdale by your own free will?, you need you head examined Mr.C!I used to live north of Rochdale. I didn't ride the full distance many times, but it was certainly do-able. I went through Middleton rather than the route you took. The very first thing we noticed when we moved to Rochdale was the dreadful driving standards. It's like entering the Bermuda triangle of bad driving.

  3. @LC, The new tyres and tubes I fitted whilst you were away have made quite a difference, allowing me to run higher pressures than before. When I was in Cambridge there seemed a reluctant acceptance of cyclists on the road because of the sheer number of them, so there is hope yet.@Stingy Jim, I have family in Rochdale and it really isn't the greatest place around. It is a pretty cycling hostile environment too, I have been hospitalised by a motorist in Rochdale whilst cycling, about 4 years ago now. I tried the Middleton route but I wasn't happy with all the ups and downs, even though it is more direct. I also managed to have a front-wheel bearing crack along the way which made it even less fun.

  4. The Oldham Loop is dead, long live the Oldham loop! (Lol)Would the direct route over Tandle hill not have been a better bet?And where did you explore? I am intrigued!

  5. @grimnorthThe Tandle hill route is more direct but the hill is pretty brutal, I find it is more enjoyable to extend the ride through Shaw, it isn't flat but it is easier to keep a nice pace. In Milnrow I decided to detour via the Stanney Brook park area, which has been "developed" into an unnecessary dual carriage way to expand road capacity onto Rochdale and a series of warehousing units. When I were a lad it were all fields.

  6. Indeed, I remember looking out of my bedroom window and seeing said fields. I probably have a fairly low res photo somewhere from my old 2MP camera as well!!I really don't miss it though.There's a pretty good (off road) track from Tandle Hill over to Slattocks – on the tops there is a Lees pub which is OK.

  7. Finally! Someone else understands me :)I clocked 41mph on a 30 yesterday and still got stupidly overtook!And yes, I commute on a roadie everyday and more than keep speed with the traffic.I've cycled to Rochdale, but took the hilly route which was great as there was no traffic… And it was a Saturday morning :0Well done for doing it though – its great fun overtaking car after car after car in rush hour!

  8. Pingback: The Tyranny of Speed | Chester Cycling

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