Saturday 31st March sees the return of the Ronde van Oost Lancashire. Free to ride with free cake at the end.
On the same day that the Ronde Van Vlaanderen sportive is running in Flanders, Belgium (writes Condor designer Ben Spurrier), Alan Dorrington of cyclo-cross blog crossjunkie.com set about establishing his own version of the famous cobbled ride, but around his home town of Burnley, Lancashire. What was born from a few friends being unable to make the trip over to Belgium owing to family commitments grew over the course of a few years to seeing over 70 riders departing the car park this year in Nelson, near Preston. The 50 mile route was devised by Alan in such a fashion that he was never more than about 15 miles from his home in Burnley.
It takes in some fantastic open scenery as you cross the Pennines, as well as some winding tree covered, tunnel-like climbs and descents. In true Belgian style, the route takes in several cobbled climbs which provide much entertainment as groups test themselves and each other by seeing who can get the furthest up the steepest inclines.
Ordinarily, a 50 mile ride would provide few serious challenges to most riders, but this is a route chocked full of twists and turns, picturesque landscapes, and villages such as Hebden Bridge oozing history and architecture. Cobbles, rough road surfaces, and even a small river crossing meant that people rode a wide range of bikes from cyclo-cross to full winter bikes with mudguards and 25mm tyres.
The Ronde starts and finishes at the Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford, a Grade II listed farmhouse dating back to the 15th Century with a cafe and car park on the opposite side of the road.
10am Pendle Heritage Centre, Barrowford
Saturday 31st March 2012
Link to ride website and video
The Barn B&B
1 Oaklands Home Farm
Tel: 01282 693661
£35 per night inc breakfast
Wayside Barn Bed & Breakfast
Tel: 01282 865077 or 07526 558357
About 5 minute car journey to the start.