Genie let out of the bottle…

My younger brother had the brilliant idea of testing out my new piece of two-wheeled metal with a thrre-brothers ride across to Mankinholes YHA.. He’s also planning a book about the ride called either “Three men to Mankinholes” (his idea) or “How to make a mountain out of a Mankinhole” (mine).

The ride itself was broken into two halves – the first being an easy section from Huddersfield to Standedge and the second from Standedge to “The ‘holes”. As I designated myself navigator for the journey it went swimmingly and I always estimated the distances perfectly. The photo below is shortly after crossing the M62 motorway and entering Lancashire. The second stage was a mixture of pushing bikes over – and sometimes through – extremely boggy ground. There were a couple of these moments too. We were all pretty glad to arrive six hours after setting off.

Youth hostels are always a pretty interesting place as they are generally run by pretty eccentric people trying to run a business on a pretty tight budget. All the usual practices applied at the ‘holes including doing your own washing up and bring down your bedding in the morning. ‘Holes was run by a couple who had only just taken over but made us a pot of tea on arrival and even plumbed in a hose to wash the bikes down with. Once the bikes were stowed in the lock-up we hit the local pub. I felt good not to be drinking and whilst my younger and betters celebrated with ales and cumberland sausages the size of multi-user swimming pool flotation devices I hoovered up a beef stroganoff with fudge cake “to pad things out”.

“I can’t work out whether these are 70p or 90p. I sold your brother some at 70p but this one is marked up 90p”. So began five minutes debate as to what cost to sell me some sausages and baked beans in a can this morning. We set off soon afterwards, 70p poorer. The ride back was uneventful along National Cycle route 66, otherwise known as the Spen Valley Greenway and we made it to Sowerby bridge with three minutes to spare before our train. I managed to have a conversation with a drunk (at 11am) diver on his way back to working the rigs off Aberdeen whose second wife was obviously in the process of taking him to the cleaners. “Last year I was living on a farm outside York, now its a one-bedroom apartment in Bradford – guess whose living on the farm?”.

It’s only a matter of time before Tesco are selling Pre-nups…

Cross county ride

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