A week before the wind shook the leaves from the trees we took our bikes along the Lancaster Canal. We set out from central Preston, hopped onto the canal and zipped along in the sunshine.
Lancaster Canal stretches 41 miles from Preston to Kendal. The canal was connected to the national waterway network via the Ribble Link in 2002. It was built along the natural lie of the land, without any inclines or dells it’s perfect for gentle walking or cycling. Living in the centre of town, and without access to a car, we use it to get out into the countryside without having to cycle on a road.
Journeying out of the city centre we passed rows of terrace houses with wonderfully ornate gardens leading down to the canal. Some with alfresco bars, others with pirate themed hide-outs and decorative sheds. Along under pigeon pooh bridge we cycled further to Haslam Park. Usually we would stop off to feed the ducks but we kept on going through Ingol and out into the countryside.
It felt good to be far away from traffic and fumes, we could hear the crackling of pylons, smell silage and see fields of cows. The loudest sound we encountered was a tractor plowing the fields. On we went, past ambling canal barges, people in canoes and families on lazy Sunday strolls.
After our picnic lunch on a waterside bench we passed a lovely country pub, the Hand and Dagger. Next time we’ll stop by for a bite to eat and a drink. On we cycled until we came to a motorway bridge, it was getting late and fearing we wouldn’t make it back before sundown we headed back.
Last week we went out on another weekend bike ride. On the way home we stopped off at a local supermarket, I chained my bike to my son’s and a railing, popped in for three things, came out and my bike had gone. A delightful person had cut though the chain and made off with it. So at the moment I am without pedal power, not for long I hope.
Photos copyright: Lisa McManus