Bol D’Or – Day 1 – Woking to Burnley

Day 1

258 miles/412 km

Day 1 was supposed to be a quick trip up to Burnley but I did get side tracked. I went via Peterborough to call in on a friend of mine from University. She happened to be taking her car there for a recall and was happy to have a distraction rather than twiddling her thumbs waiting for the car to be ready.

The weather coming out of Woking was better than I expected. It had been forecast to rain but on my trip around London to Peterborough on the M40, M1, M25 and A1, the weather held. Grey skies only. I made it to our meeting and lunch spot a few minutes late but dry. It was great catching up with Harriet who I have not seen in about 9 years since a significant birthday for her. After lunch we wandered over to the cathedral to satisfy my tourist craving. For some reason there were dinosaurs on the grounds and in the cathedral.

Peterborough Cathedral

The dry weather did not last. I as I got back on the A1 north of Peterborough, the skies opened up and it pelted down. Fortunately, it was sporadic and I went in and out of cloud bursts all the way to Burnley. It made me quite nostalgic to ride along the M62 in the rain as I did many times on the way to university at Hull.

After getting off the M62, I had a couple of be careful of following the satnav, especially in the rain incidents. The first was at Elland where I missed a turn and the re-route took me down some dodgy streets to get back on track. The second was in Hebden Bridge. I should have known better and followed the main road to Burnley. Instead, it took me off the main road over towards Blackshaw Head. A winding, steep, one-lane wet road was not the place to be. It was quite fun after I made it to the top of the hill and I could open the bike up over the tops.

Coal Clough Wind Farm

The clouds over the top the Long Causeway were magnificent. I did not do them justice with this photograph. At the wind farm here, which you are allowed to walk around, there are warning signs to beware of ice forming on the blades and being flung off. It also suggests not entering when there is lightning about. There’s no way in the USA that you’d be allowed anywhere near these things. These things are massive and both ends of the road are single, winding lanes. I did hear of the travails of the village of Mereclough having to deal with them brought in when the turbines were erected.

Anyway, made it to mum’s without incident or further rain as she’s about 10 minutes down the road. Overall, it took about 6 hours to make it to Burnley from Woking. The 2 hours 13 minutes on the map was the first leg. The rain and traffic really slowed things down.