“There aren’t any water towers around here”…

Another July morning where the weather suggests calendars may not be open at the correct page.  Today’s ride can wait for the afternoon’s forecast to deliver on its promises.

Putting the world to rights, discussing bikes, drinking convenience coffee, bikes, looking outside, bikes, etc.  The usual discourse between grounded cyclists.  Bin store chores on the caravan site reveals a secret to me: “it’s actually warm out there, we should go for a bike ride!”

It’s always a pleasure to ride Fylde coast lanes no matter how many times they’ve previously been visited.  Perhaps it’s simply the flat landscape allowing you to view familiar landmarks no matter where you are.  That vast flatness.  I make a comment about water towers while we stop to look at a farm’s old well pump house.  “There aren’t any water towers around here”, says my host Steve.

Today’s mission, in the loosest terms, is to find a bridleway in Grize Dale (or Grizedale, depending on the mood of the OS cartographer) by the small, but pleasingly ‘caféd’, village of Scorton.  We ride billiard table smooth lanes, all new to me, in returned summer warmth.  All the while scanning for an elusive water tower.  No luck.

A Scorton café al fresco food stop.  Excellent food feeding our hungry stomachs, and the computerised ordering till experience feeding two cycling comedians’ comic minds.  A chilled hour musing over ‘the plan’ and noting how popular the village is with road clubs on a Sunday.  The climb out of Scorton bridges over the M6 and the brief period of countryside birdsong is shouted over by road roar.  Motorway embankments doing their job well as we cycle back into countryside serenity.

There’s a brief section of lane where we find ourselves on a set of four parallel lines.  Canal, lane, railway and M6 motorway.  Looking at the tops of moored canal cruisers we muse over the M6 being similarly used hundreds of years from now.  Motorhomes parked on the derelict hard shoulder.  Parallel universe?

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On we go, seeking and finding the bridleway.  We’ll not ride it today due to its committing route and tiredness but it looks good.  Unfinished business.  More sleepy lanes.  Surfaced roads which are like farm tracks now, but perhaps main routes half a century or more ago.  And then, rounding a bend: “grass up the middle!” I shout gleefully.  Smiles all round.  Who knew that four word phrase could cause such joy and enthusiasm?!

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Naturally we stop.  Cameras out, faces grinning, “I saw it first!” jokes, photographer and model roles swapped, and swapped again.  Grass up the middle spell cast.


More meandering lanes return us to the familiar coast and base.

And yes.  There is at least one water tower here!  Laughter all round 🙂

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Words and pictures – Jason Liddell


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