Candy Floss and Ice Cream
Pretty flat anticlockwise route around the Lancashire plain - ferry crossing, Blackpool Promenade and Tower, and a lovely ice cream shop!
Flat, end of season, event with a cafe start and postal finish. Numbers strictly limited due to a ferry crossing on the route. Start from a cafe in Longridge where breakfast and drinks can be purchased while you wait for the off. Once unleashed you head north to Glasson Dock and the first control where the cafe will have a stamp. South and west then to Knott End for the ferry across the River Wyre to Fleetwood. The ferry is tide dependent but on the day will be operating between 10:15-17:45hrs. The limiting factor will be the number of riders. It is only a small vessel so don't expect room for 10+ cyclists along with other passengers. It crosses each way every 30 mins though, approx 15 mins and 45 min past the hour, so not too long to wait. Current cost is £2.00 with 50p extra for a bike. This is the second control and the skipper will stamp your Brevet. From Fleetwood join the Promenade for the next few Km south past Blackpool Tower and Pleasure Beach. Cyclists are allowed on the Prom' but please be considerate of pedestrians, dog walkers and children. The prevailing wind direction is northwesterly along this section of coast and you better hope it is because it can be fierce! Third control at or around Lytham services with a receipt then east to Preston including a short section of NSL road/dual carriageway (optional adjacent cycle path/lane is available). Turn southwest at Preston for with a longer section of NSL road/dual carriageway bashing (again with cycle path) past Southport to the fourth control at Formby services. Turn east here on much quieter roads towards the only significant section of climbing just beyond Parbold - the 110 m ascent of Stoney Lane! After cresting the top the final control at Heath Charnock is reached after 14km where Frederick's Ice Cream Parlour will kindly stamp your Brevet. They provide hot food and drinks as well as delicious ice creams so a purchase here would be much appreciated. After a spot of refreshment go north on the A6 through Chorley to Preston, which you skirt, to end in Longridge. The CoOp is open late and has a 24hr ATM so get a timed receipt and post your stamped Brevet and receipts back to me. Longridge is a few miles off the M6 motorway nr Preston. It has a number of long stay car parks but free on street parking is available outside the centre. The nearest mainline railway station is Preston. There are several budget hotels in the area.
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