Free Social Cycle Rides

Rideouts for anyone of 12 years and over completely free of charge.

Throughout the year we organise social ride outs across the region. These are suitable for anyone who can already ride a bike without any aides. They are usually free* and average between 3 – 10 miles each. Each route will vary in difficulty depending on the route and information can be found on each ride as to length, duration and terrain on our social ride outs page. Routes can incorporate cycle paths, bridal ways or local roads. Social ride outs may include somewhere to stop for lunch so you can buy your lunch on route. We also offer traffic free rides for those new to cycling. All routes are pre-prepared, risk assessed routes designed by our qualified cycle instructors. All you need is a roadworthy bike and a helmet (optional for adults although we recommend wearing one) and a hi viz vest/jacket if you wish to wear one.

Who is this for?

Anyone over 12 years old who is reasonably fit can join our fun rides. However, anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

How much will this cost?

All our social rideouts are free. We do however stop at locations where you can purchase your own lunch.

How hard will the ride be?

This varies depending on the route that day. Check out each rides details below for how difficult they will be.

Where do you go?

We tend to try to keep our rides away from main roads where possible, but for road riding routes these are on the best surfaced roads we can find. For mountain bikes we go all over the Lancashire moors as well as the pretty countryside around the Medlock valley. We also arrange meets at some of the better known mountain bike venues

How do I take part?

Simply fill in our request form and list the date and route you would like to join in on or simply book in our online shop using the button above. We will need to know how many members are in your group so we can better plan our routes.

Route 1- Daisy Nook social

Our first route is our social ride to Daisy Nook. The track starts at Wellyhole Street in oldham and winds its way around the medlock valley heading towards the visitor centre at Daisy Nook. We usually stop at this point for some lunch before returning via the visitor centre at Park Bridge and onwards back to the start point. The route takes in bridlepaths, quiet roads and towpaths. Terrain wise there are some hills especially when we leave Park Bridge. In the summer this is a pretty little route. GPS files can be found by clicking on the GPSies link on the map below

Route 2- Dovestones circular

Our second route is far more strenuous. Again this is family friendly but some of the hills can be quite draining at Springhead. The track starts just off Wellyhole Street in oldham at a local spot names Manor Flats. for some quick off road drops, then we head off to Grotton via the old train line which is now part of the national cycle paths. From grotton its a climb on road to the top of springhead some of our riders may want to walk part of this climb and we are cool with that, this is followed by a very long down hill into Uppermill then onto dovestones. At dovestones we usually do a circuit of the lake followed by something at the butty van inthe car park before heading back via greenfield. The route takes in bridlepaths, main roads, quiet roads and paths. Terrain wise there are some hills especially when we leave Grotton. In the summer this is a pretty little route. GPS files can be found by clicking on the GPSies link on the map below

Route 3- Whitworth circular

A circular route taking in some of the pennine bridleway as well as the roman road (Rooley Moor RD) over the moor. There is some stunning scenery up here. The route is pretty harsh on the climb up Rooley Moor Rd so not suitable for road bikes. This trail gives a split of almost 50:50 of offroad followed by a good easy ride back to the start on road

Route 4- Easy mountain biking introduction on the Shaw moor circular

This is a relatively short route. It takes you from the car park at brushes quary around the moor itself and up to the masts at the top, then its a fun downhill back to the car park.

The first half mile is heavy going until the path split as the climb is fairly steep for the not so fit, the next half mile is pretty easy going and most of our riders manage this. Then its downhill all the way to the car park.

Maybe not so interesting snippet of information, in the early to late 1980's before the moor access was blocked the local Lada Main agent used to bring customers up here to demonstrate the off road capability of the Lada Niva 4x4 by starting at the top and driving down the moor to our start point. Sometimes they would turn round and drive back up again. I have seen Land Rovers stuck up here in the 80's and early 90's but never a Lada Niva (the one car they did make properly)

In the summer the views are spectacular from here of cheshire and Lancashire.

Route 5- Bishops Park to Heartshead Pike Linear ride

This track is a popular one with local horse riders and has appeared in local publications for horse riding and cycling. It takes you between two local beauty spots, Bishops park and Heartshead pike. The route is easily done on horse back, foot or on a push bike. for cyclists I would recommend a mountain bike for the first part of the return leg from Heartshead pike back to St Agnes CofE School. Or alternatively backtrack the way you came until you come to St Agnes School at the bottom of Lane Head Rd, for cyclists on road bikes this can be quite a rush with speed over 30mph easily obtainable. Then follow the rest of the return path as published. There is some hills involved (hey we do live on the pennines here) so be prepared for some quite stiff up hill rides. But all the up hills are over well made roads so the ride is good.

The Views along the way are spectacular starting with the saddleworth Valley and Rochdale end ending up with views over the cheshire plain, Derbyshire and manchester at the pike. On a good day Jodrel Bank will be visible on the horizon

In the summer the views are spectacular from here of cheshire and Lancashire.

Route 6- Saddleworth Explorer

This track is a a great route for families taking in some breathtaking views of Saddleworth. It takes in views of the roman fort before dropping into diggle where a stop at the best ice cream shop in the whole of the Oldham Burough can be found (see the waypoint). We then progress onto the canal tow path heading towards Uppermill. At uppermill a ride on the barges is very much recommended before rejoining the track and heading back to the car along the disused rail line known as the delph donkey. Take time to take in the local information boards as there is some fascinating history here.

The first half a mile of the ride is pretty tough as its is mostly up hill as we climb onto the top of the moor. Most of the hardest climb is on tarmac. Once the first half mile is over and we head off road you will find yourself on some of the old packhorse routes from here on its either flat with minor inclines or fast descents. There is a care point halfway round before we head towards diggle where the track is pretty washed out this has been marked with a waypoint.

There is nothing really technical here and most people should be able to achieve the ride in around an hour and a half. If you are doing this on horse back you may have to go along the roads a little when you are most of the way back to brownhills as the bridges are a little low over the canal. This will be obvious when you ride it, but to be fair I usually ride it on my welsh cob with no issue

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