A 6AM start for our first 100km of this year. It rained from the off, but we pressed on down past town and out on Leeds road, where we encountered the first moron of the day: the driver of a massive crane couldn’t possibly slow down for a couple of seconds and squeezed a good forty or fifty tons of heavy industrial machinery between us and a traffic island with inches to spare. He turned off a mere 500m later into the Syngenta site, where I’m sure they desperately needed a crane at 6.30AM on a Saturday morning, so clearly his haste was entirely justified.
By way of an unusual contrast the normally horrible run from Cooper Bridge to the motorway junction was surprisingly quiet, and our progress through Brighouse, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden was similarly unremarkable with little more than the usual close passes, impatience and standard issue driver dopeyness on display. It was only after we started to descend towards Rochdale and Oldham that the real rocket surgeons turned out, beeping us for riding two-up, buzzing past mere inches away, pulling in early, deliberately cutting us up and boxing us in. We singled out, bunched up, and treated every driver like they wanted us dead, by which actions I am happy to report that we made it through.
From Stalybridge we turned away from the headwind that had harassed us nearly as much as the traffic, and made our way up the quiet section of A635 towards Greenfield. The rain had moved on too, and both the cars and their drivers were significantly less dense than those encountered earlier. One final drag up the steady climb over Standedge, down the other side, and we were done: a loop of almost precisely 100km on the nose. It was a satisfying ride all things considered, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that specific route again, or venturing anywhere near the dump that is Oldham on two wheels either, for that matter. The motorists of Oldham really are selfish, ignorant, knuckle-dragging imbeciles and I hope they all, every last one of them, die unhappily early deaths from galloping haemorrhoids. And that crane driver, him too.