I have a number of different routes home from work that I can take and the one I chose depends largely on my frame of mind and the weather though these two factors are quite closely linked. Now that our fine summer has passed (!) there’s less inclination to take a scenic route home, and not feeling too great and full of energy recently has meant that I’d certainly go for the easiest route home at the moment.
I realised today that the easiest is not necessarily the shortest or quickest route. The last few evenings I have felt dead beat on arriving home and quite grumpy as a result. Last week I blamed it on the fact that the rucksack I was wearing was making me hotter than usual, but this week with a pannier frame now fitted to the MTB I haven’t felt much better. The trouble is the last couple of kilometres and tonight I came up with a solution: Rather than staying on Bury New Road through Prestwich Village I can take a longer but quieter route along residential streets. Bury New Road might be direct but I have to deal with parked cars, 2 lanes of traffic and lights all of which cause me to up my speed rather than drop it. I need to ease off and relax especially as I am mainly going up hill.
So rather than stay on Bury New Road I turned right up Woodhill drive which as you can see was a rather round-about route. It’s also a bit of a climb but I liked the fact that I was gaining altitude along a quiet residential road. I would have liked to cross Scholes Lane to go down the one way street cut-through but it was too busy. In future I’ll stay on BNR to the major junction, enjoy a breather at the lights and then turn up Scholes Lane before left down Heywood Road. Heywood road now has calming measures and the first mini roundabout has been resurfaced meaning a turn of speed could be used to ensure I find a good gap in the traffic if needs be.
There is a climb up Heywood road before turning into Glebelands, but as you can see from the grey altitude profiles below (taken from Endomondo) the last few minutes of the second route look preferable to the first.