Burnley to Gawthorpe Hall.
Should have been a gentle, towpath-tastic 20 miles:
First few miles past Rowley Lake weren't that bad really, just the usual amount of dumped plastic bags and turds littering the path.
Thomson Park, which is dog free, was a blessed relief.
Then you hit the Leeds - Liverpool canal, which turned out to be a nightmare.
Seriously, this is the worst bit of mixed use trail I've ever seen - it was just plastered with dogshit all the way to the Padiham Greenway, which itself was almost as bad.
The only other people we saw using the towpath and Greenway were dog walkers and I'm not surprised.
It's genuinely disgusting, in places you just cannot avoid the stuff.
You wouldn't want to take your kids anywhere near it.
We rode back on the road.
The Council have obviously spent a bloody fortune trying to create a safe, traffic free route for walkers and cyclists.
It could be really pleasant if the selfish minority didn't ruin it for everyone else.
Is there anything we can do about irresponsible owners?
We've tried asking people to be reasonable and appealing to their better nature - but it's obviously not working with everyone.
We're going to have to start being a bit tougher.
A licence scheme, cost proportionate to size of dog?
It would have to be properly enforced, with unlicenced dogs removed from their owners and rehomed where possible.
More dog wardens removing strays from the streets?
Bigger fines, with stronger enforcement?
What CAN we do?
Perhaps we need to have a think about the 'right' of everyone to own a dog?
And before anyone starts, I love dogs.
I bloody hate irresponsible dog owners though.