Otterspool, on the banks of the Mersey has had a long history dating back to the time of the Puritans who used it as a fishery before it's pools and creeks became the site of water powered mills including a snuff mill.
Since then it has seen better days and the promenade has become used for slightly less lawful practices, including cruising of an automotive and non-automotive variety......
For years now it has also been used, at least in the daytime, by many of the Liverpool based clubs to promote a NW League race or 3. I have always had a love hate relationship with the place. The course is invariably technical, twisty and with protruding branches, roots and foliage - hence I always struggle to get my lanky and unskilled frame around its twists and turns. It also contains the famous Muur de Otterspool - a miniature Flanders climb complete with cobbles, mud and cursing riders struggling for grip.
However, the place has a certain charm and lends itself to a myriad of different course variations that organisers have cleverly used over the years. Actually the courses are often true cross courses, combining steps, runups that can be ridden if strong, mud plugging, technical sections and much more. If truth be known, I only don't like it because I can't ride it very well.
So it is with trepidation (for me) that the League converges on Otterspool this Saturday for the first of 2 visits this season. The forecast is dire with heavy rain and gales forecast - at least that may have the effect of slowing down the course allowing me to catch my breath and grind into the constant bends and corners at a slower and more manageable speed. See you there!