Argh, the fine weather finally left us today. To be honest though I think that if we continued to have have the glorious weather that we’ve had until now, then we’d somehow feel like we’d cheated a little bit. No danger of that though – we got several thorough soakings.
The route today wasn’t the best either. After a nice stretch of countryside from Malpas to Frodsham we quickly entered the highly built up areas of the North West; Warrington, Wigan, Preston and surrounding towns.
Thinking that we were safe to follow signs for Warrington after leaving Frodsham was a mistake – the road signs actually lead you to the motorway (no good then) and the only other option once you get this far is to pick up the expressways around Runcorn to get back on track. These are duel carriageways, so still no good, but doable. It wasn’t a major disaster but it made for a miserable and relatively dangerous section of riding. For those planning to do the trip themselves, make sure you’re 100% clear on your route passing through this area, as we made it more difficult than it needed to be.
The other thing that has been a pain today too was the traffic lights and traffic generally. I think if it’s possible to plan your trip so you do this day on a Sunday, you’ll make much better time and enjoy it all the more. Either that or just do as most people do and accept it’s not going to be a particularly great day of riding.
As compensation for a slightly rubbish day scenery-wise we have had a number of people keeping us company en route. Tommy (John’s brother) and John’s mum met us first thing in Malpas, leaving Belper at a crazy hour to do so, which was a nice surprise. They also stuck with us through to Lunch in Charnock Richard, where we met more of John ‘s family and Lydia, my girlfriend.
We were a little disappointed when the pub we went in only served carvery as we thought that this would be a bit heavy, especially with around 40 miles remaining after we’d taken it on board. However, we went ahead and loaded our plates and it worked a treat – Jordan has never cycled so strongly!
John also got his wheel fixed at a bike shop over the road, so he’s running on full steam again. Not that it was slowing him down before! He’s very fit for someone who doesn’t exercise very often.
The day ended at J36 of the M6, around 7pm. For saying it was meant to be a fairly easy & flat day, it still felt tough. I don’t think 100 miles on a bike and ‘easy day’ go together!
Highlight of the day (for me): being picked up by Lydia at the end of the day to spend a night at home in Preston.
Low point: a puncture in the rain at the side of the A6 in Preston. The five of us stood around must have looked a sorry, miserable sight.
Thanks go out to: Tommy and my folks for supporting us with some diesel money, and Lydia for replenishing our sugar supplies – great brownies.
Tomorrow see’s us reach Scotland, fingers crossed for some better weather.