Saturday, 22 May 2010

Wow, what a hot day!

Just short of 60 miles in unbroken sunshine. I slapped on the sunscreen a couple of times, but my arms have taken a bashing nonetheless. It’s all very well people enjoying sunshine, but folk that are forced to be in it all day have problems.

I left Leyland at 08:30 and rode out through Eccleston and Wrightington to Standish and joined the A49 for Wigan. These are roads I was brought up with, so knew them like the back of my hand. The trouble is, times have moved on - new homes have been built, thousands more people have moved in and brought their cars with them. The roads were horrendous.

I took Wigan and the traffic in my stride and powered on south. I’d been in touch with “Ferrit Worrier” - Malc, who was going to meet me near Warrington. As I came over the Manchester Ship Canal just south of Warrington, there he was taking photographs! He and I have met a couple of times - firstly when he was riding his LEJOG and I met him in Camelford and escorted him out of Cornwall to Okehampton, and secondly when I was visiting our daughter Katy in Manchester, I popped round for a chat. Malc had also made some brackets for the fitting of the front rack on Chopper. Well done that man!

We greeted each other like old friends, and we sped off together towards Chester. The traffic was even more horrendous! Why were so many cars out on a Saturday? Where were they all going! Stop/start traffic in the heat of the day was not pleasant.

I had to stop frequently. The heat was getting to me and my bum was getting sore from the punishing saddle. Malc was understanding about my slow pace and needing to stop, and during the stops we chatted endlessly about this and that, everything cycling and more. He hardly broke into a sweat with the ride, and I struggled all the way. Riding a Raleigh Chopper all this way is no mean feat. I’m strong and powerful and fit, but today was purgatory. Hopefully, the weather will change and I can keep cool.

I have no movies or photographs to show today. It didn’t seem right showing off all the roundabouts, traffic lights and junctions all clogged with Saturday traffic. I’m sure you’ll all understand.

I arrived at my sister Pene’s house in Wrexham at just before 4pm. Malc had peeled off just this side of Chester and taken a different route home, and I set off along the B5445 via Rossett - the place of my birth, just inside the Welsh border - and Gresford. Pene was waiting for me, and within a minute or two, she’d handed me a beer. She brews her own, in fact she does it professionally and is head brewer for Sandstone Brewery What a clever big sister I have!
Jolly Brewer
Sandstone Brewery
Shower was next, then another beer (or two) and food soon.

Stats for today:
59.8 miles in 1,000,000 degree heat!
7:36:04 duration
05:32:14 sitting and pedalling
2,129ft of total ascent.

Total distance from JOG: 547.12 miles

(Only) six more legs to do:
Wrexham to Ludlow - 58 miles
Ludlow to Gloucester - 48 miles
Gloucester to Bridgwater - 66 miles
Bridgwater to Sourton - 70 miles
Sourton to St Columb Major - 51 miles
St Columb Major to LE - 49 miles

Perhaps less than 350 miles to go!

Tomorrow is a day off. Relaxation and Chopper maintenance is on the cards, and Monday will see me off and going to Ludlow.

Regards to all,

1 comment:

  1. I was out on the driveway most of the day tinkering with various bikes. I was scorching hot and thought of you frequently and how it might affect your ride. Glad you got through it and big sister had a cold one waiting for you :-) I'm a bit jealous you'll be spending all day Sunday with a master brewer!