Friday, 2 March 2012

Today's the Day.....

...I would have been setting off. That's if I had kept to the original date. It was a really nice day for it as well but I know I have done the right thing. I have been looking at campsites over the last week and have found, as I suspected, that not many would have been open. Now, I can pick and chose and can go further if I feel OK or stop if I don't feel OK, knowing there are more options available.

I had a job to look at this afternoon in Appley Bridge so went on the road bike and carried on to my mum's. I had an hour there and came home over Parbold Hill with a stop at the usual lamppost. The road bike doesn't have the ultra low gears the tourer has and that is the difference. I can't believe that I was struggling through Arctic conditions a couple of weeks ago and sweltering today.

The front panniers arrived today so I will be fitting them tomorrow and may go out for a short trial with a few weights in the bags to start getting used to the balance situation. The weather isn't promising over the weekend so I may leave it until Monday before I go out again.

George has confirmed his availability for the Brampton trip at the end of this month which is excellent news. I would like to do a couple of long rides before that.  

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Next Project

I felt OK this morning so, after a productive couple of hours work-wise, I got back in the swing and did the standard 20 miles around Chorley. There was a time when 20 miles would have knackered me but I'm pleased to say it feels quite easy these days, even after a wee cough. I fitted mudguards the other day and today ordered front panniers, which should be the last of the required equipment, and hopefully will have them installed in time for the next project which is a four day ride, there and back, to see my mate John who, with Yvonne, has been carrying out missionary work in Cumbria for a long time, too long if you ask me. I will be heading North on Monday 26th March for 50 odd miles to an overnight stop at Oxenholme which has all the necessary accessories, a camping ground, a pub which does B & B in case the weather is ridiculous and a railway station in case the unthinkable happens. Day two will start with breakfast in the tent and packing etc, followed by a ride over Shap and up to Brampton. My host has offered a fantastic menu involving Cumberland sausages, locally brewed beer and a fine malt as we nod off on the couch. Needless to say, the menu was well received by myself. Day three will see me heading South back to Oxenholme for another night's camping and home on Thursday in time for the meeting of minds in the Anvil where I probably won't be of much use to anybody. (cue predictable response) At the moment I am not sure if I will be undertaking this epic journey solo or if my good pal George will be leading me out. I hope he can make it but he is going through a busy time at the moment so we'll see.

A four day, fully-equipped ride two weeks before departure should just about see me right.  

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A Wee Cough

I was feeling a bit chesty and snuffly on Wednesday last after the brisk 20 odd mile ride on Tuesday and the weather wasn't too good so I kept my powder dry and went out for a longish one on Thursday. I set off on the A49 up towards Preston and then headed West through Lostock Hall to meet up with the A59 and came back home via Burscough and over Parbold. The result was a very long middle section of about 40 km of flatness, something I had never done before but could easily get used to. Netherlands here I come, hopefully with the wind behind. I actually managed to get over Parbold Hill without stopping which was very pleasing. The total ride was about 44 miles and the average speed was near 15mph which is quite good for me and therefore also very pleasing. I met up with the team for the usual Thursday night session but unfortunately, the next morning I had a bit of a cold. I might have been OK but I got waylaid and tempted out on Friday night as well. Predictably, I had quite a heavy cold/hangover on Saturday morning so I decided I would have a week off. The worst of the cold has just about gone now so I may go out again tomorrow and start the build up to the Brampton week, which will be four days consecutive riding with camping. Details to follow.