So this coming weekend I am supposed to be cycling the Trans Pennine Trail. I have hopefully sorted out my Mountain Bike, fitting a rear pannier rack to carry my luggage and even fitting new slicker tyres. So you may think all is set for the off.
Sadly, since I sorted out my bike, it has either been very windy or very wet and I have not been out on my bike to check all the modifications are ok. Its the middle of August, and football matches are being postponed because of wind and rain….yep welcome to the British summer.
I suppose its all my fault. we have had fantastic weather since lockdown started in March and it only breaks when I am planning a cycling holiday! I know the solution to the rain is to put on my cycling rain jacket. Every time I put that on when out riding, the rain stops and I am left wet from the boil in the bag effect of the jacket.
I am due to travel up to Southport on Thursday afternoon courtesy of Avanti West Coast, and Mersey Rail preceded by a bike ride to Euston Station. Then a night in hotel in Southport before an early start on Friday and riding circa 75-80 miles off road that day. Its a long distance to ride on a mountain bike in a day, especially off road. Still they say no pain no gain. However, I am not sure what the gain will be, but I do know what the pain will be!
The biggest task at the moment is trying to remember where I put all the train tickets and bike reservations for the journeys up and back. It seemed a good idea to book the tickets in advance and I know I put them somewhere safe, but where was it?
Then there is the hotel reservation for the first night. Its the only accommodation booked so far. Hopefully we won’t have problems finding accommodation for the other 3 nights! If no room at the inn, we will have to keep on cycling until we find somewhere to stay. I am relying on www.booking.com to save me
The Next task is to remember to take all the plugs / charging leads I will need. That includes the following leads:
one for the GPS device on my bike
one for my watch
one for my bike front light
one for my bike rear light ( will be riding home from Euston in dark on Monday night
one for my bike camera
one for my mobile phone
It is quite scary how many different leads I need to take, and that is with me travelling light, or attempting to. How dependant I am on powered devices these days is scary.
Medication & Toiletries
Need to remember these, which also includes glasses, contact lenses as well as 5 days medication. I am relying on the hotels/ bed & breakfasts we stay at to have shower gel and towels, so won’t be taking these, but will need deodorant, toothpaste & toothbrush. At least I don’t need shampoo or a hairbrush – and haven’t for well over 25 years.
This is where I can try to be clever. My cycling shoes have recessed cleats and are easy to walk in , so I am not going to take another pair of shoes, but will take flip flops.
Similarly, I will have a long sleeved cycling top that i can wear on an evening if it gets chilly when in pub or restaurant.
I have a couple of pairs of baggy cycling shorts which have a padded removable liner so i will remove that and wear the shorts on an evening with underwear and a lightweight t shirt. We will be cycling to / from Euston station to/ from our homes at either end of the trip, so will travel on the train in cycling clothes.
This then just leaves the cycling kit to sort out and that will include waterproof shoe covering, spare socks and probably a couple of cycling tops. Then of course, gloves, helmet, cap under helmet, glasses etc.
The most important items of course are the water bottles and the snack bars. anyone into cycling knows its all about the cake!
I hope the wind eases off overnight so I can take the bike for a test ride in the morning. I have a café stop arranged for 0800 in the morning with my ride companion. So hopefully I can get some miles in before that meeting.