So, Friday saw us set off on our epic adventure or as some would say it, a bloody stupid trip.
Firstly, Southport is the costal resort for posh Scousers they tell me. It was obvious there was a strong Liverpool influence on the place, starting with the view from our hotel room….I mean, some Scouser had stolen the view
Then there was the hotels famous breakfast. Famous for coming in a cardboard box.
Actually for a takeaway breakfast box it wasn’t too bad.cereal, juice, flap jack, pain au chocolate. I’ve had worse.
A short ride from our hotel took us to the start of the Trans Pennine Trail. After the obligatory photos, it was time to set off and almost immediately we found the route closed for roadworks. This could be a long day!
The first few miles were on tarmacadam surfaces and relatively quick, until we turned onto trails and canal paths all the way into the Aintree area of Liverpool.
By the time we reached Aintree, Drew & I looked like we had ridden the Grand National Course on a very wet day.
After Aintree we joined up with the disused rail beds. These varied in quality between excellent and very good. The biggest issue was some interesting and missing signposts.
We had intended to stop every 20 or so miles for a cake stop. However after 20 miles the number of cars we saw were limited.
We did add a few miles on trying to circumnavigate Liverpool Airport We also found a pub that reminds me of a football club of a similar name
We eventually stopped after 38 miles for a spot of fine dining at McDonald’s in Widnes. By this time we were so hungry anything tasted nice.
Back on our bikes and a strange afternoon of rain, huge flooded sections, missing sign posts, missed turns. At one point were were going through water deeper than the bottom bracket on the bike, and of course there was the mud.
The afternoon session proved a bit troublesome. I thought we were meeting my parents in 22 miles, turns out it was 32 miles away, but the surface was poor with lots of mud & water and lots of wrong turns due to missing or misleading signs.
We ended up meeting them about 2 hours later than planned. Sorry mum & dad! ( again!).
Never mind, it was only 11 miles from there to the hotel, but as Drew will attest it was almost all uphill and in deteriorating weather, especially the increasing wind.
It was a relief after 80.93 miles to reach our hotel, welcoming showers and lots of food and good company.
So today the enemy is a hill. I think its called the Pennines.
A hard day rounded off by cleaning bike in hotel room and replacing brake blocks on my bike. Thanks to my parents for tracking down replacement brake blocks, wet wipes to clean bike and oil to lube the chain.
A big shout out goes to Premier Inn who have a policy of allowing cyclists to store their bikes in the hotel bedroom. The staff at our hotel at Mottram near Hyde were excellent, friendly, welcoming etc