Day Six: Chester to Morecambe

or, The One Where Tony Buys Daphne Some Rings…

Made the decision last night to wash all my cycling clothes and leave them to dry as I slept…

…of course they were still wet when I woke up with the intention of an early start – hmm, must remember not to do that again! Anyway, problem to solve…clothes to dry. I packed everything into a bag and set out looking for launderette nearby with a tumble drier.

Nipping into the nearby newsagents to ask if they knew of one, the two ladies in there told me ‘no’…before one of them said ‘what is it you need to dry?’. I explained it was just some cycling bits and was then surprised to hear her reply of, ‘bring it back to mine, I’m just round the corner. I’ll do it for you’!

So round to Dorothy’s house I went, with Max (her Yorkie), where she put my wet cycling clothes in the drier – before suggesting I get out for breakfast and come back when it would be dry. So off I went to Wetherspoons…

…a large breakfast later and I was on the way back. Walking past a cycle shop I nipped in to see if I could get some grease off them in a bit as the creaking was on it’s way back as I pedalled. No worries, brilliant.

Collecting my now dry clothes from Dorothy and thanking her for her kind offer (how kind of her!) I set off to the hostel to pack up and get my bike to the shop for that dab of grease…

…well, I told Ellis at The Edge Cycleworks the problem and after a quick look he informed me I was missing a crank bolt and the noise was in fact the crank wobbling. Bugger.

Unfortunately he didn’t have a part in place that would make do (and it would be a make do, not permanent) and whilst a bodge could be done, he couldn’t guarantee it would last long at all – certainly not another six hundred miles.

I was planning on upgrading the bike anyway at some point in the future, just not quite so soon…but with the threat of a crank snapping off at some point soon I thought it was as good a time as any.

One hour later and Daphne was fully upgraded with a new crankset, rear cassette and chain…having seen the old crank it was definitely something that needed doing, a gouge in the side signalled just where that noise was coming from every pedal turn.

Thank you to Ellis for fitting me in at short, short notice – and for giving the bike a quick tune up in the process. Good luck with your singlespeed LEJOG next year…you’re mental!

So, on the road at 12.00ish (so much for the early starts!) and my wallet was lighter, but the bike was certainly running smoothly – it was strange hearing nothing as I was pedalling! Yes, it was another odd start to the day but at least it makes for a more entertaining blog, hey…?!

A solid day of cycling, into a slight northerly headwind for much of the day. Nothing particularly exciting as I passed through villages on quieter roads than the last couple of days which made for a far more pleasant journey.

With twenty five miles to go I pulled into a garage for a feed stop. As I started to tuck into my strawberry yoghurt drink (I swear I picked up a milkshake!) a familiar face strolled up. Richard, a friend from football had been waiting with his daughter Sophie to appear on the A6!

It was good to have a bit if a chat, and thanks once again to him and her for taking the time out of their day to see me…much appreciated!

A bit further up the road there was a local cycling club hosting a ten mile time trial event. Of course, had I not been fully loaded and already completed seventy miles for the day I’d have blitzed the field…instead I simply admired their pace as the pairs zipped past at regular intervals. Chapeau!

About ten miles to up and I passed someone walking his laden bike with a flat rear tire. Stopping to ask if I could help he explained he was stopping at a campsite just up the road, but thanks for asking. After a bit of a chat (his tip; NEVER take camping kit, it’s a pain in the f*cking arse up hills!) he said he was heading up to John O’Groats and was due on Wednesday. I wished him well and suggested we maybe meet to have a laugh about it all over a beer then.

I sailed through Lancaster on a lovely sloping road. It looks really pretty and I couldn’t help but think it would have been a nice stop – shame there was no cheap accommodation availiable.

I arrived into Morecambe at 21.15 after completing the last four miles or so on a lovely cycle path. Have to say, Morecambe’s not nice…and if definitely needs investment. Imagine a cheap version of Blackpool and you’d not be far off!

Tea was courtesy of Tesco again – hot cross buns, a blueberry muffin and strawberry milk (for a change!).

I treated myself to a bottle of…Deep Heat (!) and drifted off to sleep in the glow of that, dreaming of tomorrow and the big climb up Shap…

Stats for the day

Distance for the day: 95 miles
Time in saddle for the day: 6hrs 51mins
Average speed for the day: 13.8mph
Maximum speed for the day: 28.3mph

Total distance to date: 517 miles
Total time in saddle to date: 38hrs 17mins
Average speed for trip to date: 13.5mph

Route for the day…

Day Six: Route

Route profile for the day…

Day Six: Route Profile

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One Response to “Day Six: Chester to Morecambe”

  1. Big G Says:

    Should’ve taken Big G’s advice and started travelling SAS-style in just your underpants. Would’ve saved bothering kind-hearted Dorothy.

    Hope you let her wiggle your wobbly crank as a thank you……

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