Yep, despite there being not much going on here on this blog, I have been pretty busy on the bike. I set out to do a minimum of two rides per week which hasn’t been achieved but my target distance on a single ride has……. with a bit of interest!
Since my last blog, I was given a nice little voucher for a discount on a silver service at Halfords. I got it taken in and was told it would be 48 hours before I could pick it up. I knew it would need a new chain and cassette amongst the regular things like new cables, so the final price quoted was very nice thank you very much.
I duly went to collect the bike and the guy was still working on it…… methinks he had just started really. He was struggling to get the gears changing smoothly and silently, and concluded that the rear mech was probably not as straight as it should be so he swapped that free of charge probably knowing that I was visibly content but internally not at all!
Anyway, eventually he coughed to still struggling to get things changing smoothly and that was the best he could do…… so I paid the discounted price and rode off into the distance homeward with clunky gears. I decided the next day to go out and did a regular route, but things were not as they should be in the gear-change department…… so I spent the next day fiddling with cable tensions and learning the mystique and dark arts of the front mech.
Youtube is a wonderful thing isn’t it! I looked around and got things firmly fixed in my head as to what was needed to be done and set about sorting it and in need of some serious physio on the back afterwards (I must buy a bike stand for the future!). I went out for another ride, things were smoother but still not brilliant…. but getting there.
I did manage to ride my furthest of 40 miles and ventured into Wigan……. for future reference, Wigan visibly has a small gene pool! I returned to fiddling with my front mech the next day…… still getting there!
Eventually, I got as happy as I could be and decided to set out on a bid to reach my 50 mile ride….. I set off towards Belmont, decided to add a little bit after Abbey Village and headed off towards the general direction of Southport. I aimed at Rufford and decided to add further and go to Ormskirk and then Skelmersdale hoping to find some rode signs towards either Bolton or Wigan…….. guess what, no signs which to me validates my opinion of Wigan in particular…… nobody wants to go to Wigan or admit it anyway!
I was getting a bit worried because I was on unknown ground now……. I couldn’t see Winter Hill in the distance because of Parbold Hill being in the way but I had a general plan to avoid Parbold Hill and instead shirt around it and head towards Wigan.
After asking directions three times I found myself on a gorgeous, empty road that goes along the valley, thus discovering Appley Bridge and then Shevington before getting to familiar ground at Standish….. then it was decision time…… turn right and add more miles via Wigan or back homeward the normal way from Standish? I took the second option. I was getting a bit tired, and I had ridden so far without a stop and enjoyed it.
By the time I had arrived at my finish line I had been in the saddle for 4 hours and 55 minutes, managed 2,800 ft in elevation and covered 63.3 miles with an average of 13mph, which I didn’t think was bad without a stop and on unkown roads….
Since then I have reverted to familiar routes. The weather is getting warmer, I have actually seen the gold disc in the blue sky quite a few times, so things are looking good for the rest of Summer….. having said that we will be away for 2 weeks minus a bike, but I will be trying to get in as many rides as I can immediately before and after…….
Here is the route: