Cycling from Cornwall to the Yorkshire Dales – and back

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I'm off on Sunday the 17th of July on a 1,000mile jaunt "oop north and back". This wonderful CycleSeven team have organised a long ride into the Yorkshire Dales National Park and not only have I agreed to ride with them, I've decided to ride there and back too. I needed a good excuse for a long ride, and this footed the bill quite nicely, thank you very much!

Preps started in February. What route should I take? This bit was easy, as I have a sister living in Wrexham, we have a daughter in Manchester and another in Bedford. It would only be a matter of joining the dots, and a route would form itself. Booking B+Bs in between was just a matter of Goggling and telephoning.

I often comment on people who have no geographical knowledge of the Land's End to John O'Groats route, a route that generally is in the west. I've done the End to End a few times, and being born and brought up in the Northwest of England and living here in the Southwest for the past 28years, I'm fairly clued up with western British geography, so leaving here and cycling all the way to Wrexham via Bridgwater and Hereford then across to Manchester, I'm more than happy with. From there on, I'm a little bit groping in the dark!

In South Manchester, I'll be staying with Daughter1 for a couple of days, and this is where the mystery rides begin. I've never cycled though a major city before, so I'm going to head straight into Manchester city centre – due north and hit it head on. I'm not fearful of traffic, so it doesn't worry me and I know I will enjoy every pedal stroke. Not really "enjoy" in the true sense of the word, but enjoy it as a completely new adventure.

I should arrive at Gargrave, to the west of Skipton, by later afternoon on Friday the 22nd of July.

Now, the day after, leaving my gear in the Old Swan Inn where I'm staying, I will be joining up with the CycleSeven folk for a ride into the "All Creatures Great and Small" Yorkshire Dales.
Where?
Here: bikeroutetoaster.com

Why?
Because: West Yorkshire Cycling Weekend

Convinced?
I certainly was!

From Gargrave the day after the ride, I head due south back to Daughter1, then south again via Loughborough to Bedford – new territory for me! – I'll stay with Daughter2 for a couple of days, then make it home via Swindon and Bridgwater. Bedford to home is a route I've done before, so by then I'll be on familiar ground again.

So here I am, Tuesday evening, blogging on here, my packing list is complete(ish) and all my gear is (almost) ready to leave with me on Sunday. I'm nervous and on edge, ready to go, and Sunday cannot come soon enough. Hopefully I'll be away by 6am, in Okehapmpton by 8, Crediton by 10, and I'll be having my lunch in Tiverton by noon. I should make it to Bridgwater by tea-time.

Tune in soon. I'll give an update before I leave, and as the places I'm staying mostly have WiFi, so I should be able update this blog as I go.

See ya later.
Mick

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67 comments on “Cycling from Cornwall to the Yorkshire Dales – and back”

  1. Alan wrote:

    Didn't Enid Blyton write a book called "Seven go mad in Yorkshire"? Or was that the TV satire?

    See you soon.

  2. Mike wrote:

    Good luck, Mick – should be a wonderful trip, can't wait to read the blog!

  3. Patrick wrote:

    Mick F wrote: I've never cycled though a major city before, so I'm going to head straight into Manchester city centre.

    Without knowing where your daughter lives I'd probably do the same, except that I'd have planned a GPS route to follow, one-way systems permitting. Maybe you have. Anyway from Manchester centre I'd be heading for Rochdale, Littleborough, Todmorden and Keighley but via Burnley, Nelson and Colne might be less hilly (possibly). Either way you'll be fit by Skipton.

    Have a good trip. Any problems in the North West of England and you can always give me a ring (I can reach you within an hour by car). Keep in touch and see you on the ice.

  4. Mick F wrote:

    Hi guys!
    "Seven go Mad in Yorkshire" is a wonderful title for this blog. I wish I'd thought of it!

    Yes Patrick, I have worked out a route through Manch ......... though it is subject to change.

    Daughter1 lives in Baguley.

    I aim to go off on Altrincham Road and head up the Princess Parkway (A5103) into the city centre, then out north on the A56 through Bury(not pronounced Berry) and Rawtenstall(pronounced Rottenstall), then Burnley, Nelson and Colne to the A59 at Broughton before turning north to Gargrave via Earby and Thornton-in-Craven.

    New territory for me, though I am familiar with the names and places from my childhood and youth.

    After the "Seven Going Mad" bit – and a night's sleep, I'll be heading back to Manch on the same route.

    Last bike ride tomorrow before the off, then it's maintenance of Bike and me, plus packing and sorting.

    See you SOON!
    M.

  5. Patrick wrote:

    Burnley, Nelson and Colne to the A59 at Broughton before turning north to Gargrave via Earby ...

    We might pass you in the car then. Will stop and say hello if it's safe. Earby is a very nice village.

    Bury (not pronounced Berry)

    We've always pronounced it Berry. I think that's official but I've heard locals pronounce it the other way too, like Buh-ry.

    There might actually be seven of us if my cousin comes, eight if my son does. Two of them said they might but I'll believe it if it happens – they are abroad at the moment.

  6. Mary wrote:

    LOL Alan, I would of entitled it 'The Magnificent Seven go North' but it might be Six or Eight anyway.... :)

    Im getting very excited reading about folk packing and getting ready, I keep thinking Im leaving it too late, then I think Im off this Friday when its next.... Feeling like a kid again looking forward to holidays.

    Good luck Mick, will look forward to reading your blog and updates.

    Mary

  7. Mick F wrote:

    Berry or Buh-ry.
    Wigan or Wiggin?
    Oldham or Owdum?
    Bolton or Borl-tun?
    Loads of odd pronunciations Up North .....

    I've never completely lost my Lancashire accent, though it has diminished over the years. Mainly it went when I joined the RN as no-one could understand me! I had to tone it down a bit, and it's continued to be toned down although anyone listening to me now is aware I'm Northern – but can't put a finger on where from!

    Update of the blog to follow in the next day or two.

    M.

  8. Hilary wrote:

    Cycle Seven go mad in Yorkshire – bring it on! :)

  9. Chris wrote:

    Perhaps it was the Comic Strip's cheeky Five go Mad in Dorset you were thinking of, Alan? With lashings of ginger beer! (I was a Secret Seven person myself – I've still got much if not all of the series in the loft.)

    Anyhooo... at this side of the Pennines bury, Bury, berry and beret all sound exactly the same to us. (Fair, fare, fur and fir are all homophonous, too.)

    Take it steady in those big cities, Mick. Best wishes – Chris.

  10. Mick F wrote:

    I plucked up the courage and weighed the nearly complete trailer plus luggage and had a bit of a shock ..........

    I weigh 180lbs, so I held the whole rig and climbed on the scales again, and found I had 39lbs of luggage! I spent a few minutes trying to think what to leave out, then realised I'd not first subtracted the weight of the EMPTY trailer!

    Silly me! 😳

    Any road up, Trailer weighs 23lbs, so I've only got 16lbs. Thank goodness for that. Now I CAN take the kitchen sink! πŸ˜€

    M.

  11. Malcolm wrote:

    Are you still coming up the A59 through Helsby and Frodsham on the 20th? πŸ˜€ will be in touch πŸ˜€

  12. Patrick wrote:

    I will weigh my empty panniers and racks some time to see how they compare to an empty trailer. Loaded with everything including camping gear my tourer weighs 75lbs (the bike with no racks weighs 28½lbs). The gear plus panniers is probably around 44lbs, allowing 2½lbs for the racks.

    With a trailer I'd probably be tempted to take the chickens.

  13. Kern wrote:

    Patrick wrote:

    I'd probably be tempted to take the chickens

    Hmmm, fresh eggs ... I'm getting jealous, folks...

  14. Mick F wrote:

    Not wanting to get into arguments and physics about the difference between panniers versus trailers .........

    Weight isn't the only parameter. Until you've tried a trailer, you will never know.

    Malc, my route to Manch from Wrexham is:
    A56 through Frodsham to Preston on the Hill, then following the side of the M56 on the B5356 to cross the M6 at J20A. Then Lymm A6144 and B5160 through Altrincham and up to Altrincham Road.
    http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=205921

    I'll be in touch over the next few days, as I'd love your company, and no doubt you've got a better route!

    TTFN,
    M.

  15. Malcolm wrote:

    Looks good to me πŸ˜€ hopefuly I'll see you around Helsby, Frodsham, :-)

    M

  16. Alan wrote:

    I'm impressed with Mick's 16 lbs.

    My load is currently: barbag 3kg, left pannier 5kg, right pannier 6.5kg. Plus 2kg for sleeping bag on the rack. Total 16.5kg (36 lbs).

    That includes 2.5 kg food, so it will get lighter as I go.

    I haven't tried the load on the bike yet. I'll do that tomorrow (giving everyone a hoot, as it's the village fete).

  17. Patrick wrote:

    Mick wrote: Until you've tried a trailer, you will never know.

    True. I'd like to try one (quite fancy the idea actually). I'd also like to try a bar bag if I could get one to fit.

  18. Mary wrote:

    Alan, are you camping for this trip? I think you guys are travelling very light. Good job you dont have shoes and handbags to take eh?

    Hettie is getting her shampoo and set this morning, to ensure she is spick and span for next weekend. No time next week to do this, and so Enid is taking me to work the four days I am in next week.

    Oh... and we have a new arrival for the bike shed.... made for 2 she is....

  19. Mick F wrote:

    No shoes, but sandals, no handbag, but clothes!
    Not only am I cycling, but I'll be staying with both daughters for a couple of days each. I can't stay in lycra permanently, no matter how practical it is!

    Bike is spick and span, but the weather is stuck into damp and drear for the next week or more, so Bike will be filthy when you see it!

    Final packing today/this evening, and no doubt my 16lbs will be increased somewhat. This laptop will add a few pounds – it's the heaviest thing by far, but I will still be taking it.

    TTFN
    M.

  20. Mick F wrote:

    Update:
    Packing complete, except for last-minute items – and I put these in Trailer and had a weigh-in.

    Shock Horror!
    33lbs!

    Heavy items include:
    Macbook and power unit – of course!
    Sandals – heavier than you might think
    Tools and stuff – all essential

    FOOD!
    Net of Baby Bels
    Fruit and nuts
    Drinking chocolate
    Cereal bars

    None of these things will be not taken, so I'm going to have to live with it. 😳

    The good thing is, that the further I ride, the more of the food I'll consume, but the bad thing is, the first leg to Bridgwater is the hardest leg.

    PS: map reading lesson went well πŸ˜€

    M.

  21. Patrick wrote:

    By the time you get to Phoenix Skipton, you'll be fit!

    I hope the weather improves. Pouring down in the North of England today.

  22. Alan wrote:

    Pouring down in SW Cambs, too. The village fete will get washed away. Tomorrow's forcast is also crud.

    Mary: yes, I'm camping except for two nights in Skipton. I'm not cooking, so that keeps the weight down. I often carry 20kg in the panniers so they feel very light at only 13.5kg. There is room for a kitchen sink.

    A bike built for two, eh? Looking forward to hearing about that!

  23. Kern wrote:

    Mick wrote:

    Sandals – heavier than you might think

    We took 6 pairs of shoes between us on our very first tour :oops:. We've managed to trim it back a little bit since then.

    Mary wrote:

    Oh… and we have a new arrival for the bike shed…. made for 2 she is….

    Fabulous, Mary! FleaBay came through! Any details? Photos?

    Lady CoMo has arrived and is being assembled. We be fitted next Friday.

  24. Mary wrote:

    Not flea bay this time Kern.

    But it was meant to be. She was for sale, the very weekend I was in the Lakes, and she was just 4 miles off my route. Has to have a name beginning with M.

    Really looking forward to reading about your Lady CoMo. Exciting isnt it!

    Pics etc for a blog once she arrives at home and we get a proper go out and about.

    Mick have you Packed that sink! I am travelling very light next weekend, possible of course when its just a 3 day do for me. Sleep well tonight, you and Alan. I am pleased not to be setting off until next Friday, as the weather here is really horrible. Hope you both keep as dry as you are able to.

  25. Jim wrote:

    Mick
    That route to Cargrave hits some busy roads. I did a club run to Cargrave two weeks ago and we went through Barrowford to Barnoldswick and the back roads to Cargrave. Have a look at Bury CTC site for the run report if you get a chance. I live half a mile from the A56 in North Manchester. What day are you coming through? Consider cutting through Salford Quays rather than the city. I can meet you if you wish and guide you onto the A56 if needed.
    Anyway what is this Yorkshire trip all about? I did not see anything on the site. Looks interesting, could do with a camping weekend.

    Jim

  26. Malcolm wrote:

    Mick, Jims' got a good point there. Salford quays is straight forward from Baguley and it keeps you out of the city.

    Malc

  27. Patrick wrote:

    Jim wrote: Anyway what is this Yorkshire trip all about?

    This is it, Jim, next Saturday.

  28. Mick F wrote:

    Thanks for the advice re Manchester. I'm open to suggestions!
    Not too easy to keep on line here at Bridgwater, so I may have to check up on the Manchester section in a few day's time.

    Malc and Jim, I'll be riding up from Baguley on Friday. I'd love the company.

    M.

  29. Jim wrote:

    I'm confused. Is this a one day event or over two days? Marys say she is camping but for two nights in Skipton? If it is one day what is the terrain like?

    Jim

  30. Patrick wrote:

    Well done on the Bridgwater run Mick. I think Alan is out there too somewhere, getting soaked on the road to the north (me and Chris also got wet today in the Yorkshire Wolds). The forecast looks better for Monday.

    The Yorkshire ride is a one day event Jim. Ascent approx 8,500 feet over 100 miles. I think Mary is staying 2 nights somewhere – the night before and after.

  31. Mary wrote:

    Yes, 2 nights – Skipton.

    I dont live locally, and have some distance to travel but by heck, not as far as Mick and Alan have to do. (just about 60km for me) I return home on Sunday.

    Xc weather is not looking so good for Saturday, but thankfully a lot can happen to weather in a few days. :)

    Have been thinking of the lads out there braving the gales and the downpours. :(

  32. Patrick wrote:

    I'd never heard of XC Weather. It doesn't seem so bad for West Yorkshire on Saturday (Skipton): cool but dry with a slight NW breeze. I'll take it 😐

  33. Mary wrote:

    I use xc all the time, its the most accurate forecast I have found for the Isle of Man. I use it mostly for wind speed and direction.

    Sometimes though, in changable conditions it can change its mind weather wise every few hours, I will settle for Thursdays forecast to be the most accurate as I set off.

    I must admit, Im packed already, and Im packing for the wet. I dont mind cycling in the rain, prefer not to, but if I didnt cycle in the rain, well..... I'd do precious little cycling. :)

  34. Malcolm wrote:

    we can have a look at the os map on Wed and see if we can plan somthing better than "Princess Parkway" Jims' idea of skirting Manchester up through or round Salford Quays is far easier, its the north of Manchester where I get lost 😳 so if Jim can meet up with us somewhere around there it would be great :-)

    Malc

  35. Jim wrote:

    Mick
    A better route IMO is from Altrincham rd, head down Brooklands rd, turn left onto Marsland Rd, turn right onto A56 Washway Road then carry on under motorway bridge, follow signs to Manchester until you come to Matt Busby way on your left, turn left past Manchester Uniteds ground, down to the Manchester Ship canal and bear right to main road, turn left towards Salford and through Salford Quays. If we can arrange some sort of communication I will endeavour to meet you on this route to guide you through and put you on a direct route to Bury, Rawtenstall etc. This [again MO] is a better route. It is busy but the traffic is slower and less frenetic than the city. Also there are cycle path shortcuts through the quays if you know them. For instance you can cross the ship canal at the side of the War Museum avoiding road traffic. Also some off pleasant easy offroad after Salford to avoid some of the worst of the A6.

    Jim

  36. Malcolm wrote:

    Mick and Jim, Thats no problem for me to get Mick there, I used to work in Trafford Park! and I would agree with Jim that the route is far better than trying to get through Manchester city centre, the hardest part will be getting round the "Old cock" roundabout at Stretford but there's a way round that too. Easy!!!!!

  37. Jim wrote:

    Hi Malcolm
    If you are going that far, then yes, if you know Trafford Park you can probably head down Barton Road rather than stay on the A56. I like riding through the Park as the roads are pretty wide. maybe a good meeting place is the War Museum. Where did you work in the Park?

    Jim

  38. Malcolm wrote:

    Hi Jim

    What was AEI later GEC. I started at the training school on Moss road then into the main works, I also spent a couple of years at the Transformer division in Wythenshawe. My father worked at Henshaws (workshops for the blind) on Warwick road for many years.
    War Museum sounds good to me πŸ˜€

  39. Mick F wrote:

    In Wrexham now.
    By heck that's some info about Manch. You've lost me before I start!

    I'll text you, Malc, later this evening about leaving for Baguley in the morning.

    M.

  40. Patrick wrote:

    Mick F wrote: In Wrexham now.

    89, 95, and 84 miles. Impressive, especially with the trailer and weather.

  41. Mick F wrote:

    Good morning everybody.
    My legs are aching more this morning than they have so far, I'm tired I guess. 48miles today, and I'm not leaving until 10ish, then meeting Malc in Frodsham at noon – about half way. Today will be a walk in the park in comparison to what I've done. The last 30miles yesterday were hard to say the least. I was battling against a stiff northerly wind all the way from Shrewsbury.

    Thanks so much for the advice and the escort through the city Jim and Malc. Jim, my mobile number is 07969737376 so text me anytime. I'll be heading back to Baguley on Sunday and as I record all my rides with my Garmin, it's easy to reverse the route to follow back again.

    Thursday is a day off, then up to Gargrave should be only 40odd miles, so I should be fit and rested for Saturday!

    See you soon,
    Mick

  42. Patrick wrote:

    Morning! If you can take some en route photos Mick, that would be great. Good to be escorted through Manchester :) and the weather is improving.

  43. Kern wrote:

    I'm glad to hear you made it through Manchester, Mick. When I first read your route it brought to mind the ending of a trip report:

    Wheeling my sand crusted machine into Monastir airport at the end of the trip, a security guard became curious about what I had done and where I had been. Though it was his country, he was as impressed as my friends back at home. "Tres courageux," he said (it was becoming a mantra) as he planted a kiss on both my cheeks.

    Courageous? I think not. Riding away from Manchester airport into the insanity of a British rush-hour. Now that takes courage.

    Keep it up!

  44. Mick F wrote:

    No, not made it THROUGH Manch yet, that's to come on Friday, though Malc and me made it through to South Manch – Baguley ok this afternoon.

    I left my sister's place at 10am and met Malc at Frodsham as arranged. 49miles to here.

    Report to follow later this evening.

    Photographs? I have my camera with me, but taking photographs wasn't high on priority list. Maybe different on Saturday!

    M.

  45. Patrick wrote:

    Kern quoted: "Riding away from Manchester airport into the insanity of a British rush-hour. Now that takes courage."

    Good link Kern (John Stuart Clark). A few years ago the people of Manchester voted against a congestion charge. I drove away from Manchester Airport this very afternoon, as it happens...

  46. Mick F wrote:

    http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=282436
    This is a course I've produced by chatting here with Michael. It's a route up the Princess Parkway but using the paths and cycle ways that keeps me off the main bits up to and beyond the M60 junctions. We understand that bicycles are banned on parts of the road south of the M60, so this looks good to me.

    Going via Salford seems a bit out of the way to me, so this way I've created is straightforward and simple. I ain't afraid of traffic, so going this way is fine IMHO.

    M.

  47. Jim wrote:

    Fair enough Mick. Although if you lay a ruler on your map the Salford option would have followed a straight line across and would bring you out at Prestwich therefore shorter. However your route may be easier to retrace on Sunday when you are alone. I'm unaware of any roads that ban cyclists in Manchester. If there are I can't see mancunians taking taking the slightest bit of notice of them.

    Enjoy. Jim

  48. Mary wrote:

    Enjoying your blog so far Mick. All being well, I should be in Skipton later today myself. I am in awe of the miles you churn out, and your determination not to always pick out the weeny roads with grass up the middle of them. :)

    Has anyone heard from Alan at all? Hope his ride up country is going well.

  49. Mick F wrote:

    Hi Mary,
    No, I don't usually pick out the weeny roads, I use my riding as a transport machine taking the most efficient routes. I want to head into Manchester city direct, rather than a circuitous route. Jim and Malc are a little non-plused about this! Also, sometimes the the shorter route may not be the quickest, as main roads are usually smoother and less fiddly with the navigation.

    The ban on the A5103 is only south of the M60 – from there, I can ride it straight to the city centre, under the Mancunian Way and up through Deansgate and out north.

    Looking at my map profile, I have a big hill to descend into Burnley – this means I have to climb it coming back south!

    See you all very soon,
    M.

  50. Patrick wrote:

    I haven't heard from Alan (he doesn't use a mobile phone). No news is good news I reckon.

    See you later!

  51. Jim wrote:

    I'm a little insulted by Micks comment. My route was the most direct, straight line and efficient as it avoided all the many, many junctions and traffic that combine to slow progress. Deansgate is a crawl through all the traffic and pedestrian lights. My route was quite low traffic, that enabled one to keep moving. I often travel across to South Manchester as do my two sons and my daughter does the trip every day. None of them go through the centre of the city. Nothing to do with being bothered by traffic! I ride on the citys A roads every day.

  52. Mick F wrote:

    Hi Jim, I'm sorry if you took my comments badly, there was nothing in my thoughts that were insulting. Very sorry indeed for upsetting you.

    However, Malc and me took the route straight into the city and right out the other end with hardly a stop. The traffic moved freely and smoothly and we were never cut up, hindered, or bothered by the traffic whatsoever. It was a sheer pleasure to ride though Manchester. No navigation needed. Easy!

    We left Katy's house at 9am as planned, and were right out the other side of Manchester at Bury by 10.30am. Perfect riding, and I made it to Gargrave at 13.40.

    Regards to all,
    Mick.

  53. Malcolm wrote:

    Hi All, just to add to Micks post, I was surprised at the ease at which we rode through the city. I had it in mind that if it was bad on the way up I'd ride out towards Salford coming back, but there was no need. I think I'd rememberd riding through Manchester as a yoof, but I must say that I've ridden through Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and now Manchester and I think that was the easiest. I took a wrong turn in Bury but realised my mistake while going through the junction, just carried on and turned round at the earliest. Coming back down the 5103 turned off onto the cycle lane to go through Northenden and found a lad trying to find his way, so I did a Mick and escorted him to the industrial estate he was looking for, just a minor detour. Great ride! enjoy the weekend guys!

    Malc

  54. Steven (tramponabike) wrote:

    Well done Mick.

    I will be coming out to Gargrave tommorow (Sat). Let me know if you need anything bringing.

  55. Mick F wrote:

    The morning sun is shining into my room here at Gargrave, and I'm going to get my stuff ready shortly. Breakfast is on at 8, and I'll be ready to roll straight after that!

    Thanks Steve, but I'm fully kitted out and ready. It'll be good to see everybody in the flesh rather than just chat on the 'net!

    It will be strange riding along without Trailer pulling me back today. Maybe the hills will feel flat!

    Next time I log in, it will be Post Ride,

    Regards to all,
    Mick.

  56. Mick F wrote:

    Back at Katy's house in South Manchester.

    Only 49miles today – a walk in the park compared to yesterday!

    Stats:
    99.1miles
    9,800ft of climbing
    Max altitude 1,990ft
    Max speed (downhill!) 41.2mph
    Calories consumed 6,986cals

    Phew!

  57. Patrick wrote:

    Keep it up, Mick!

    My Garmin shows only 7,533 feet of climbing. That is about the same as my Rivington 100 ride last year and it felt there was more this time. So I hope yours is right. If you have a barometric altimeter it probably will be. I've seen the Rivington 100 quoted as 5,000 feet and 10,000 feet, so who knows...

    This Yorkshire ride was much better.

  58. Mick F wrote:

    I reckon the 9,000ft is right. Hilly rides are usually at least 100ft per mile, so 9,000ft must be correct rather than 7,000ft.

    As for the distance, is anything accurate? I did a warm up of a couple of miles before you all arrived, so even if the 99miles was correct, I still did 101 !!

    74miles today over the hills to Hathern ......

    M.

  59. James Brooks wrote:

    Mick
    Just read your account of day 6 through Bury, Burnley etc. This was the route I suggested to you over on the CTC forum. Glad that you enjoyed it!

  60. Patrick wrote:

    Mick F wrote (on Day Nine): 660 miles done with 160 to go.

    It seems a while ago since our Yorkshire ride and you're still going. By the time you get home I'll be in Dorset.

    I wonder where Alan is. Better weather for bivouacking this week.

  61. Mick F wrote:

    Still at it .........
    76miles done today.

    86miles to go to Bridgwater.

  62. Alan wrote:

    Just to say: I arrived home yesterday, averaging 50 miles/day on the trip home. Over the entire tour I averaged 40 miles/day, so around half Mick's speed. Today in Cambs has been a sunny rainless 28 degrees C. Grr.

  63. Patrick wrote:

    Thanks for the update Alan. Good trip (half Mick's speed is normal for most people LOL).

    Well done Mick! You seem to have been cycling for weeks. Almost there...

  64. Kern wrote:

    Alan wrote

    half Mick's speed

    I'll wager he has a small motor in that trailer of his :)

  65. Mick F wrote:

    Hi guys,
    Made it home mid afternoon yesterday, tired and happy.

    We had a nice stay in Bridgwater and a lazy breakfast and a lazy gentle drive home, however disaster stuck! Well nearly a disaster.

    We hadn't long left Bridgwater and we were in a long line of traffic with a long line coming towards us – North Petherton near some shops – Bike is securely fastened to the bike rack on the tow bar. There was a huge tractor coming toward us with a queue of traffic behind, there were parked cars on the right and traffic was squeezing along. We were doing about 20mph with me driving.

    At the last minute I saw a zebra crossing. The zig zag lines were hidden by slow traffic, the orange beacons were hidden too and there were two people on the crossing! I was in two minds to keep going – I would have missed them completely as they were coming from the right and hadn't made the halfway point, but I stopped smartly.

    Trouble was, a car behind us was too close – BANG!

    Hilary panicked, I was calm, and we pulled over into a side road, with the Ford Galaxy? (that hit us) as well. I leapt out to check on Bike ..............

    Perfect! Phew!!!

    Only damage to us was the rack's rear lights being smashed, but the Ford had its radiator grille pushed in and the bumper badly scratched. We swapped info, the driver was apologetic of course, and is transpired that they were on their way to Cornwall for their holidays. We asked where, and they are staying only 3 or 4 miles from here! What a coincidence.

    Any road up, I'll survey our smashed lights and replace them, then send them the bill. Won't be expensive, but their Ford will cost a bit more.

    Anyway, we're home, and I'm well-rested. Bike ride next week ...........

    Mick.

  66. Hilary wrote:

    That was a close call. Getting your lovely bike smashed up while on the back of a car doesn't bear thinking about. Its one of the many reasons I don't use a bike carrier.

    Glad to hear that you and Alan are now back safe and sound. I met up with Patrick and Sandra and their cousins on the Isle of Wight today – its a funny old world!

  67. Alan wrote:

    Excellent report(s), Mick. Glad you are home safe, and the bike didn't suffer in the shunt.

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