Monday, 30 May 2011

Liverpool docks ride and spiney Norman

2.5 Weeks to go!! we are ready as we'll ever be!
Thankyou for your kind donations!
Spiney Norman
This is spiney Norman, he wasnt happy about having his photo taken at 6:43am the other day as i rode to work, but who is? Do you think he looks ill? My hedgehog knowledge is limited.
(we are broadening our range of topics to get more readers! ha ha ha)

Anway enough of that heres some pics from when we rode to Liverpool Docks on saturday:

the bikes - nearly fully laden

Steve and the Royal Liver Building
Four lanes of traffic enough for ya?!

This ride was very different to our usual ones, the turn around point being Liverpool city centre. Dockland industrial estate is a change from country lanes! Preston, Bretherton, Ormskirk, Maghull, Bootle, Docks, Crosby, Little Altcar, Southport, Preston.
Heres the route we did:

Avoiding switch island, and bad main roads, 73 miles overall. Out from 7:30am till about 3pm, we always average 10mph door to door with stops and lunch included in that. We started off into a headwind, this was horrible, carried on for about 3 hrs! All part of the training. Arrived at the waterfront got a bacon butty and cup of tea. It was all pretty damn flat, roads were decent too, apart from one in the centre they were resurfacing, had scraped it back exposing old cobble stones.

good butty van (and Liver Bldg)

Isle of Mann ferry and one big un from Rotterdam.
Ferry bloke nearly fell over when we told him we had come from Preston and were going back!

Steve has discovered Banana Malt Loaf - highly reccommended! Also munching wine gums is all part of the training too.
Merseyside Maritime Museum - no cycling allowed round here

Wheel of Liverpool 
I broke a bracket on my mudguard, it now interferes with my tyre every so often, not good, solved temporarily with tie wrap!

We went out Sunday aswell, did 44miles, windy and rainy. Went to Bolton then Wigan. It was alright, saturday ride was better, legs felt ok too.

We are ready to go now, fairly happy doing big miles day after day, just finalising gear lists and making final prep.
Going to do a service on the bikes shortly aswell.
Weve worked out that for our outgoing train, one of the train change overs is 12 minutes, a bit tight?

Cheers for now

Monday, 16 May 2011

Time to service the bike's me think's.

Well just under five weeks to go and my trusty steed Madge and Dave's ride which i don't think has a name yet are ready for a good strip down and service, i know mine needs a new chain and all cables replacing and i will also do hub service on both bikes just to ensure we have silky smooth ride all the way up. Then it's time to get all the kit ready where taking, we have a couple more training weekends work permitting but as Dave said where not going to get any fitter it's just a case of keepin well and we will be fine. These are some pics from our last ride which was the 100 miler.

This was perfect timing.

Objects may look larger in the mirror.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

5 weeks deadline, Panic!!!!

I get the feeling these last few weeks will fly by. I dont think we will get any fitter, just have to stay injury free now. Ive got a caving trip coming up which i may possibly skip, even though i have never got injured caving ever.

We booked both Trains a couple of weeks ago, had to go to the station and speak to them because you cant reserve bike spaces online.
Train 1 - Preston to Penzance 7.5hrs £55 Each
Train 2 - Wick to Preston 11hrs £40 Each

You can get a discounted fare if you book it early, about 8 weeks before departure, this is the earliest opportunity, you can view tickets online before that but you cant buy them. (Or if you can i couldnt find it!)
We are changing trains twice on each trip, this should be entertaining with two fully laden touring bikes. :)

this photo looks like a painting? fluke!
 Its all starting to get a bit more real as the start date comes closer, hard to believe its a year ago that i bought my road bike.
The idea is starting to settle in with friends and family too, they are coming round to the idea of what were doing.

Thankyou for your kind donations! They are very much appreciated!

i only took 3 pics on this ride, i like all 3!

Lessons from the road - here are some things we have learned so far:

- There is always another hill, always.
- Dont buy a new bike and then ride 50 miles straight off. World of pain.
- Make sure your pump works. Makes sure you know how to use it.
- When car drivers pomp their horns at you, smile and wave, (this annoys them even more).

- We are scared of cornfields, Stay away from the corn! Mostly due to that film with the kids that attack you with scythes.

- Car drivers dont give enough room to cyclists, alot.

- As soon as you reach the peak of the hill and start flying down the otherside you will instantly forget about the pain of getting up there.

- Sealskinz wetsocks are a gift from the gods.

- Secure your panniers to your bike properly, they can bounce off when fully loaded, and nearly kill Steve.

- Bruised fruit really pisses me off.

- In cycle touring if you get really angry with inconsiderate drivers you will have a really long bad day, take it easy, be calm.
- I start singing to myself when I am enjoying the ride.
- Biking short tan lines will get you and your stuck with them possibly forever.
- Dont fight the headwinds, thats a good way to strain yourself, gear down and accept that your going to go a bit slower than normal.
- Chamois cream is very necessary for multiple high mileage days.
- Biking lots will make your clothes not fit anymore, your normal shorts may fall down at inappropriate times.

Other points of note:
We are considering wild swimming in multiple locations on the ride, all perfectly safe, one may be Loch Ness, its going to be brief!
We ride past our houses on the main LEJOG ride, roughly half way through the whole trip, then past here onto a week going across Scotland.
A family friend mentioned we should go to The Orkneys after weve finished Lejog, for a ride! ha ha Might aswell seeing were up there with a spare day or so, more riding! Its meant to be nice and flat, you can go there on the ferry.
Be careful of being around bikers that have just ridden a hundred miles in a day, they will have the biking hunger, and may eat you!

We are getting scared and very excited, going to do some more big rides with full gear in the bags. Its nearly time for a final bike service before we go too. Itching to get going now, enough talking lets just get on with it!


(I am also plotting and scheming for my next adventure, I may do a bike tour combined with couchsurfing, have a look at the website,