Start: Telford
End: Lancaster
Total Miles: 507.18
Time in saddle: 9h14m
Average: 13.22 mph
Daily Miles: 120.75

Sunday 13 June 2004

After yesterday, I didnt feel like getting up, let alone cycling! An extra hour in bed meant I left at 9am. I feel like I am destroying my body bit by bit. First my legs, then my hands are numb, not to mention my butt and now I cant feel my toes. I used to love cycling. All these injuries meant it took a long while to get going. My legs would warm up fine, then my but would ache so much I had to stop. I had put the miles in training, but never strung together consecutive rides, not even short ones. The effect of recovery in training had masked the saddle problem on the ride proper.

I manage to make it to Market Drayton, a small town. The hot sun and my tiredness has been making me delerious, so I went the wrong way wasting 3 miles. This same delerium saw me calling "good morning!" to a man in a field who turned out to be a scarecrow! It is Sunday so the roads are quieter. Also, all the boy racer roadies are on the streets for a ride out. They pass me on their Pinarellos and Colnagos as if Im not there. Now, I have a road bike and my lycra shorts are as tight as theirs, but because I am weighed down with luggage and ona tourer, I cant possibly be a real cyclist! Well let me tell you Mr hairy legs on your Pinarello, Ive shaved my legs so there! My faith was restored as I went further North when everyone says hi to me!

Make it to the halfway stage at Northwich and stop for lunch at The Wharf pub by the canal. I got talking to two guys there who look amazed when I tell them I am heading for Lancaster. So I ate my jacket spud by the canal. Well after my dissapointment at not seeing the Rag Doll at Tewkesbury Marina, who should I meet on a narrow boat but Rosie & Jim themselves! They told me how the Rag Doll had become boring when Fizz Gog left, so they are hanging with another cool dude on another boat called "The Tardis". They said they do miss Duck though.

I went back in the pub and finished my drink. When I told them about the ride, they gave £15 for Zac. Nice guys!

I made good progress through Warrington and Wigan whose town seems to go on forever. Well I thought it was long till I went through Preston. All the time I saw about a million England shirts, then at 7.45pm they all dissapeared. I think I was in Garstang when Lampard scored Englands goal. My sister Helen rang it through to me. I got a late surge of energy and made it to The Wagon & Horses pub/B&B just after 9pm. The pub was packed with people watching the football so they didnt notice the lycra clad freak walk in. I told the lad behind the bar to wait for the game to finish before checking me in. England held the French 1-0 until 90 minutes then lost 2-1 in the dying moments of the game. My problem was where do I get food at 10.30pm on Sunday night? Dave the landlord suggested a take away in town. So I had Singapore noodles in my room before crashing.

Now the only problem with staying at a pub is that it can get noisy. This night we had the works! Some guy refused to leave so Dave had to kick him out. Then a fight broke out in front of the pub and the police and ambulance were called. Other than that, a quiet night!

Good bits: getting to Lancaster (its halfway). Meeting Rosie & Jim after all these years.

Bad bits: Sore butt. England losing.