Monday 19 August 2013

Bec's Big Bike Ride - our small part

I saw an article in cycleclips, the e-newsletter of CTC,about a young lady pedaling around Britain for a charity close to her heart.  I looked at the information, and she was passing through/ near to Chester on Sunday 18th August; so I got in touch.

After a couple of emails and a phone conversation with her dad (main support vehicle/ adviser /mechanic), we had agreed on a meeting point and time, and I sent / advised a route for the end of her day; from Broughton to Prenton on the Wirral.  An ideal opportunity to use our new marsh route!

In the morning was our CTC Sunday ride, and the day dawned with sunny blue skies.  I was lulled in to a false sense of summer; so pedaled 30 miles in the morning, which included some closed and quiet roads (courtesy of Etape Mercia), and rain showers. Darn it!

In the afternoon I rode out to Broughton retail park, arriving seconds after Beccy and a chap called Martin (CTC member from Hawarden) rolled up.  We enjoyed a short coffee (OK, a large coffee) until it started to rain; as soon as the rain finished we set off.

Blue Bridge near Hawarden

We headed through Broughton, and up to Manor lane, before turning left and out to Shotton.  We crossed the river Dee on the Blue Bridge, before joining the river path and then 'Zone 3' and the Burton Marshes.

Introducing Beccy, honarary Fab lady!

Martin and Beccy about to turn
into the industrial estate
that leads to the Marsh road
Beccy is cycling 2,500 miles, and today was day 8 of four weeks and a day planned out.  She is raising money for Motor Neurone Disease (MND); and especially in memory and for her mum who they lost to MND only last year.  She wanted to celebrate life and her own health.  She is certainly doing that!

After we crossed the Marshes, we met our own Nicky, who helped us to negotiate Neston (I was a little fuzzy after the Harp) - no that reads wrong - we did not stop at the Harp (that is not why I was fuzzy!) - I just had not been that far before and was not sure how it all linked together.  No need to worry, it is all beautifully signposted now through to the Wirral Way.

I have to admit I ran out of steam.  As we came into Neston, I realised the reason I was dropping behind was the additional miles this morning, and lack of fuel.  I am so used to regular/ sensible cafe stops, that I forgot I had only had a small cheese and ham toastie in Frodsham; and that was 35 miles previously!  We came upon some shops just in time, and I got some flapjack hob nob bars.  It helped a little, and I hope I did not slow Beccy down,after a long ride from Wales via Bala.

L-R: Martin; Nicky; Sue; Beccy; Beccy's dad, Will.
Top Tip - always carry food, eat enough to fuel you along, and keep drinking!

You can read Beccy's blog and follow her progress, donate if you like, or follow the link to find out a little bit more (and sign a 'charter').

(me - just 84 miles for the day - 20 with Beccy)

Saturday 10 August 2013

Destination Donkeys

I hunted high and low, I looked everywhere.  I was trying to remember when I last used it - probably the Wednesday evening ride the week before, as I knew I had not had it last Wednesday.  In the end I resigned myself to the fact I could not locate my camera in time for the ladies ride this morning.  Disappointing, but my (new) smartphone does take nice pics,so that will have to do.  (Those who know me at all know how often I pull my camera out before during and after a ride!)

I was expecting a lot of ladies; so it was in a bit of a panic that I arrived in to the cafe - people inside and outside the cafe.  I managed to disperse three sign in sheets, and get myself a coffee.  I didn't, however, take my start photo, so this post has a bit of a boring start.

Linda set off with her mid paced and distance group, whilst I tried to phone the cafe (note to self: I absolutely have to do this a few days before!).  Then we set off, and lastly Welna with the most direct route.

The sky was uniformly grey, there was no rain which is good, but no sun either, although it was not too cold.  We headed out on the Greenway to Mickle Trafford,then widdled round Christleton and Waverton, along the canal and over sneaky Golden Nook Bridge (often catches people out with a steep climb over the canal).  On out to Huxley, then through Tarporley and up to Utkinton.

Finally I could take some photos!!!!  (These have already appeared on the facebook group page)

Taking over the conservatory

Two all day breakfasts please!

Note bikes along the fence- but not a donkey to be seen?

Then we found the donkeys!  Now they have all sorts of animals,not just donkeys.  But they also had baby animals, sooo cute!

Little goats were keen to say hello!

Ladies visiting the animals

Baby donkey - toooo cute!!!!

The time came to return - although a small contingent headed to Kelsall to another deli - The Greedy Pig, owned and run by another Fabulous Lady (Raina).  Linda led one group back, and another group assembled to head straight back.  Seven of us followed the road the two miles to our second destination.

Fabulous You and the sun finally came out!
Fab ladies at The Greedy Pig in Kelsall, enjoying a second coffee stop!
As we were sitting, we noted a number of racing Kelloggs tops coming round the corner and heading up Kelsall hill.  Part of the Manchester to Wrexham and back 100 mile fundraising cycle ride - and they continued to pass us for the rest of the ride home.  Which was mostly downhill!

As we headed back the usual parting took place at various junctions, until there were just three of us heading along the canal , where we spied some little black fluffy baby coots!

27 riders, with 24, 28 and 30 summer miles!  Three cafes, if you include Kingsway at the start!