Today’s route was designed to be as functional as possible. With little scenery to admire, it was a case of getting some miles under our belt by using the main roads rather than touring the country lanes to which we had become accustomed.
Alicia waved us goodbye at Tarporley and we headed directly north on the A49 – a good flat road (apart from the pot holes!) to warm the legs up for the day’s 86 miles.
Barely 10 miles in and Dave was struggling with his knee again. We stopped at a petrol station whilst he performed a variety of stretches, lunges and other moves to try and alleviate the pain – much to the bemusement of the passing motorists.
We cracked on for another 10 miles to Wigan when Dave pulled up again. This time the pain was too much and Dave made the decision to retire from the day’s stage to go and get his knee seen to.
So, another blow to the team. It just goes to show though, that a challenge like this (especially with heavy panniers on) will find niggles and, over days and days of pedalling, turn those niggles into full blown injuries. It’s relentless and tough.
So, after grabbing the essentials that Dave was carrying (lock, tools etc) I hit the road marked “The North” leaving Dave to shuffle towards Wigan station with his tail between his gammy legs.
With 60 odd miles left to do, I decided to put my head down and get them done as quickly as possible. I was averaging about 20-25 mph and munched through the miles.
It occurred to me that as I’m still top of the “who gets the most punctures gets thrown in the sea at John O’Groats” leaderboard, does it mean, now the others have dropped out, that I will have to hurl myself into the sea? Answers on a postcard…
I pressed on to Preston where the GPS thought it would be a good idea to route me up a steep cobbled alley into the city centre. No wonder that lad in the bread advert pushed his bike up that cobbled hill!
The next town was Lancaster and, just as I was nearing the city centre, I took a rare look into a passing car’s passenger window to see Jess Green waving at me! I’m told I did the world’s biggest double take but, sure enough it was her. We pulled over and out hopped Steve and Jess! They were on their way up to Scotland from Reading and had been tracking my progress on GPS and came to say hi! If you’re reading this S&J, it was a great surprise to see you! And thanks for the profiterole!!!!
With Lancaster done, there was only a straightforward 20 miles left to my night’s accommodation in Arnside. As we hadn’t cancelled the others’ reservations, the manager of the YHA allowed me to use the extra paid towards my food. In total contrast to Fowey YHA, the food at Arnside was terrific.
I retired to my private room, which had views out across the bay and over to the threatening lake district mountains in the distance – which is where I’m heading tomorrow.
Stats for LEJoG Day 6:
2,625ft ascent. 2,877ft descent.
Fastest speed 37.2mph.
Average speed 14.2mph
Average Heart Rate: 123bpm
Max heart rate 164bpm.
Average cadence 75rpm