Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Perfect Day?

Route to RHYLL(160miles)

Pantani had some silly idea of doing a 150miler in one day to see how his legs could cope with a special project we had planned later on in the year ( which now is being postponed, probably). Just in conversation I mentioned Wales a few times even though I didn't know how far away it was or where the nearest town was or anything. He is the route planner and has usually been to many of our destinations in the past on his motorbike so I knew I could rely on him. A few nights before I suggested Prestatyn or Wrexham or somewhere we could go before it gets dark.

I nagged and nagged at him to come prepared as he usually skips breakfast, takes no money and takes no food, he's worse than me. This time I was assured he had bacon and eggs for breakie, got a bag of sweets, lots of water but nothing else. Grrrrrr. I took 4 energy gels, 3 nutty/oaty/fruity bars, 2 litres of water, lots of money, 4 inner tubes and my get out of jail bicycle kit. Breakfast consisted of prawn curry and rice......can't get better than that at 7.30am.

Since Pete knew the route I followed him past Warrington, through Lymm, Walton, Frodsham and Helsby, until the Main Coast Rd the A548. We had averaged around 17mph up to then so I decided to zoom off to up it a bit. It wasn't long until Pete was close by again due to all the road works and traffic lights. Wind up to now was gentle but started to pick up and blow across us but my average was still creeping up slowly. We had originally planned to go to Prestatyn but wouldn't quite have hit the half way marker and Rhyll was only signposted as an extra 3 miles down the road when I had thought it was over 10. The last 20 miles I had gone quite hard but not feeling any ill effects and my average up to Rhyll was about 18mph. Didn't stay in Rhyll too long, just a very quick fish and chips then a few snaps by the sea. My arse was killing as I had the selle Slr super light weight saddle and the rest was just needed.

On the return journey I was feeling confident of the way back but was going to see how my legs were feeling before going off too hard. As it was I powered ahead until I got lost on a 3 lane road and I was travelling on the hard shoulder, or so I thought. Was this the M53 or M56? It was signposted as? I picked up my bike and 'threw' it over a fence to get to a' b' road on the other side and rode to the junction of Queensferry which wasn't too far away. I thought I had definitely gone wrong and was about to follow signs to Chester until I saw Pete carry on the same road I had been on! I rejoined his road as found out he had gone wrong too! Actually we hadn't we turned off the next junction because we thought we had. A series of wrong turnings later and our worst nightmares were realised, we had to go through Chester during rush hour after asking a couple of helpful scousers.Pete nearly got rammed by a car coming from a car park but didnt bother him as if it happens to him all the time. Once at Helsby and Frodsham I zoomed off again, legs still not tiring one little bit, even after 130 miles. My food and water had been managed a lot better than previous rides though. Closer to home I knew Pete was tiring badly and he told me to carry on whilst he had a rest at Barton to watch the planes and I renavigated around Manchester and its plethora of traffic lights. From Irlam onwards there was a fair bit of climbing and since I didn't want my speed to drop I caned it until I was ready to drop, which took a lot more time than I imagined. If I knew a nice flattish 40miles route from Irlam I could have done 200miles easily but the missus wanted me home asap. Amazingly my arse was getting less sore the more miles I was doing and not because of any numbness. That has to be the easiest 160miles I will EVER do, the sensation was inhuman. I just wasn't tiring under the blazing sun, at least until the last 10 or so hillier miles.

Distance 162miles
Average 18.4mph (Pete's average 16.9mph)
Ascent 6000ft


  1. Daft question time but is Wrexham in wales?
    (It's only a stones skip over the border if it isn't)

  2. Wrexham is in Wales mate, just t'other side of the border not far from Shrewsbury.

    162 miles? Bloody hell...

  3. Nice ride there :) I want to do it from here to Llandudno - how was the route?

  4. Generally route is great, Manchester is Manchester as you know, A57 to Warrington is a lovely piece of tarmac. I think it was the A5117 looks like a motorway but has a huge hard shoulder/cycle lane? and is well distanced from 70mph traffic. The way back on the A5117 took a wrong turning as we really did think we were on a motorway with 3 lanes, still had the hard shoulder/cycle lane. A548 coast road Flint to Rhyll is a big pile of crap littered with temporary traffic lights and road works and shit road. A real bone jerker.The rest of the A548 is a dream especially the road and bridge near the estuary. The wrong turning took us to the hell hole of Chester, small thin roads and as we went at rush hour it was even worse. Just the centre was a problem really. I think we were really lucky traffic wise as we only ground to a stop in Manchester and Chester.