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Saturday 15th September 2007: “Cross Section of the North”

This day was my first day without any support whatsoever and so I was forced to send most of my belongings home and pack the essentials in the panniers. About half an hour in to the journey I realised that I was still carrying too much and so I stopped off in Lancaster to post an additional two kilograms back home. After sorting out the panniers I continued directly south on the A6.

I had an excellent ride this day as the route showed me a complete cross-section of North West England. I started out with the Lakelake and Bowland fells around me, passed through several industrial towns including Preston, Wigan and Warrington and I finished in gentile, rural Cheshire in gorgeous evening sunshine.

Cheshire reminded me very much of home and for a moment I thought I was cycling through East Hertfordshire or Surrey; gastropubs, cricket matches and sports cars are in plenty here.

Today would have been quicker if it had not been for traffic on the four ring roads I had to negotiate, although the going south of Warrington was excellent. There were some interesting sights along the way, including a castle, a Morissons in a converted Victorian factory, and a man dressed as a horse!

I arrived in Whitchurch in the dark and struggled for half an hour to find anywhere to stay. In the end I was forced to settle for a noisy pub in the town centre. The locals seem to take karaoke seriously in these parts so I didn’t sleep too well that night!

Ride Statistics

Started: 09:45 hours
Finished: 20:15 hours
Distance: 91.58 miles
Cycling time: 7 hours 37 minutes
Top speed: 31.5 mph
Average speed: 12.0 mph
Odometer: 555.8 miles

Beeston Castle
The first cricket pitch on the route
A pub in Cheshire
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Copyright © John Collins