Friday, 7 September 2012

End of Summer mini-tour

This week's been so busy at work, I've not had chance to post about last weekend's mini-tour.  A sign that weekends are for making the most of and I'm long overdue a holiday.

Last weekend S & I had our first mini-tour. We joined with some other cyclists for a trip up the coast to Morecambe. The forecast was for dry weather, so we took a big chance and packed very very light. I had everything in one of those sandwhich cool bags bungeed onto my pannier rack (yes, I really need to invest in actual panniers).

We hit the coast and followed the promenade through Blackpool to Fleetwood where we filled the little ferry that took us over the tidal estuary in two loads. Not because our group was so massive, but because the ferry is so small.
It was a fast ride up to get to the ferry in time - the last run is based on the tide times so we pushed it all the way. Some fun bits racing up the coast path, but it did feel increasingly hard as we neared the ferry.

Knott End Ferry + Bikes
Our 4o'clock lunch stop! Knott End Cafe is brilliant - maybe that was because I was in need of food, but I actually think it was amazing. Cheese, apple, chilli & onion chutney toastie. Mmm! Good combo.

We skirted the flat lanes through North Lancashire villages over the Lancaster Canal near Glasson and followed the cycle path up the River Lune into Lancaster.  This is a lovely town, but no stopping today - we headed straight for check in at the b&b on Morecambe's front.

The Lancaster Canal - Glasson Branch


Ian's pic of his riders arriving. The Midland Hotel behind us.

After checking in and showering to reinvigorate ourselves, we hit the town. There was an end of summer seaside festival on so a lovely happy atmosphere was everywhere - fairground rides, an openair pop concert and a firework display. We had a lovely tea at McThai's (bargain Thai food and good portions - ideal after a day in the saddle) and then found a bar that was timewarped to the 80s - very cheap, still decorated like a pub you'd see on Only Fools and Horses, the locals in there were all friendly and I'll certainly go back.  As I fell asleep after drinking the equivalent of a bottle of red and some tia maria, I had a slight worry that when I set off in the morning, I'd be riding all of 5 mins before wanting to throw up...

But no need to have worried. I felt fresh as a daisy- not a touch of roughness at all.

Day 2 was slightly slower, phew! We headed inland to skirt the Trough of Bowland over gentle hills and through village lanes in some rare British summer sunshine once it broke through the clouds.

The Lakeland Fells over Morecambe Bay

 We followed the NCN6 south through Scorton and down towards Barton and headed for the Preston Guild Wheel for a final cake stop and where S & I would leave the group to head back home. A final 13ish miles of uphill & the discovery of some lanes that we will be exploring this weekend.

River Ribble
 A lovely weekend's riding that certainly took our minds off how busy work has been lately.