Onwards to Manchester

Posted: February 3, 2013 by Ben Weber in Cycling, English, Training
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Passing by Jodrell Bank, 25 years or so after had a day out there...

Passing by the Jodrell Bank radio telescope station, 25 years or so after had a day out there…

Before I write more, sorry it has been a couple of days since anything was posted: quite tired so I fell behind a little; am catching up now though!

Map - Shrewsbury - Heald GreenSo yes, onwards to Manchester… Well not quite Manchester – a place called Heald Green – but it was close (and long) enough for a day’s journey, at just over 100km away from Shrewsbury. The most important thing about the route though was that it was flat, with half the amount of usual daily climbing to do. This made for a nice change, though not something that would last long as the day after the route from Heald Green to Lancaster would see us go through Bolton and up through the Pennines towards Lancaster. Also, with bodies aching a little from the journey it was nice to get a bit of respite.

At Shrewsbury, we stayed with Jon and Angie who we met through Warm Showers. Jon is a television director, and it was nice having a good chat about filming and everything. He brought out this fantastic view-finder gadget for the EOS 5Diii (probably compatible with the other 5Ds but most importantly it was with this one!)  that latched onto the screen at the back (which is, by itself, quite hard to get focus on when you are filming video) and had a long(ish) stem that at the end was able to fit comfortable over the eye – making the camera look more like a film camera. Extremely useful as the camera suddenly becomes much more comfortable to use and easier to film with. Not bad price either, so I think that will be the next thing am going to get back home….!

But anyway, back to the journey… We woke up at 6.30am with it raining and blowing a gale outside. It sounded like it was going to be one of the most miserable days ever. We looked at the BBC weather and it said that there would be sun and light wind, which we did not believe by the sounds of what was outside. So off we went downstairs all prepared for the worst; had a breakfast consisting of toast, toast and more toast. The more carbs the better, and I think all our appetites have increased substantially! By the time we had eaten, though, the rain and the wind had stopped and the sun was rising showing no clouds at all in the sky.

It got better as we left Shrewsbury, with what gentle wind there was generally behind us giving us a helping hand.

Canal at AudlemAs well as flat, the route was lovely. Through Shropshire and Cheshire, we got to go through some really nice little villages and experience the sites, sounds and smells of the English country side. The highlight for me though was passing (due to a tip given to us by our next host, Matt) Jodrell Bank – a large radio telescope station near Manchester. It was lucky going by there and one of the places my dad took my mum, sisters and myself when we were much younger. I remember my father getting us lost walking through the back roads, saying “it’s just around the corner…” trying to find it, and all of us getting more and more tired as we walked along.. Fortunately this time the GPS led us through with no problems!

We got to Heald Green at a pretty reasonable time and there we stayed with a fantastic couple (who we also met through Warm Showers…), Matt and Becki, and their son Theo…

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