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Thursday, 10 May 2007

Ride Round Cheshire and the Peak District

A few good hard days cycling are a great antidote to over-populated grey cities. The stats are as follows:

Day 1 : 28 miles (HIlls)
Day 2: 50 miles (plain)
Day 3: 30 Miles (Flat)
Day 4: 15 Miles (flat with Tricky's little boy in the seat)
Day 5 : Visit Mum and Dad and see Antony Gormley's installation at Crosby Beach.

See AntonyGormley's work at :

Highlights were defintely

1. the hills of the Peak District, only 1500 feet but some brilliant descents - Tricky had a little too much weight ( we both carried day panniers) and not enough rubber on the road because of his thin profile tyres. I'd taken good old Fuji hybrid with rims slightly wider than a conventional road bike, but still lighter than a mountain bike, and got better grip.

2. falling off my bike in front of a couple of pedestrians because I was trying to look cool. We were stopping by the side of a road in some town to decide where to go next and I glided up to a lamppost, stretched my arm out to catch it, missed completely, braked and fell over. Should'nt happen to a guy in tights.

3. Realising that loads of my equipment was donated by Grasshopper and Idaho - helmet, cross-bar bag, lights, stove, tent, pump, and even climbing shoes(which I ride in because cycling shoes are too expensive and, I find, a little stiff for some of the stuff we were doing.).

4. Hooking up with Tricky again as a riding partner. There's just this great rhythym we get into. Its wierd, but I know where he is (on the road) at all times and we do'nt discuss much about who's were. For example, on descents, its always wise to keep a good distance between bikes, harder to do than it sounds, especially on really fast stretches, but once again after years, it just happened.

5. Seeing Mum and Dad looking great and going to see the Gormley stuff at Crosby Beach.

A few other things occurred - we went to Frodsham Church and viewed what is apparently the gravestone of an ancester Joseph Nixon. I discovered this via my research into genealogy, and am hoping to go back in a few weeks to look further into this. I was discussing genealogy with little bro, and explained a bit about why I was interested - its not so much a 'family' thing with me, as it is a way of finding out, by using specific individuals, how people lived in the past. I'd be just as interested researching someone else's family.

Cheshire Bike Ride

Next big ride is a planned trip round Ireland's South coast this year if possible, then a few days in the Highlands in the Fall, possibly to meet up with Joannie before her marathon


Grasshopper said...

I've been waiting for this post!! The trip sounds *AMAZING*!!! Seems like really great mileage per day, especially given the terrain. And the scenery is beautiful. I especially like the railway cut. I hope someday Carl and I can visit and join you on a long ride. We've never yet tried any serious distance cycling - just day trips. And we only last about 35km (not miles!) before we end up with bicycle bum and numb toes...Well done, Mr. Nickson!

MJN said...

Hi Grasshopper,

We had a great time. Having done the ride, though, I would not go back to Cheshire, although I would go back to the Peak District. As for future expeditions with you and Idaho, I'd love that. I'm going to post a few future planned routes in a few days - maybe even tonight. Take your pick, we'll work it out one way or another.

Numb toes - sounds like mountain bikes to me? As well,I think (I may be wrong here) that North American road surfaces are different materials - I always found them "harder" to ride on - more concrete than asphalt - and that can make a huge difference. Also there are not so many small roads in Canada - when we were on main roads here, we found them more tiring, probably a big factor in this is just trying to stay alive, so we stayed to the smaller roads that have fewer cars and we could just focus on turning the gears. Its a bit like one of those static bike training machines - you can go for many many miles on them, the biggest problem is boredom.