Sunday, 21 September 2008

Southport ...

... is about 20miles from my flat, or more precisely the round-trip is 66.6km which is 41miles in old money.

I know this because I was foolish enough to cycle there and back (just) yesterday! And yes, I was absolutely shattered when I got back, it hurt like hell, and it wiped me out for the rest of the day! And no, I'm not likely to do that trip again in a hurry.

Actually I might go to Southport again, using alternative, less tiring transport, as it actually is a very nice place. I don't generally like seaside resorts and hate all the tacky shops and amusements, but Southport doesn't seem to have descended too much into that kind of thing and is, for want of a better word, a little more 'posh'.

Anyway, I managed to cycle there without much trouble and it was a really nice sunny day and there were lots of things to see on my scenic route out there. Roads weren't too bad but there are some busy dual-carriageways, but these bits aren't too long.

Actually had a very inconsiderate and frankly arrogant (and probably stupid) driver honk his horn at me as he whizzed past, gesticulating towards the cycle track at the side of the road. Okay, yes I could use that but I didn't want to 'cos it was right next to hawthorn bushes and I'm fed up of getting punctures! I have a right to be on the road and I was cycling properly, was clearly visible and he had plenty of time to pass (the road wasn't that busy). Also honking a very loud horn at someone is more likely to make them jump (like it did me) and risk an accident than if you were just a little more considerate and got past me.

The trip back started to hurt quite alot - my feet, hands, and obviously my bum all become rather numb and my muscles started to seize a bit as they really aren't use to all that distance. Really slowed down on the way back and thought several times that I'd have to stop for a rest as I felt I simply couldn't go on anymore.

In the end my GPS said it took around 3hrs of travelling and during that time there were only 4minutes when I was stopped, they were all traffic lights! When I get the track off the GPS I'll get a view of the route on Google Earth and put a pic up here.

When I got back I quickly ran a hot bath, made some food, and then had a good long soak. I use to think it was better to have a shower so that I kept moving but, so far, the bath seems to have done the trick and I don't hurt too much. Had a bit of a sleep in the afternoon and then managed to wander around making tea etc.

So, a good adventure and lovely route to cycle but I think I'll try and do shorter rides in future to build me up to attempting this one again.

[ Note: I really shouldn't have done this on a mountain bike as that just makes it even harder given the suspension and the rough tires, I'm sure it would be so much easier on a proper road bike! ]

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