JOGLE Day 6 – Preston to Coalport
Daily Stats – Day 6
Miles Ridden: 105.7 miles
Metres Climbed: 4538 feet
Time Riding: 6:55:08
Average Speed: 15.3 mph
Total Miles Ridden: 577.3 miles
Total Ascent: 24,802 feet
Total Time Riding: 37:13:47
Todays Weather: Overcast then sunny.
Day 6 already of our JOGLE challenge and we were making good progress. We were now in England and I realised at the last minute the night before that today was the day we were supposed to be stopping at Darren’s for bacon sandwiches. Darren is a windsurfer friend of mine that I met through my Forces-of-Nature website, he also mountain bikes and we have met at various events around Wales whilst biking. He knew we were doing this JOGLE challenge and as well as sponsoring us offered to arrange a pit stop at his house and to join us for a few miles. I had it in my mind that it was the day after but luckily he put me right via Facebook so we were due to have bacon sandwiches at Darrens house for our first stop of the day about 25 miles into the route. The route was planned and Darren’s house was only about half a mile detour from it so it would have been rude not to take him up on his offer.
We had planned to set of at 8am so that we should be at Darren’s at around 9:30am, but when I came down from my room all ready to go, most of the others were still sat around eating breakfast and weren’t anywhere near ready to go. Some had also decided that they wanted to go to a bike shop to buy more waterproof clothing which wouldn’t open until 9am, so in the end we didn’t set off until 9:30am. I duly informed Darren that we wouldn’t be at his until 11:00 so he put the bacon on hold!
We rolled out of Preston at around 9:30am after a visit to the bike shop and rode through the suburbs towards Darren’s house. This part of the ride wasn’t exactly exciting but the rain was holding off and the weather seemed to be improving. It certainly couldn’t have gotten much worse than it was first thing in the morning. This was my view from the hotel window at about 6am.
The bacon sandwiches at Darren’s were delicious, even if they did make us all thirsty for the rest of the day, and the sun was now coming out as we all rolled off continuing on our way South, this time with Darren joining us for a few miles.
Darren had checked our route and was planning on joining us as far as Delamere and then had a route planned to take him back home. All was going well as we followed the busy A49, crossing roundabouts and dealing with red lights. The plan had been to turn off of the main road onto some nice roads through the Delamere Forest where we would meet the support crews for our second stop of the day and Darren would head home. However, as we turned off the road, it sloped upwards for a few hundred metres and some of the cyclists decided that this way was too hilly and they wanted to stick to the main roads. That seemed to be the general consensus from all but me, Mike and Darren so that’s what we did as the three of us didn’t really mind either way. It was a shame to miss out the Delamere Forest as according to the support crews who were waiting there for us it was really nice and probably the best stop of the whole trip. The way we actually went in the end was longer by about 5 miles and probably had more climbing, so the change of plan whilst on the road didn’t really work out. It followed the main A49 with lorries whizzing past us all the time. It also meant that we missed a stop with the support crew as they were waiting for us elsewhere and the next stop wasn’t due until about 65 miles into todays ride as we crossed over in Wales.
In the end we had to stop first at a garage for some people to top up their water bottles and then we stopped again at a services about a mile before our intended meeting point. The support crews were phoned so that they could drive to the services to meet us. After coffees all round and a now very late lunch we were on our way again.
This time we were taking a small detour into Wales, just so that we could say we’d been to Scotland, England and Wales and then followed my original route back into England and along some lovely quiet roads through sun-baked countryside as we made a beeline for Telford and our final destination of Coalport, another World Heritage Site.
Ian and Kev went off on their own once we left Wales, and Mike and I did the same a little while later, giving us chance to stretch our legs and ride the last 15 miles or so at a faster pace. Arriving at the hostel a little earlier than the others also gave me chance to find Morgan and have a little ride with him as well.
The hostel was nice, once again in an interesting building and right on the river so a few of us went off in search of somewhere to get in the river for a swim. It was flowing quite fast though and was quite shallow along this stretch, so it was like being in and endless pool really and not too good for swimming. It was nice to get in though. The swim was followed by dinner in the hostel and off to bed. Progress was still good and we were getting ever closer to Lands End.