2020 Lockdown Cycle Challenge – Day 9

Day 9 of my 10 Day 1,000mile Cycle Challenge complete!!

I’ve been told by a few friends that when you ride these kinds of things everyday, your body becomes accustomed and you won’t want to stop – Well, in my case, my body has accepted the challenge (although it does hurt early on and the legs are sometimes screaming at me to stop on the hills) but my head is more than ready for a few days off the bike 😂😂😂
After today’s ride I’ve now cycled 931 miles in 9 days, so I’m just 69 short the 1,000 miles
However, I aim to do the 10 consecutive Century rides so, providing tomorrow goes without a hitch, I’ll surpass the 1,000 by a few!

I decided that today I’d head to Longridge via Abbey Village, Feniscowles, Shear Brow in Blackburn (just had to go up again with my No 1 cycling buddy), & Ribchester! Then a nice undulating ride across to Bilsborrow, then work our way home thru Lancashire Lanes!

My alarm went off at 4.15am, but I’d been awake for a while listening to rain hammering on the window already 😫😫😫
The forecast was for an improving picture with the rain, but a 15mph wind for us to fight against on way home – Perfect Conditions 🤣🤪
Porridge was eaten extra hot, in a bid to have that inner warmth for the start! I was browsing my Strava feed & noticed it was full of overnight activity of Salford CC member Michelle Fairclough who was completing a 24hr running challenge – I really felt for Michelle at this point – the overnight rain must be taking its’ toll, so I arranged a slight detour with buddy Danny Collins and we surprised Michelle and joined he on her penultimate leg of her hourly mile – she was still looking strong and she successfully completed her 24hr challenge later in the morning 👏👏👏

We were lucky weather omens this morning, as the heavy showers had now turned to drizzle and whilst the very low cloud was all around us as we headed up Longworth Rd past Delph Reservoir away from our homeland, it was surprisingly quite pleasant out there – the only issue was my legs screaming at me for having climbing involved so early in the ride 😲😲.

Once on the A675 we benefitted from a more gentle terrain, and to our utter joy we had a fantastic tail wind – What a joyous journey to Blackburn… Three fun filled fast descents which make the climbs worthwhile!
Shear Brow was despatched no problem, and my legs were feeling better! We were also in another world – as we came down the descent towards M65 junction from Abbey Village we suddenly escaped the dark extremely low cloud into sunshine, which we held onto through to Ribchester & into Longridge!
We planned our 1st “pit stop” for the Shell Garage outside Booths – to our horror we’d come across the 1st Shell Garage with no Costa Coffee facility 😂😂 Even Mother Nature shared our disgust and light rain began to fall and the skies darkened once more 😫😫😫 Longridge – we are NOT impressed!!!

A beautiful almost completely traffic free ride so far & we hadn’t seen a single cyclist either 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤣.

It’s another cracking ride from Longridge to the A6 at Bilsborrow, no steep climbs, just nice undulating roads with decent surfaces – we were having a great ride!
Breakfast stop was planned for the Riverside Breakfast Bar way down on the Ribble near Penwortham, so we “whooped with delight” when we saw the roadside cafe setup outside the White Bull Pub as soon as we reached the A6 at Bilsborrow. It was still before 9am, but over four hours since our porridge, so we were ready for this early stop!

We found ourselves a nice sheltered bench on the canal towpath behind the pub & even had “facilities” curtesy of British Canal & Waterways – better than most of our regular Cycling Cafes 👍👍

The weather was now improving again, if very blustery…. and there were cyclists everywhere! Benson’s Lane towards Woodplumpton was like the M6 of cycling!!
We had to take a detour at end of Bartle Lane, as there’s some major road construction project going on in that area that has affected a few of my recent routes in that area – This morning we ended up in a housing estate and slightly lost!!
Eventually we found our way to the Larches and hopped onto the Guild Wheel at the docks.
We endured a stiff headwind after Pope Lane as we headed out into open lanes around Midge Hall! It was a tough shift for about 5 miles that Danny took on with me firmly stuck on his rear wheel – He’ll want me to return the favour next Sunday 😉😉
We had another quick pit stop in Croston where we were forced to take shelter as the rain suddenly came down heavy, but 2 mins later the sun was out again!
From Croston we took Syd Brook Lane & the narrow lanes up to the stunning Heskin Hall path.

It was on Syd Brook that I decided I didn’t fancy the rest of the planned route up to Parbold, Lathom, Rainford and Bickerstaff- and the prospect of climb back up to A6 at Newbrook Rd – So we made our way up to the A49 at Charnock Richard. I always remember fondly the jousting acts at Camelot as I spin those cranks in an easy gear up Park Hall Rd!! We had less dark skies in that direction & I love that ride from Coppell along Jolly Tar Lane & then tailwind to A6 by Fredricks!!
We endured yet another short, sharp downpour & took shelter again for a couple of mins – we still had 23 miles to complete & didn’t want a repeat of Day 7 – our shoes are still drying now from that one!!
Anyway, we used the A6 all the way down to Pendleton in Salford to get our required miles, which is generally an easy pedal, then the A666 back to home!!
Danny has been with me for three of the 10 days, and has lifted me, encouraged and supported me throughout the challenge! A huge thank-you to Danny!!

So one more day!

BRING IT ON – Are you ready Warren Gavin ?

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