Another long day today with 50 miles added to our total. When we left Whitchurch at about 9.30, it was under a hazy overcast sky but the sun soon broke up the cloud cover and for much of the day we were in clear sunshine. So nice after all the time we’ve been riding in waterproofs and getting caught in showers or downpours. It makes it easier to ride for longer, though it does come at a price… The amount of flies Karon and I have swallowed between us!
We mised our exit lane from Whitchurch but soon realised and the road was quiet enough to do a U turn on the Hase – not the easiest of manoeuvres as riding it at low speed, it has the turning circle of an oil tanker!
After a few gentle ups and downs the countryside levelled out and we made a pretty good speed. Our rout was a bit zig-zaggy as there were quite a few watercourses that needed avoiding or crossing. Chester was about 30 miles away, so we stopped mid-morning to take on some KitKat and Starbar with water to tie us over. I’ve found it’s easy to let the sugar levels drop without realising it. The first indicator it usually a map reading error, so if that happens now, we stop and eat something.
Later, we popped into Beeston Castle and enjoyed a soft drink and some chocolate. The approach to Chester, was, as with many of the towns we’ve passed through, along a canal towpath. There were a few cafes and restaurants alongside the canal so we stopped for lunch at one. After, we continued along the canal and passed right through Chester without straying from it.
At one point it was crossed by a cycle path along a disused rail line and we transferred to this, following it Westwards quite a way before turning North to head for the Wirrel. The indirect route was on account of the major roads in the area that needed safe crossing. There was a lone cyclist ahead negotiating all the overpasses and crossings and when we caught him, he asked where we were heading. “The Eureka Cafe” I replied – it’s a bit of a Mecca for cyclists near and far, and they have a visitors book especially for all end-to-enders passing through. He was heading there too so we rode together for a while until he spotted a friend on the roadside with a puncture. We carried on to the cafe and ordered to giant mugs of tea. The bike came in for quite a bit of attention from many of the riders there and we struck up conversations with several.
After leaving the cafe we had some lanes, one long climb then a stint on another rail line before a really steep push up to our B&B for the night in Heswall. And here’s me thinking the Wirrel was pretty flat!
Tomorrow we go into Liverpool across the Mersey and we’re having out first rest day on Friday – so we can take the Majical Mystery Tour and see the Beatles sights, ending up for an evening in the Cavern.
“It’s been a Hard Day’s Ride, and I’ve been pushing like a dog”.