Route plan for the day’s cycling:
I left quite late in the morning after an enjoyable cooked breakfast. The ride started cloudy and showery as I pursued main roads through the urban sprawl of Blackburn, then Bolton. This was a most unpleasant stretch of cycling, due to endless potholed roads, busy traffic and navigational difficulties (signs cater for cars, not cyclists). I was also burdened with the broken luggage mount on the rear of my bike. I stopped at B&Q to buy more zip ties to resecure it. However this wasn’t very successful and I had to stop every few miles to readjust it. Bypassing Manchester was a nightmare because the route I had chosen was quite obscure and hard to follow.
I was relieved to cross from my “Northern England” to “Wales & West Midlands” map as I approached Northwich by about 5pm where I had a “lunch” of snacks bought from the Co-op. Determined to reach Telford, where I would stay with a relative, I made progress as quickly as possible. However I was delayed for an hour by my luggage – I decided to get rid of the mount completely and instead tied the bag to my bike with bungee cords and straps. After the delights of cycling in Scotland and scenic parts of England it was rather a mediocre experience shooting through the Midlands so I was extremely glad to reach Telford by about 10pm.