Sunday, 4 August 2013

Leg 4, Day 2: Blackpool to Barrow-in-Furness

With the weather forecast indicating that rain was due by 13:00 we decided to get up early and get as much of today's cycle done in the dry as possible. We were cycling by 07:00 and Blackpool was a different place in the early morning light. 

We were given some good news the night before that there was a passenger ferry from Fleetwood (where our first RNLI station was) to Knott End about 10km up the coast, which would save us 30 mins or so. With the first ferry leaving at 08:00 it was perfect timing. We picked up a few croissants for breakfast and found a quiet spot to eat them a few kilometres further down the road. So far so good- the wind was on our backs and the rain was still off in the distance. However, we knew that the last 25km of today's ride was due south west, directly into the wind and likely to be rather wet by then, so we couldn't really relax and enjoy the ride. 

Our second station of the day was Morecombe, in fact there were two stations in Morecombe a few hundred meters apart one of which housed the hovercraft.  

Although these were our penultimate station of the day there was still 90km left to cycle. It was made worse by the fact that our final destination on Roa Island was visible about 10 miles out to sea- yet we had to take the long way around. 

The first part was made more pleasant because it was on the recently refurbished promenade, which always makes for good views, plenty of space to cycle side by side and no traffic. 

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and our path returned to roads and then onto what was a rather dubious cycle route (70) which was only marginally better than the busy A-road which was the alternative. 

We were getting pretty tired by now and we decided to fuel up for the last part of the journey, we pulled off the road into a derelict roadside cafe, which seemed to have been used by someone as target practice with a number of 2.2 rifle bullets in the door near a hand drawn target. Stightly worried we ate our sandwich (a handmade Parma ham, buffalo mozzarella and rocket number) and polished off the last remaining miles to Barrow, accompanied by our trust headwind but thankfully no rain. 

A warm shower and a cup of tea made the world of a difference and while our rinsed lycra dried above the radiator, we were able to start thinking about cold beers and supper. It's probably quite apparent by now that these trips revolve primarily around the wind direction, weather conditions, road quality and food. Sometimes it's more enjoyable to only have a few factors to think about. 

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