Friday, 9 January 2009

The day it all went pear-shaped

300 mile in a month challenge - 28% complete.

Back on the bike today - was planning on heading out to Todmorden but my legs were a little tired and I'm not feeling 100% so I headed out towards Dunham instead so I wouldn't be pushing myself too much.

I decided to head out the way I occasionally come back - along Chester Rd. First though I had to get to Chester Rd. I set out along my main road, cutting through Bank Bridge St and Lord North St to get onto Hulme Hall Lane and across Oldham Rd through Monsall before turning left onto Rochdale Rd. Zooming along here soon got me into the outskirts of Manchester City Centre where I snuck alongside Victoria Train Station and out onto Deansgate, past Evans Bike Shop, through Castlefield and to the fabulously annoying Chester Rd/Mancunian Way roundabout at Castlefield.

Once this had been safely negotiated, I just followed my nose literally as it's a straight forward route from here to Dunham. Old Trafford, Stretford and Sale all passed in a blur as I mashed the pedals in a bid to get to that sarnie that was yelling me from afar.

Then things started to go a little bit wrong....I got a flat on the front tyre which was quickly sorted out. As I only had one more spare tube and co2 cartridge I made the decision to head back home and shot down Marsland Rd through Northenden.

KABOOM!!! The rear tyre practically exploded; good job I've had tyres do that when I'm on the track so don't freak out and can retain control. Luckily there were no vehicles behind me either seeing as I came to a halt in super quick time.
When I got onto the grass verge and looked at the tyre there was a rather nice looking 1.5 cm split in it. Not entirely sure how I got it as the roads were pretty clear of crud but there was some work being done on the traffic lights at a crossing I'd not long passed. Maybe that was to blame? Either way I was about 10 miles from home, about 8 from the nearest bike shop and with only 30 quid with me and no cash card.

I made the decision that I'd get a bacon sarnie and mug of coffee while mulling over what to do, so I nipped into Ernie's cafe. Sarnie was very tasty, coffee steaming and punters friendly - had a great chinwag with an old boy who rides a lot and was very interested in me and my bike. The cafe manger very kindly rung for an estate taxi to come pick me up and take me home rather than walking the distance for repairs etc, so my ride was very bluntly cut very short!

I guess I'll have to try and get on the track to boost my miles til I can get some new tyres.

Out of curiosity, what tyres do you guys use?

View Interactive Map on

Boring bits -
Dull, grey and cold (2 degrees)
Maximum mph: 27.3
Average mph: 16.8
Distance: 14.66
89ft climbed.


  1. I use continental 4 seasons which I think are great!

    Not cheap though.

    Before that I used continental gatorskins

    a more reasonable price and a good tyre, I only stopped as my commute at the time had a big hill and they weren't grippy enough in the corner at the bottom, when I was commuting into Salford they were fab.

  2. I was looking at gatorskins on wiggle earlier.
    The 4 seasons isn't too bad a price with jejames though.

    I'll most likely have a look in local bike shops and see what they have too before I decide.

  3. I am going through tyres at a scary rate at the moment. As I can't afford to pay for the likes of GP4s i've now started using Bontrager hardcase.

    They don't roll quite as well as the Ultra-gators but they are slightly more grippy in the wet.
    They're simply not a patch on the GP4s but thats to be expects as they're only half the cost!

  4. I've been stupidly lucky and not had a puncture for umpteen years, then in the space of a few days I get 3!

    Those Bonty Race tyres are what I've just split! I did really like them though, so I am tempted to get more.

    I'm quite fond of Hutchinson tyres too as they were the first set and lasted really well. Ditto Vredestein tyres.

    I'm all confused now :o/