Monday, 5 January 2009

Do tyres have a sixth sense?

SUNDAY. Do tyres have a sixth sense and know when you're having fun?

As the weather wasn't too bad and I hadn't managed to get out on Saturday, I forced myself out of bed (so warm and cosy) and onto the bike for a ride that was intended to get me to Knoll's Green, where I went with Chorlton Wanderers back in October.

I set off towards the City of Manchester stadium before turning off down Alan Turing Way to take me over Ashton Old Rd, under Ashbury's station and over to Longsight before passing Bike Docs and getting onto Platt Lane for the long ride over to Princess Rd (Parkway). Good fast pace set here before braving the turning onto Nell Lane - rather wide and very busy 3 lane crossing (Princess Road is not quite a motorway at this point) before settling for a very sedate and quiet pootle through Southern Cemetery and out through the gates directly opposite the road I needed - Maitland Rd, that takes me straight to Chorlton Water Park.

Straight through the car park, skirt the lake, cross the river and I'm on the Trans Pennine Trail heading out towards Kenworthy Wood. This is where my rear tyre decided I'd had enough fun for the day and flatted. Grr! Out came my nice shiny, new, never been used before PBK tyre levers; new tube fitted in no time, now came the fun of pumping the tyre up with a mini pump - it so wasn't gonna happen! Several minutes of pumping later (and getting nowhere fast), a lovely passing cyclist sacrificed one of his co2 cartridges to get my tyre back up to the correct psi. Hurrah for passing cyclists!

Thought better of continuing on my predetermined route and decided to head back to the lake. Before heading into Manchester City Centre, I enjoyed a loop round the lake, then began the ride into town - onto Princess Rd again for a good paced hurtle until Moss Side, where I had to divert to take a look at my (and Amy's) old college - looking rather different from when we were there, except for the chapel which still look stunning. Over the Hulme Arch, then into the thrum of the centre stopping off at Evans Cycles for a co2 set-up of my own - my bike's very own Christmas present.

I chose a different route home than I'd normally take and took me along roads that I didn't know at all - purely for the fun of it. I'm glad I did too. Once past Victoria Station I cut across Miller St onto Dantzic St and into industrial estate land alongside the River Irk before coming to a hill that looked rather daunting to me at first, but once up it I just wanted to do it all again!
Now I was back on familiar turf - Crumpsall - and enjoyed hurtling along Queens Rd, Hulme hall Lane and round onto Riverpark Rd before heading into Clayton Vale for another riverside ride and out onto another hill that is quite daunting if you're totally pants at hills!
Soon after I was safely ensconced in the warmth of my flat with a very welcome Irish Coffee to warm me up, yum!

View Interactive Map on

Boring bits -
Quite cold (+/-0), dull and grey.
Maximum mph: 22.4
Average mph: 12.1
Distance: 21.22 miles
295ft climbed

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