I need to get back into the habit of using this blog, so I thought I’d share some pictures from my recent trips, and talk about my cycling plans.
Now, for some plans!
My monthly mileage has shot up with the lovely late spring weather, hopefully I’m going to hit 200 miles in May if all goes to plan. For a guy that couldn’t cycle 4 miles without being exhausted in May 2015 this is a big step up, and I want to keep it going. My longest single ride up to now has been 20 miles, and I’ve done 20+ miles in a day on more than one occasion now, so I’m thinking it’s time I pushed those fitness levels a little further.
The plan? A tour! My first ever, too. I live relatively close to the Trans Pennine Trail, so much so that I’ve used it more than once in the past for my longer rides. It runs from Southport on the west coast to Hornsea on the east. It’s (meant to be) relatively easy going for much of the trail, and a lot of the route is away from motorists and ‘proper’ roads, so it’s quite tranquil. Most importantly, it crosses the Pennines – the hilly, rural spine of the north of England, so it has vistas galore.
I’m not yet in a position to do the trail, though. This is mainly down to a lack of appropriate gear, which will get fixed slowly but surely. Buying a new bike is out of the question, but my hybrid bike, ugly as hell but tough as nails, would be a good fit for the job, once I’ve made a few modifications. A new handlebar, better pannier racks, maybe a new set of tyres – nothing major, but those jobs all add up and need doing sooner rather than later.
Accommodation is the other major question mark. It’s common enough to camp when touring, and I’m happy to do it (if I can get a tent from somewhere) but certain legs of the trip aren’t particularly camp-friendly. Crossing through greater Manchester and central Yorkshire in particular would be a challenge, as they’re simply too built up to have any campsites. I’m going to have to do some research to find suitable spots, or at least find alternatives.
So we’ll see how things turn out. Even if the trip doesn’t go ahead, doing some more long-distance cycling is very much on the horizon for me, and I’m looking forward to it. If it does go ahead I’ll be able to keep my progress recorded on here!