I set out at 8:00 a.m. knowing that it was going to be a short day and hoping to arrive by 4 p.m.
Getting out of Lancaster was a problem again. Teasi knows which way he wants to go, but he just can’t communicate with me properly. Eventually we got back to the river after doing a circle involving a very steep hill.
Some time later “my” route seemed to be taking a main road and the national cycle route 6 turned off onto quiet country lanes. I decided to ignore TEASI and go for the NCR6. This was good at first, but I started to think I had made a mistake, when I turned off to climb a steep hill and came back down again onto the same lane. In retrospect, I think this was unnecessarily due to bad signposting.
I had again had porridge fot breakfast, which although I had made it myself, nice and thick, didn’t keep me going, so when the hunger pains came, I immediately knew I needed protein. Fortunately, a café suddenly appeared, so I stopped for a second (English) breakfast. That did the trick and I didn’t even need my picnic lunch later.
After the hill event I decided to rejoin my route at the next easy point. When this presented itself, off I went, only to find that this was the even bigger mistake, as it (re?)joined the busy A6. There was a cycle lane most of the timr, but this was dangerous with lorries thundering past and when there wasn’t one I felt it was lethal, so I used the pavements, still hating the noise and the vibrations. After 6 kilometres the route left the main road and followed country lanes and cycle paths, partly along a canal towpath, to Preston. There the fun started again, with Teasi sending me round in circles, when I didn’t understand. However it would have been even more difficult without him.
When we finally got out of the town, I found myself on the cycle route 55, which took me through a park. There was a big gate, which was padlocked, a small gate, which you had to go around through a fenced off “box: Or a metal bar with a horizontal section and a gap just wide enough for a bike without luggage. I had to lift my bike so that the luggage went over the horizontal part of the bar, getting myself over at the same time. This procedure had to also take place at the exit and another twice on reentering across the road and exiting again later. All this must have cost time. Afterwards I was back on another canal path, which although slow going because of the surface was absolutely beautiful and I wished it would never end. It dad, with a rude awakening; the rest of the trip was on the A6. Again I used the pavement, which was very rough with broken asphalt due to strong oak tree-roots.
The turning off at a roundabout proved again almost impossible with Teasi’s half-left and hal-right instructions (why can’t he just say „take the first exit“ especially as I wasn’t expecting to turn off yet.
This was the only night I hadn’t prebooked accommodation, as the lady had said this wasn’t necessary, she would be sure to have a room in one of her 3 properties within the same village. I had tried to phone her the night before and sent her an email, but no reply to either. I haf kept her adress programmed as my destination for the day and was planning to go there „on spec“, but it was getting later and later. I was still 5 kilometers away and not sure whether I would have to go back the same way next day,when I saw a Premier Inn, expensive for one person especially when you haven’s booked online, but by then i didn’t care. When I checked in there it was 7 p.m. and there was a Harvester next door, where I had an excellent, reasonably -priced meal.
Tour stats Lancaster-Bolton:
89 km. 571 m. ascent, 8:07 bike-time, 11:00 total
Hi Sue. That gate in a fenced box is known as a ‘kissing gate’. You’re doing so well.