Early mornings, torrential rain, glorious sunshine, massive local support, the Scouse accent and getting pooped on by a Seagull!
Wednesday 29th March
Wow what a day! I have absolutely no idea how to describe it, today was definitely the busiest day I have had. I normally try and name everyone I have cycled with but today that’s going to be impossible as I have gotten a little confused as Guy, no, Glyn, will tell you!
I started my day from Conwy where the Wednesday Wheelers met me at 7:30am. They usually meet at 11, so I really appreciate that they all got up early! We all cycled round the Great Orme, a limestone headland that protrudes out of the sea. As you would expect to cycle round it there is a hill, but it was very gentle and not anything steep. Cycling down avoiding the rocks and potholes was great fun! The Great Orme is covered in wild goats, I never really got the full story but something to do with a gift to Queen Victoria, but part of it was that they keep the grass down, I wouldn’t like to grow vegetables locally!
As we neared the end of our loop it started spitting, we now had 3 ICE trikes, soon to become 4 and we continued on around the North Wales coast picking up some other bikes along the way. The rain started to get very heavy and it was very easy to lose track of who was in the group. We ended up splitting up and a few riders turned back. There were a couple of punctures and one of the guys fell off on a slippery piece of tarmac, which we didn’t find out about until we reached a cafe to dry off, I hope he is OK.
Much of the coastal cycle path on this stretch is mostly at the top of the beach and traffic free, it’s a great cycling path provided you manage to miss all the dogs that run out in front of you (I shall leave you to imagine my opinion on this), we cycled at a steady pace and all chatted on our trikes!
I had company all the way to meet my host for the evening who had cycled out from the Wirral to my half way point of the day. Glyn also cycles an ICE trike due to medical conditions – the fifth trike of the day, a record so far!
There were only four of us now, two trikes and two bikes, Glyn’s friends were very used to cycling with his trike so they tucked in next to us and we made fantastic headway on the roads towards the Wirral, chatting all the way of course! They all belong to a local club called Envelo. We crossed the River Dee on the Flintshire Bridge, a cable-stay Bridge. My love for bridges keeps growing as they mean that I don’t have to spend a long time cycling round river mouths!
We crossed over to the Wirral and left Wales, this marked a significant point in my challenge. I had cycled round the coastline of a whole country, this is of course on top of cycling along the South Coast and around the whole of the South West of England. Reaching the Wirral, and tomorrow Liverpool, and hearing the Scouse accent I feel like I am at my second home. I went to university in Liverpool, it was here that I became really unwell, here that I met my closest friends, and here that I met Danny! Living in Liverpool for 6 years has made my life what it is today!
As we got to the cafe at Ness we drew more of a crowd, Janet a trustee of cycling UK had heard about my arrival and had grouped some of the local ladies together for a ride, a mixture of local Breeze riders and The Wirral Bicycle Belles. We missed another heavy rain shower whilst in the cafe but some of the riders meeting me came in dripping wet. We had a quick photo and got on our way. Glyn went on ahead to get home and I cycled with the local ladies, unfortunately we got split up by the late afternoon traffic and I didn’t get to say goodbye before some of them left us – thank you for cycling with me and I apologise for this ladies!
I was left with Janet and Carol a local Breeze Champion (a leader of the local ladies Breeze rides – a fantastic countrywide initiative.) It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and I could have happily stayed on my trike for the rest of the day so I suggested that we cycle up to West Kirby and Hoylake before looping back to Greasby. West Kirby is an area we visited as students and was the site for one of our projects in second year, so it was a must for me to pass by on my journey!
Janet and Carol dropped me off at Glyn’s house and to everyone’s amusement, I got pooped on by a Seagull – it went everywhere, over all of my bags! This is supposed to be good luck, but I am sure it was just made up to make you feel better when you are cleaning yourself off!
I couldn’t have been made to feel more at home than at Glyn and Carole’s house! Glyn and I both love cycling and for us being on an ICE trike has made that accessible again! Carole also gets out on her bike occasionally, in fair weather, I hope she didn’t mind the fact that we pretty much talked about cycling all evening! Glyn took us out for a delicious dinner and a couple of their friends came over for a chat before bed.
So you can see, it has been an amazing day, I can’t believe how supportive the local cycling communities are and I am extremely thankful to all the riders who got up early, braved the torrential rain, enjoyed the sunshine and boosted my morale.
Thank you! Please tag me in any posts and send me any photos taken.
LIVERPOOL TOMORROW! Via the ferry that crosses the Mersey.