I traveled to Northumberland (in the north of England, almost on the Scottish border) for an event at the end of March. The week after the event I took leave to explore a little more of England. This is the third day of the bicycle tour.
For four nights I spent in sparsely populated areas with a dark night sky (little light pollution). And only on the last evening I had the chance to see a few stars. But the first clouds were already arriving, which would then determine the third day of my bike tour. In that regard, it was fortunate that the previous tour in the sunshine was a little longer than I had hoped, allowing me to see more of the countryside in the sunshine.
But first I had to take care of my gears, which had given up yesterday, just before the finish. During dinner I had thought a bit about the reasons and possible solutions. Luckily it was the simpler problem, which I was able to solve with two plastic discs cut out of the yoghurt cup of my first dinner on yesterday’s tour (at least temporarily, while I’m writing this I’m waiting for the ordered spare part, which after a good 100,000 km became necessary after all). After repairs and breakfast (vegetarian Full English), the ride finally started at 9:45.
On the map it looked like I would go up the mountains along a creek again, but the valley was probably too narrow, so the road climbed steeply for 200 m. In addition, it was closed, but I hoped that I would be able to get past the road works site on my bicycle. And I was lucky. Because of the construction traffic, I met more people on this street, otherwise I would probably have been alone again for longer periods of time. After crossing the moor, it was pleasantly downhill ride again, with a short climb because the road crossed a river.
The terrain then flattened out slightly as I left the Yorkshire Dales. I was also fortunate in planning that there is no road crossing the Forest of Bowlands in an east-west direction (otherwise I would definitely have chosen it), so I skirted this mountainous area north and west along cycle routes 69, 90 and 6. The tour from the previous days made me a bit slower but taking breaks wasn’t something I craved either due to the rain. Finally I found a dry spot under a tree to have lunch. In the afternoon it became a bit drier, with breaks between the showers. On the other hand, when the route went south, I had a pretty strong headwind, which is why my mood was still not the best. A second lunchtime under another tree helped a bit, but it really got only better as Garstang got closer, knowing there will be a cafe there.
In the café it became also clear that I could only reach the originally intended destination Southport after 7 p.m. As an alternative I booked accommodation in Blackpool instead (not even a 5-minute walk from the beach, this was the cheapest hotel of the trip). Strengthened, without rain and with less headwind, I got there an hour and a half later, just after 6 p.m.
Unexpectedly, after dinner in town, I spent a long time at the beach. But first I got some more clothes from my room, at 10°C I needed several layers to stay warm in the wind. It was low tide, so there was a lot to see in the sand, and at the same time I used the time to talk to friends on the phone. The time at the beach was very relaxing, I didn’t have to go anywhere, I had time.
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