LEJOG Day 4: Stourbridge to Bury
6h 58m 5
29h 43m 0
Other Daily Stats You May Be Interested In
Average Speed: 22.9km/h
Max Speed: 59.0km/h
Average Power: 125 watts
Max Power: 910 watts
Average Cadence: 74 rpm
Max Heart Rate: 122 bpm
Today felt like a quiet day, or at least that is how it started, a nice ride up and out of Stourbridge after a hearty breakfast. This morning was the first time so far where they had bagels 🥯 (my favourite on-bike food) and croissants, which as it turned out was quite lucky, as there wasn't any farm shops, and not much on my journey at all except a random fill-your-own milk bar. No farm shops on my remote trip up through Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, etc.
Don't get me wrong when I say today's route was very 'samey', there was some stunning country lanes (and I do love a good lane) some lovely roads...actually, on that point, there was one particular one that was called County Lane, that runs the border of Shropshire, that may be the flattest piece of tarmac I have ever been on. Not sure why, there was a very big equestrian centre there so may have been a factor, but after some very rough roads it was a pleasure to cruise on it.
There were some amazing looking pubs (not sure the above one has ever been used as it looked like a show home), some huge country residences, and intricate thatching on some old houses. But there wasn't a lot of stunning scenery, probably down to not being inundated with huge hills and rolling countryside, was more flatter with lots of cows.
Skirting the outside of Stoke-on-Trent, I would say that was the worst bit of road. The drivers there don't seem to recognise cyclists, or have any idea where the corners of their cars are...you know how close they are when you can feel the engine heat on your leg. Still heading north, saw this big white thing in the distance. Getting closer I could just about make the outline of a dish, but had no idea where I was (somewhere in Cheshire) or what it was. As it turned, Jodrell Bank.
And then there was Manchester - my route took me from Stockport to Bury...straight through the middle of Manchester. I tried to time the day so I wasn't hitting peak time, and ended up getting into the hotel a touch before 5pm, although could have been in a little earlier.
The upside of the route I had was that there was a cycle path the whole way through, if only the drivers recognised it. They would park across it, stand on it waiting to turn, and (worst of all) pull across in front of you, or into you - as I found out. After stopping for a brief respite from the traffic, I was heading down through one area, minding my own business, when an emergency vehicle pulled straight across in front of me as he was heading into a well known fast food chain. I had enough time to break hard and turn, before hitting the side of it with my shoulder. I am fine, shoulder is a little sore, but I had wiped a fair bit of speed off by that point...and was on the anchors quite quickly. He was overly apologetic when he got out, checked over and I was good to. A couple of days ago back in Bristol, the receptionist had relayed a story of him being late that day because a cyclist got hit but didn't have a helmet on. Why would you not wear protective equipment - as you have no control on what others do, as I found out.
So arrived, checked in, showered and went down for food as I was pretty hungry. I didn't have dessert the previous night, so needed to rectify that mistake. So starters, done, main, demolished, dessert....well. Triple chocolate brownie? Run out. Meringue kisses? Run out. Chocolate brownie sundae? Nope. Lemon drizzle cake? Yes. Finally...oh...wait (she is coming back) sorry, Run out of that one as well. So there wasn't any desserts available - rubbish, but have learnt my lesson...don't miss an opportunity.
Sleep now, for tomorrow I ride.