Day Four – Shawbury to Preston 81– an unusually short day

Darren was woken rudely by the wood pigeons which I slept like a log through but I woke after another solid nights kip to find another glorious day. We were meeting another of Darrens work colleagues Simon Paul Williams from Wigan who would cycle with us over the shorter distance today. We called in at the very plush nafi and had a full english – big, big mistake!!! (because of the salt in it)

Then we were soon on our way with Simon on his yellow and black mean machine heading North on the A49. We weren’t expecting any big hills and it worked out that way – it seemed like a very relaxed training ride and our average speed was the highest of the adventure. We past through Whitchurch then there was a sign saying road closed in 3 miles – that can’t include us!!! Well when we got to the security in the 3 miles the security guard (who Simon said looked like a Somali pirate – good call) said it did include us and suggest we retraced 3 miles then took the detour. Darren whipped out his ipad to try and find an alternative until the security guard buckled and let us through – no workers on site and a suitable alternative over the obstacle, we were through. We found a nice cafe called the lock gate (next to a canal) so we had quick refreshments before I went to take some photos of a boat being lifted. Then it was on our way only to be met by another road block but this time the water authority had dug a trench right across the middle of the road – so we lifted our bikes and stepped over the channel. Darren was involved with a bully lorry driver who had come right up behind Simon and blasted his horn which led to a war of words and Darren making a polite call to the drivers manager. Then it was onward to the highways agency station near Wigan where we stopped for a while – in the meantime we experienced our first rain which continued for 10 miles. Simon peeled off at his hometown of Wigan leaving Darren and I the last 20 miles to Preston. Our finish was at the station on the motorway where Darren works and one of his chosen charities was represented by little Charlie who is only 1 but had a liver transplant when he was a baby – he’s adorable.

We were then picked up by Darrens wife and driven back to their home to stop for the night – that was a great meal thanks and I promise Darren – I will stop following you tomorrow ha ha

Well it should be an early night because it’s 115 miles for me tomorrow including the 14 mile climb of Shap and ending at Ecclefechen (the Fech) where I’ll eventually be reunited, briefly with my family :-)


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