Ferry, puncture, walruses, pigeons, wind & rain

Louise Lear kindly warned us in the BBC weather forecast. Did we take any notice? Take a guess.

Louise Lear kindly warned us in the BBC weather forecast. Did we take any notice? Take a guess.

I left the house without my rain jacket on, and within 6 feet, put it on as it started to rain.

Well, we were warned, but nevertheless, a baker’s dozen gathered at the swing bridge with the skies delivering the promise of precipitation already.

We thus set off promptly from Sutton Weaver, knowing that we had yet to purchase our passage en route. It kept raining. We headed towards the bridge. It was still raining, We were pretty wet already. Not wet enough it seemed as I led the group towards the bridge on the path. I noted that an articulated truck headed towards us had already hot a lrage puddle in the road, spraying it in a lovely arc wave across the pavement. It passed, followed by a pickup that did the same, but to a less impressive wave. ‘Ah that’s alright, at least we missed that’ I thought. That thought, fleeting though it was, had barely exited my tiny brain before a fresh articulated truck headed the same way. I was next to the flood, the artic drove through said flood and released what I’m sure was just a splash, but felt like a tsunami. Now I was wet. Jim was amused.

Not long after the bridge we dropped down and passed through a tunnel to head towards Pickering Pasture when a shout of a puncture went up. All huddled in the sanctuary of the dry tunnel, whilst offending puncture was remedied with a tube change. I didn’t bother.

Soon on our way, we sploshed along the path of mixed surfaces to the steps and down to the small bridge across one of the inlets.

A zig-zag of steps. Some wet cyclists. A bridge

A zig-zag of steps. Some wet cyclists. A bridge

Along the path and then up to Hale we soldiered on. Grim faced and determined in a very British style to have a good time.

Then we stopped in Garston, with the very simple idea of purchasing our ‘saver’ ticket.

Warning, rant coming up. Please skip past it:

Now, in our increasingly digital world, we are presented with many tools to make our life easier. This is not the case when you want to book a ferry across the Mersey (whether you love the place or not), but Mersey Travel have a great idea to integrate train, bus and ferry travel, and save the passenger a few pence, but creating the most convoluted way of doing so. If I want to book a ticket to the cinema, and get a discount too, I have an app on my phone, I book a ticket on it, or several tickets, get my discount, pay, and have the ticket stored on my phone, or available to print if I wish, on the day, or days before. Easy. If I want a ferry ride, at a discount price, I have to go to a specified Pay Point, queue if it’s busy, get a Walrus card, get my discount, then travel to the ferry port, queue up again, redeem my paid for ‘credit’, in exchange for the ticket, board the ferry. Is it just me, or have we got it a bit wrong?

Easy? Not a bit of it.

Easy? Not a bit of it.

Rant finished.

Anyhow, we got our Walruses (which is the correct plural), and exited the shop. At this point my Garmin also decided that it had had quite enough of the wet and dropped into factory diagnostics mode. I thus lost some of the track of my journey until the ferry, and the unit repeated that my USB device was unsupported for the rest of the day. If I didn’t know better, I’d suggest it was sulking.

We were on our way with a tailwind, which was a good job, as we got to the ferry terminal to queue for said tickets, for said ferry, across said Mersey at 10:53!!

Onto the ferry, we dived for hot chocolates, coffee and tea to warm us up. If nowt else, the ferry was warm.

Steve grins ('cos that's what he does), Emily tries to inhale her hot chocolate rather than drink it.

Steve grins (‘cos that’s what he does), Emily and Paul try to inhale her their hot beverages rather than drink.

It should be noted that we didn’t bother taking in the view. There was none. In fact, it was raining so persistently, that birds had even refused to fly from Liverpool to Birkenhead, and had opted for the warmer dryer method of ferry travel.

The fellah to the right isn't even a club member.

The fellah to the right isn’t even a club member.

Freeloading pigeon joins Matt and Jim in a relaxed moment on the crossing, sharing jokes and anecdotes.

Freeloading pigeon joins Matt and Jim in a relaxed moment on the crossing, listening intently to one of Jim’s anecdotes. I think it may have been the one about the 24 hour and the a**e cream. Hence why he’s changed his mind about eating the crumbs.

Traditional photograph undercover this year.

Traditional photograph undercover this year.

After the rain-caped photo above, we took off along the coast, with wind and rain, and grimaced, chatted and laughed (for some reason).

The off the path (without sand incidents), and onto the road broefly, before hitting the Wirral Way proper. Lots of mud, puddles, overgrown plants and a few navigation errors kept us all on our toes, and we eventually got back onto tarmac and dropped into Parkgate, before proceeding on a couple more tracks/trails/paths towards Burton Marshes.

As the rain had stopped somewhere along the way, we decided to stop and de-cape. It was then that we were presented with the horror of Steve.

Have you taken a detour and done a bit of MTB/cross?

Have you taken a detour and done a bit of MTB/cross?

I’ve honestly seen less mud spattered finishers of our October cyclo-cross…

Net’s cafe was a most welcome sight, and the almost empty and warm comfortable confines of the cafe had us all grinning inanely, ready for food (it was getting on a bit and much later than we might usually stop at a cafe on a normal run).

Al, and his usual...

Al, and his usual…

We chatted away as we do, Derek already planning his nap for later that day, Emily discussing the fine points of European languages, and all admiring Matthew’s ingenious use of a Kenco coffee bag as a drybag.

Look, shiny (muddy) happy people!!

Look, shiny (well, muddy – you can’t see their legs) happy people!!

Soon, we were out, and ready for the off, we dropped down to the road and headed out. Only a few speed humps to negotiate etc. No problem. There was something missing though. I had wanted to play in the sand earlier, but didn’t get the opportunity, so, as I skirted round a speed hump, closely following Matt, my wheels took to the edge of the road, where it was ‘puddled’ only to find that this was where there was no ‘road’. My wheels tramlined into the dropped groove, and I elegantly rolled, gently, from my bicycle onto the floor. With no damage to man or machine, I got up, satisfied that I had at least made an effort. Jim was amused, He insisted on a photograph.

Dirty boy.

Dirty boy.

From here, it was all plain sailing though. Across the boardwalk at Burton Marshes, then through the estate and onto the Greenway, we headed in the general direction of home. The sun even peeked out on a couple of occasions.

I peeled off at Manley, and left the group to speed home.

A wet day on the bike, but better than a day in work I say. Or a day off retirement as Derek and Jim might repeatedly say (ad nauseum).

🙂

Helping set course today for @WeaverValleyCC for @nwcca race tomorrow. I hope the wind dies down! 🌪 pic.twitter.com/c06JEpWqY1

Upcoming Events

Jul
24
Wed
2019
10:00 Wrinklies Ride Out
Wrinklies Ride Out
Jul 24 @ 10:00 – 14:30
A 10:00 for a 10:10 depart.. an easy, no one gets left behind run. Usually head out into the wind so we have a tail wind home.
18:30 WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
Jul 24 @ 18:30 – 21:00
The Guardian Cup is a season long competition based on a points system. The cup is awarded at the club dinner, and goes to the club member who has the most improved times throughout the[...]
Jul
27
Sat
2019
09:00 Alternative Training Ride
Alternative Training Ride
Jul 27 @ 09:00 – 12:00
Early Saturday ride – Steadier alternative to the training run. Starting 09:00 Saturday- Meet at Hatchmere with a cafe stop at Cleopatras. Distance about 45 miles and back for 12:00. Averaging 18mph ish
10:00 Training Ride
Training Ride
Jul 27 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Hatchmere X rds for a 10am sharp depart.. 10:01 we’ll be gone..
Jul
31
Wed
2019
10:00 Wrinklies Ride Out
Wrinklies Ride Out
Jul 31 @ 10:00 – 14:30
A 10:00 for a 10:10 depart.. an easy, no one gets left behind run. Usually head out into the wind so we have a tail wind home.
18:30 WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
Jul 31 @ 18:30 – 21:00
The Guardian Cup is a season long competition based on a points system. The cup is awarded at the club dinner, and goes to the club member who has the most improved times throughout the[...]
Aug
3
Sat
2019
all-day M&DTTA 50 – Club 50 mile TT Cham...
M&DTTA 50 – Club 50 mile TT Cham...
Aug 3 all-day
M&DTTA 50 – Club 50 mile TT Championship. Although an open event, the time recorded for this event is used to find the 2019 Club 50 mile TT Champion. See the CTT web site for details.  
09:00 Alternative Training Ride
Alternative Training Ride
Aug 3 @ 09:00 – 12:00
Early Saturday ride – Steadier alternative to the training run. Starting 09:00 Saturday- Meet at Hatchmere with a cafe stop at Cleopatras. Distance about 45 miles and back for 12:00. Averaging 18mph ish
10:00 Training Ride
Training Ride
Aug 3 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Hatchmere X rds for a 10am sharp depart.. 10:01 we’ll be gone..

Club Meeting Times

Sunday runs:

09:30 - Winnington Park Rugby Football Club - see calendar for updated start times (Most runs 10:00 during the winter months)

Tuesday evening (informal - usually a small gathering!)

20:00 onwards - Winnington Park Rugby Football Club

Wednesday runs:

10:00 - Hatchmere

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