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29 · non-binary (they/them) · neurodiverse · spoonie · queer femme · NSO & trainee zebra · polyamorous · burned-out activist · geek.



♥ coffee ♥ roller derby ♥ photography ♥ knitting ♥ exploring ♥ creating ♥

Sep. 14th, 2015

tajasel: Katie, wearing a helmet and bike glasses. (bike bike bike)
Strava's distance challenge this month is 120km; I couldn't decide on a place to go, so at 09:15 this morning, I set off from work just outside Manchester city centre and decided to see where I felt like going.

Opted to turn right at first major junction on reasoning that I'd never turned down that road before; passed through Sale and Altrincham, then Warrington. Began to get rained on. Started thinking about maybe heading for Formby and going to that beach with statues on, but then spotted a signpost for Daresbury, the birthplace of Lewis Caroll, and remembered that one of the British Cycle Quest clues is there, along with a visitor centre which I reckoned would sell me a brew to help me warm up. In actual fact, it was attached to a church, and the brews were provided at a suggested donation of 20p, or 50p with biscuits. They got the handful of spare change from my wallet, and I had lovely stem ginger biscuits and alright (instant) coffee.

Whilst there, I examined the BCQ question book and decided to pick up a second answer in Chester. Arriving there with 65km on my GPS, I stopped for lunch, decided I was cold and wet and would be happier heading in the direction of home instead of somewhere else, so scrapped my "ride 100km, look for a train station, and get a train home" idea, and aimed for the Cheshire Cycleway to get me out of the town centre and vaguely north-east-wards again.

But of course, Chester has a lot of cycle routes, and I picked one with signs saying Connah's Quay in one direction, and Chester Town Centre in the other, thought to myself "well, I've just come from Chester so it must be the other way", and set off.

Sometime after this, I pass a sign welcoming me to Wales. I stopped to consider if I wanted to attempt to navigate Chester town centre again, decided I didn't, took a silly photo of myself at the border, and figured I may as well see how far I could get around the North Wales coast before hitting 120km.

Katie looking quizzically at Welsh border sign


116km landed me on the doorstep of a lovely cycling shop/café called Bike Hub in Rhyl Harbour, with divine blueberry cheesecake.

Cheesecake, a cup of coffee and my helmet, with Rhyl Harbour in the background


They didn't believe me the first time I said I got lost and was aiming for Manchester but took a wrong turning in Chester, only when I showed them the photo of me at the border.

120.0km exactly landed me at the entrance to Rhyl train station, with six minutes until the next Manchester train, and four minutes to a Chester one.

Of course, the Manchester one was a Virgin Trains service, which have mandatory bike reservations even when there are no other bikes on board, and a overzealous guard enforcing the (not-always-enforced) rule, so I ended up on the Chester train, and then changing again in Crewe.

122km later, I arrived home from my slightly-more-Welsh-than-usual commute, and am now in bed with my Kindle. It has been a grey and geographically-challenging but very fun day :)

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