LEJOG 21 Sep : Chester to Southport

The Mersey Ferry

Chester is the nearest we’ll be to home, we could cycle back from here if necessary so we took another lateral flow test before continuing north. We had another four miles of the canal but the surface was better and there were fewer people so we made good progress. The route was nicer than I expected, quiet lanes until we reached Port Sunlight where a suburban meander eventually took us to the Woodside ferry terminal in time to see the boat leave, the next one being in an hour.

Our mapping tool, cycle.travel had us going to the Seacombe terminal, a little further on and Christine was intent on riding there, hoping there’d be a crossing sooner. I called after her that it would be sensible to enquire but she was already away so I followed, to find the terminal being refurbished and no ferry. So we rode back, I was rather vexed as we could have waited in the cafe. We caught the next one and disembarked at Liverpool pier head.

It usually transpires that if I have a go at Christine, I do something sillier soon afterwards, and today was no exception.  We’d not gone far before I noticed my front tyre was soft so stopped to fix the puncture. Neither of us could hear air escaping from the inner tube after I’d pumped it up, so I retrieved my spare. I’d not had a puncture for years and had been carrying the spare all this time without using it. It was the wrong size!

I put the old one back, pumped it up and cycled back to find the nearby bike shop shown on Google maps but couldn’t see it. I phoned them and they said they were only doing booked repairs and had no inner tubes. The tyre was still inflated so we continued our journey since there was a shop listed in Bootle. I took out my tablet to check the location and phoned them. No reply but the tyre was holding up so we carried on.

Soon we passed Go Outdoors so pulled in and I noticed I’d neglected to fasten my pannier. My Samsung tablet was missing! I rode back and found it lying on the shared use pavement. That was the end of the drama, the rest of the way into Southport was tedious but uneventful, through suburbs, an enjoyable open stretch and then interminable miles along bumpy narrow trails.

We reached the Travelodge just before six, showered and walked to the Fig Bistro, which prior research had indicated to be the best dinner option. A notice on the  door proclaimed that it was temporarily closed because of a family illness. We ate at a nearby Indian, which was fine. To bed, grateful that my carelessness had gone unpunished. 

Today’s distance: 46 miles (74.1 km)
Today’s ascent: 262 metres
Cumulative: 498.7 miles (802.9 km), 8943 metres

Southport to Lancaster