Sorry this one's late - I told dad to do it!
I am writing this update with the sincere fear that I will catch pneumonia. This sounds familiar...? Actually it wasn't too bad, after the first 2 hours or so of absolutely miserable conditions. We set off at about 9 am, agreeing that there would be no point in postponing it, planning to have breakfast in Bolton. This was not a cunning plan at all... We only skirted Bolton, and the next place we could have breakfast was in Blackburn, 24 miles away from the start in Leigh. By that time, we were very wet, very miserable and very wet. Did I say we were very wet? We tried to be optimistic - lots of humming of a certain Monty Python song worked for a while! We then stopped off in a recommended cycle shop to try to get some more waterproof waterproofs. As soon as we got in, they offered us a hot drink! We then went and got ourselves matching waterproofs which were, as we later discovered, very good! We then cycled about 3 miles onto the other side of Blackburn to have a very late breakfast in a lovely cafe recommended by the cycle shop. We then set of towards the next place on the map - Whalley. "Where's Whalley?" I hear you cry.
Just outside Blackburn!
It then promptly stopped raining.
Kind of. There were still occasional showers in this dry period and obviously it was still cold and damp, but it was much less uncomfortable than earlier, but that riding was really quite good, feeling quite fast and climbing particularly well. Or at least I was.
Although there were a few town areas - Blackburn was horrible in the centre (although nice in the two outskirts we were in) - there were also some absolutely fantastic views - primarily the forest of bowland, which as well as trees, has sheep, cows and moor... (See what I did there?) There were also some lovely moors just before Blackburn, but unfortunately both the visibility and our mood were too poor for us to really appreciate it!
We lunched in a pub in Slaidburn, the village we would have stopped in if following the book, where we met a fellow LEJOGer who had a puncture so couldn't do his stage today, from there to Keswick. Talking of our extension of the course, which we have been using for the last week, this has been for a very special reason... It's my Birthday tomorrow! We have been getting ahead so we are about 20 miles into tomorrow's ride, so we have a shorter ride of 'just' 50 miles - we then plan to do something with the family and have a nice dinner out as well. I was also looking forward to opening my presents as well, but I've already done that!
Until then, bye!