Day 5-Chester to Shrewsbury 58.5 miles-2200 feet of elevation

An earlier rollout with a better organization to route with Sustrans maps, Strava and some with Garmin. I must admit that the weather has been fantastic.

We took some steps down to a canal and onto a path out of Chester. 

It was an easy roll out but started to head upward after we got off the toll path. 

We had a mile hill that was definitely hill of the day. The name, Hartshill. 

We rolled on through there to Malpas. 

We left there after some more climbing and descending to get lost from our group for awhile and later we found them on the road. We had NO garmin just data free Strava and Sustrans maps. 

We had fish and chips at the Bull and Dog. Rich bought me lunch on my birthday. 

The bar.                        Photo credit John Ilenin

Onward we went and the images. 

With the distance and questioning almost every turn the day got longer and we had another loss of people in the group due to some fatigue and overall pace but we got to our hotel pretty tired but safe. More tomorrow. Happy birthday to me! Peace out Tres

Day 4-Liverpool to Chester 40 miles

We had a great group meal at Shiraz’s Turkish BBQ. The crazy Liverpudlian in the yellow shirt is our very own John Edwards or “Eddo”. A C2C 2016 alum. Great to be with him.

I had eaten there when I first got to Liverpool. Fabulous. I had grilled Sea Bass. 

We had an early up for breakfast and meet our tour operator Shane. He would collect our luggage every morning except on the rest days and take it to the next hotel. He would be fitting all the rented bikes up this morning. Bittersweet leaving Liverpool. 

Eddo and Marie Edwards

Getting ready. 

We rode down to the Mersey Ferry. 

We got off the ferry and down the way of the water we went. 

A tea break with biscuits at mile 10 then we went toward West Kirby. 

Me and two friends got a little off route but the scenery was lovely. 

Lunch in Parkgate. 

Not to long after lunch Chrysa has a frustrating flat that could only be marginally repaired. She went back to SAG. It was typical of some folks days.Some more pictures of an interesting route. 

We were approaching Chester and the bike lane narrowed and we started stopping a lot for cattle gates on the route. Sorry too busy to get pic. Then Chester. 

Bigger day tomorrow. Less set up. Peace out Tres

Day 3-Liverpool

Sleepy rollout. My roommate John had the travel nightmare with weather and missed connections the entire way. We walked toward the water. 

Some art.

We did a turn through the pier master’s house. 

We met some other friends and went to the the Beatles Story. 

Office recreation of the Mersey Beat.

Had great fish and chips on the Albert Dock. We the went to the Maritime Museum. Free.

We walked back and the Liverpool City Hall was open. This was kind of rare. 

I took John down to Mathew St. for a Beatles Cavern Club and Pub look. 

Group dinner tonight. On the bikes tomorrow. Internet here best I have had in hotel. May be dodgy after today. Peace out Tres

Day 2 in Liverpool

Slept like my buddy Darren says “like a spanked baby”. Over 11 hours. It was 2 days in one. Great continental breakfast in too small a breakfast room. Put the Strong together and found a bike shop near the hotel. 

It took me toward Chinatown. Kind of. That is the beauty of the bike. 

This route lead me to the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. OMG really. First time I had seen neon in a church. Everything in side was either historical or progressive.

The grounds outside were great with a cafe where I had a local dish called Scouse, vegan, which they called blind scouse. 

I learned Rich and Chrysa we’re here so I parked the bike and went to see them. They were Knackered. Along the way. 

I went back and got a real beard trim and my bike and rode down to the water. I went the industrial way first. They appeared to be putting in a bike path but it’s construction was still underway. 

The only art I saw along this way. 

I went back down to the nice waterfront and this was what I saw. 

Tate Gallery in Liverpool had a Keith Haring exhibit. Super cool. 

I took loads of pics. Some images from the black light room. I cannot post all of them but will give you a taste. 

Huge great day. Meeting friends for dinner. Peace out Tres

Liverpool Bound

A non stop on British Airways to London and a train from there to Liverpool. A C2C Reunion Ride from Liverpool to Portsmouth with a side trip before the end to the Isle of Wight. It was raining when I got to airport. The flight was very civilized. 3 seats for me.

A good wait for the train I booked but I was early and it was easy with killer cappuccino. 

I had to take the Gatwick Express first class to London Victoria station. WOW what a place. 

I had to get to a tube, Victoria line, to Euston Station. I had a little over 100 lbs of packed gear and bike. You would think I would learn. It was doable. Everyone waited for the platform to be assigned for that train. A gentleman I was standing next to said this happened a lot for this Liverpool train. 

Then like  Pamplona’s running of the bulls. A gentleman I was standing next to this happened a lot for this Liverpool train. I was in first class and had a table to myself. 

My train was the most direct from Gatwick. The countryside rolling by. 

Liverpool Lime Street Station was cool. 

A taxi to my hotel, Ibis Styles, in the city center with a Beatles vibe. The view from my top floor room. 

It was hard not to sleep but I am so close to things I went for a walk downtown. I am knackered. The view from where the elevator is.

Right outside my hotel door. 

The walk downtown very near to my hotel on Stanley and Mathew Sts. revealed a LGBTQ community and the Cavern Club which gave the Beatles their start. More on The Beatles tomorrow probably.

A little further down Water St. before the Mersey River waterfront. 

At the waterfront. The buildings are called the Three Graces. One is the Royal Liver Building. 

The next building is the Cunard Building. 

The third building is the Port of Liverpool Building.

The waterfront also has statues of the Fab Four and the Mersey Ferry. The same ferry the C2C bike group is taking in a couple of days. 

Bike lights. More tomorrow. Peace out Tres

RAGBRAI-Day 7-Burlington to Keokuk, Iowa-70 miles with 1900 feet of elevation

We stayed inside the YMCA the last night and it made the getaway easier. 

It was another beautiful day. 

We went into Denmark, Iowa. 

We got back on the road and big panoramas again. 

The route had us at Donnellson, Iowa and who do I see Chris Conn. 

The road takes you down to the Mississippi. 

The forest next to the river. 

The Mississippi River Road that tools us along the River was amazing. 

The week was incredible. Thanks for coming along. Peace. Tres

RAGBRAI-Day 6-Fairfield to Burlington, Iowa-71 miles with 1800 feet of elevation. 

An early start on a somewhat overcast but nice day. 

The first town was cool. 

The road was grand and open. 

The barns along the way were incredible some over a 100 years old. 

We went into Geode State Park and it was so lush and green. We met 2 Iowa DNR rangers and compared notes about the park and Burlington. See featured image. Real nice guys and funny. Like last year’s Iowa State Trooper selfie. 

Burlington was very cool on the Mississippi River. They have a Class A franchise of the Los Angeles Angels here, the Burlington Bees. Cool little stadium. 

Finale coming up. Peace out Namaste Tres