The plane ride here is behind me, all the bike and gear made it without incident. The plane ride was mostly without incident. A 3.5 hour delay because of plane troubles in Chicago meant getting into Manchester at 7 A.M. became more like noon. All in all not really bad. The plane to England was not very crowed so I got 2 aisle seats to myself so I got a few hours sleep.
Then there is the rental car. I had to call a shuttle to pick me up at the airport and get me to an off site rental car location. Easirent car rental, yeah, I’ve never heard of it either but the compact wagon was cheap and as it turned out quite nice. Honda Civic wagon, diesel 6 speed. I got all the gear in but didn’t have a map to get to my home for the week. Back inside, no maps but they did print out a Mapquest route. The car was almost new, but as they explained things they said, “we don’t put much fuel in them, bring it back that way” Interesting. Off I go and within a mile or so I am getting lost. I keep returning to the same start area and try to get on M56 north but without much luck. I can’t quite figure out directions yet and there is no compass in the car so I finally head down what feels like the right road but I am dangerously low on fuel and hope there is a petrol station soon. Finally a Texaco, not sure how to pay for it, no pay at the pump so I go inside and get that sorted, fill up and then pay inside, obviously not many drive aways here. As I pay I asked directions and sure enough, I am headed in the opposite way. Time to turn around and go back again. I was hoping to let Google maps get me around but that isn’t connecting, at least not in this area. I finally get onto M56 headed to M60 and start to get a feel for driving on the left and seeing lots of different signage. I’m doing good until the exit to the local streets when I miss my left at a round about and start back onto M56, crap. I hate when people do this but I’m getting desperate, I back up the ramp and finally get into the round about headed the right direction. The instructions are ok so far but now there are a whole bunch of turns, one right after the other. I pull into a MacDonalds parking lot and settled down and review. I try Google again and magically it is working. That’s a relief because the next 2 miles is one turn right after another. It would have been all day going the last little distance. All of a sudden I am at the house (24 hours plus 6 later) but there are about 4-5 house that look the same. Linsey TXT, Which House? Next thing I know Linsey is out front and my travel ordeal for now is over. Time to unpack, build a bike, go to the track (by car again, only a few miles away) go the grocery store, make dinner, relax and try to stay up until 9 or 10 to get acclimated. Made it all happen.
Linsey had a warm up session at the track at 10 A.M. , so we both drove together following the back way in, really quick to get there, within easy walking distance, 1-2 miles maybe? Both of us on rollers, then she did her 6 lap effort, very fast and then back to the grocery store, which is an easy walk from the track, load the car and back home to eat, relax and screw off on electronic media.
I eventually got bored and decided to go for a walk up towards the main road and see what was there. A local pub came into view to I went in for a beer and see what was going on. Not much but it looked like a warm up for Friday night action. Mostly guys, but a few ladies and some kids. I tried to get some food but all they had were “crisps” and nuts, all the pies were sold out. The bar tender finally warmed up and asked where I was from and told me about a hand full of “take away” food places just down the road. Off I went and found the Spicy Mango, Indian food. A couple of orders to go and back to the house to share some dinner with Linsey and James.