Firstly, yes, I am aware today is not midwinters day. However, it's the closest ride out to said day. With my chain sorted and my back box packed with flask, Flipcam and still camera, spare gloves and a copy of MCN, all I needed was a direction.
My intention was to head for Leeds stopping for breakfast at the Multiflight Cafe on route then over Ilkley Moor to Howarth and Hebden Bridge. From I wanted to ride to Colne staying well away from main or busy roads, stopping from time to time to get some video footage. This map shows what I was aiming to do.
View Larger Map
Unfortunately, my simplistic plan to allow my phone to get me from A to B using Android's onboard satnav turned out to be a fail for a few reasons. Firstly, as Beth and Tom were in Nursery, the phone was primarily there so that they could contact me. Secondly, I began using the SatNav straight from breakfast at the airport. By Hebden the battery was low and I couldn't allow it to die. I figured I could just let it navigate me into the middle of the area I was headed and then switch off all power draining functions allowing the phone to be a phone. It probably would have worked if I had selected the correct location. I didn't so the last of the battery was used up taking me a long way too a National Trust place which may warrant a visit another day with less in the way of body armour and more in the way of time.
In the end, I was forced to see what happened and let the battery rest. What happened was this.
View Larger Map
It was all slow going and the roads were packed. To be fair, the scenery was rather lovely. Though I bought a map in Todmorden hoping to atone for my idiotic attempt to rely on SatNav. It proved useless without a tankbag or map case. Eventually, I reverted to good old fashioned 'head in the direction of somewhere you know and see what happens.' Skipton I knew. Burnley I didn't. It was a little like driving in Bradford (and I assume the Asian Subcontinent) with people appearing to have a different approach to road traffic rules. You have to drive as though everyone is probably going to try and kill you. Of course, I mention this almost in jest as I don't live there and hopefully won't ever need to go back. What gets me is that people live there and must just accept it. Why?
Thankfully, it wasn't a wasted ride. I really loved what I saw, filmed two shots Gaurav Jani style, enjoyed most of the miles and learned a lot about navigation. I've always been comfortable riding the dales and moors and trying new roads without the use of maps but I know those areas so well. It meant I was unprepared when I tried to do the same in a much more highly populated area. One things for sure, I need to do it again, but next time with the right equipment and a little bit of preparation.
On a final note, it turns out that the Scott Oiler is doing really well now. Unfortunately, it used 400 miles of oil in 100 miles today thus the back tyre looked like this when I got home. OOPS! Other lesson I learned to day... Always check the delivery rate when you adjust the oiler.
Horrible Splattery Nightmare on Rear Tyre