Do you believe in fate? I think I do, too many good things have happened in my life at just the right time the biggest example being our combined house move back up north, job relocation and Maria’s arrival.
Victoria the Field News Editor from Sky definately believes in fate because as she was sat in her car scratching her head in an obscure corner of deepest darkest Salford she found me. I had just crossed the Adephi footbridge on my ride home from work when she flagged me down. She was armed with Sat nav, a GPS phone, laptop and a pad of scribbled directions but was nowhere near the Trans Pennine Trail, Eccles or Great Ancoats street which were the 3 things she had to link together for a bike ride for Dermot Murnaghan.
Next week Dermot is riding the Trans Pennine Trail stopping off at various points to tell us that the recession is over, or not as that bad as all that, or at least that things are changing in some pockets of the country. He wanted to do as much riding off road as possible but around Manchester the network of canals and rivers is hard to figure out from a car driver’s perspective. Could Victoria have chanced upon anyone in the world better placed to give her the info she needed? I doubt it.
She knew he would be riding from Warrington to Manchester and the TPT was the obvious way to do most of the mileage. I rode that exact section as part of my C2C training though in the opposite direction so could tell her that from Thelwall it was straight-foward, flat, well signed and not too muddy although his £8,000 MTB would probably manage anything Greater Manchester would have to throw at him. Victoria was asking about the Bridgewater canal which she seemed to think she was beside (rather than the Irwell) and I told her that I had found the section through Trafford Park navigable a couple of years ago although there are few access points. The spur off into Salford rather than Manchester would take him as far as the Barton crossing then he would be on road to Eccles.
I took great delight in telling her I signed the safer/quieter route from Eccles to Manchester so knew many of the lamposts along the way better than the local dogs. I also gave him a route through Manchester City centre that hightlighted the new Spinningfields district, the tram line extensions and the regenerated Northern Quarter. I taked her through the route but we exchanged e-mails and I created a route for him/her using Run Finder, let’s just hope Dermot doesn’t get lost, mugged, runover or punctured next Monday.