Return to Whittle Wanderer

Galway, Portumna, Birr Great Telescope, Kildare, Wicklow, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
(5 day bike-pack)
Thu 21 May - Tue 26 May 2015

Thu 21 May 2015

Thu 21 May 2015
Fri 22 May 2015
Sat 23 May 2015
Sun 24 May 2015
Mon 25 May 2015
Tue 26 May 2015
Before setting off I was horrified to find one of the top metal arms on my front right pannier frame had snapped. A section lower down had snapped about a year ago but I managed to repair it with a metal brace, epoxy resin and tight nylon chord lashing. It held well and was still secure. As it wasn't taking much strain I wasn't too concerned. This latest fracture was more serious because being one of two top sections it took a lot of strain. I tried the same repair method then set off for a short test ride to Withnell Fold. While riding home I decided the safest course of action was to try and replace it. I phoned Merlin Cycles on Buckshaw but they didn't stock front panniers. Then I contacted Paul Hewitt Cycles in Leyland who did have some.

A new Tubus pannier rack

There wasn't time to drive there and back and fit them so I packed the bike and called on my way to Preston railway station. They had some similar to my old ones but the best were a set of Tubus front racks. The full price was 90 but as they'd been fitted on a bike already Gethin said he'd do them at half price. It took quite a bit of work to fit them as wide spacers were needed at the bottom to allow the front wheel to fit. It was after 5pm when they were finished so I paid 52 which included fitting and set off for Preston Railway Station.

On the Virgin train

 I was there in less than half an hour. My plan is to escape to Ireland for a few days. I'd previously bought a rail & sail ticket which included the train from Preston and the ferry crossing from Holyhead with my bike. The return price for me was 70, the bike 20 and a 4 booking fee. Making 94 which is much cheaper than booking ferry and train separately. I had a bike reservation on the Virgin train leaving Preston at 18:17. I took it as far as Crewe where I changed trains to Holyhead. The railway station is integral with the ferry terminal so I only had to wheel my bike down the ramp and through the doors to the Stena desk.

Arriving at Holyhead