“I can’t believe this, it’s bloody tipping it down!” were the first words out of my mouth on Tuesday morning.
The rain was bouncing off the conservatory roof directly under our bedroom window, amplified by the glass it sounded like a tropical thunder storm. As it happens it was just a light shower, nothing to worry about for a weather hardened “ biker boy” like me. Still it always puts a downer on proceedings, especially when you’ve promised to take your dear wife with you on your next Gold Post Box expedition. My plan was to “mop up” the few new Gold Post Boxes that had recently been painted around Manchester.
Luckily for us by the time Lilie Rose & Ben where ready for school the sun was starting to show through the grey clouds and the rain was down to almost nothing. Dry enough in fact for Ben & I to walk up to school or so we thought. As soon as we were at the top of the road it came down again, still nothing like a cool September shower to get you moving. We ran the rest of the way to school.
“Love You” Ben said followed with a kiss
“Love you too sweetheart” I replied instinctively enjoying every moment of Ben’s affection. “Enjoy it while it lasts Raymondo, you never know when it will dry up” Mind, I thought to myself. Knowing Ben as I do I know it will never “dry up”.
I arrived back home rather damp around the edges but at least the sun was out. Jeannie was planning on going shopping but as soon as she saw the weather change it was a no brainer.
“Right are we going then?” came the question from the other room
“Yes we can do, thought you were off shopping?”
“It can wait!”
“It can wait!”
Within half an hour we were pulling off the drive heading for our the “Storey Family Gold Run”
4 Gold Post Boxes, 3 for Sarah (more to follow on Sarah’s number 4) & one for hubby Barney. How amazing is that? Plus a quick nip over to Leigh to photograph Heather Frederiksen’s Gold Post Box.
Tuesday 11th September - Day 6 Daily Mileage 184 – Total 1117
Manchester. Heading around Manchester on the M60 as opposed to last time riding straight through the centre proved to be a bit quicker and easier but very boring. Not really what I wanted for Jeannie on her first #GoldBoxJourney as they call it on Twitter. Still I was pleased when I heard Jeannie shout out with just a touch of excitement
“Look it’s over there in the wall!”
She’d spotted Barneys Gold Post Box in the wall at the side of Disley Post Office.
“Brilliant, I can’t do a U-turn here and the sat nav is telling me to carry on. I must have put Sarah’s Gold Post Box in by mistake”
“It’s OK we can pick it up on the way back”
Pulling Up at The White Lion Pub on Buxton Road I the wet paint sign and the three cones had gone. It was actually dry this time.
“Right time to “bag” your first Gold Post Box, Sarah Storey’s”
Off I climbed and stood in the road to get a cracking photo of J on the bike.
“Right let’s get back to the post office and get that one”
Jeannie "Bag's" her first Gold Post Box
Sarah Storey Gold medal Women's Cycling: Track C5 Pursuit
Pulling up in the parking bay in front of the post office there was a Refuse collection truck slap bang in front of the Gold Post Box. After 3 failed attempts to get the drivers attention. As he was busy playing on his mobile phone, (they must have been on a break- as his two co-workers were tucking into 11’s. in the cab). The driver jumped out to ask what was wrong. I explained what we were doing and could we swap place, and like a true gentleman he did just that.
Once we’d sorted that out the next thing was to get a good photo. Lo and behold there were two elderly gentlemen one with a cracking camera who were happy to oblige. They had been trying to ask the refuse truck driver if he knew where the other Gold Post Box was as he climbed back in the cab after speaking to us.
So here’s a great big thank you to the nice chap who took a cracking photo of Jeannie & I in front of Barney Storeys Gold Post Box.
Market Street Disley
Gold medal Cycling Track: Men's Individual B 1km Time Trial
Now if you’re in the area, can I just let you into a secret. The ride between Sarah’s and Barney’s Gold Post Boxes is .3 of a mile. Sarah’s next Gold Post Box is just 5.3 miles down the road but here’s the thing it is the most amazing 5 miles I have ridden to date. Beautiful is not a good enough word to describe the stunning little, single track in places, called Middlewood Road. The road runs straight through the centre of a wood and Davenport Golf Course. It is a brilliant little stretch of road, over cobbles in places, over a single gated railway track through woodland and then into the stunningly beautiful village of Poynton.
Finding the Gold Post Box in the middle of the village without a sat nav would have been a nightmare but with the powers of modern technology we had no such issues.
A quick thank you to the young chap heading back to school or college for taking the all-important photo, even after your friend had refused due to being soaked to the skin in his t-shirt. Obviously the plastic bag on his head hadn’t done its job!
Yew Tree Lane Poynton
Gold Medal Cycling Track: Women's Individual C4-5 500m Time Trial
Next stop, Eccles. Here’s me praising said sat nav when it takes us all the way around Manchester on the M60 adding 5 miles to the route. Then at the exact moment it needs to point me in the right direction on the roundabout, decides to sulk & promptly freezes, great! Luckily I had a good idea which exit to take and within 2 minutes we were pulling up at the side of Sarah’s third Gold Post Box (Yes I know she won 4 Gold’s just bear with me) to get a quick photo.
I’d like to thank the chap sat in his car watching me take the picture and valiantly getting out to take a picture of the two of us, but he didn’t so I won’t bother!
Eccles Old Road Eccles
Sarah Storey Gold medal Cycling Track: Women's Individual C5 Pursuit
It was at this point that Jeannie fessed up that she was soaked to the bone, well to be 100% accurate, she had a wet backside. So decision time it was 11 miles up the road to Leigh or 20 miles straight home. Leigh won.
Now talk about a nightmare. The ride across the Great East Lanc’s Road was a doddle. Zigzagging through Leigh’s side streets was horrendous both into and out of the town. It was like a mini American style grid with constantly changing traffic priorities. One word, bonkers. Still Heathers Gold Post Box stands proud even if it is on the other side of the street to the co-ordinates on a particular site who will remain nameless for reasons that will become clear very soon.
Market Place Leigh
Heather Frederiksen Gold Medal Swimming: Women's 100m Backstroke, S8
“Right that’s the last photo taken for this morning, what now?”
“Home please, it’s been great but I should have bought those new waterproof trousers last week in Fleetwood Yamaha”
“OK, I’ll drop you off and head over to Leeds and Skipton for the last two of the day”
Heading back across the East Lancs I shouted over to see if Jeannie fancied lunch out at the Wine Press at the side of Hollingworth Lake.
“That would be nice” came the positive reply.
I’d forgotten to mention as we rode away from Barneys Gold Post Box for some strange reason we lost com’s and so the rest of the ride had been done with just one way communication. J could hear me but I could not hear her, “Bliss” you may say but no fun at all for J listening to me berate all the mobile phone users, the drivers that pullback in front of you so close you can smell there fag smoke, the strange folk who just sit at traffic lights way after they have turned green because they are simply in a world of their own.
Don’t you just love riding Raymondo?
Lunch was very nice thank you, Whitebait starter for me Smoked Salmon for Jeannie.
Cheeseburger with Bacon and chunky fries for me, Mushroom Risotto for Jeannie.
Cola, Diet Tonic & a Coffee, “that’ll be £35 please………………….. and a bloated feeling for half an hour. Bliss.
Leeds. A quick pit stop at home to drop Jeannie off after “bagging” her first 5 Gold Post Boxes and getting her #GoldBoxJourney off to a flying start. I was off over to Rawdon on the outskirts of Leeds. A little deja vu crept in as the Gold Post Box is located 1 mile up the road from Horsforth where I had visited last week. Still I was just about to clear all the local Gold Post Boxes or so I thought. It only took just over half an hour to get there as the M62 car park was clear for the first time in months, result. Mind there are quite a few night closures planned so beware travellers!
Town Street Rawdon
David Stone Gold medal Cycling: Mixed T 1-2 Road Race
Skipton. As I was alone there was no reason to find someone to take the photo so within 2 minutes of arriving at David Stones Gold Post Box I was off again. Mind it was in a really nice location on the corner of the street right at the side of the street name sign. Whereas Danielle Brown’s Gold Post Box is slap bang in the middle of town. As look would have it there was a lady in a BMW X5 parked at the front of the taxi rank waiting for her little children to post a couple of post cards in the Gold Post Box so I quickly pulled up in front of her and jumped off, took the photo and was back on Mr T in a flash. Mission accomplished!
Swadford Street Skipton
Danielle Brown Gold medal Archery: Women's Individual Compound - Open
The ride home was very enjoyable as I took the back roads over to Accrington to call in at Winfields as I knew that have a café with a few Motorbikes on display. Plus I’ve been after buying a Leatherman Wave Multi Tool for a while & I know they stock a very good selection.
Just my luck, the Leatherman I wanted was the only one not in the sale, typical & to cap it off the café had just closed. “Time to go straight home me thinks Raymondo” Still it’s been a cracking day which I’ve loved sharing with Jeannie. Thank you darling for getting involved and more so for putting up with my current “Obsession”.
Day Six - 6 Gold Post Boxes
“I can’t bloody believe this”
“We missed one……….. ahhhhgggg”
Unbelievable, I knew there would be 4 Gold Post Boxes for Sarah Storey and there are, NOW!
Downloading the photos and adding the title, name, gold medal, event, by looking on Gold Post Box Finder site it jumped out at me. Sarah Storeys fourth Gold Post Box is in Maccelsfield just 7.3 miles from where Jeannie & I had been earlier. Unbelievable.
Note to self, do not just rely on Wikipedia for coordinates double check with Gold Post box Finder too!
So folk’s that way yesterday, “so what’s next?” I here you ask. Well I’ve been looking at my Mapsource Map of locations and there are 6 main areas which I intend to cover.
1) Wales – 7 remaining which will be done in a single 500 mile trip
2) South West – 16 remaining which will be split into two trips possibly 3
3) London & Surrounding Area – 24 ish which will be one big 2 day trip
4) Lincoln, Norfolk, Peterborough – is another day
5) Ashton & Nottingham - I will do with my Dad also called Ray which means a 120 years’ worth of Ray Walton’s on one bike. How fantastic will that be?
6) Scotland – 890 mile round trip planned 1 possibly 2 days
7) Sark – see below
8) Isle of Man – I’m saving the best till last. More to come on this later.
Right Sark. What a performance, Flights to Guernsey £300+, chartered boat £3,000 madness!
So when will I be going? Tomorrow Thursday 13th September is the answer. Cost - £30 return. Now how fantastic is that? Seek and thou shalt find is my motto. Pool to Guernsey 8.30am returning 9.45pm £30 return on with Condorferries. Outstanding.
Transfer to Sark Late Bird Ticket £18.52 – “Job’s a Goodun”………………
Last but not least I’d like to thank Dave Avery for kindly allowing me to park Mr T up on his drive for the very long day’s trip to Sark via Guernsey.
Dave you are an absolute star, thank you so very much.
Right folks I need to do a bit of sorting out so until the next time, happy #GoldBoxJourney’s everyone.