Camchain and tensioner seen up close in a cutaway bike engine

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Escape From Ironman

Leading Up To 3 July 2021

By Ren Withnell

On Sunday 4 July 2021 Bolton and several towns around will be hosting "Ironman". Say what?! A brief little dip involving a 2.4 mile swim in a nature reserve. And a pleasant bicycle ride covering 112 miles with lots of steep hills so you get a good view. To finish off this lovely day a marathon, running up and down a main road in Bolton to ensure you can find Morrisons should you ever need it. 

If you ever feel the need to use up any of that excess energy I'm sure you all have you can find more details at www.ironman.com. Speaking personally I believe I could complete this Ironman challenge. It would take me the best part of 1 year but I could do it. 

The gentlefolks who do take on this challenge do it all in one day though. I have the utmost admiration for these people and their dedication to, errr, self improvement and keeping fit. They are proof of what the feeble human body can achieve. I also believe that such events are good for the area. They help put us on the map, they bring visitors and money and prestige to an area otherwise recently famous for leading Covid numbers.

I support this event. It however brings chaos to the local roads including the main road near my humble abode. As such it seems wise to ensure that I am elsewhere during this event. If I am not home then they are not in my way and equally I am not in their way.

A typical yellow diversion sign by the side of a road
There'll be lots and lots of these on Sunday.

Oh, but what to do. Rather than leaving home early this time I shall ensure I'm away, somewhere nice. Sharon and I could go camping or book a room out in the countryside?

Citizen Parker (Power to the PEOPLE! Come the revolution! Sharon is somewhat left-wing) is otherwise engaged. Since Covid - Sharon, as a council worker, has been working on the council's phones. From dealing with Covid queries ("I'm disabled, I need help with shopping") through booking people in for vaccinations and now track-n-trace she has been busy. Really busy. Really really busy.

Sharon pretends to be extra small to get onto a child's ride
Sharon. Leader of The United People's Front, Covid hero and everyday fool.

If you were horrible and evil (ie me) you could say she's profited from Covid because she's full time now with a full time income. If you were kind you could say she's been working harder than ever trying her damndest to provide the best service possible for the population of her area. Even with her best efforts track-n-trace is struggling to keep up.

So Citizen Parker is now the dynamic go-getting money grabbing would sell her granny Executive Parker. She'll be voting conservative next time, selling shares in the NHS and wearing sharp power suits. She's currently sitting on a leather bound office chair stroking piles of cash while minions beg her for another lump of coal for the fire. 

Sharon stands holding a large fence pole looking menacing and cruel
Obey or feel my wrath! Executive Parker will not tolerate disobedience.

I am teasing, she's pulling her tripe out on those phones and computers. She's got some overtime on Sunday. While she's still left wing even Sharon will admit the extra cash will help make ends meet, maybe even help pay for a nice holiday if we're ever allowed one.

Alas and alack, it seems I must venture forth on my lonesome. But where? I call a campsite, the answerphone informs me they're fully booked for the weekend. Each cheap room I ponder on Airbnb is already snapped up each time I go to pull the trigger. Another campsite wants £30 for a patch of grass and I'm informed will be busy. Eventually I call Nun Cote Nook campsite who will provide the grass for £7. As they say in Yorkshire "That'll do".

The smart bedroom of a static caravan
£30? Does that include a comfy bed and English breakfast? No?!

I spend the Friday night at Sharon's place. We dine on caviar and lobster while watching a film on her new 60 inch oLED TV before going to bed in her new satin and Egyptian cotton covered double king size bed. We settle in as the maid finishes tidying downstairs. No, wait. I eat before arrival as she'll be too knackered to make a proper meal.

The weather forecast is non too good, it seems I am to be a moist camper. Saturday morning brings the rain much to Sharon's cat's disdain. Before lunch I load up the bike and bid Executive Parker a fond farewell. She's off to an important business meeting with a team working in waste management this afternoon. Well, that's how I see it. She says "I'm taking all this crap to the tip"...


Advertise here - contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Escape From Ironman Facing a weekend of disruption Ren thinks it wise to be out of everyone's way. If only he could keep out the way more often the world would be a better place for all.

Reader's Comments

Snod said :-
£7?? I've just stayed at a campsite at the south of the Peak District for £6 a night. You was robbed!
https://manifoldvalleycampsite.co.uk/...
12/07/2021 14:24:34 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Oh no! I appear to have been stitched up proper style Snod. I could be a pound richer, GRRR!

I thank you for posting this. Google tells me Manifold Valley Campsite is but 60 miles from my hovel. I think it would be just perfect for an easy winter's break or an evening away when I (we) suddenly just want to be somewhere else for the night. That's a damn good call Snod, cheers.
12/07/2021 16:30:58 UTC
Snod said :-
The only caveat with Manifold Valley is there are no showers, though the toilets are perfectly serviceable. Whether this is a problem depends on whether you're one of those highfalutin Lord types, or if you know your place like what I do..
12/07/2021 18:07:23 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
No showers? I'll be fine as long as it's not in December - that's when I treat myself to my annual hosing down.
12/07/2021 23:12:24 UTC

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