Friday, 4 March 2011

Out and about... (slight reprise)

OK. You know the format. I tell you about my bikeride. I show the route on Google Earth, then I set the bit I videoed to music.

This time, instead of heading north, I went the other way. I had no clear objective in mind apart from just following the river southwards. I'd seen a bit of cycleway that ran along the dockside and wanted to give that a go, but in the end I went much further, to Tranmere Oil Terminal. Going south, it wasn't as traffic free as my previous ride had been. There were points where I had to travel along, or next to, some busy roads.

At Tranmere Oil Terminal, it was no longer possible to follow the banks of the river. I'd have had to ride along a 50 mph dual carriageway, or through New Ferry and Rock Ferry (Yes, it's what singer Duffy's album title comes from) Noisy, polluted and more dangerous, (the road, not the duffy album) which ever way I chose, so at that point, I turned around and retraced my steps.

My route took me around the back of Wallasey Town Hall, an impressive enough edifice, especially from the banks of the river, more so than from the road. I suppose they were trying to impress the people across the river, It took me past the ventilation shafts for both Mersey Road Tunnels. The newer, Kingsway tunnel's shafts are a modernist concrete. The older tunnel's brick built shafts are more art deco, as is a lot of it's associated architecture. You can read and see a whole load of stuff about the Queensway tunnel at the excellent CBRD site. This includes a video trip through the tunnel, (not set to music) and a written and photographic history. The Birkenhead shaft kind of reminds me of the Empire State Building.

                                                                                                        (image from here)

My trip also took in Birkenhead Priory, a 12th century monestary, and I think Wirral's oldest surviving structure, the two ferry terminals in Seacombe and Woodside, and the enormous shibuilding hall of Cammel Laird shipyard

I suppose Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" would have been an appropriate tune to put the video to, but sadly it's too short.

However, Elvis Costello's excellent "Tokyo Storm Warning" is exactly the required 6 minutes and 24 seconds.

Sadly, as I climbed the hill up from the river back to my street, one of my pedals broke. I won't be doing any more cycling until I've got that sorted.

Once again, this ride took me about 10 or 11 miles. In this case, I gained/lost about 580 feet in altitude along the length of the ride, from a high point of 89 feet above (mean) sea level to 0 feet above sea level. Because I went somewhere and came back by more or less the same route, the elevation profile is almost symmetrical.

Now, here's that nice Mr MacManus with some lovely images of the Liverpool skyline, and Egremont Promenade.

We're only living this instant.

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