An impromptu trip to the dentist meant an 8mile roadtrip to leigh, 8 miles off-road/sustrans to monton another 8mile on road to work then 13miles home off-road, all on tired legs, a good test for the all rounder-ness of the day one. This gearing feels exactly halfway between pompino and the 456*, still seemed a bit spinny on the way to leigh but apart from the climb out of bolton it's mostly downhill. Got to leigh feeling OK. Quick sit down in the chair, thankfully nowt painful then off again, been a while since I've ridden around the leigh/tyldesley country, the dirt roads were mainly OK but with occasional patches of dirt coloured ice, sneaky, by the time I spotted them I couldn't avoid them, so slowly breathe out, stay loose, think smooth thoughts and once back on terrafirma then scream like a girl. Looks like there's been some surfacing work been done on the paths here. Most of the tracks leading to route 55 were OK, just a couple of icey/boggy sections but I'm probably seeing them at their winter best, next week after a few days of mild temps and rain they may well be horrible.
Route 55 was despatched quickly, much nicer on bigger softer tyres and lower gearing, I tried a new route near swinton golf club that seemed to be going in the right direction, resulted in a 2 mile loop and ending up not far from where I started, ho hum. Easy spin into Manchester, still felt a little undergeared but not too bad. Down a big flight of stairs to the canal at the YHA, wrists took a bit of a battering but not too bad, then along the canal to work. Another day another route home, I went via the train line and pendlebury canal, despite my tired little leggys I was pretty swift along there, then back on the singletrack and prestolee canal, got home feeling great, really enjoyable commute. So after all that I'm pretty happy with the bike, extended road rides might be a pain (tho not as soul destroying as mtb SS road sections) but hopefully I won't be riding too many of those anyway. If I can keep up the xc commuting through a few weeks of wet winter weather I reckon there's a good chance I'll be flogging my pompino.
day one 63"
so I wasn't too far off