So today was my longest bike trip yet (30 miles) with a round trip to the M6, along the Trans Pennine Trail from Manchester.

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Was a fun ride quite enjoyable though the way home was into the wind which made it less fun.

Was surprised at the amount of infrastructure in place including this bridge over the M60.

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My new tyres did ok, though they have noticeably less grip in mud which is to be expected. I plan to ride all the way to Warrington (and perhaps even Liverpool) but will need to set off earlier so as to have time once there.

But here is my bike,

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and me under the M6.

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After a week of many punctures around Manchester I decided it was time to upgrade my 15 year old tyres to new ones. Had a few suggestions from friends and ended up getting a set of Schwalbe Marathon Plus (26×1.5) tyres. The decision was made on the basis that most of my riding is done on the road now and the little off road I do tends to be on cycle paths and the such.

So fitting them is more work than my previous tyres, significantly more so, but I did get them on using only my hands so not to bad and I suspect there is a nack to it. Admittedly the purpose of the tyres would suggest that I should never learn the nack which I suspect is why the tyres have a reputation for being hard to get on.

My first ride on them today was ok, a ride up to Popup Bikes for the Wheelers Brunch. I had heard a few remarks about how them slid a bit in bad weather but they seamed ok in the wet today and the little bit of snow on the ground. The ride was however noticeably quieter and perhaps a little quicker, though I suspect that says more about the inherent unsuitability of my old tyres (off road 26×2.0).

Will see how it goes.

Had the opportunity this evening to get along to the last Freedom Principle, at least the last one at Sandbar.

Was great to hear A Greater Horror play, was an interesting set with a great fusion of noise and groove and some very polished interaction between Mauricio Pauly (on bass guitar), Alex Tod (on kit). Sam Andreae played an interesting solo set in support with some rich detail and a lot of control throughout. He joined A Greater Horror through a couple of there tracks though for me they were less satisfying lacking the deeper control present in the individual performances. A good gig and well worth seeing either play if you get the chance.

So rode home from Willslow via Manchester airport an enjoyable ride and means that I have know riden the whole of the Manchester Airport Orbital route in two sessions.

The southern side of the route has a lot more cycle lanes but runs alongside the road so I think I prefer the eastern and northern part of the route which has more country lanes on it. Having said that there was a pleasant surprise between Roaring Gate Lane and the A560 along an unsurfaced road which was much nicer than following cycle route 85 through the south of Wynthenshaw.

Finally finished off the ride by rejoing route 85 and getting to carry the bike over lots of motor bike obstacles and finally picking up a slow puncture around Chorlton Water Park. Managed to get some air from Ken Fosters Cycle Logic which got me home but it is time to think about tyres as picking up a lot of punctures.

Last Saturday I enjoyed a trip to the Manchester Opera House to see The 39 Steps. A comedy version of the Alfred Hitchcock classic. Was very, very funny with the small cast of 4 (plus a ninth hand) giving a great showing, I think my highlight was the scene on the train, in which even Durham got a brief mention! Plan to do more theatre trips in the future.