Jodrell Bank Observatory
February 05, 2019

My first World Heritage Site visit in Europe was one that I had not expected to make, and one that was also exceedingly brief. In Brazil I foolishly snapped off the left-hand shift lever on my set of Campy Veloce controls. It seemed to me that the best way to deal with that would be to have it repaired at a Campagnolo service center when I reached the United Kingdom. I might have assumed that such a center would be located in, or near, London. However, in reality I would need to visit the northern part of England to take care of that situation. It was a quick and simple train ride to get there, but doing so would and a few extra days to my already tight schedule. To partly make up for that, I would at least be able to add a quick visit to another World Heritage Site, the Jodrell Bank Observatory, which is located not far from where I needed to be to have the repair made.

Jodrell Bank, an observatory run by the University of Manchester, is where some of the first large radio telescopes were built during the twentieth century and has made many important contributions to our understanding of the Universe. It was inscribed on the List only last year, and as such has only minimal visitor facilities in place at the present, though a new display center is scheduled to open next year. I used the opportunity to take a check-out ride, of a mere thirty-four kilometers round trip, with the now-overhauled bike, and though it was rather drizzly that morning it was nice to finally be rolling again. However, with those conditions and my slowness after six weeks without any cycling, I had only just enough time available to reach the Site, have a quick look at the large scopes and the small exhibits currently in place, and ride back to the nearest train station for my return to London.

 Lovell Telescope
The Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank

Though there was really not a lot to see or do at that Site, places that are important to the history of science are always among my favorites, and so I was pleased to have been able to fit in this unplanned visit.