Well it was nice to start the day in a family home with someone offering me a cup of tea and breakfast. Thanks to my cousin Andy and his wife for making me so welcome in their home.
The start of today’s ride was delayed by my need to get a new wedge sadle bag. Fortunately there was a bike shop opposite the hotel my parents had stayed in, so we were on the road just after 0900.
We rode the short distance from Lancaster to Carnforth and stopped at the railway station which is a living museum and the buffet is as it was in the classic film. After tea and freshly baked scones we set off for our next planned rendezvous with my mother in Kendal.
With my Dad at Carnforth
THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Good progress was made up the A6 until, in a foolish moment I let my father persuade me to avoid the A590/A6 road and take a detour. Foolish mistake that was. It put an extra 5 or so miles on the route. That was bearable, but it included climbing 700 feet in under 3/4 mile. This was harder than riding over Dartmoor. Ariving in Kendal, I resolved not to let old people pick the route again. I was shatered and not conviced I was in any state to get up Shap Fell.
A brief coffee break and we set off from Kendal for Shap facing a 15 mile ride and a climb of around 1300 feet from Kendal. Those who know me, will realise my figure does not lend itself to climbing very easily. However, my father came into his own as a former King of the Mountain in the Milk Race (Tour of Britain) and paced me up and over Shap Fell despite my tiredness and our riding into a headwind. We made slow steady progress up to the top, and then down to Shap village where we stopped for lunch at around 1430. We had only done 40 miles by this time and still had another 40 or so to do before the end of the day, oh and I had my first visit from the [p*nct*re]fairy, just as we stopped for lunch.
After leaving Shap at 1500 we headed for Penrith and a bit of descending. Good fortune seemed to be with us as we now had a mainly tailwind. This only lasted for 4 miles as the fairy came back for a second visit. Another repair and we were underway. Good progress ws made through Penrith and on up the A6 riding regularly at 20-25 miles per hour on the flat towards Carlisle and then taking the old A74, now unsignposted and almost deserted. It was great to ride in the sunshine with a tailwind, riding side by side onto the Scottish Border at Gretna. Photos were taken there at the border and at the Marriage Room on the Scottish side of the border.
It was of course Billy Idol who sang its a nice day for a white weding!
Distance Ridden 81.8 miles
Riding Time 06 hrs 15 mins
Av Speed 13.1 mph
Total Climbing 5654 feet