I made it to Leyland at about 5pm. This is the home of my Sister-in-Law, Jan and her husband, Ged. They've kindly offered to put me up! Also Daughter No 1, Katy, brought Joseph, our grandson over from Manchester.
Here I am, glass of wine on the coffee table and relaxing and typing away.
Today was a mixed bag of stuff. I left the B+B in Penrith after a breakfast in the company of Morrisons workers, and left the town at just after 08:00. The road started to climb steadily.
Penrith is at about 300ft, and before long, I was at 400ft, then 500ft. The Wind Gods were favourable and I was blown along, and very soon I reached Shap village. I sped straight through and carried on up and up and up.
At the top of Shap Fell, there was a cyclist just starting off from the top heading north. We stopped and chatted. He was riding a fairly new Raleigh Randoneur and told me that he'd had problems: his chain had come off and wiped out some spokes so needed a wheel rebuild, his LH crank developed a crack and so he had to buy another! Why does this sort of thing happen to folk? Anyway, he was amazed at what I was doing and took a photograph of me and Chopper.
After the required photograph at the monument, I was off downhill and speeding south. It was downhill all the way to Kendal. Wow! the trouble is, my mirror started to move inwards! The clamp had come loose over time, so at the first layby I pulled over and dug out my toolbox for a spanner to tighten it up. Other than that, and the problem with over-shifting pulling the sprockets off, they have been my only defects. I would hate to think I could write a wheel off or break a crank!
Kendal came and went, and Lancaster came too. In the city centre, I pulled over into the town square by a big monument. People sat on the steps in the sunshine, but all I wanted was shade! It was 2pm and the sunshine was coming out, and I was hot. I lay down on the cool grass and stretched out for a while.
A chap came over to me. He said he was a fitness expert and trainer and suggested that because of what I was doing I must be very fit indeed. I said that I had strong legs, but he insisted that it was more than that, and my heart and lungs must be wonderful. Perhaps he's right. Anyway, he was impressed.
The traffic increased considerably, and continued to increase all the way to Preston. By the time I was cycling through Preston, the traffic was horrendous!
I got hotter and hotter. The traffic became more and more horrendous, and I was glad to get away though Walton-le-dale and into Leyland.
79.5 miles with the wind behind me. I flew!
This elevation profile shows the ride quite well. Steady climb to the top, fast descent, then bob along to Leyland. This "bobbing along" will be the way of it all the way to the West Country. Funny, but the bulk of the western side of England is fairly featureless.
The route today, fairly straight and southerly, and increasingly busier and busier. Tomorrow takes me through Wigan and Warrington - even busier.
Bed soon, I'm tired and a bit sunburnt - I must remember to slap on some sunscreen tomorrow.
Sorry that this isn't as fullsome as usual, but socialising and blogging don't go together very well!
Ta Ta for now, and more tomorrow from Wrexham at my sister's house. I get a day off there for some sisterly love.
Regards to all,