Friday, 21 May 2010

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.

Top of Shap

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,


  1. Mick. I don't know how we missed each other. I rode up to Levens Hall in the morning and set up camp by the slip road which links the A590 with the A6. I got there at 10am and stayed until 1pm by which time I'd run out of food and was getting sunburned. Had you taken a sneaky short cut? It was a lovely day to be out on the bike, but I'm so disappointed that we didn't get to ride together

  2. What a treat at the end of a long ride to see the grandkid and daughter! Must have been better than the lure of beer :-) Have a good rest!

  3. So sorry, Colin.
    I was thinking Lancaster, and didn't think clearly enough and got a little lost south of Kendal.

    I plumped for the A65 and A6070 and bypassed you! The traffic was awful. Honestly, so sorry.

    I was in Lancaster at 2pm via joining the A6 at Yealand.



  4. We must have come so close! At about 11.30 I hopped on the bike and pedalled up to the big roundabout to pass the time. A passing rider said that they'd seen you, but as they didn't stop i couldn't tell how far back that was (it was a big organised ride, you may have seen them). I wouldn't be surprised if you passed by while I waited a few metres beneath the flyover. The traffic was heavy in the afternoon. If you arrived in Lancaster at 2pm I must have been coming up behind you fairly fast as I got home at 2.20. If I hadn't decided to have a quick shower and get some moisturiser on my pink legs and arms we may still have met as I went into the shopping centre via Dalton Square almost immediately!
    Maybe we'll meet up when I do my Lejog