Made it to Penrith – just!

Preston My skylightBIg day for me today after having friends riding with me for the past two days and not having the weight of my panniers on the bike. I was concerned how I would cope with the hills again and the aforementioned pannier bags.

After 500+ miles it was inevitable I would struggle at some point and today I did, the legs feeling heavy the minute I hit steep slopes. The 8 mile Shap Climb was a long slow crawl – but I made it.

Highlights were getting to the top and earlier the view across Morcambe Bay towards the Lake District.

Earlier I was very impressed with Preston, a fine looking place with a mighty river and lots of character. Navigation away from it went without a hitch. The only added miles were intentional when two ladies cycling on my route mentioned a high level pass of Kendal which I took and discovered the Station Inn – super food!

By the time I was approaching Penrith it was raining heavily and getting dark fast, so fortunate that it didn’t begin before or on top of Shap.

I’m feeling human again after 2 mugs of coffee and a piping hot shower – however the rain is beating down on the skylight in my room and the wind is howling and I havent eaten yet, leaving my room is not appealing but must be done . Tomorrow’s forecast is poor with rain most of the day. Luckily it’s 60 miles to Moffat and Dinner with a friend in the evening. One day at a time.

I need to revisit my route as given the weather and available daylight 60-70 miles is the maximum I can realistically hit assuming no mechanical issues/ health issues. I have doubts on a daily basis but manage to still achieve my goals – today I almost dozed off on the A6, but didn’t and the miles just disappeared. I don’t want to have people thinking me bonkers, but I prayed about today and felt I was being supported. Faith works when the body is weak, well that’s what I believe.

I still hope to make John O Groats next Wednesday or Thursday next week and like a mountaineer on a summit bid, plan to travel very light leaving some kit at a base for the final push.

Neil

 

 

 

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Sampling gels! Morale booster Jon and Linda Barging along Warm! Bit of a blurI love the song of the same name by BJ Thomas. Cheerful song which I enjoyed listening too tonight.

Given the amount of water on the road Stu and Clare must have felt quite at home when they met Jon and I on the A49! Great to see you:). The A49 was in use today as navigation amongst the urban sprawl was tricky. Earlier in the Cheshire dairy fields we were routed across one, thwarted by a stile that unless you had a machete was too overgrown to thread a bike over! So a 3 mile detour! It’s not always possible to spot these in advance.

MacDonalds provided today’s haven from the elements and a chance to warm up.

Jon Boor was a real trooper today, like Paul yesterday he gritted his teeth and made the day much ,more enjoyable. The canal stretch near Nanteich was very pleasant.

just looked at tomorrow’s route which takes in the summit of Shap Fell, a bleak place at the best of times, so a tad nervous as heavy rain is forecast there mid to late afternoon. All I can do is keep pedalling. Oh and remember why I’m doing this ride in the first place – at least I’m able to get out and ride my bike and many people have so much more to worry about than a bit of weather. Having said that Gales are forecast in Scotland next week and the prospect is a worry. Time for bedtime prayers.

A late post as I nodded off earlier!

Neil