Thursday 13th June
- From: Kendal
- To: Carlisle
- LEJOG miles cycled: 59.20 (55planned)
- Miles cycled: 608.08
- Map of the Journey
(The daily limerick/poem is further down the page today - you will see why if you read on.)
We are now into the second half of the journey and will certainly be exceeding the planned 1001 miles - aren't you glad you did not sponsor us by the mile :)
On paper, today looked very tough. We faced a South to North traverse of the Lake District. Much of the journey was on roads and a good part of that would be relatively major roads with no cycle paths. In addition the weather forecast looked bleak to awful and we expected to be rained on in the morning with strong Westerly side winds gusting up to 50mph. Luck was with us again and as we ate breakfast the rain cleared and the sun peeked out! The journey from Kendal to Windermere was good and we managed to use side roads and cycle paths at the side of the road all the way. From Windermere to Ambleside we had more luck as although there were no real cycle paths the traffic was relatively light.
Out of Ambleside and on to Grasmere where we had to tackle Dunmail Raise - which ahead of us look formidable. We took it in our stride and went down the far side as fast as the traffic, great fun. We then turned off to use the Thirlmere reservoir western road which was flat and almost deserted and also afforded us great views, before we then re-crossed the main road and entered St John's in the Vale, a beatuiful SW-NE valley which allowed us to miss out Keswick, a fantastic ride with fine views of Blencathra (Saddleback). This joined the Sea to Sea cycle route at Threlkeld where we stopped for lunch, before then heading East and then skirting Blencathra and heading North and North East towards Carlisle in beatuful lush country side.
At Millhouse I was struggling up a steep hill (nearly an OFI hill, if you were reading the earlier blog entries) when my phone went off. A tad unusual during the day and I stopped half way up the hill to answer it to find it was the wife! "If you get to Carlisle before 5:30 could you pick up three Chai Loaves from the Artisan Bakers in Botchergate near the station", she asked, "as he did not turn up at Haltwhistle today?" My response is not printable but I was reminded of one of my favourite songs from the Proclaimers - particularly the chorus:
"When I wake up yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you
When I go out yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you
If I get drunk yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I haver yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you
But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
To fall down at your door
So today's verse is dedicated to my wife Julie, and with apologies to the Proclaimers is:
"But I would ride 500 miles
And I would ride 500 more
Just to be the man who rode a thousand miles
To throw three loaves down at your door!"
If you want to hear the original version you can see/hear it on Youtube here. Great song - great lyrics - love it.
Well, anyway, I got back on the bike and off I went. Along the way we met two young end to enders doing things a bit faster than us and we rode a few miles towards Carlisle with them - they were rasing money for CentrePoint, the homeless charity, well done lads.
At Carlisle we met a whole group of end to enders of similar ages to us. They were going to finish the same day as us (next Friday) but had a different route and no rest day so were taking longer. They were just checking their hire cars for John O'Groats as the only guaranteed bike spaces on the train were taken (by Robert and I, we sheepishly admitted). Hey - and I had time to get to the bakers before the train home departed! I also bought two lovely artisan carrot cakes. Have I told you I am doing research the length and breadth of the country - it will result in a book entitled "Carrot Cake, a taste and tour of the UK". Yumee - that reminds me, I must go and eat the second one.
Don't forget you can also see more, including photos, posted more promptly than the blog on my Facebook page.