Tynedale Hospice at Home Logo and Contact Details

Friday 10 May

  • From: Home
  • To: Alston / Hartside / Renwick / Talkin
  • LEJOG miles cycled: 0
  • Miles cycled: 60
  • Map of the Journey

At the back end of the week I managed to find time for another training ride with full gear. A slightly windy day and cold on the fells near Alston - has Spring arrived yet? Also very boring today as I was doing the ride on my own since Robert is on holiday - riding in company makes a big difference. Only a few days and three weeks to go now.

A deer jumped out of a back garden onto the path in front of me at Park village and then hastily but elegantly reversed course. Apart from this and the cold there was only on other development on the ride worthy of note.

Cycling up the long slog from Alston to Hartside Cafe for a well deserved stop and refreshments it was noteable how much smaller the lambs are than at home. This is simply because they are born later in the Spring to avoid the bad weather. However, young lambs and the ewes everywhere are used to Quad bikes or Tractors turning up with feed supplements. They tend to run to the gate and await the farmer as they hear the quad bike approach. We have experienced this ourselves a few times on the bikes, perhaps it is our yellow tops they spot? Today, however, was a very different experience. As I started up the slope to Hartside the first field of sheep came bleating to the road side wall in their scores from high on the slopes - in a rush in fact, with lots of noise. This rush became a contagion on the opposite side of the road and in the next field up. It spread as I travelled slowly up the hill and kept on spreading for about a mile and a half or so. Hundreds of sheep coming down to the walls with an increasing wall of accompanying noise.

It was both amusing and eerie - spookily so in fact. My thoughts turned to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, it seemed to be the sheep equivalent. Thankfully the roadside walls and fence in these parts are in good repair and I safely made it up the hill to 'safety' and the sheep remained unfed.

Possibly only two more training rides to go until LEJOG now. Thanks to everyone for support and donations so far - fantastic.