We left Heywood at 7.20 with an initial target being a visit to the National Cycle Centre.
Home to British Cycling.
What a transformation of what was a desolate area when I was transferred to the South West by the Bank in 1980.
Then we went through Longsight and of through Cheadle where it was my turn for a puncture, caused by a 2 inch nail in the cycle lane!
We then cycled through many familiar areas from our days living in Stockport.
After traversing the Potteries we stopped at Biddulph for coffee and cake. Lunch was taken at Rugeley adjacent to the Power Station and Amazon distribution centre an enormous monstrosity of a building similar to Morrisons just off the M5.
Then it was off round the outskirts of Birmingham, Coventry, Warwick and Stratford upon Avon till we eventually arrived at Ilmington almost 12 hours aftef setting off. A total of 217 kilometres and 1594 Metres of climbing.
A nice surprise at the end of the day, an early Birthday present, a night at the Three Ways Hotel in Mickleton courtesy of Louise, my daughter.
Tomorrow we start with a visit to St Catharine’s School to thank them for their fundraising in support of Challenge 65.
You can support me by donating at Www.justgiving.com/Challenge65 or texting LPJL65 to 70070.
Another later start breakfast from 8.00 so a 9.30 departure.
It was off to Shap, not as bad a climb as expected, past a TATA steel works, it must be the highest in the UK. Them off to Orton on what is the best surface we have ridden to date, with glorious views in every direction. On to the village of Tebay which has access to the best motorway services in the country. It was then the biggest climb of the day, 500 metres, with more views to appreciate.
This road takes you high above the M6 and has much better scenery.
Richard’s route then headed off towards the Trough of Bowland with yet more climbs. By passing Lancaster we rode again parallel to the M6 through the village of Forton, no access to the services here.
With lunch overdue we found a chippy advertising Holland’s pies. That settled it, being of Northern stock there is nothing that can compare, even pasties.
So a feast of steak & kidney pudding, mushy peas, chips and gravy, washed down with Dandelion and Burdock. Heaven!
And so the ride continued, I think we crossed every watershed between Penrith and Heywood.
At one point the rise was at least 25% and this with no down hill section to provide momentum. Result I had to get off and walk! On and on the climbing and fast downhills continued until at last a sign for Rochdale needless to say we had to climb again but it did result in the fastest downhill section of the day, 60kph with pannier!
At long last we were in Heywood, passing Joan, s old home and on to Pam & Kenny’s for the night. Katherine their eldest daughter even gave me a back and shoulder massage! Not a bad way to finish the day!
Another glorious day with wide ranging views.
A little cold for the first hour so an extra layer was required. After some climbing we turned onto the A74 which runs parallel to the motorway. The A74 has a cycle lane but frankly it is totally unacceptable
Richard suffered our first puncture on this stretch.
Then it was onto Lockerbie for lunch at cafe restaurant 19.
Onto Gretna Green and over the border.
We then had another hour and a half on the road before arriving in Penrith and the Agricultural Hotel with this view from our bedroom window.
This is our last night in a hotel its family and friends until Friday night at home.
Tomorrow Penrith to Heywood.
We awoke to a beautiful sunny morning although a little bit cold. An early breakfast and it was off down the A82 by the side of Loch Lomond which looked tempting, and in fact my Garmin had me riding on the Loch for most of its length. It was the same yesterday by Loch Ness! So now you know who the monster is.
We reached the end of the Loch in 2.5 hours not bad for 32.5 miles, and so we had time for coffee at the golden arches.
After which we set off for Glasgow by a circuitous route to avoid the worst of the traffic, eventually reaching the outskirts and making our way to Costco for lunch.
The route to Carstairs took us across country and up and down dale. Every roundabout seemed to be approached up hill as was every road junction apart from the approach to Carstairs.
Unfortunately we did not see the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome but there’s always Manchester to look forward to.
Quick update 90 miles in 5hrs 45mins
Off to England tomorrow.
A slightly later start than intended and wet to boot. At least not as heavy as overnight. Today we followed the A82 all day along lochs
And up hill and down dale
At Spean Bridge we stopped at the Commando Memorial.
Today was Yorkshire Tea day!
We then had a quick stop in Fort William for running repairs to Richard’s pannier at Alpine Bikes, no charge!
Lunch was taken at 3.00 at the Glen Coe cafe before the climb of the Glen 500 metres of climbing @ 7%.After reaching the top a flat section followed by a descent and another climb to Tyndrum.
The final 5 miles down hill to Crianlarich arriving at the Crianlarich Hotel at 6pm. The luxury of a bath and shower both much needed and appreciated
Tomorrow its through Glasgow past the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.