Got a few days off work so I have the opportunity to get some extra training in. Today I decided to get back up the hills and picked a route that I hoped would give me a taste of the Cornwall leg of the journey. Plenty of people assume that Cornwall is relatively flat. In fact it is very, very hilly. Of all 8 days we will be riding, we will do the most climbing on day 1 through Cornwall – even more than the final day through the Scottish Highlands – probably between 5500ft and 6000ft. So the route I selected would give me over 5000ft of climbing.
The weather has cooled down considerably today and was probably a good 15 degrees colder as I set off north up through Bury, Haslingden and Accrington and heading towards Clitheroe. Or rather past it and then turning north into the Forest of Bowland. I spent many a happy hour as a lad in the Trough of Bowland in the early 70’s. Me, Dad and Grandad would race sticks down the streams whilst Mum and Gran fussed over sandwiches and boiled eggs! Happy days. Anyway I headed towards Slaidburn for a spot of refreshment at the Riverbank Tea Rooms.
It wasn’t just me that thought it was time for a drink
The village of Slaidburn, and all the surrounding farms, are apparently owned by an eccentric Squire who keeps the rents low and subsidises the village to make sure the way of life is not lost. Well worth a visit.
As I left Slaidburn full of cake and coffee I didn’t really want to see something like this but I guess it was my choice
The hills started coming thick and fast, like a roller coaster. The worst one was Jeffrey Hill which at 20% was a real struggle
Reaching the top gave some really lovely views of the Ribble Valley. But the hills didn’t stop there. I headed over towards Longridge and via Ribchester and Wilpshire back through Blackburn. There were still some stinkers to get up and it had started to rain. Tried my Altura Pocket Rocket showerproof jacket which worked really well, keeping me warm and dry.
Had a few chain/gear issues which suggests that my chain needs replacing so on the way home popped into Cooksons to book the bike in for a servicing.
Overall managed 80 miles at an average of 14.3mph. 5196ft of climbing using 4543kcals.