Yesterday I wondered if we’d get away on time on day 5. Of course we didn’t – what were you thinking? When we did eventually set off we headed out of Kendal and after a brief stint on the not-very-pleasant A591 turned off to start going uphill on some very nice country lanes. The weather, scorchio so far, was cloudy and overcast, with a hint of rain in the air. Our first big challenge was Kirkstone Pass. In parts the Garmin registered an 18% gradient, and you go up for several miles. You may have seen David Walliams falling off his bike in exhaustion on Sport Relief going up Kirkstone. Not us (not even Timber). Each of us went up successfully and decided to balance the camera on a rock and take a timer photo of the 4 of us. This is the first attempt
This is the second
After fixing Pete’s front derailleur (it wouldn’t shift onto the big ring when it was already on it) the descent down the other side was fast and exhilarating – apart from being stuck behind a car. The scenery was quite spectacular as we rode along the shores of Ullswater, stopping for a well earned lemonade
Our route took us through Penrith and then onto Carlisle with a lunch stop in Longtown just on the edge of the Scottish border. Carrying on we very soon came to the Scottish border
We pushed on hoping to find somewhere to watch at least some of the England match. Pete managed to spot a deer on the treeline watching him ride by and we eventually came into a village called Newcastleton, and a pub called The Grapes Hotel.
Bearing in mind we were in Scotland looking for an England match, the staff made us very welcome, allowing us to take our bikes through and watch the last 15 minutes of the game. We also got donations of £4 and £5 whilst we were there. Another demonstration of the kindness of folk.
The last 18 miles to Hawick took us through yet more picture-postcard scenery – rolling hills, forests, moorland, giant Redwood trees (apparently they were normal trees on a hill – who knew) – it had the lot. Oh, and a bizarre pig farm where the pigs appeared to have individual rooms (pens). Which makes them one up on Pete.
We got another pleasant surprise in Hawick with the guesthouse we are staying at – Hizzy’s. Best room for me so far.
Some interesting stats and facts so far
- No. of times lost – 0 (men don’t get lost)
- No. of times asked for directions – 0 (see above + men don’t ask for directions)
- No. of punctures – 1
- No. of inner tubes used – 273
- No. of hills climbed – 47
- No. of times Pete has claimed we could have gone through a valley instead – 47
- No. times the two Garmins have disagreed – lots
Garmin stats for the day
- 97 miles
- 6039ft climbed
- 14.1mph average
- 6hrs 53mins riding
- 6150 kcals used
568 miles completed so far! Tomorrow we travel through Edinburgh and over the Forth Road Bridge. Can’t wait.