Easter Meet Day 1 – Warrington to Kendal

Today was the first day of our ride to Stirling for the National Clarion Easter Meet. I dropped my car at Martins and got a lift to the Grand Départ at Winwick, with my bike on the roof rack. Half an hour of tales of bikes falling off on the motorway later we arrived to find the other 3 North Cheshire protagonists waiting for us, along with John who would ride with us for a while.

It took a while to get out of the northern urban areas, with Dave “Cancellara” setting a fast pace, but soon we were out in the countryside, with the sun shining and nothing but the thought of riding bikes for the next few days.

John left us with a cheery wave and before we knew it we were stopped at a cafe in Garstang having lunch with only 30-odd miles left. We took another stop on the promenade at Arnside for a cup of coffee before finishing off the final 12 miles or so through some back lanes into Kendal.

The youth hostel is “basic”, with ensuite meaning I have a sink. The communal shower is, I believe, powered by an elderly asthmatic blowing cupfuls of water down a pipe. There’s no danger of this shower causing a water shortage.

The Garmin was crap today. It took 6 attempts to get it to navigate, each time it simply said “Non!” and switched itself off – I think it was a French farmer in a past life. And it came up with a new trick too. The altimeter stuck after 737ft of climbing and refused to go any higher. So a French farmer with vertigo it seems. Considering it’s price it really is flaky, and as a road cycling tool it isn’t something you can rely on. Giles and I were commenting that if TomTom or somebody else came into the Market at a reasonable price point they would clean up.

Still nothing can take the shine off today. Lovely ride, good company, the best weather possible. Looking forward to some food now and then the Kirkstone Pass tomorrow.

Garmin stats : 80.65 miles in 5hrs 12mins @ 15.5mph average. Approx 2600ft of climbing, 4716kcals, average HR 110bpm

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