Monday, 4 April 2011
Glenridding to Tewitfield
Monday 4th April 2011 38.23 Miles 4hr 14mins 9.04mph Average Speed 495.93 Total Miles The weather report told us to wake up at 6am and get on the road by 7am. With 2 slices of toast each we were off climbing into the foothills of Kirkstone Pass just after sunrise. Before we knew it we were seeing signs for 20% gradient and a summit of 1,500ft! We had beaten the rain and strong wind so it was a case of just plodding up and up as far as we could before the road felt vertical and we had to dismount and push for a bit. Unfortunately Sam’s chain came off and so she took a tumble as her cleats were locked in but seeing as we were climbing at probably less than 3mph it was not serious. Then near to the summit in amongst the cloud her chain snapped and she pushed the bike the last bit with chain dangling from her handle bar! Luckily at the summit we gathered by a closed pub to shelter from the cold and met a guy named Alex who was speeding up the hill towards us. He was on a mammoth cycle challenge of 110 miles in one day over all the passes in the area! Sounds mad to me! Fortunately the pub was his check in place and so he took a rest there and advised us that there was a cycle shop in Ambleside but not Windermere. We therefore changed our plan and Sam took dad’s bike and Dad scooted Sam’s bike the rest of the way to the town. It was mostly down a hill that ranged from 13% to 20% so he needed the breaks more than the chain! Arriving in the town we were pleased to see the bike shop but it did not open until 10am so we found the Apple Pie Café and waited with hot chocolate, lattes and tea and cakes of course until it opened. This was the perfect time to use their wifi to catch up from yesterday on the blog. While we waited the rain started just like the weather report had said and we were glad we were still not on top of the pass. In the bike shop the man was rude and unhelpful. He clearly did not want to be of any assistance and so barked at us instead. We managed to get him to replace the chain link that was broken before he directed us to another bike shop in the village that could help us. We went to Ghyllside Cycles and the guys there were great. They did a quick service on Sam’s bike which involved a new chain, new cassette and new middle cog. With air put in all our tyres he said that my rear tyre was well worn and replaced it too. He also said my front breaks were non existent so they got changed aswell! With our bikes feeling grand we set off in the pouring rain to Windermere 6 miles up the road. Windermere according to google is the half way point from LEJOG so hurrah to us!!! Having only done 15 miles but a lot of them terribly tough we stopped to warm up and dry out in a café. We left puddles everywhere while we had lunch. We sat in there for quite a while to let most of the rain pass over. Back on the road we had another stonking climb out of the town, just what our jelly legs needed! We were quite protected from the wind as the route was all small lanes and surprisingly the rain stopped which meant it was quite pleasant riding. We have had more stunning scenery again today from the top of the pass and the surrounding fields as we plodded our way through tiny villages, lovely. We stopped in Milnthorpe to munch on our cheese rolls and penguin bar and banana packed lunch that the B&B owner had made for us. We were sat on the side of the road in the town freezing cold as our sweat and rain had made every layer we were wearing wet and with the wind now directly on us it was chilly to say the least. Back on the road for the last 6 miles to Tewitfield we were heading straight into the wind. We crossed into the county Lancashire which was exciting and the sign said that ‘Lancashire is where every person natters’ but I think it once said ‘matters’ until vandalised, I hope!