The gentle ride out of Whitehaven is followed by a sharp rise into the Lake District. Testing gradients challenge every muscle to show what it’s made of. A little low cloud and drizzle soon gave way to sunshine and rising temperatures. Sweat poured as heart raced to supply oxygen to burn and turn the pedals.
A couple of “chain malfunctions” slowed me down but finally I reached the Whinlatter Visitor centre for a cold lemonade and a date slice.
Now on to Keswick for lunch and a gentler ride to Penrith for tea.
Jonathan Cowap did a fun interview with me about the Coast to Coast ride on BBC Radio York this morning. The most important part of the chat was the chance to promote the two charities I am supporting. Riding Lights Theatre and The Funzi and Bodo Trust
But after a lot of banter about bikes, hills, and my alleged fitness Jonathan made a quip about my love of things technical. In response the listeners heard a small confession. It’s at the end of my interviewon the BBC iPlayer – about 2hrs 40mins in.
At the time of posting this I’m about to do a final check before setting off for the station heading for Whitehaven and the radio show hasn’t yet appeared on the iPlayer or I would have given you a link straight to the interview.
A call from Cycle Heaven (on earth). The lower gear had arrived and if I took my bike round to the shop they could fit it. It was fixed in no time and so I took off on a thirty mile bash just to make sure my muscles knew what to do and to check that gear changes were were working. Both are in good condition.
I’ve been away at a digital storytelling event in Aberystwyth this week which has limited the time for cycling – and I set off for my Coast 2 Coast ride next Tuesday. I don’t feel as practiced as I should do. So I’m about to set off a for a few miles of training.
While I’m out it would be great if there was an increase in the donations. Just click on one of these charities and catch up with why I’m doing this 140 mile ride next week.
My ride starts in Whitehaven. If you hadn’t heard of it before, this small town on the west coast of Cumbria is now known for the most tragic of events. There can hardly be anyone who hasn’t turned their mind to the killing of so many people by a vindictive gunman in West Cumbria.
West Cumbria is where my great grandparents come from; Isaac and Martha Stephenson came from Whitehaven and Harrison and Annie Ware from a little further north in Cockermouth. My father hailed from Langdale in The Lakes – where I too was born. So I have long connections with this part of the world.
So as I arrive in Whitehaven on June 22nd I will be aware of the sorrow that fills that town, and in following the early miles of the C2C route I will pass through places which heard the sound of the first fatal gunshots. Those first few miles are supposed to be the easy approach to the tougher miles ahead through the Lakes and over The Pennines. But on my ride they will be be challenging, not because of steep inclines, but the emotional rollercoaster the people will be experiencing as their community life recovers from those recent horrifying events and the loss of people they love. I trust they are receiving the support they will need to complete the process.