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.
Say “140 miles in a saddle” and your calves start to ache and your bum feels sore before you turn a pedal. So what is the secret of cycling long distances without a serious dose of weary anticipation?
It’s all to do with stopping points.
I’ve booked three places to stay overnight on my charity ride from Coast to Coast. The first is in Whitehaven. I arrive on June 22nd to make an early start the next morning on my C2C ride. The second stop is 53 miles away at Penrith. I’m staying at lodgings that specialise in looking after C2C cyclists. Fellfoot Independent Hostel has secure cycle storage and it’s really cheap. Then it’s over the Pennines for 40 miles, the stiffest part of the ride, to Rookhope, where I’ve booked into the Rookhope Inn for what will be a well deserved sleep (after suitable refreshment.) That leaves another 40 miles to complete the ride. After an initial climb it is – as they say – all downhill from there to Sunderland and the sea.
In between those planned stops there will be times for coffee, tea, cake, lunch, photography and map reading. I see no point in being in some of the loveliest countryside on earth if I don’t stop now and again to appreciate it. So the trip will be split into manageable sections which follow one after another until I reach my destination and collect all your sponsorship money.
Talking of which I am raising funds for two charities. Riding Lights Theatre Company and the Funzi and Bodo Trust. The first to support a professional company that delivers original productions in schools, prisons, theatres, churches across the country and also offers great experience to aspiring actors in its two youth theatres and Roughshod company. All with a Christian purpose. The second trust is providing two communities in Kenya with a much needed Medical Centre and a School.