Sunday, 1 June 2003

Day 8 - Lancaster to Carlisle - 66 miles

Wave Clare off (she's been really good driving to-and-fro to see me during the trip and I'm meeting her again in a couple of days for the Scottish end of the trip) and head out, with the weather fine.

Funnily enough my legs are feeling rejuvenated and don't mind having the panniers back on. I've driven the first 15 miles from yesterday, so no surprises there, it's as easy as expected.

I decide to ignore my planned route via Windermere. I'm finding the guide book I've been using increasingly irritating - the guy who wrote it seems, for better or worse, to have a pathological hatred of A roads, however bucolic, and will find routes of almost comical circuitousness to avoid them! I suppose we all want different things, it's just I'd prefer to finish before old age takes me...

Apart from a few sections of dual carriageway and motorbikes occasionally screaming past (you probably get them everywhere around here, especially at the weekend), the A6 is a pleasure to ride along.

After 20 miles I'm at Kendall and don't feel like stopping, so carry on. I admit that I've done what I can to avoid hills on this route, but Shap Fell is unavoidable. It runs next to my favourite section of the M6, the highest bit of motorway in the country. This is the route people had to drive up to Scotland before the coming of the motorways, which shows you that not all modernisation is a bad thing.



Shap Fell - Slow but steady


The hill is long, but steady and not too steep, and I'm at the very top before it gets too bad. Dropping down the other side, I continue to Penrith for lunch.

After that I realise that my calculations seem to be wrong and there's only 17 miles to go to Carlisle. It's getting hot, but the wind turns against me, which helps I suppose.

Relaxing in a pub for a well-earned drink I read about a chap who lost control of his car, killing a family in an oncoming car, after trying to reach for some polo mints whilst driving...

Here's a map of the day's route:




Bike route 288364 - powered by Bikemap 

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