Saturday, 26 February 2011
Cycled to Windermere and back in 1 day.
It was my week off and Thursday 24th Feb was the day that I could get out on my bike and go for a decent ride. The alarm was set for 5.30am, I was up at 5.20am so that was good. After some porridge and a few brews I was off out Wha-owww!
It was dark and damp but the forecast was to be nice today (Fingers crossed) I set off heading for the Lake District that was my plan and probably when I arrived there to spend a little time there and catch the train back!
Its a long slog up to a little village called Mountain halfway to Keighley, then its mostly downhill from there. As I arrived in Keighley it was light and I was felling better although the weather was still grey and damp!
On the downhill into Keighley my shades fell off and into the road, I was travelling at speed by now and thought I couldn't be bothered to stop so I left them (The thought of having to stop, go back to retrieve them was too much hassle plus they were a cheap pair anyway) luckily !
After Keighley I had a choice to go along the main bypass towards Skipton or take the old road to Skipton - The old road it was although lots of potholes to contend with.. but much nicer scenery going through little villages like Steeton and Eastburn, also had to stop at the level crossing for local trains to pass by.
After a stop at the petrol station after the level crossing for Sandwich and water/sports drink it was off again towards Skipton (A629) I carried on along this road and rather than going into Skipton centre I opted to get straight onto the A65 towards Kendal. This road is quite bad for cyclists in places - Plenty of sharp bends etc with lots of HGVs flying past you..
Out of Skipton I'm heading towards Settle.. although no stopping into Settle centre but onwards along the A65 - Got to Little Chef and stopped off for a brew and Beans on toast after an hour of chilling there, I'm back on the road its still grey and damp but back home its supposed to be sunny! Typical ha ha.
Whizzing along after my food and drink, I go through a nice place Kirkby Lonsdale nice bridge in centre.
Its a welcome sight when I pass over the M6 this makes me feel good as I'm more of less in the Lakes now. Still plodding on I take the A590 then onto the A591 which takes me into Windermere. I take a shot of a flying Chinook passing by over Ings. By the time I reach the Windermere sign I am a little tired, and think do I go down the nearly 2 mile descent to Bowness or just turn back here and start to go back minus the hill climb back up from Bowness..
Theres no option you can't go to Windermere and not go to the waters edge at Bowness :-) Its sooo nice there, and it lifted my spirits. Its funny that after I reached Bowness the sun came out for a short while, plus I ate a few bags of crisps (Salted) and this really perked me up - Must have needed salt replacement cos it did the job and I was again full of energy!!
That's it.. I'm cycling back (Well as far as I can get then it could be Train time somewhere along the way back).
I was at the end of the A590 and going over the M6 (The sun was out and now it was the first I saw of the blue skies (Brilliant!) That inspired me to now carry on- I was headed back the same way I came along A65 (This time it was near sunset and darkness! By the time I reached the village of Long Preston it was getting darker, all I wanted was a bag of chips for the salt intake again.. There was no chippy that I could see in Long Preston so I carried on in the hope there would be one in the next village of Halliwell (Yes!! there was a tiny chippy just off the main road) now it was in darkness.
I was chatting to the people who have the chippy they asked where I've been cycling (You can imagine the look on their faces when I told them where I'd been and where I was going back to ha ha) Also another cyclist pulled into the chippy for food, the owners told him what I was doing his reply was (That bag of chips is going to get you back to Huddersfield?) I said Yes :-)
Back out after chips and a brew I was buzzing again, but now it was pitch black on the A65 - Scary !! With wagons and cars speeding up behind me all the time, also having to watch very carefully for potholes in the road - very tricky!
The only street lights I had on way back was going through Keighley centre, most of the roads back had no street lighting. I was more or less out of Keighley district and high upon a hillside when I stopped to take a pic of Bradford in the distance (Wasn't sure if it would come out or not but it did). From this point it was more of less downhill - Phew what a nice cycle down into Brighouse - with Street lights too (Bonus)!!
Now I'm in Brighouse, I forgot the last climb up towards Bradley - the hill is a killer especially after such a long day ! After over 15hrs I'm back home totally knackered but very chuffed that I have a new daily Cycling record 164.4 miles in one day (Previous record was cycling from Holyhead in North wales back home to Huddersfield that was 157miles.