Monday, 23 May 2011

Scotland Trip

Karl and Alison have a place in Moniaive in Scotland.  Its about 150 miles from here by the most direct route.  We decided to cycle up there.  The plan was to ride to Alison’s Mum’s in Arnside on Thursday afternoon, Arnside to Penrith on Friday, to Moniaive on Saturday and then to Lockerbie to get a train home.  Then Karl and I both had to work till five on Thursday so we decided that he would drive up and drop me on the way so I could ride a bit of the route.

I packed on Tuesday which was fortunate because I spent two hours on Wednesday night bailing out the scout hut where the main water supply had burst off the stopcock.  We bailed about 700 gallons of water.

Karl picked me up on Thursday and drove me up to Milnethorpe.  I rode the 5 or so miles along the estuary to Arnside.

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Friday dawned wet and windy.  The wind fortunately was a tail wind and the rain not too heavy.  Karl had planned a route on quiet roads through Milnethorpe, bypassing Kendal, then up over Shap and down into Penrith.  We were soon out on the back lanes.

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Alison’s chain came off.

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We stopped by this…

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The weather cleared a bit, but it wasn’t great.  The scenery was stunning though and we rode all the way to the bottom of the Shap climb on roads like this.

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The climb up Shap was made easier by the howling tail wind but it was still a long slog up to 1350 feet.

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The rain started again on the way back down.  The stopped in Shap village for something to eat and a warm drink, then off again to skirt round the Lake District fells.  Haweswater is the easternmost lake.

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Round the edge of the Lowther estate…

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And into Penrith for 46 hilly miles.

The forecast for Saturday was heavy rain and windy.  The wind was there, but the rain stayed off til the afternoon. We headed out of Penrith heading first for Carlisle.  It was mostly flat or down hill into Carlisle.  We got a bit turned around in Carlisle but eventually got back out to quiet lanes at Rockcliffe.

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We crossed into Scotland at Gretna, which is famous for people eloping there to get married under Scottish law.

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We stopped to get supplies, thinking we still had 70 miles to go to Moniaive.  At the rate we were going it would be a late finish.  The next section was down tghe coast of the Solway Firth heading to Dumfries.  It was more into the wind than we had been up til now and the wind was really whipping in off the sea.  We ate our butties sheltering in an old churchyard.

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After lunch the rain started.  And didn’t stop all the rest of the ride.  Fortunately Karl had mis-programed his Garmin and included a number of little circular loops when he’d tried to move off the main roads.  That meant we had much less distance to go.  We stopped in Dumfries for makings for tea and set off cold and wet for the last 20 miles.  We eventually rolled into Moniaive just before six having done 80 miles for the day.  After a quick shower and turning the heating up to max, I made chicken dijonaise for tea.

Next morning was bright and sunny.  This is the view from the garden…

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By the time we were ready to set off the rain had returned

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Miraculously the wind had turned and was still a tailwind despite us now running 90 degrees to the previous day.

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We got to Lockerbie in plenty of time to catch the train back.  The original plan had been to go to Preston and ride home from there, but Karl had left his car at Arnside, so we got off at Oxenholme.  The sun was shining and the wind had dropped, but it wasn’t to last.  We were soon being lashed by stinging rain.  The final drop into Arnside was  back along the narrow hedge lined lanes.

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You can see the road steaming. 

We eventually got back to the car after about 45 miles.  It was a fantastic trip despite the weather.

Total miles for the trip was about 170.

Miles for the week 208

Year to date 2190.

1 comment:

  1. We're condemned to rain gear for the foreseeable future here to. Getting very tired of it!