Monkhill (just outside Carlisle) – Whitbeck (Nr Millom)
79.53 miles (apparently Mum says this is not enough mileage, I think we need to get her on the bikes!)
3158 feet climbed
3207 calories burnt
As we powered past Carlisle yesterday afternoon, ending up on our small B-road to the west of the city, it allowed us to have a leisurely breakfast and set off later than usual – 9:30am. The weather didn’t look promising so yet again, we kitted up in our wet weather gear (although my waterproof jacket now just seems to act like a carrier bag, keeping water in, not out!).
The first 35 miles were on pleasant English country lanes and we retraced our steps from the coast-to-coast that we’ve done a couple of times before, although we were going the other way. Whilst on this section we passed through Silloth, where we usual stay on the first night of the coast-to-coast (we did it a couple of times as training for the LEJoG in 2011). It’s hard to forget because of its bone-shaking cobbled high street! We had a quick pit stop there for old times sake.
After Silloth we traced the coast all the way to our lunch stop at Workington. We were looking out over the Solway Firth whilst being battered by headwinds, very different to last year when we had blue skies, 25 ‘C and were heading the other way! We fought on to Maryport for another pit stop and flapjack and gathered our thoughts before tackling the busy A596. It wasn’t long before we were in Workington being treated to our lunch in a B&Q car park where we had a surprise visitor in the shape of our family friend Dan.
We had homemade soup for a change for lunch, nice to warm us up on a windy day. On saying goodbye to our brief encounter with Dan we had to get back on our bikes for another 40 miles.
Over the afternoon we traced the A595 to Whitbeck, our nights resting place (in a lay-by). We did detour slightly off the A595 and took in the lovely sights of Sellafield, at this point we had to leave the Garmin route and put our trust in the route 72 Hadrian’s Cycle Way, which took us on a decidedly dodgy track through the heart of the nuclear reprocessing plant. At this point we were also shadowing the borders of the Lake District, a pleasant change from the dreary north west we had just encountered.
Although we had a lot of miles to cover in the afternoon, the god’s were smiling on us as the horrific headwind of the morning had pretty much subsided. The A595 took us through villages such as Holmbrook, Broadoak and Bootle, before we found the motorhome in a lay-by just past Whitbeck.
As we pulled in, we found Harry cooking one of our favourite dishes, boiled chicken with brown rice, so we knew we were in for a good evening. Harry cracked open Trevor’s box of wine (cheers Trevor!) and we sat eating dinner whilst watching another beautiful sunset.
After dinner Mum and Harry kindly washed and degreased our well used bikes, ready for tomorrows cycling exploits. The rest of the evening was spent drinking more wine and having a giggle!