It was all very exciting this morning - I was getting to ride with TWO folk for the whole route, and meeting a third for the section after Loweswater to the top of Hardknott.
Not only that, I had an interview with Lakeland Radio scheduled (ooh! Get me!) for 5:45 just before setting off.
Despite some faffing that I could have done without after I got up (it's a TMI thing that you DON'T want to know about!) during which I discovered that my garmin wasn't charged so I had to sort out an alternative device, I arrived in good time, and Stuart (no, a different one!) was already there and told me that Glenn would be there soon enough - which he was!
I got mostly ready then sat in the car waiting for my phone call, which duly came.
Those of you that know me well know that I occasionally open my mouth, and words come out - LOTS of them - and SOMETIMES they are actually coherent!!! I have no idea what Colin Yare thought of it - or whether my fuggy 'early morning' brain and mouth connection was actually functioning.
Colin said that he'd broadcast it after 7:30, and that he'd call me again tomorrow for more of the same!
Thank you to my 'PR Man' who made it all happen ;o)
We set off slightly later than normal, and it became clear right from the start that it was going to be a good day. Stuart and Glenn were brilliant company, their banter was a real tonic - it IS day 7 after all - and they did a brilliant job of keeping the pace manageable for me.
Glenn asked me about the interview thing and I told him that it was being broadcast after 7:30
"I think we'll miss it!" He said
"Yes, I don't think we'll be back by then," I replied
We were both right!! Imagine!
The ride to Kirkstone simply flew by, and I had realised that I had *my* legs back. I think they just wanted a day off. They won't be allowed to do that again!
And the sun came out.
I asked what it was, and Stuart said the he *thought* it was called 'sun' as he'd read about it on the Interweb
"What, on Wikipedia?" I asked
"Yes, so it might not be true...."
[disclaimer: I have used my editorial remembery in regard to these things - they may not be entirely accurate transcripts]
Summit of Kirkstone at 7:20 which I didn't realise at the time was 1:15.... pretty quick for me, that!!
And the descent was dry :o)
And the section to Ullswater was pretty quick
And the closed road from yesterday (the 16th according to the sign) wasn't [phew]
Couldn't really see what they'd done though....
There was a bit of a headwind along the A66, but we made fantastic progress, and were heading down Borrowdale earlier than I normally arrive at the Keswick roundabout. And I was feeling good.
I had noticed that my right knee was aching a bit in the first hour or so, but it seemed to have eased by the time we headed up Honister.
Glenn absolutely flies up the climbs - I'd love to be able to do that. Stuart clearly likes descents, I CAN do that!
Honister was DRY - YES!!!! I finally got to enjoy that one :o)
When we reached the Buttermere YH, Glenn popped in to get some more water, and one of the staff came out to have a little chat. Fantastic - it's all these little things that make such a difference during this experience.
Stuart revealed his 'nutrition' plan then.
HA! Ginsters Cornish Pasty.
Newlands was uneventful, (loved the descent though) and so was Whinlatter.
Cyclewise excelled themselves today!
Rich offered us toasted bagels as well as tea/coffee - and they were just what the stomach ordered - before checking my bike over. :o)
It was a fantastic stop - definitely recharging everyone's 'batteries'.
Loads more 'sun' although the air temperature was still a little chilly, but I was glad that I'd done the Sun cream thing this morning!!
When we climbed away from Loweswater, we found Simon waiting for us. Simon had said that he'd do the section across to Calder Bridge, but in the end came to the top of Hardknott.
Biggest group of the week - Fantastic :o)
By now the weather was fantastic and a degree of clothing-shedding was going on. Views were great - progress was fantastic - the only slight concern for me was that my knee was getting more uncomfortable. Not when I stood up or when I put more power through the pedals, but when I was sat and keeping the cadence 'spinning'
It feels like it's in front of my kneecap rather than behind it, and I have 'kneed' my bar ends a couple of times.
I did wonder if my long bottoms might be irritating some bruising, so I took them off, exposing my translucent lower legs to all and sundry.
Any performance drop of from the guys from this point WILL have been down to that disturbing sight - Sorry!
There was one little incident along the road to Santon where Stuart warned us with a loud
"Horse", looked back and tried to paint himself on the front of a small red car
I opened my mouth and an "UHHH!" came out - no idea what it meant, but Stuart corrected his trajectory, didn't redecorate the front of said red car, and commented that the young lady driving had given him a nice smile.... ;o)
So - Hardknott - Simon and Glenn shot off, I poddled, Stuart was just behind me.
I was very pleased with the way I climbed today :o)
A full set of 7 in the bag! Nice!
Simon was at the top when I got there and was going to head back down. Great to meet you!!
The Descent was DRY - YES!!!
Most enjoyable one so far.
And today I didn't find Wrynose as tough as I have done.
Descent was DRY, and I found I was riding the ride in back to Coniston pretty strongly.
I 'dibbed' and uploaded but was convinced that we were about 8:46-8:48.
8:43:49 - Fantastic.
All the times are here
Thanks to Stuart and Glenn for your company today - I had a fantastic day, and it seemed to go incredibly quickly. Top Stuff!
And thanks also to Simon for his time - and the honorary cap!