2020 Lockdown Challenge – Day 6… Race North Ahead of Rain!!

Day 6…. It’s now getting tough 😫😫
I woke this morning after another restless night with no energy, no drive & dreading today’s route and weather – apart from that everything was positive (at least my bike is fine 😉).

Anyway my plan to head North in an attempt to stay ahead of the forecasted low front and be dry longer meant I would set out earlier (planned to go at 4.30am 😲), but that didn’t quite go to plan either with my lack of zest! I finally got mobile at 5.20 and headed thru Bolton & Bromley Cross towards Darwen. Thankfully I found a nice gear to spin up thru Egerton on A666, so it wasn’t too long before I was at last freewheeling downhill towards Blackburn. My 1st big Hill test was Shear Brow in Blackburn, it was still very early and I had the road to myself to slowly spin to top – that lifted my spirits as it Max’s at 18% which I was worried about!

Heading out towards Clitheroe and I’m on still very quiet roads… I was now looking forward to best part of ride on roads I’m very familiar with between Clitheroe and Yorkshire Dales, as Bolton By Bowland is a regular retreat for us. I chose the road thru Wigglesworth, Rathmell & Gigglewick before using the lanes that cross-cross the A65 up to Clapham.

I now had 50 miles in the legs and was feeling much more positive about fitness, my now pressing concern was the huge bank of blackness which was still 20 or so miles south of me, but was looking ominous 😫🌨🌨
I had a second steep climb out of Giggleswick which I managed with relative ease, thankfully!!

Another fantastic stretch of cycling road is the B6480 running through the lovely villages of Bentham, Wennington, & Wray before meeting up with A683 for a fast run into Caton!

By this time and with almost 70 miles completed the dark skies were now almost upon me!
A nice little stretch on the Crook of Lune Cycleway with a few people now around, then a short little climb and I was in Slyne looking out across Morecambe Bay with the mountains of Southern Lake District in the bright skies that had deserted me! At least it wasn’t raining – YET!!

I was in need of sustenance, so in Bolton Le Sands I knew there was decent pie shop near canal, so lunch was taken on a bench alongside Lancaster Canal, washed down with Dr Pepper (I needed the sugar 😂😂) A man walking the towpath stopped to ask if I’d actually ridden my bike all the way from Salford – I didn’t dare tell him about all my other rides on this challenge – he was very very impressed with my effort😊😊.

Back in the saddle & to Hest Bank and Morecambe – that’s when the heaven’s opened and it bounced down!!
I took shelter with a cup of hot Latte from Costa Coffee on the promenade where I sat for what seems like an hour!!

Thankfully the rained eased enough to tempt me back on the bike & I knew Mrs T was soon to be her way up the M6 for our agreed redevous at the Silk Mill Cafe in Galgate! I still had 26 miles to cover taking me to Sunderland Point before using the Lune Cycleway again to take me to Glasson Dock!

The weather wasn’t being kind now & with no shelter after Heysham Village the rain was battering me in the Easterly Wind, so I abandoned the run out to Sunderland Point. I now worried that the 100 miles was going to be a problem as my planned mileage was 104, but I’d just knocked off a big loop!
Anyway, once at Glasson I checked the remaining distance and realised I was going to be 2 miles short, so I added another loop around to Thurnham before heading back North to Condor Green – that I thought would do the trick! I entered Galgate on 99 miles so had to circumnavigate a council estate three times (got a few odd looks from a few locals out walking their dogs int’ rain 😂😂), but I did it!!
Another day nearer & I’ve done the last of my solo stints – I’m hoping that with the company arranged for the last four rides the miles will pass much faster and I’ll be glad of the encouragement and company – on the flip side, Danny Collins, Steve Mosley and Warren Gavin will need to ease off their normal pace – There’s no way my legs can average 16 or 17mph with these back to back centuries – My muscle recovery at 58yrs old is nothing like it was when a was a young lad running marathons! So I worry now that I’m going to spoil the enjoyment of my cycling partner on each of these final 4 slogs!!
I’m knackered now, but tomorrow is a great ride in prospect with my No 1 cycling buddy Danny – Bring on No 7 !! 🚴🏻‍♂️🚴🏻‍♂️

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