Friday, 24 August 2012

Way of the roses ~ Day 1 ~ Morecambe to Grassington

An early morning cycle to Crewe train station to catch the train via Lancaster to Morecambe enabled Dom and I to start the route about 10.00am on a sunny Friday morning after the obligatory picture with Eric Morecambe (I'm the one with the short fat hairy legs to his left!) and a quick shirt change to save my RNLI logo shirt for the final day and we were off! A massive thanks to Studio, Davies Sports, Kitbag, Perfection Beauty Brands and Involve for all donating £100 each for their logo inclusion on the shirt!

We packed light and carried everything we needed for the stay with us.

The route out of Morecambe was along a tarmac path on a disused railway line but as soon as we got to Lancaster it was on to the proper roads and immediately into the hill climbs! A lovely route round Aughton, Hornby, Wray to Clapham where unfortunately we took a wrong turn and an unplanned 5mile detour over a hill and down the other side almost reaching Ingleton before we realised our mistake... Oops!

Returned to Clapham (I never thought it would happen ;-) and a pit stop to re-fuel. The route signage wasn't clear and we ended up spending a long time trying to find the right route through Austwick around Wharfe to Settle but ended up back on the main road and so conceded and took the B6480 into Settle which was busy and VERY hairy!

By the time we got to Settle for a late lunch we were knackered and had cycled 45miles instead of the planned 35!

Settle is very picturesque and we had a great lunch at the 'Naked Man' cafe before tackling the steep 375m climb out of Settle towards Kirkby Malham. Very pleased to say we cycled all the way, albeit with a few breath catching stops (the plains of Cheshire are not really good training for these sorts of hill climbs!)

Spectacular views from the top of the hill back down towards Settle 'almost' made it worthwhile ;-)

On the home run from Cracoe we missed the turn off the route to our digs for the night at Threshfield and I ended up paying for it with a front wheel puncture after hitting a pothole! The spare inner tube used, we got to The Old Hall Inn for a fabulous evening stopover!

The map below from my Garmin GPS shows our full route (and the extent of our detour!) and this link should give the full details for those interested ~ 

All in all a great start to our coast to coast cycle!

The cherry on the cake was undoubtedly the news from work that the cake bake, raffle and dress down day had added another £369 towards the RNLI fundraising!

Thanks Jules for taking the time to organise it all!

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