Start: Lancaster
End: Lockerbie
Total Miles: 607.03
Time in saddle: 8h 9m
Average: 12.36 mph
Daily Miles: 99.85

Monday 14 June 2004

Today started good. I felt ready for a ride. Made more ready by the 4 weetabix and slices of toast Dave prepared for me. He told me all about what went on last night with the fighting. Then he asked about the ride and Zac. It turns out that he is fundraising in the pub for his 3 yr old son who has no kidneys and needs a transplant. Dave refused to take any money from me and I said I would put the fee in Zacs fund. I gave him 5 for his son and put 20 in Zacs fund.

Apart from making a complete loop of Lancaster city centre before finding the way out north, things started off good. The westerley wind was slowing me a little but I covered the first 13 mile well and my butt was bearable today. When I pulled off the A6 for a snack, I noticed some other cyclist go by. I soon caught up with him and got talking. His name is Gary and he comes from Ohio. He was cyclo-camping and doing about 50miles/day. We swapped stories of our adventures for a few miles, then I sped off! I stopped in Kendal and munched some bars and took a pic of the bridge. I knew that Shap Fell was up ahead.

Now on my map Shap is a village about 15 miles from Kendal. Also marked is Shap summit on the M6 motorway. I knew the climb is 7 miles long so thought that it must start halfway from Kendal to Shap. Well, about 2 miles out of Kendall you get the warning sign saying dont cross the fell in wintry conditions, then the road starts going up. Up, up, up. I didnt realise it at the time, but I was climbing Shap Fell. When I turned the bend for the final slog, I could see I was going to conquer Shap. I passed the phone box at the top and some funny soul has drawn a picture of a bike on it with the words "Well Done". The descent was a joy and the weather was sunny. At the bottom I saw a old man on a road bike going up, I bet he does it in half the time I did. Penrith came next and also lunch of cheese ploughmans. Energised, it was off to Carlisle. Traffic was busy but at least I didnt get lost! Just 6 miles and I would be in Scotland.

The A74 into Gretna is really an extension of the M6 with really scary fast traffic. I pulled off at Gretna and took the photos at the border sign. Then I made my way on the old A74 which is like a ghost road! It was a bit of a struggle against a strong crosswind. I stopped at Lockerbie chippy for a smoked sausage which is a bit like a saveloy. Good job I had that as Murrayfield B&B was up a big hill a mile out of town. The place was perfect. Di, the owner, was a lovely lady, she even did my washing. Meanwhile, I went back into town to find food. Everywhere was closing, except for the Indian restaurant, so in I went. I found out later it had only been open 2 nights. A walk back to the B&B then bed.

Good bits: reaching Shap summit!

Bad bits: climbing Shap, A74