And somehow it’s Day 5 already! We’re halfway through our challenge on hump day and Kenny has surpassed everyone’s expectations and bets on when he’d hitch a lift in the support van for a wee break (still no sign of that)! It was looking to be another warm one so had to keep an eye on hydration levels.
We had a bit of a different start to the day today. Firstly we actual had a proper breakfast at the hotel as they were the first place to start serving by 6.30am! We then had to battle with rush hour traffic around the Manchester area; something we’ve not had to contend with on our wee country lanes so far.
Despite some shonky overtakes (mostly drivers which we then caught up with in the next queue of traffic…) we made it to first stop at The Barn in Scorton. What a pick of a place! They had 44 different flavours of home made icecream on offer along with a HUGE selection of cakes including a Percy Pig inspired Cookie Pie. Between the coffee and the sugar we were flying!
Next up we followed the M6 north, criss crossing it too many times to count on the adjacent country roads. This was much more like the roads we’re used to up north and we really enjoyed flying though all the little villages with amazing views across the landscapes. The final push to lunch involved a bit of a head down slog across the A6 with busy traffic which took us up to Milnthorpe and then onwards to Kendal for lunch.
Next we had the big event of the day: climbing Shap Fell. Comprising 5 miles of constant climbing this is a relatively big ask on any day. The heat today (Garmin was reading 30 degrees) made this even more challenging! But all the team made it up and were greeted by the support van offering gifts of water and jelly beans!
On passing through Shap itself we met some fellow end-to-enders (Jess, Louise and Clara) who were tackling their challenge self supported over 21 days. They started on the 2nd of June and aim to finish on the 23rd and we can confirm, have some very heavily laden bikes! After swapping “war stories” we wished them the best in the rest of their journey.
Heading on we got to Witheral just outside of Carlisle where we were greeted by an old friend and ex colleague of the team, Norman Craik and his wife Mary. The Craiks offer of bed and board to the team couldn’t be turned down and the team went to bed with their bellies full of spag bol and homemade cake and ice cream.
And so completed our longest day of the trip!