Saturday 25th August 2018
Quernmore was reached with little trouble, and then on to the first serious climb of the day up to Littledale. A short descent to Crossgill, followed by another long steep climb and over several cattle grids. Ever mindful of Dave C’s disastrous encounter with one of theseon this route a few years ago, we were careful to make sure that he negotiated them all safely, especially the one of which he had not so fond memories. There then followed a descent that can only be described as nadgery (thanks to Pete Hardman for the use of his word). It was so bad, broken and steep, that several of us opted to walk down. Martin was at the bottom with his camera hoping to get some shots of one of us falling off. Sorry to disappoint, Martin. The climb up the other side of the valley was yet another tester, but as with every climb there is usually a descent at the other side, thankfully the surface was not as bad this time.
At the next junction, Ian decided to leave us to go over the dark side (i.e. off road!) to do the track over Salter Fell on his mountain bike. The rest of us carried on down the hill where some kind individual had been cutting the hedges on either side of the road. I thought we were going to get away unscathed, but Shane suffered a flat tyre, not a thorn as it turned out, but it looked like a pinch flat. The tube was quickly changed but would not inflate. This brand-new tube turned out to have a split. Lesson learned – check the tube before inserting it into the tyre.
We’d all been stood around at the bottom of the next (and probably the steepest) climb of the day and I think we all suffered from café legs before we’d even reached the café at Wray, which was our next stop. Suitably refreshed (despite the rather slow service), we headed on to Hornby, bypassed Gressingham, but not the climb, and made our way down to Halton.
Across the bridge to the cycle way and on to Lancaster, where Shane and Rob left us to ride home. They had already cycled to Garstang earlier. Good luck, Rob, in your triathlon.
Through the maze of streets in Lancaster and back to Garstang via Condor Green and Cockerham.
A tough ride with around 3400 feet climbed in 47 miles, at a respectable average speed of 12.5 mph.