Last night was pretty uneventful  We watched Messi score two superb goals against the enemy, Real Madrid leaving Murinho with nowhere to go except conspiracy allegations.  The Park Inn had again given us free accommodation and meals so another massive thanks to Akan Tahsin the manager for his generosity.

We got up earlier today as we knew we had probably our toughest day in front of us, and were away before 9am.  I had mapped this ride online and expected it to be horrible dual carriageways for the first 15 miles.  In fact the A roads weren't too bad and we made good progress and soon got onto more rural roads.

Soon the scenery became excellent and whilst the wind was north easterly yet again, it was fairly light.  In seemingly no time we had done 30 miles and as we passed a great looking pub, we pulled over.  The pic shows the view from the pub patio (Spread Eagle at Mellor) where we had lunch.  As we sat there, I saw a cyclist on the main road and yes, it was Darlington Dave.  I shouted, but he didn't hear me and carried on his way.

We set off after a protracted stop and just loved the views everywhere.  My camera (Blackberry) didn't give justice to most of them, but this one of Whalley viaduct came out okay.  I kept stopping to take the odd pic, but Ian didn't seem to mind too much.  Immediately after this we went down a very narrow gravelly lane which was probably the steepest thing we'd been on this last week.

The ride was now following the Lancs Cycleway (Routes 90 and 91) and it was great. Then after about 40 miles we started climbing.  This carried on for a while and after we'd climbed 700 feet I realised this must be the first big climb we knew we had.  As I got to about 1,000 feet of climbing, the hill ramped to 15% and then ended.  Ian arrived shortly after and we stopped and chatted to a couple of workmen who were sat at the top, clearing the area.  

One of the guys took this pic, which I like a lot.  They wished us luck and we took off.  Now obviously what goes up must come down and hence my title today.  The descent from this point was absolutely mental.   

The bike kept accelerating and I hit my fastest ever recorded speed of 46.8mph.  This was with little pedalling and a bit of chicken braking going on.  It was a really exhilarating descent - one of quite a few we had today.


At the bottom of the hill, I saw a patch of vivid red poppies.  This really made me think of Wendy who loves them, so I had to stop (again) and take a pic.

There were several more sharp hills and descents and then we hit a stunner.  We think it was Easington Fell, but not sure.  The road narrowed and lazily meandered up one side of a deep glacial valley.  As we turned one corner, most of the rest of the climb came into view snaking up ahead of us and although we knew it would be hard, the beauty of it was overwhelming.

It had been beautiful all day and right then the sun was very hot - sweat streamed off me as I worked my way up the hill but believe it or not, I was loving it.  I stopped at the top and chatted to a hill walker and a cyclist from Preston who stopped.  The picture shows the descent which followed as my shot of the hill doesn't capture what we saw.

The descent was very fast.  Ian went first and I watched as 6 sheep wandered onto the road about 50 yards in front of Ian doing about 45mph - I watched as the sheep scattered in all directions and then circled back on themselves, Ian got through, just and as soon as I knew he was okay, I nearly fell off my bike laughing.  By now of course I was doing the same speed and the sheep ran back across the road, but luckily they were thoroughly spooked and kept going.

We still had about 25 miles to go and it was pretty uneventful.  We were both tired and limped into our B&B, the High Roans at Sedburgh around 6.20.  The landlady, Kath is very nice and dropped us in town where we had steak and ale pie for us tea (see, I've slipped into the dialect, too much Emmerdale).

Simon Thorne
28/4/2011 07:08:22 am

Hi Ian, Martin. Bit of a luddite when it comes to computers, so this is only my second post. I'm over 40, so can no longer program my video! Don! how do you cope with the advances of technology?
Just spoke with "Protein Boy the Younger" I have one question: nice steak pie last night?

28/4/2011 07:11:25 am

Sounds like a really outstanding and memorable day. I am full of admiration to you both. Tomorrow Scotland eh!
Liked the Preston temple pic a lot!!!

28/4/2011 07:11:47 am

Martin, you make this sound like a peaceful Sunday afternoon cycle ride rather than an 80 mile trek with over 3,615 feet of climbing!! I'm seriously impressed.

I hope you enjoy your last ride in England on this journey. You must be nearly there as Scotland only looks a tiny place on my map!!! (only joking!!).

PS I love poppies too!! xx

28/4/2011 07:44:30 am

Keep it going darling, U are my hero, SIMPLY THE BEST!!!!


Loving my poppies!! thanku x

Love you x

pauline wendys mom
28/4/2011 07:45:06 am

well done lads a week has gone .to me it has seemed to fly by .no comment bet to you it seems a life time all the best for the second week . your doing great :)xx

28/4/2011 08:05:30 am

Making me proud!

I hate sheep, its a deep rooted fear which I trace back to the time I was chased by them....so I feel your pain on the descent.

I also went for quite a troublesome walk the other day, it lasted for almost an hour..neverending! So I'm right in the trenches with you both, knees giving me grief, eyes were stinging, you should be glad your only cycling to the end of the earth instead of through these woods I'll tell you. (I jest.)

Keep on peddling, half way there now! Thinking of you both,
The scenery looks beautiful in the photos, so I can only imagine the views you both have!

Much love xxxx


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