LEJOG – Days 7 & 8

These days were very much ‘transition’ days. We started in The Shropshire Welsh borders and today we ended in the Lakes. Windermere to be exact. Some good miles were done, it was dry, the campsite yesterday was good and tonight we are staying in the YHA Ambleside.

Day 7 – Royal Hill campsite to Longfold Park (nr Preston) – (Changes)

This was a big big day, 90 miles, and a large chunk of it through the North West conurbation – not great riding.

Starting in Shropshire the first half of the day was fantastic – the scenery fantastic and the legs good. We made our way North and after around 40 miles made it into Cheshire. South West Cheshire was also stunning, lumpy, but lovely to ride through. As with Shropshire we were on lovely lanes for most of the way. Only real difference would be the volume of range rovers – off the scale!! Clearly a very well to do place.

We lunched in Elsmere – still in Shropshire and without realising it we were eating our rolls right next to this sign:

After lunch we pressed on North and before long were seeing signs for Chester.

I know the 5 people (Mum 4 times + 1 other) that read this will be hoping for some real insight into our journey through the North West – Alas, it was horrendous. South Cheshire = great, but as soon as we hit Runcorn, it became a slog, a 50 mile slog. Main roads, through Warrington, Wigan, St Helens…brutal riding. To make matters worse David’s knees are playing up and that makes the going tough for him. Especially as yesterday was the furthest he’s ever cycled, and carrying all that weight makes it doubly impressive – chapeau David. He’s gradually been increasing the pain killing as we’ve ridden – sans TUE – but we’ll forgive him. Watching the pain in his face is pretty tough for us all.

We made it to our campsite, a working farm just south of Preston around 9 – we were all knackered and bed followed pretty soon after setting up camp. After a couple of baps prepared by David – fast becoming our chef.

Hardly took any pics – but here are some.

Day 8 – Preston (ish) to Ambleside (lakes) – (Waterfront)

Today was a good day, best day yet for me. Legs are getting better and better. Sun was shining, scenery was fantastic. I’ve never been in the Lake District, except on a Virgin train, Megabus or back of a car or transit van.

Was really excited as we set off about the prospect of a nice climb into a completely different geography, and the prospect of tonight’s accommodation.

The YHA by the lake is awesome – such a fantastic setting – and now all the day trippers, pissed out their heads, have gone, and stopped jumping in the lake, in their pants – this evening, and destination of today – will be great.

We set off early, and by 12:00 had passed Preston. Stopping only twice – once for David to buy bandages for his legs (knees) and co-cocadamol (a step up) for the pain.

Then, secondly, we stopped, though only for air (phew) at Fulwood cycles. We appear to have broken the mechanical breakdown every 2 days curse, for the moment…

Onwards to Lancaster, and lunch. As ever, supposed to be a quick fix, ended up taking over an hour, but I suppose that is how we are rolling.

Nonetheless we made good time today, and as we climbed up the valley, heading for the ‘pass’ into the valley that Windermere sits in the scenery just got better than better. For me, kind of a mini Loch Lomond.

Tomorrow may well lead us to Scotland – that will be a great moment for me.

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