Monday, April 16, 2012

Cycle Touring Day 16

I woke to glorious sunshine and stocked up on food for the day but within the first hour was climbing once again. If Day 15 had ended with a sting in its tail, then Day 16 had been stung right up there on the tip of its nose with the biggest climb of the trip so far! I certainly didn't have the energy for that last night and even this morning it was a struggle. In the first 50 minutes I only covered just over 7km. Ouch!

Literally at the summit of the 368m elevation, I passed another cycle tourist, not quite as loaded up as me - he had no front panniers - lightweight! I think we were both too knackered to stop and chat, plus it was quite windy and none too pleasant up there, so we just let each other know that we each had a nice descent ahead of us. I'm glad I hadn't ascended from his side though, it was almost a sheer drop! Coming down I reached 70.8kmh, which is very close to my fastest speed ever I am sure, and by the time I reached the bottom, I was very chilly. My thoughts then turned to my trailer and I wondered if it could cope with such speeds? I can imagine it wobbling uncontrollably on descents like that and until I get a little braver with it, I will be taking it relatively easy. That 70.8kmh, may therefore, well be the fastest I travel on the entire trip.

The rest of today consisted of climb followed by descent. The sun was gradually hidden away by cloud and it became quite cold, so the only way to keep warm was to keep pedalling. More beautiful countryside eased the pain though and I travelled along at a leisurely pace - partly dictated by the relentless hills of course. Come the end of the day though, three tough climbs in succession finally broke me and I decided to seek out a campsite about 30km earlier than I had originally intended. I still had a couple of hours of light left in order to make the distance, but as I did not know what terrain lay ahead of me, I thought it better to find a campsite in order to recover and tackle it the following morning. As soon as I had considered it, a campsite appeared on my left out of nowhere.

Another completely empty site, in the village of Broome near the market town of Craven Arms (which I initially thought were signs pointing towards a pub), meant I had the place to myself once again. The owner had warned that rain was due overnight so I set up the tent close to a tree out of the prevailing wind. The cheapest site of the lot so far was reflected in the quality of the facilities so I was surprised when I found the best shower of the trip so far. Unlike some showers where the water just seems to meander out of the shower head, often as wearily as I feel, this one attacked me with a gushing torrent. Pure ecstasy! I stayed under there for at least 30 minutes and was even more worn out afterwards such was the intensity of it. I was in bed by 10pm and was soon out like a light.

Only remembered to take a photo of this campsite after I had packed the tent away!

One really is spoilt for choice when choosing scenery to photograph here!

The view from the bottom...

...the view from the top! Boy that was a tough climb, the highest to date at 368m which was reflected in the fastest speed to date of 70.8kmh on the descent.

Cycle Touring art! Possibly the only shot you will ever see of me and the bike in the photo together.

3 comments:

  1. It's funny normally when you see pictures of scenery there is usually a loved one in the same position as you have your bike :)

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  2. You could at least try and set up on timer so that we can see that you look as well as you sound, simply breath taking views I imagine, keep it up xxx

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