Good spirits in the camp tonight! It was tough dragging ourselves out of bed an hour earlier this morning, especially after a long and fairly fraught day yesterday, but it has definitely paid off.
We covered 104 miles and arrived in Malpas by 5.45 – a drastic improvement on the late finishes the previous two days. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been another tough day of riding with a number of physical and mental hurdles to surmount, but the difference that having time in the evening makes is huge. Everyone’s happy!
Spirits were also lifted by meeting up with my folks this afternoon, who met us for our last break at Ellesmere and then again for our post ride dinner. Very nice to see some fresh and familiar faces.
The riding was hillier than we expected, with one particular tester fairly early in the ride (on the way up to Knighton, around 20 miles in). The other tricky issue with today’s route was navigating around the minor roads. When done successfully it was rewarding, as riding on these roads is much more pleasant than sticking to the A roads. So, I wouldn’t wan’t to discourage anyone from picking out a similar route. What I would say though is stop and check where you are whenever you’re at all unsure; this will seem a pain as it breaks the rhythm, but it’s not as bad as pressing on and realising that you lost the track and are going to have to add 10 miles to your journey (yes, I am speaking from today’s experience!).
We have still been surrounded by beautiful countryside today, though the rolling hills are starting to flatten out a bit now. Tomorrows route should be reasonably flat and easier to navigate, but it is going to be much more built up than the landscape we have passed through so far.
We’ll be passing through Preston and calling in for lunch, meeting with some of John’s family and my lovely missus Lydia, which will be nice. I’ll also be getting a lift back from our finish point in Burton in Kendal for a night in a familiar bed, so double bonus for me tomorrow.
Funniest moment today: Jordan having an emergency al fresco ‘call of nature’ and being disturbed by two barking dogs coming over to enquire before he was quite ready to move on. In fact, I think this was the funniest moment of the trip so far, but I don’t think the content is wholly suitable to be posted on here!
Most frequently mentioned word of the day: ‘Gooch’. For those who know I need say no more. For those who don’t…let’s just say it relates to saddle sore and leave it at that.
Number of times someone has said they were ready to give in today: 2. Don’t worry, it’s not happening!
Here’s looking forward to tomorrow.