Ride Across Britain Day 5 Halfway

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February 14th 2016
Published: February 14th 2016
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We set off again as a group, into the urban conurbations that surround Manchester, lots of traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts to negotiate, not to mention the local traffic that had to put up with 800 cyclists trying to get through all of the towns. It was a heavily built up area and it was a good couple of hours before we managed to find somewhere for a comfort break. Unfortunately we weren’t the first and there was a chaperone on the gate to the field shouting ladies left gents right as we all hobbled off the bikes leaving them in disarray all over the side of the road.

Before the first pit stop we were joined by Martin two, one of the DHL riders who was so taped up he could hardly move and was suffering. He had only taken up cycling three months earlier and to then attempt the England leg, well he seemed either brave or foolish. We were also joined by Declan on day 5, another solo rider who joined us whilst out on the road. Day 5 would see us pass the halfway point. It’s referred to as halfway bridge, as near as makes no difference halfway on our odyssey from end to end. It was a landmark to tick off and one that somewhere on day 2 I thought I wouldn’t make.

The other notable point on day 5 was the climb; yes, only one of note Shap Fell, an 8 mile slog up to the highest point of the entire ride, 1,400 feet above sea level. Although it’s long, the gradients are nothing compared to Cornwall and I was able to get into a rhythm and pace myself up the hill. Halfway up a car pulled into the lay-by on the other side of the road and the driver asked where we had all come from. When I answered Land’s End I got the reply “Bloody hell.” I think he thought we had done it nonstop. On Shap Fell what you think is the top is actually a false flat. As I crested this, for the first time on the ride I was aware of a tail wind, it just blew up at that moment and helped us along to the top. It made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and in our exhausted state it almost felt spiritual.

We were greeted at the top by the cow bell group again cheering all of the riders on. They were a very welcome sight. On the road we passed through so many towns and villages they all became a blur and the majority nameless to us unless they were points of note. In one town we stopped and asked where we were. I am sure the lady we asked thought we were trying to wind her up by the look she gave us and we had to persuade her that we really didn’t know before she told us we were in Kendal. The day finished in Penrith. Martin two left us as he had finished his participation in the RAB as he was only riding the England Leg. Total mileage 104.5, 6,131 feet of climbing 7:50:14 riding time.

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Tot: 0.633s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 18; qc: 80; dbt: 0.0396s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb