DAY 6 & 7- Leaving Scotland: City Cycling and Disaster in the Lakes
On Day 6 the team sacrificed the extensive green spaces of the past week to cover a bigger distance and make a leap down the country towards the Lake District. The 95 mile route was mainly on road surfaces increasing the risk for our cyclists but also bringing home the purpose of this journey. We are lucky to have had a week immersed in nature, but the reality for many are these urban landscapes.
Without any interviews or stopping points the cyclists were speeding to the next campsite in Carlisle. After an exciting week it was sad to leave Scotland, but the route ahead is equally full of exciting people and green spaces! Here is the team crossing through Gretna back into England!
As usual we were overwhelmed by the kindness of the two pubs that put our team up for the night. With thirteen of us altogether, the team was split up for the first time since the beginning of the trip. The Wellington Inn and the Inn at the Bush offered their garden spaces to our tired team and provided a lovely location to escape the rain for the night. At The Bush Inn we spoke to the owner, Colin, about his own adventures, conquering the channel swim and going down to the Lake District every week to keep up the spot! We cannot thank both these locations enough for their hospitality so definitely check them out when you’re in the area!
Day 7 had a great start, with rest and sunshine pushing us through the morning. This day the cycle team travelled through the Lake District covering some of the hardest elevation on our whole trip! The cycle team headed off early from their campsite ready for the tough day ahead and the support team shortly followed after collecting the trailer from the cyclists camping location.
Sadly, after smashing 30km in the morning, Sal had to come off her bike and rest her leg. A couple of days before when unpacking the trailer Sal dropped a metal stand on her foot, leaving a nasty gash on her foot. Despite this, Sal kept going for the past few days until this morning when the combination of an injured knee and her foot meant it was safer for her to swap off the bike. We were conscious of the rest of the trip and also the incoming rain… the last thing we want is an infected foot that would stop her from cycling completely! Luckily for us, Fiona on the support crew is an avid cyclist and quickly offered to take Sal’s place over the hills and through the rain. We are positive Sal will be back on the bike in the next few days, but Fiona will smash the cycle while she is resting!
Sal’s injury was the first problem in a disastrous day for the team. While cycling uphill in the Lake District, the derailleur hanger on Isaac’s bike tangled with the back gears, flipping him off his bike and leaving it unrideable. Thankfully he was near the top of the hill and could carry his bike to the support crew at the top… we knew it was smart to bring a spare bike! After a few phone calls we managed to find a repair shop in the local area to fix the disaster, so thank you Wheelbase in Stavely for coming to our rescue!
If the bike complications weren’t enough, within minutes of Isaac’s accident one of our support vehicles hit an unspotted pothole and with the luck of today it left us with a flat tyre. Volvo have kindly sponsored the travel of our support crew and after a quick phone call with them they advised us to change out the wheel and find a garage ASAP to get a new one. After lots of phone calls we finally reached success with the HiQ garage near our next campsite who would change the tyre by early the next morning, ready to continue with the journey as planned!
Despite the stress, we managed to reach our interview at Footprint in Windermere. Here we spoke to Gareth from Woodmasters, who works at the educational base in Cumbria. The site allows people, especially school children, to reconnect with nature and explore the great outdoors by immersing themselves in nature through guided activities and workshops.
It seemed the world was against Pedal 4 Parks today, but every cloud has a silver lining! Today we cycled through our third national park of the trip and the Lake District certainly didn’t disappoint. The team passed beautiful rivers, waterfalls and unsurprisingly lakes! Our favourite was the Aira Force falls, a popular site in the park but definitely one worth visiting!
Lucky enough to be passing through the Lake District, it was a shame we couldn’t stay much longer. As one of the most gorgeous places in the UK, the Lake District is home to many possible adventures and unforgettable landscapes. Just to name a few, it is work exploring what is on offer, including Derwentwater, Keswick and Borrowdale – only ten minutes from the central town, you can easily walk around the entire lake! The North Lakes are also a favourite at the Lake District – far from any motor boats, it’s tucked away in a peaceful part of the National Park where you can take a quick dip in the water or enjoy a family day out in a canoe. If, like our cycling team, you prefer to stay more local to a town area where you can rest and grab some delicious local food, then Windermere and Ambleside in the Lake District are some better choices to explore – home to the largest lake in England (10.5 miles long), the views are nothing short of spectacular. There are endless possibilities of fun and family day trips out at the Lake District, and I am sure the team would have stayed for as long as possible to enjoy all that is on offer, should they not be on their cycling challenge!!
Better still, the Sandvilla Stays campsite we stayed at was home to a lively group of Alpacas. So, even though the heavens opened for the whole evening, their cuteness just about kept us going.
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