6. Get down, Shap!*

LEJoG Day 6Diggles Cafe, Lancaster

After 6 days of tough cycling, there are aches and pains and all sorts of ‘tender’ places!

However, today was a good day.

We left Preston in sunshine and hurtled towards Lancaster for a very enjoyable coffee stop at the gorgeous Diggles cafe in Lancaster. While we there, a lovely lady gave us £5 towards the charity. This follows donations from random strangers yesterday! Apparently some people are quite impressed that we are cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats for Breast Cancer Care (Steve & Andy) and Cancer Research UK (Jonathan) – people are very, very kind!

Anyway, back to today.IMG_1383

After leaving the lovely town of Lancaster and a brief drink stop, we headed north through Kendal (and just like Sir Edmund Hillary, we enjoyed some lovely Kendal Mint Cake) then on towards the ominous sounding Shap.

Shap is known for it’s pink granite – it’s also known for the 6 mile long, 1,400 feet of almost non-stop climbing. To be honest, I think we were all a bit nervous about whether we would be able to handle it after already having had 5 tough days in the saddle.

But like most things in life, it wasn’t actually as tough as we had anticipated. Climbing Shap was really just about endurance and, although we didn’t stop, many on the tour were stopping to admire the magnificent views.

IMG_1391

We kept going to the top, knowing that the summit of Shap was also significant as we had cycled a total of 480 miles. This is therefore also the halfway point of our Lands End to John O’Groats journey.

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With Shap conquered and a quick lunch of pasta, sandwiches and, yes, you guessed it, a bit more Kendal Mint Cake, we then had the very enjoyable run in through Penrith to Carlisle.IMG_1420

To add a little fun into the proceedings, the Tour of Britain are staying in our hotel – there’s a lot of autograph hunting going on – but we’ve just had to say that they need leave us alone and respect our privacy!

However, tomorrow we have another big 100 mile ride to Kilmarnock – and the rain is forecast again. How does the song go … “there may be trouble ahead”?

(* Note on title – this is a wordplay that only old people will understand / remember, so if you don’t know what it relates to ask an old person!)

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Day 6 Synposis:day-6

Distance: 87.0 miles

Time – Cycling: 6 hours 11 mins

Speed – Average: 14.0mph  Max: 30.6mph (as i forgot to switch the Garmin back on, this doesn’t included the blitz down from the top of Shap which was around 38mph)

Amount of climbing: 4,219ft

If you want to see a fly-through of our route (and some photos), click here: LEJoG Day 6

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