07 March 2012

R2R2: Kendal to Northallerton

Glorious cycling with breathtaking scenery today (lots of this sort of stuff, above), in lovely weather: the forecasters were Michael-Fish-wrong, having promised daylong showers which never materialised, rather like the payments for the freelance work I do for Sky Arts.

From Kendal it's all up and down stuff to Sedbergh, which is STILL IN YORKSHIRE WHATEVER THEY SAID IN THE 1974 BOUNDARY CHANGES SO THERE.

Sedbergh is spectacular, with the Howgills looming over it like a massive green breaking surf. It also has a nice line in 21st-century Yorkshire cafes: twelve types of gourmet coffee, free wifi, and a toilet trendily twinned with a crapper in Burundi (above), but toasted crumpets too. (Yup, Toilet Twinning is a real, and serious, scheme.)

From Hawes I went up and over Buttertubs Pass (above) to Swaledale, which was quite glorious. A big fat tailwind conveyor-belted me to Reeth (where I sat out the only precipitation of the day, five minutes of snow, in a bus shelter, and where I once had to kill a rabbit with my bare hands), Richmond, and Northallerton (where I ate fish and chips with my bare hands).

Miles today: 73
Miles since Ravenglass: 113


  1. Bloody 'ell, I'm going to have to get fit.

  2. I think you're going to have to tell us the rabbit story...

  3. @Tim... no, you're going to have to get better at choosing days with 25mph tailwinds!

    @Nigel... ah, the rabbit story. Sad business involving a ninja fox and a walking party of Si [who you once cycled with near Henley] and friends. On a long Sunday walk near Reeth, we came across a rabbit, evidently attacked by a fox or buzzard or something, twitching in painful death throes. The girls stood around and wrung their hands and said oh poor thing etc but no-one stepped forward to dispatch the wretched lagomorph with euthanising tough love. I'd been going on the previous evening about how my dad was a butcher so all eyes fell on me. Reluctantly I found a rock and sent the ebbing animal to bunny heaven. I'm obviously not cut out to be either an assassin or a vet...

  4. Hazel once put an abandoned lamb in her rucksack on Dartmoor and hiked it down to the nearest farm. She even cut her walk short to do it. You wouldn't catch me doing that. Mind you, she was at the pub before me...