So, this is Barrow to Jarrow, another rhyming coast to coast, starting this morning at Barrow-in-Furness at the southwest extremity of the Lakes.
I dipped my wheels in the tetchy surf on a windy pebbly beach on Walney Island (picture).
Barrow is, of anywhere in the UK, the place most people want to get away – in the 2011 census it showed the quickest population drop. So I went with the flow and left sharpish for a better life.
Stan Laurel, Ulverston’s most famous son, and his sidekick Oliver Hardy. Yes, I reassured her.
Another friendly local with a can of Tennents asked me if I realised he would be glad of any spare change I might have. Yes, I reassured him. I do realise. But I’m certainly not giving you any of it. So piss off.
Kirkstone Pass, the highest in the Lakes, imposingly called ‘The Struggle’ (picture).
They’re darn right. Even with a twenty-ounce high-end road bike – as toted by three keeno cyclists who passed me on the Pass – I’d have a Struggle. On my twenty-kilo tourer with even more than that in my panniers, I hadn’t a hope in Helvellyn.
Hardknott, Bwlch y Groes and Buttertubs in my List Of Big Passes What I Have Mainly Pushed My Bike Up. I did eventually crest the summit (picture) which is conveniently marked with an Inn.
Then it was a glorious long downhill (one of several today) all the way to Patterdale and the youth hostel.
I stayed here in April when I walked the Wainwright Coast to Coast. Comparing the two experiences reminded me why I like walking but I love cycling. Downhills – especially this one, down Patterdale and surrounded by awesome fells – are far more fun on a bike.
Miles today: 54 miles
Miles since Barrow: 48 miles