Kirby Lonsdale to Appleby.

Bit of a late start as breakfast wasn’t till nine at The Snooty Fox, Kirby Lonsdale. Our exit from the town was across the old bridge, no longer used for traffic. It gives a great view of the tan coloured River Lune flowing briskly between the rocks below. Our route for the day could be divided into three roughly equal parts of about 11 miles each. The first section to Sedbergh was relatively easy going, following the quiet main road along the pleasant rolling side of the valley. At Sedbergh we found the obligatory cafe for tea and cake. It was needed too, for leaving the town we took to the lanes on the same side of the valley. We could have switched sides and stayed on the main road but the M6 took the prime route and the B road was much higher up. This didn’t mean we got away with it. The route along the valley side climbed and dropped continuously and this second phase was pretty hard going. I’ve driven the M6 many times up this spectacular valley and always wondered what the lane on the opposite side was like. Now I know.

At Tebay we found a pub for lunch before leaving the River Lune behind and passing through Orton then tackling the big climb up Orton Scar onto Bank Moor. The first part of the climb was too steep. We nearly made it but came to a wobbly stop. Karon dismounted and walked for a while as I cycled the Beast on my own to a point where the gradient was less. As we remounted a cycling couple came up and the young chap did a perfect track stand in the road while he chatted. The he was off up the road like a whippet, after his partner.

Yorkshire

Yorkshire

We made the top and stopped again for photos and to admire the views of all the surrounding hills. The M6 and Shap weren’t far away and it felt quite bleak compared to the countryside we’d left far below. The 9 mile ride across the moor was a bit of a roller coaster that saw us flying along one minute and grinding away in bottom gear the next. Then we were dropping into Appleby. Into the town centre, I spotted the Tourist Information office and went in to ask directions to The Royal Oak, our bed and sustenance provider for the night. Then I spotted a bank and walked the Beast over and onto the pavement to withdraw some cash. A police car was reversing into a space off the pavement but PC Blindside hadn’t spotted me ir the bike and kept reversing, presumably waiting till the tires made contact with the kerb. Of course, long before that, the back of the car, overhanging the pavement made contact with The Beast! I yelled and struggled to keep the Beast upright. As he got out he muttered something about the bike being on the pavement and Karon didn’t mince her words in telling him we were perfectly entitled to use the cash point without being accosted by police cars. He sat and chatted a while in an effort to defuse Karon’s anger and hide his embarrassment. With peace established he trotted off over the road to hide. After that it was off to find the pub – would you believe it – another climb, albeit a short one.