I arrived at the Millennium Bridge a little late and grumpy with a bad cold; I’d spent a coughy and spluttery night trying to get some sleep. Neil kindly said he would take over the ride if I didn’t feel up to it. We set off in two groups in what was very good weather with blue skies and sun. The air was cold but the pull up through Halton and along the ridge of the Kirkby road with its ups and downs got everyone warmed up. My body of course overheated just as it had felt chilled in the early of the morning air. We slid down a rather greasy looking Sunny Bank and wound our way through Borwick and Priest Hutton to Cinderbarrow where we turned north along the railway towards Holme. The day was warming up as we arrived at Beetham where we found a number of other Lancaster CTC riders drinking coffee at the tables outside. Even after the revival of tea and cake, I felt worn out by my twelve or so miles and gratefully took up Neil’s offer. I left a discussion about the route to be followed to Casterton as I took off straight down the A6 to home where I went back to bed with a hot water bottle.
Following Tim’s succumbing to his bad cold and deciding to go home after coffee, Neil stepped into the breach and led the second part of the ride from Beetham Garden Centre to Casterton Golf Club. Following Tim’s proposed route at first through Ackenthwaite, we then diverted and headed to Viver and on towards Sedgwick, where instead of riding into Sedgwick we took the Crosscrake direction and onto the A65. Following the A65 for 200 metres we took the Halfpenny Road and enjoyed the loop on the quiet road which avoided more of the A65. Onto Gatebeck and towards Old Hutton was where the wonderful scenery came into its own as we climbed almost continually.
It was an exceptionally clear day and the views were extensive as we crossed the moors, although it remained cold all day. The only ‘fly in the ointment’ came when we took the left turn at Rigmaden where the sign said ‘4 tonne limit over bridge’ and when we arrived at the bridge it was actually blocked and we had to lift the bikes over the concrete barriers. This we managed and joined the A683 which took us to Casterton and a well earned lunch at the Golf Club.
Through Kirkby Lonsdale and Whittington, we took the right turn in Newton and passed Docker Farm where Patience joined us after gaining a short break from ‘Mother sitting’ duties. Capernwray and the Kellet’s was the way home and destination was reached well before the new sunset time following the clock alteration.
A total ride of 55 miles and 4300ft on a super, cold clear day with spectacular views, marvellous!