The excellent forecast enticed 15 members of the Cyclists Touring Club to assemble at Beaumont College for a 65- 70 mile ride to Cartmel.
We made good time to the coffee stop by using the A6 to Cragg Bank, and using the woodland shade to keep us cool on the long climb to Yealand. A downhill to the A6 at Cinderbarrow, and by familiar lanes to Holme and the garden centre, where we just managed to secure enough seating.
Here the group swelled by the addition of the Carnforth contingent, and a juggling around of personnel resulted in 14 riders continuing under blue skies and a warming sun. A short section on the A6 between Heversham and the A590 was surprisingly quiet, followed by single track lanes across Levens Marsh and an ‘exciting’ ( ! ) crossing of the A590, before reassembling on the north side.
Only the roar of the traffic disturbed us between Gilpin Bridge and Witherslack, before turning away from the clatter and by lanes less frequented to the foot of Tow Top. There were no takers for the direct ascent to High Newton, so we followed the west bank of the River Winster to Thorphinsty Hall. Here the serious climbing began to get us up Newton Fell, but with the welcome distraction of panoramic vistas across to Milnthorpe Sands and the distant Three Peaks.
Having temporarily mislaid three of the group at High Newton we headed south and with gratitude downhill to Cartmel, which proved to be not as busy as anticipated considering the benign conditions. Suitably fuelled by café fare or picnic, we turned the cranks in the direction of Grange via the fell road, and opted for the main road through Grange so as to avoid annoying the promenaders.
The ‘usual’ route home was followed across Meathop Marsh, Levens Village, Heversham Marsh and Storth. At this point our average speed plummeted by helping the farmer to take his cows half a mile along the road for milking. A final dash was made for a late afternoon tea at Silverdale Golf Club, soaking up the afternoon sun on the terrace and reflecting on the magnificence of the day ‘awheel’.