The forecast for Thursday 30th May was a bit desperate – gale force winds and heavy rain; so your “brave” leader sent round a message suggesting that the ride may be shortened due to the conditions and kept her fingers crossed that no-one would turn up. However, our sturdy members are not going to let a bit of weather put them off and a total of 5 club members met at Millennium Bridge at the earlier-than-usual start time of 8.30. In fact the drizzle soon lessened off sufficiently to allow a brief shedding of waterproof layers on the ride over to Casterton Golf Course. The route went via Halton Arrow Lane and Swarthdale, before joining the main route to Kirkby via Arkholme.
Fortunately the Casterton café is open from 8am and we were able to fortify ourselves with bacon butties and scones as we watched the rain begin. At this point Nick did the sensible thing and went home, but Neil and Mike C were up for the challenge to continue with Patience and Len, aiming to go at least as far as Sedbergh, which was soon reached. Throwing caution to the wind (and rain) we decided to carry on over the (on this occasion not-so) Fair Mile and on to Tebay for lunch. Fortunately the pub was open and serving rather pricey soup and sandwiches, but we were glad of the respite from the elements.
On setting off again we headed initially north-east to Gaisgill, Kelleth, Newbiggin-on-Lune and Ravenstonedale as we negotiated the circumnavigation of the Howgills, before battling the head-wind down the A687 and back to Sedbergh. The weather was improving a little by now, but nobody was bothered any more about aiming for 100 miles, so we settled instead for a squelchy return to Kirkby Lonsdale, then down the east side of the Lune and back to Lancaster.
My GPS recorded a distance of 84 miles, average speed of 12mph and total ascent of 4,500’, of which I am quite proud!