Once again the Bay ride had been organised which is from Walney Island to Glasson Dock a distance of almost 90 miles.
11 riders gathered at the unearthly hour of 07.00 (almost middle of the night for me!!) outside Lancaster railway station to load their bikes into the van ready to be transported to Barrow railway station.
We were catching the 07.36 train so we gathered on the station drinking coffee then boarded the train, which unbelievably was on time!
Excellent train journey managing to pick up Michael Moon at Silverdale which pushed the number up to 12.
Arriving in Barrow, Dave Hugill was standing there waiting for us with a cup of coffee in hand so now we were 13 (Dave had caught an earlier train from Carnforth)
The van turned up within a few minutes so we unloaded it, got ourselves prepared and set off through the streets of Barrow to Walney.
At Walney a brief break to sort ourselves out at the official start, then back through Barrow.
The route takes you through the dock area on quiet cycle lanes to join the shore road at Rampside. We used this road all the way to Aldingham where we cut inland to Scales then up and over Birkrigg Common before dropping down into Ulverston. Unlike last year we found the right route through Ulverston so it was soon left behind.
After Ulverston we took the official route through Mansriggs and Bowstead Gates to drop down to Penny Bridge and Greenodd where a much needed refreshment stop was taken at The Bakery.
Suitable refreshed we crossed the Leven Estuary using the foot bridge then on the unsurfaced track which soon became a metalled road to the foot of Bigland Hill.
At this point it was decided to split up, some wanted to go up and over the hill (no questions were asked at this stage about their mental capabilities!) whilst the saner ones went along the B5278 passing Holker Hall into Cark, Flookburgh, Allithwaite and into and through Grange over Sands to the golf club for dinner.
Now the group had reunited and refreshed we were on the official route through Meathop to Levens then across the moss to the Arnside road.
Through Arnside we went passed to Albion(reluctantly) up the hill to drop into Silverdale via Holgates. In Silverdale the route goes round by Wolf House Galley then down the hill and as time allowed us straight into RSPB for yet another brew.
Off we went, at this point numbers were starting to get smaller, we went round the crag over the wooden bridge through Crag Bank onto the A6 to Mill Lane then through the housing estate towards Red Bank to join the main road at Hest Bank then onto the promenade at what used to be VVV.
The rest of the way was straight forward all the way down the promenade to Morrisons onto the old railway line to Lancaster then continuing along the railway line to Glasson Dock we arrived there about 18.30 about 2 hours quicker than last year.
Ringing home to tell Teresa the good news, we were told Ian Roberts was on his way to meet us so we hung around and cycled back along the road into Lancaster. I arrived home after doing just over 84 miles with about 3500 feet of climbing (those that went up and over Bigland Hill would have done more feet of ascent).
Last year we were cycling home in the pitch black in torrential rain this year sun, light breeze, great temperate and smashing company and just imagine I could be stuck behind a desk!!