1997 John O’Groats to Lands End – Day 6 Penrith to Stretton

I was woken early with a cup of tea and loaded the bike onto the car and dad transported me back the 20 miles to where I had finished the previous evening.   It was a very quiet and sombre journey for some reason, probably the thought of tackling Shap, this time on my bike.   I got dropped off just after 7:30 and took just over an hour to make my way to the foot of Shap and then climb to the summit.   It was a pleasant surprise really as although the hill is a long hard slog it is not particularly steep.   I found a comfortable climbing gear and just sat in the saddle and pumped away.   Once at the summit I took a few minutes to gather my breath before the long descent back to the camp-site and a cooked breakfast.   I really motored coming down the other side and was back on site and eating a really good breakfast with 20 miles under my belt by 9:30.

I set off again just after 10:00 and passed through Kendal, Lancaster and Preston before hitting the conurbations of Wigan and Warrington.  It was not a particularly pleasant ride today but nevertheless it had to be done.   The roads around Wigan and Warringtron are diabolical with numerous bumps and pot-holes.   The weather was showery today with a slight headwind but after Shap the road was generally flat.   I met up with Mum and Dad just the other side of Warrington and the only accommodation they could find was a Travelodge just south of Warrington.   We had the ‘family room’ for the night but it was comfortable and I was able to have a good soak in the bath before walking to a little pub a few hundred yards up the road called the Holly Bush.   We had a great meal and a couple of pints of beer.   Things were now back on track and hopefully tomorrow I may make it as far as Gloucester and would be really ‘nearly home’.

Daily Mileage: 105.50 miles

Average Speed: 11.00 mph

Cycling Time: 9h 20m

Cumulative Mileage: 519.23 miles