Or, if you a pedant (many are…), the first day of cycling the route. After the short cycle back from Red Bank Farm Campsite to the seafront at Morecambe, I picked up the scent of The Way of the Roses and have been following it like a blood hound all day. But before we get to that, here’s what you missed if you weren’t following social media at around 7am today:
That was a stunning way to wake up. Campsites like Red Bank Farm are so much better at 7am than 9pm before the curfew kicks in. I don’t mind the noise of kids, music (not too loud…) and people getting drunk with their mates (within reason…) but when the bloke in his bright yellow camper van next to where you’ve chosen to pitch your own tent decides to switch on his engine for no explicable reason for 30 minutes, I draw a line. I went over and confronted him, informing him that his actions were utterly antisocial and that for the sake of every right-minded person on the campsite he should immediately switch off his engine! Well, I would have done had I not been British… Instead I remained sitting in my tent tutting. I even played Radio 4 through my phone as loud as I could. It had no effect whatsoever.
At 5am when I ‘woke’ (or, rather, stopped making an effort to fall asleep again…), he was in his tent, snoring. I can cope with that. Just. I decamped to just outside the campsite and brewed a lovely coffee. I struggle to understand why people who claim not to be morning people exist, especially on a morning like today in a location such as that.
I returned to the end of the pier-ish thing in Morecambe – it’s called the ‘Stone Jetty’ – and chatted with some fishermen from the north east. They were fishing in Morecambe as, apparently, the crabs off the coast of Northumberland have been poisoned by, allegedly, the dredging of the Tyne? (May need to check the river.) This is having a knock-on effect on the fish. Why have I not heard about this before? I then set off.
Time for video number two. Some stunning views of the Lune Valley coming up and this is just a rough edit of a few of the shots taken. I had the drone up at one point and the results are stunning. The film should be ready in a few weeks…
Lancaster was nice. I’ve never been there before and it has much going for itself; the castle, the priory, the pedestrianised town centre, the river… Alas not the girl who served me an excellent egg, bacon and sausage butty for my breakfast. She was not one of Lancaster’s happy folk. Far from it. Such was the quantity of her piercings, a casual observer might think she were conceived in a shipyard by two riveters. Yet surely this wouldn’t impact upon her mood, would it? She barely uttered a word and the few that she had been allocated to use on Saturday 28th June 2022 were spat through the metal.
The Lune Valley was astonishing. I can only fault it in one way; it was in Lancashire, not Yorkshire. On a spring morning with the sun shining and the greens verdant to the point of them exploding, can there be nicer places through which to cycle in the north of England? Discuss… Passing into Yorkshire and seeing the grand panoramic vista of the (real/original) Three Peaks before me, I was left a little bereft that this iconic, magnificent view of Yorkshire was the second best of the morning.
Fatigue was beginning to kick in in the early afternoon. Today’s ride was one of around 70km but I had envisaged fewer. A pork pie and bag of fudge from the well stocked shop in Clapham, delicious as they were, didn’t have the outcome that I had hoped and I crawled on through Austwick to Horton-in-Ribblesdale where I had booked a night at Holme Farm Campsite. One of Yorkshire’s greatest. £7. Run by an old bloke and his mate from South Shields (yes, we discussed crabs…). Lots of little tents. No tossers running their engines…
Visit the dedicated Grand Tour page of CyclingEurope.org to find out more about the planned 2022 cycle along some of western Europe’s most iconic cycle routes.
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