In the absence of doing the Lakeland 100 this weekend, I thought I'd try and occupy my mind and body by ticking off another long term goal of mine...
'Well, that was quite the day! I've wanted to do the Fred for a number of years, and at the last minute I thought I'd add on about 25 extra KMs and just cycle to and from home. I'm smart like that...
When I woke this morning there was drizzle falling and after checking the forecasts it was clear the weather had changed. I set off anyway hoping it'd improve. It really didn't. By the time I was heading across Cold Fell (having done Fangs Brow) it was windy, misty and raining. I was nervous about doing the high passes in the wet, but it felt too early to give in.
By the time I reached Eskdale it was drier and I anxiously started pedaling up Harknott Pass. I actually made it to the top without stopping, a primary aim for no reason other than prestige! Coming down was sheepish, and it was then onto Wrynose. Coming down Wrynose I got a puncture, which took me an annoying 20 mins to sort. Onward I went into Langdale and then out to Grasmere. A quick turn here and it was down past Ambleside (100km) and then up towards Kirkstone Pass. This is a loooong climb and I was glad to be cruising into Ullswater when it was over.
I met Naomi at Troutbeck (132km) which was very much needed. I then zoomed along the A66 for a good number of KMs before getting another blowout!!! Naomi came back and another 20 mins later I was away. By this point my sense of humour was starting to fail however.
The final section wasn't looking pretty - Honister, Newlands and Whinlatter all in quick succession. Honister was grim, but thankfully I'd found my legs by the last two.
Once back in Lorton I'd rounded the circle and it was just a case of getting home, which thankfully didn't take too long.
Huge thanks to my wife Naomi for playing support again, and to everyone else who has messaged or supported in some way.
I'm stoked to have got this done. Riding solo with multiple challenges has no doubt been great for my mental game.
The bike can go in the shed for a few days now
205km - 3850m ascent. 12 hours.
This year myself and Naomi are on a fundraising mission for Hospice at Home West Cumbria . If you wish to donate you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thegreatlevoichallenge'