Day 3 – 19th April

We woke to heavy rain this morning and groaned, we had been so lucky as the forecast had been heavy rain and wind for the week so we togged up in waterproof gear, only to find it had stopped when we got on our bikes – hooray! Now we were heading due south and could see the Cumbrian mountains in the distance.

We cycled along lovely little farm lanes off the main roads (much of it newly done with tarmac byways through farmers fields as part of the Sustrans network) The coastline here was sandy dunes with the main road following it with much industrial development and wind turbines snaking along the road, so pretty dull and the whole area seemed pretty poor and lacking in employment.

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We passed through Maryport, Workington and Seaton before reuniting ourselves with the route 71 Coast to Coast at Whitehaven, which we had cycled in 2008. We dutifully dipped our wheels into the sea at the C2C sign and continued south on the path we had cycled before until our routes split at Cleator Moor. This was the only place we lost our route through poor signposting and ended up on the A595 heading for Egremont. It was most unpleasant with heavy lorries nudging you up the backside and we were really grateful for the wonderful routes that Sustrans take that are so traffic free. Lunch was taken in a great little cafe in the town centre.

Now we were back on the 72 on our final push south alongside the Lake District National Park and the light dancing around on the distant peaks made a breathtaking backdrop to our ride. It wasn’t long before we could see the round dome and towers of Sellafield Nuclear Reactor in the distance. The path took us right alongside the heavily barbed wire enclosure, stretching for several miles. Shortly afterwards we stopped in the dunes for our Radio Cornwall interview and gave the people at home an update on where and how we were.

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We only had 5 miles to go now through Drigg and Saltcoats to the beautiful little coastal town of Ravenglass and a great little pub on the sea front where we basked in hot sunshine relishing more shandy to slake our thirst and reward ourselves at the end of a brilliant ride.

We did continue to the finish at the Roman Bath house and found Tom, our taxi driver waiting to take us the 3 hour drive back to Pete’s house with fish and chips en route.

What a brilliant 3 days we have had and we’re already hatching plans to get Pete down to Cornwall to ride route 3 and challenge his legs on our Cornish hills!

Miles cycled today: 53

Thank you to everyone who kindly sponsored Pat’s cycle ride.

The money she has raised will go to build a bike shed for Children’s Hospice South West, which offers care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. If you would like to donate, it’s not too late – go to http://www.chsw.org.uk/cyclechallenge.