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Pedal Power by Nick Veasey
  • Writer's pictureAnnette Culshaw

The Magic Roundabout

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

23rd September 2018

Today has been almost perfect, (except for a little magic roundabout issue.) We cycled 51 miles and arrived in Kendal shortly before 4.00pm. It was so much quicker on the roads. No problems with the traffic and mostly uneventful.

When we arrived to the incredible landscapes of Cumbria we both felt the joy that we experienced when we first set off from Cornwall. Both then and now seemed surreal that we were doing this at all and the sense of freedom kicked in again.

A day could not go by without a little problem however. Bear in mind our route shows as a thin purple line on our GPS gadgets. If we get lost it is almost impossible to know where to go next as there is no large map to guide us. So today, it was not us who got lost but the Garmin GPS devices who decided to take a break. It was if they were sulking .

So we come to this enormous and complex roundabout outside Preston.

We had to cross from one side to the other...

Both devices tell us we have to go around all the exits to get to the other side of these double three lane carriageways. This was no little roundabout, but huge. So we started to cross all the many pedestrian traffic lights there and eventually got to the other side. Our little devices told us then to continue en route. What they forgot to mention was that we had to go under two lots of tunnels underneath the motorway to carry on our route...and they had steps!!!!

The bypass tunnels ..with steps!

As you know, our bikes, laden down with panniers weigh a ton. We cannot lift them at all, so to get up the other side, Bob was pulling, I was pushing. There were two tunnels like this to negotiate. But we did it!!! Panting! Relief...

Then, two yards further on, both GPS devices gave us the message.... "Make a U Turn....'

You have got to be kidding.

We had no choice at all. There was nowhere else to go so we pushed and pulled our bikes back through these two needle-infested tunnels. Arrived at the same spot we had started from to get a message from them... 'Make a U turn'!!!' I almost found myself thinking that a canal path would be nothing compared to this -- (until I remembered.)

Two cyclists came by and we asked for help. "Oh, this is a new bypass" he said, "none of the GPS devices recognise it yet. You will need to cross the road....." Which is where we had started from in the first place.

From then on it was plain cycling. We were on the A6 most of the rest of the day. Passing through the centre of Lancaster was great... all the traffic snarled up and Bob and I cycling past them all along the cycling lane.

The cyclepath outside Lancaster

For the first time today we were cycling into a head wind... the first of our trip so far. We have been so very lucky. It did mean that in spite of the sunshine we did get incredibly cold. Fingers crossed for more South Westerlies please.

Cumbria is stunning. We are staying in Kendal tonight in Stonecross Manor, an old manor house. A faded glory type of place. The only choice on the evening menu was a Sunday Roast... reheated from lunchtime. The roast potatoes were black and the yorkshire puddings needed a chainsaw to cut them

I yearn for some healthy food.

Tomorrow we tackle the most notorious hill on the whole trip... Shap Fell. Bob can't wait...

Me.... I am not too sure!

Day’s Mileage: 51.92m Total mileage to date: 553.52m

Day’s climbing: 1,365ft Total climbing to date 23,060ft

Goodnight our friends

Annette & Bob


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