Sunday 22nd June
Today has been quite eventful. We were served our breakfast, which was lovely but none of us felt like eating it this morning after eating so late last night. It was a really lovely hotel and very comfortable.
Today we are heading for Dumfries, about 58 miles. Caroline was not going to attempt to ride until much later in the day, as she wanted to rest her leg as much as possible. She is disappointed but the hills out of Ayr were quite steep. Having had our bike mended, Gra said he would do the first part of the journey with all the hills. What we didn’t realise was now the electrics were not working on our bike.
Caroline and I stopped in Ayr to get some salads for lunch in Morrison’s. We were heading on the A713 to Dalmellington. We stopped just outside the village and made a cup of coffee to have with our doughnuts. The kettle was hot but by no means boiled, when the gas ran out. Not to worry, we had warm coffee instead. Nobody complained.
As Gra had no electrics and our bike is quite heavy, Andy swapped bikes with him as his legs are stronger.
We then headed for Carsphairn, which was about half way. We found a picnic area with some toilets which was perfect to eat our salads. We were all in high spirits and had a really nice lunch.
I changed with Gra at this point, as we had now gone on the B729 and was a really nice little road. Andy said I could swap bikes with him too but I couldn’t get my leg over the crossbar. My legs are a lot stronger now that when we started but not that strong. As it was such a nice little road Caroline decided she would have a go on her electric trike. We got it out of the van, Gra drove off and we had forgotten to put the battery on. We were going downhill so it didn’t matter too much and told Gra not to come back, we would catch him up.
By the time we reached him Caroline had decided her leg didn’t feel right and she and Andy would try the tandem, it might be easier. We sorted all the van again to get the tandem out. As Andy was on the tandem, Graham decided he would use Andy’s bike, as it was lighter and faster than his.
Off we go again. Two minutes down the road, after Gra had left us again, Caroline and Andy had a puncture. Dani decided she would ride down the hill and catch Gra, as none of us had phone signal. When I caught up with them, I decided I would ride down to Dani so she wouldn’t be waiting on her own.
Gra came back and it was decided that Caroline’s leg really wasn’t strong enough for the roads we were on. I have to say again, the countryside is stunning. The views were so different but just as beautiful as yesterday and the day before, and the day before that. It was very hilly though and tough for us all. Andy and Dani were the only ones that didn’t appear to be struggling. I think they might have been inside but never once let on.
After reaching Dani I decided I couldn’t do any more as there seemed to be a restriction on the wheels. After the decision was made, Dani, Andy, Graham and Gra had about three or four miles down without any ups. Great as it was really hot.
Caroline and I were stopping about every 3 or 4 miles for the four of them to reach us until we reached Dumfries.
It’s a lovely town but we are all too tired to appreciate it. Caroline and I went to get a take away and bought it back to the hotel. Andy and Graham went into town to watch the football. We went to bed. Another day tomorrow.
Monday 23rd June
Today is our 41st Wedding Anniversary. We didn’t think we would be doing this on our 41st anniversary all those years ago, I will rephrase that, we didn’t think we would be doing this ever.
Today we will be leaving Scotland, we are heading to Penrith in Cumbria. What a way to see our beautiful country. But first we have to get the electrics fixed on my bike.
I have to say the Joggle Clan is a motley crew but we are working so well together. We have Dani up front leading the way with her great route we are all following. She is always calm and seems to be chilled out. Whether she feels that inside, we can’t tell. But she’s really doing so well with no complaints. We have Andy who is so strong and watches out for everyone, especially Caroline. If ever any of us are struggling Andy is there for them. Graham has been a great boost to Andy and has taken a lot of the strain, especially with the tandem. It’s not easy on that. It’s great on flat and downhill but a nightmare on any uphill’s. I don’t know how they are doing it. (That includes Caroline). I’m sure Graham hurts sometimes but is not letting on. I would say that Graham is definitely bringing up the rear (the rear being me and Gra). He does a grand job when we are lagging behind. As for Caroline, she is the one that keeps us all happy and focused on what we are doing, whether on the bike or in the van. She has been gutted about her leg but knows as well as we do, if she gets back on the bike too soon, she will be in the van till the end. That’s not what any of us want. This would not be happening if it were not for her. We are all so proud to be part of her and Dani’s challenge.
Well back to today. We had breakfast at the hotel at 7.30am. Dani, Andy and Graham left us about 9.30. We took the bike to a couple of bike shops. The second thought it was the hub on the front wheel. They said he couldn’t do anything for us today as they had so much work on. With that we went and got lunch for everybody. We then phoned the bike shop in Wimborne, who I have to say have been very helpful. He said he would get the rep to ring us.
In the meantime Gra decided he would cycle with the others without electrics. So we caught up with them at the first hotel we came to in Gretna Green. It was called Gables Hotel. While locking the bikes, the manager came over to us and asked about the cycle ride. He was talking to us for a long time and was really impressed. He said he wanted to take our photo in front of the hotel and he would put it on their facebook page. He said we might get people to sponsor us from that. He also gave us £20.00 for the charity. They really made quite a fuss of us.
Caroline and I left them at The Gables, so we could look for a layby to boil the kettle and have our lunch. We stopped for about an hour, just the other side of Gretna Green. Dani, Andy, Graham and Gra said the cycling was a lot easier than it had been over the last couple of days.
We left them after lunch and we were heading for Carlisle. They were going to be on cycle tracks so would not meet up with them until the other side of the town. We stopped in a little village the other side of Carlisle called High Heskel, when Gra rang. The bearings on the bike had gone again, so there was nothing else to do but go back and pick him up, put the bike in the van and ring the rep again. He said he would get a new wheel sent to which ever shop was nearer, on Wednesday and we would take the bike and have the new wheel fitted there.
What a pain. Looking on the bright side, it could have been the van that was giving us trouble, that would be a much bigger problem.
By this time the three cycling had nearly reached Penrith so we went straight to the apartment we were staying in tonight. It was lovely with kitchen, living room, 3 bedrooms, bathroom and toilet. So tomorrow, no cooked breakfast. Hooray. I know we could say no to cooked breakfast but we don’t.
We thought about cooking tonight but we haven’t got a cooker. (Shame). So we went to the bar downstairs. It was a really lovely meal.
After that we went upstairs and played Gas Board Fives card game. We all had a really good laugh and really chilled out.
24th June 2014
Penrith is a lovely little town. We didn’t really have time to appreciate it again. By the time we had all had breakfast and packed again, we left about 9.30am.
Today we are heading for Windermere. Caroline and me are in the van with Gra driving. The scenery had changed again. It was tiny little roads with dry stone wall. So pretty. Dani, Andy and Graham said the cycling was quite hard.
We stopped at a village called Glenridding and had a coffee. Then we were stopping every few miles for the cyclist to catch up and make sure they were OK. We were following Ullswater along the A592. We got some really lovely photos. We also went past Brothers Water, then, without any notice at all the road went up, and up, and up then up again. In the van it was spectacular, but we all felt so sorry for Dani and the boys. It was an unbelievable climb. We waited near the top. We knew they would be walking a lot of the way. Andy came first on Graham’s bike, then Graham and then Dani. Dani had found it really difficult on the bits she had to walk as she had cycling shoes that clip onto the pedals on her bike. It makes them really difficult to walk in.
We had to give them time to recover before we could move on. When we got to the top, the view was equally as spectacular. It was a nice ride down for them but had lots of twists and turns, so they couldn’t get any real speed going.
The hotel we are staying at tonight is on the banks of Windermere about 3 miles the other side of the town. A beautiful old hotel called Beech Hill Hotel. The girls were so excited as it has a swimming pool. Andy and Graham are not staying with us tonight, as they were going to walk up Scarfell tomorrow morning. They have decided not to do that now but had already booked the hotel. They were going to bike there but Gra took them in the van and will pick them up tomorrow morning.
Caroline and Dani have already made full use of the swimming pool. We purposely made this an easy day so we could all relax.
We have just organised with Caroline and Dani to have a bar meal tonight. The restaurant is a little pricy for us. After they want to play cards again. That sounds good to me.
Gra went to bed early, before tea, as he has man flue. Actually he really was quite poorly. I didn’t get much sleep, apart from being too hot, Graham was tossing and turning all night. Hope he feels better tomorrow and none of us get his germs.
Wednesday 25th June
Gra did feel a lot better this morning. We had breakfast about 7.30am. Gra then went to pick up Andy and Graham. Me, Dani and Caroline packed the bags and got the bikes ready and waited for them to return.
We left the hotel about 10 O clock. Today we are heading for Preston. We have also heard from the rep about our bike. He had a new wheel sent to a shop in Preston yesterday, which will arrive today and we need to take the bike and he will mend it for us (We hope).
Out of Windermere the roads were quite hilly again, which was a hard start but then a lot of the roads were very small, and cycle ways, so it was really a nice ride again. We all wish we had been cycling on roads like this. It was quite difficult following them in the van as our map doesn’t show cycle routes.
Anyway we stopped in a lovely little village called Beetham to have coffee at the Wheatsheaf Hotel. As it was now 12 noon we decided to stay for lunch. We only wanted sandwiches. You should have seen them. Caroline, Gra and I had fish finger sandwiches. They were enormous. Dani had a pork sandwich, Andy had scrambled egg and smoked salmon, Graham had a Cumbrian Platter. They all had salad and chips. We are eating very well on this trip, that’s OK if you are cycling but not if we are sitting in the Van.
After that we had to leave Dani, Andy and Graham and go into Preston and get the bike fixed. We arrived there about 2.15pm. He said it would be ready by 4pm so we went and had coffee in Preston to wait. By 4pm Graham was back on the bike, cycling to the hotel to make sure it was OK for tomorrow.
Caroline and I went in the van, unpacked and waited for the others. The bike is OK at the moment but we don’t have faith in it now.
When they arrived, they said it had been another really nice day. I think it was 58 miles in total. They got a little lost in Lancaster town centre but not for long. Because they were on such small roads, they were able to talk and have a laugh together. When they are on busy roads it’s not so much fun.
Caroline, Andy, Dani and Graham went out after they had had showers and got cleaned up. Gra and I were still stuffed from lunch time and decided to skip tea tonight. I’ll let you know tomorrow what they did. (Probably glad to have a night off from the oldies).