Set off from Walney Island at 9am Saturday after getting up at stupid o'clock & catching a train up to Barrow-In-Furness.
Weather report wasn't great but it was warm if windy & we thought it was going to work out pretty well.
40 miles later & we realised it was going to be a long, tough day - stopped at a pub for a meal then hit the climbing. Around the 50 mile mark the weather started to look grim and we were only in the Lune valley between Cumbria and the Howgills. Just after Kirby Stephen it started to rain, we began the climbing up towards Tan Hill & the clouds hid the higher parts of the hills. We got into the cloud layer and the weather deteriorated markedly - wind, rain & near zero visibilty as the temps dropped into single figures.
Finally staggered into the Tan Hill Inn feeling like death & lurched towards the open fire & a hot chocolate, grimly understanding we had to go back out into that weather & ride another 25 miles to our accomodation in Ovington.
What i hadn't really understood was how poor the surface was on the couple of miles of the Pennine Way route we would be using to avoid the big drop and climb back out of Reeth, imagine a rutted dirt track with sodden gravel, mud, large puddles, rocks & riding it in very limited visibility and rain on your brand new & expensive lightweight road rims...
I was cursing every need to brake & the resulting vile sound of grit on the rims, fortunately the Cero AR30's are pretty strong & took the insult without breaking a spoke or going even slightly out of true.
Finally dropped off the hill & below the cloud layer & the temps rose & the rain eased off, a very cold and sodden 8 miles led us to the Four Alls pub at Ovington where we had booked a room for the night. Couldn't do enough for us, took all our soggy kit including shoes and dried them overnight, food was great and so was the beer.
Toughest day i've had on the bike and there was more to come the next day, fortunately Sunday was easier at only 70 miles & 4400ft of ascent. First 40 miles were fairly rolling so eased our sore muscles somewhat before we hit final 30 miles into the North York Moors - some stiff climbs over those hills isn't there? Was glad to get to Whitby!