What better way to spend a sunny Sunday than pedaling around some of the quiet and beautiful lanes of Cumbria, Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales. Jonathan and Caroline decided to have a go at the 60-mile option of the 3 counties challenge. Find out how they did...
Jonathan (partnered by David Stephens from Lovell Johns, our mapping partners in Oxford) and myself (partnered by my sister-in-law Heather Milligan and Gill Sharples) decided to have a go at the 60-mile option of the www.3countieschallenge.org organised by the Rotary Club of Kendal and Kent Valley Road Club, with proceeds going to local charities. There’s also 109-mile option for the superfit, or a 25-mile option for families.
The conditions were perfect and our two groups set off just a few minutes apart, starting with an early morning blast through Arnside and Silverdale, then over the M6 and a good warm up on the first hill out of Burton towards Kirkby Lonsdale. Turning off the busy A65 onto tiny lanes through High Casterton, we then had a gradual climb up to the peace and quiet of Barbondale, then a steep drop down to Dent for welcome sandwiches and a cuppa!
We took a deep breath and tackled the steepest section up into Kingsdale. It was a real thigh and lung-buster with the reward of a cracking view to Ingleborough and an exciting ride down to the Marton Arms near Ingleton. The rest of the ride took in pretty villages of Burton-in-Lonsdale, Wray, Hornby (more tea and cakes), Gressingham, Capernwray and then back home to Milnthorpe via Holme and a chance to compare notes on sunburn and saddle sores! It was a very friendly, low key but top-notch event with a dedicated band of volunteers who gave up their Sunday to make it all possible. Thanks to them. I for one will definitely do it again next year…. Are you tempted?