Crossing the Dales
I wondered if I cycled a little bit slower up the Burnsall hill whether the weather would have passed through by the time I was out of the trees at the top. And by jove, it worked!
I've had a phenomenally lucky day!
An early train to Kirkby Stephen right through the heart of the Dales had me filled with joy before I even began pedalling. A warm train, a peppermint tea and some dunking biscuits in six degrees of chilliness helped enormously!
I took a variation on my usual route home, going over Lamps Moss before taking a left through Swaledale to Muker. There's a little hill that I haven't done for a while - in fact, I've only every done once before but the start is firmly imprinted in my mind. It's a touch on the steep side but once you're round it, the landscape is simply gorgeous with a beautiful craggy stretch to the summit.
It made for a very enjoyable change. The descent into Wensleydale left me feeling like I was well on my way back and a coffee stop in Aysgarth fuelled me for what I was anticipating being a headwind as the road switches a little too far east to keep the wind on your tail. Last time, it was ferocious up there so I braced myself.
I got of lightly! Yes, the wind was not in my favour but the bit where I had to really grit my teeth last time was pleasantly not too bad.
Then it's almost downhill all the way home.
Peckish again, I was forming a plan to stop at Kilnsey and, as I passed Littondale with an enormous black cloud heading this way, it felt very justified as the first spots of rain came down. Pedalling a touch harder, I made it to the cafe without getting wet, watching the rain outside as I drank tea and munched flapjack.
Homeward bound, I somehow managed to dodge all the big showers that Rich had texted me about. The tail ends passed in front of me or missed me altogether.
It's days like today that I'm super thankful of my heavily one-sided work-life balance as I watch Rich suffering the other extreme. At least he got out for some pedalling air tonight too.