By WharfedaleBex

Any excuse!

Didn’t we just do this? Yep, it was a mere 55 days since my 2500th blip. Sorry about that. But, BlipDays, for me, are a fine excuse for an adventure and I’m over-the-moon!

Last night, I drove the van up to Ingleton, ready to start my ride from Kirkby Lonsdale this morning. I’ve discovered that campsites are benefitting madly from the pandemic, only just squeezing in to two separate places.

Being mighty chilly, it took me a while to get out of bed but I was well prepared with my full winter kit once I’d extracted myself from the tucked under edges of the duvet.

The roads were quiet and I headed up towards Dent and then Sedbergh with sunlight starting to appear on The Howgills ahead (that's the blip moment!)

I hopped off my bike a fair few times to take photos and when I reached Ravenstonedale, a farmer stopped to chat who knew farmer John and Jim dog from the other week, followed by a lady with a very cute thirteen week old trainee sheepdog. I haven’t visited Ravenstonedale up until recently but this is now my third visit in a month. It was pretty in the rain but the glowing hills behind were spectacular today and everyone is so very friendly. 

I was getting hungry by now but not many miles to go and I had a cafe stop to look forward to in Orton. I pick up Strava followers I pass on the road sometimes and this ride was inspired by one of them who had identified the cafe with a slight detour of a red route line. Perfect! As was the food. Another very well set up venue for virus protection and the finest cyclist’s jacket potato. I’m quite the expert now. They were very pleased when I told them!

It was undulating from here, a terrain my legs aren’t really used to. And they told me so. My Garmin battery was also dying in the cold and refused half way round to go to battery save mode. I had a map of my route and a good idea anyway but I do like a record too so there was nothing for it but to stop dawdling. Not that I really managed much better than that but it did make me focus! A very long time ago, I’d taken the road alongside the M6 north and loved it. In reverse, it was just as beautiful as I remembered. 

By now, I’d seen a giant hare, a red squirrel and a flock of fieldfares that have migrated in. The dead mole, road closed and recently trimmed miles of hedges were proving not to be the bad omen I was  trying to ignore in the first hour. The second road closed sign was still on my side despite me feeling a bit edgy. I was prepared to beg but there was room to get by. I think I’ve only ever once been turned back and that was only a few miles from home.

I hadn’t had another bar since lunch and I was getting hungry again. I’d only brought biscuits and dinner and it was too early for that. A few miles from Kirkby Lonsdale and the revelation lit up across the sky; I’m parked 100metres from the bacon butty van on Devil’s Bridge! After amending my order to add an egg, I pedalled the last few yards with glee. Falling into the van, getting the kettle on and tucking in. 

It was splendid news indeed to find a message from blipper AuntieP & VitalSparks to say they'd seen our local marketing in the press. Unbeknown to them, on my BlipDay too!

I can now barely eat dinner I’m so tired but I’ve had the most wonderful of days. Let’s see if my legs have a bit more left in them tomorrow.

Thank you, BlipBuddies, for following my journey for another year.

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