DAY 2: Workington to Penrith to Marske-by-the-Sea
Sunday morning was gusty. My right knee was inflamed from the 142 miles the day before. I wrapped a Buff around it to keep the cold off it and to offer some support/compression in the hope it would relent. Despite my best efforts to get out for 0700, it was after 0800 by the time I mounted the saddle.
Coming out of Workington I was joined by another cyclist who was out for his Sunday morning ride, and was happy enough to ride alongside me at my pedestrian pace to Keswick. The conversation was good, and the miles went by very happily and with average speed of 20mph for the 22 miles to Keswick where Alan took turn for Whinlatter.
The morale boost I must have got from riding with someone was massive. As soon as I was riding alone my speed dropped from 20+mph to struggling to get above 13mph and every stroke of the pedal was hard on the knees.
10-miles later a 400-strong time trial was zipping in the opposite direction down the A66. It looked to have started somewhere in the Thirlmere direction. This too acted as a morale booster and I picked up speed as I made my way to Penrith – the end of my adventure.
Quitting is never easy but having lost a year of good training between 2011-12 with a slipped disc, I’m wise enough to say ‘no’ when enough is enough. My right knee had had enough and I did not want to aggravate it any further. I know I’ll now need two weeks off running and cycling and that is bad enough. Had I carried on, it would be much worse.
42 miles in 2 hours 25 minutes (Total for the weekend: 184 miles)
The train ride home was frustrating. I knew it would take four separate trains to get from Penrith to my slice of heaven on the East Coast, but goodness me, the red-tape you encounter when trying to catch a train with a bike is something else! Why do you need a bike reservation when there is not a single other bike on the train? Especially for a 24-minute ride from Newcastle to Darlington?
All in all, it took me just shy of SIX HOURS to get from Penrith to Redcar. I could have cycled it quicker!
I don’t suppose he’ll be reading this, but “Thanks to the jobs-worth conductor that looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid, who tried to get Security to remove me from the station and prevent me boarding any further East Coast trains from Newcastle”. I didn’t catch his name, but I gathered it wasn’t Fucking Arsehole judging by the way he chased me down Platform 4 after I call him it! …so childish.