Day two begins with another tasty breakfast, a room cleanup and equipment shorted into ‘what to take’ and ‘what to leave’, then a wait for Ian from Pedal Power (click HERE for a link to Pedal Power, the company providing bikes and accommodation for our ride. Ian arrives with our bikes and we load up for a drive to ‘Ravenglass where we will begin our Hadrian’s Wall Cycle Tour.
Somewhat unsure of what to expect on this route for signage and surface conditions we are soon pleased to see that the route is well sign posted with a very manageable elevation gain.
Throughout the day our senses are bombarded with a mix of succulent grasses, Hawthorne hedges budding with flowers, verdant green hills dotted with colourful sheep, sweeping views of the coastal waters, dog owners on their faithful walk routine, small villages in idyllic settings, farmer’s working their fields and the ever present odour of recently spread animal manure (I tried but no photo gave the smell justice!!).
After becoming accustomed to this constantly changing rural and urban mix we were aware of something much larger dominating the approaching skyline.
As we peddled closer, signs on the 15 ft. high razor wire fence gave us a clue as to the purpose of this massive complex. After consultation with some fellow cyclists it was revealed that this is the largest nuclear power plant in the UK. We wondered if they were using uranium from Saskatchewan.
Leaving this massive complex behind we forged ahead with more feasts for the eyes as we peddled toward our destination.
Six miles down the road we entered the town of Egremont. This portion of the trail was set on the roadway and shared space with cars approximately 1 foot away but mercifully traveling at a reasonable speed. I was aware of changing road conditions with a more cobblestone-like surface but couldn’t imagine why it was causing my back wheel to feel so wobbly and sluggish. It soon became obvious that the reason for my troubles was a rapidly diminishing tire pressure. I dismounted and after discussions with a passerby it was determined that a service station with compressed air was just around the corner. My spirits were elated as this would mean I could much more easily change the tire without breaking into a sweat as I pumped with a small hand pump. Ian, our tour master, had proved tools and a spare tire so we were soon back in business.
We arrived at the Hall Park Hotel in Warkington and were greeted by our friendly and genial host who instructed us to bring our bikes into the dinning room for overnight safety.
Our room is spacious with a full on suite WC which soon served up a coveted post riding shower. We then stepped out to explore the town and ended up with a bottle of wine to toast our day of riding. This is a quaint place with the ever present mix of worn down and new side streets.