Preston to Kirkby Stephen: 13th July 75miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged

This stage was billed as the hardest of the whole tour, and added to that we had an apointment with the Preston Disablement Services Centre. Because of this, four of the faster amputees (myself, Nathan, Richard and Jim B) went to the limb centre with the intention of catching up with the main group by lunchtime. As you can see in the picture below, we had a lot more than four cyclists setting off from the limb centre! In fact about a dozen staff from the centre joined for the first part of our ride – prosthetists, orthotists, therapists, receptionists… all good company.

Preston Limb Centre

We left the centre at about 10:30 and took a pleasant meandering route through the lanes stopping at a popular cyclists’ cafe in Scorton, North of Preston. Following Lancashire Hotpot (what else?) we left the Preston team at 2:30pm with still about 65 miles to cover. We took the quickest route we could: up the A6 to Lancester, onto the A683 all the way to Kirkby Stephen. We didn’t manage to catch the main group but had an excellent ride along the A683. Particularly after a short stop at the Devil’s Bridge near Kirkby Lonsdale where we left Lancashire and entered Cumbria – we saw some great dramatic scenery without having to go over it.

Having raced away from the Preston limb centre, tomorrow promises a race towards the next one – Carlisle…

It wasn’t easy but it didn’t prove to be the toughest day, partly because we made an executive decision to take the A road rather than the planned scenic route over the Forest of Bowland, and partly because Dartmoor and the Blackdown Hills was just… tough!

No longer part of the Youth Hostel Association, I’m pleased to say the hostel at Kirkby Stephen is still a going concern.

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