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Land's End to John O'Groats Day 7 - Runcorn to Condor Green 70 miles


You won't hear me say this often, but I was wrong! It turned out that today's route notes were accurate and we did not have a wakey wakey climb straight of the hotel! This probably a good thing because the way I was feeling this morning, it may well have put me right over the edge and into solid dummy on the floor, I wanna go home territory. I'd had a fantastic night's sleep in the Holiday Inn, and really didn't want to get out of bed for anything. I just wanted to curl up under the covers for another 12 hours and give this whole cycling lark a miss. Happily, I have awesome friends who know exactly the right things to say to me, and after I'd forced myself into cycling gear, and down to breakfast, read the messages, and we'd gotten the first 20 miles of the day under our belts, I was feeling a lot better about things and enthusiastic again for the trip.

I don't remember too much of this morning, save for roundabouts. Lots and lots of roundabouts. And traffic, a fair bit of that too. After brew stop, we had our first major climb of the day. For all that I've moaned about climbs up to now, this one was actually a refreshing change from the roundabouts, and I was in my newly found good mood, and this climb wasn't too bad. It eventually took us out to some moorland, and onto lunch.

Now, I've name checked Gravity, the weather, and my bike in this blog, and they have all responded positively. My legs apparently are feeling left out. As you can guess, they have expressed their dissatisfaction by hurting. My right knee has decided to "remind" me of where I pulled the muscle in it 4 years ago (where the hamstring joins the knee) and my left hip is also joining in the fun with occasional shooting aches down the side of my leg. So Legs, you have now been mentioned in the blog. You know what happens if you don't buck up your ideas. Remember that the Kane Manoeuvre is an option! You can get some wonderful prosthetic legs these days!

This afternoon, with the exception of Blackburn, we were back in country lanes in the sunshine enjoying the ride. Whilst I recognised a few place names on the sign posts (Blackpool, Preston, Garstang, Lancaster), all the little villages we passed through were completely new to me. Places such as Tockholes, where we stopped for lunch - that was up on the moor - or Inglewhite, where we stopped for afternoon brew. Ooh, top tip for Inglewhite. Upon the wall of a building there, there are two signs. Well, one is the parish notice board rather than a sign. Whatever you do, don't try to read them. The reason for this is that in order to read them safely, i.e. Not standing in the middle of the road, you need to stand up on a grass verge. If you do this, you will summon forth "Vengeful Old Lady", a boss level mob, who will shoo you off the grass angrily, before heading back into the house, and then mouthing further things at you out of the window.

There might also be a random chicken on the green area across the road from the verge trap. We had no idea why it was there, but it seemed to be having fun pecking at the grass and hoovering up the crumbs from the brew stop, so we just left it to it.

This evening I am staying in one of the most picturesque pubs I've seen. The door to our room is randomly shorter than all the other doors upstairs, as though you are entering Wonderland or something - I half expected a table with a little cake on it with an "Eat me" label attached to it - but with a beautifully sunny evening going on, it's a very nice end to a day that started in a very grumpy mood!

Having finished day 7, we are now halfway through the tour, time wise. We are a few miles short of half way, we have a couple of longer days going through Scotland, but from here on in, every session we do will have less sessions to come after it than the total number of sessions already done. This, for me at least, is quite a major milestone. We may have 7 hard days to come, but as each one ticks down, we've already done more than there is left to do, so I know I can do this. It's somewhat difficult to put into words exactly what that feels like, but hopefully you get the idea!

One final thing - I'm currently at £1855ish donated, combined across the two just giving pages, and the random cash people have handed to me. I think that's amazing, and I'm so, so grateful to everyone for it.

Right, I'm gonna stop here before I get too gushy! Bet we have a climb first thing tomorrow!


K.
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