Day 4 of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain


It seemed like the massage was only just done and dinner had been eaten and then the alarm was ringing for the start of stage 4 another 212 gruelling kilometres, which saw us leave Scotland and enter England. For me the start was another 100km I could spend with Barney (my husband) who was once again doing the starting leg for the relay he is riding with fellow Paralympian, Jody Cundy.  Today, both of us were feeling rough with bad stomachs, so we kept the pace quite steady and picked up various riders looking for a tow, as the wind was now coming from the south and we had a head wind for most of the day.


On deciding that we were probably on sports powder and gel overload, we ditched the bottles and refilled them with coke, pretty much the only thing we could stomach for several hours!


After leaving Barney, I headed to the second pit stop loomed just before crossing the border back into England. It’s not until you ride in this way that you realise just how far north Scotland reaches! The final leg was an undulating ride into Carlisle and then a much hillier finish down to Ullswater. There were some steep rises and some fast and twisty descents, but the views were quite amazing and we found roads that most people would never have realised existed. For most of this section, I had the company of the lead motorbike, which confirmed I’d be the first rider home again. These motorbike marshals have been a very welcome sight at various points on the route and today I was grateful for him leading me through the twisty sections.


Photographs courtesy of Phares Photography


At one point we were high on the moors, passing through wild land with low lying bushes and hundreds of small ponies and sheep. The road was winding through this remote landscape and it made you feel like the only person in the world! As I rounded a corner, after slowing down to not scare the ponies, there was a huge sign wishing “Nigel” all the very best and several people stood with it cheering! It was awesome to see them high on this moorland and I pushed on realising there was only about 20km to finish!


We crossed the A66 and went through Troutbeck Head and then gradually worked our way through the countryside to the side of Ullswater. Turning right, the road then climbed and fell through Patterdale and before too long I could see the flags of the base camp in the distance. It was a welcome sight and I was chuffed to again finish inside 7 hours, with 6 hours 53 minutes on the clock, a height gain of 1565m throughout the day and another 185 watt average.


Being in the Lake District is familiar territory because of races I have done up here, but tomorrow starts with a climb over Kirkstone Pass, so that will need a good breakfast and thankfully a slightly later start at 8am! For now though it’s time to clear all those empty coke bottles from the car!!


Thanks to Sarah Storey


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