John O'Groats to Land's End - The Hardest Day to York

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John O'Groats to Land's End - The Hardest Day

Friday 30th July 2010

I woke at the sound of my alarm set for 5:10am. I ate a slice of dry bread, given to me the night before, with some nuts and raisins. I dressed quickly, began loading the bike and took down the tent. I wheeled everything to the toilet block where I used the facilities; cleaned the water bottles and then filled them with the juices I bought before Edinburgh. I had a quick chat with a cyclist from the continent who was doing the Lizard Point to Dunnet Head ride over three weeks. We wished each other well, I finished securing everything on the bike and trailer and set off.

Cow by the A68

The A68 continued to be a very challenging road to cycle pulling the trailer. I frequently found stretches where the road rolled up and down steeply. It was frustrating progress having to get off and walk the bike every time the road went up. On the up side, there was plenty of opportunity when walking to stop and take a photo.

Hadrian's Wall

So in spite of my efficient start to the day it was 10:30 before I reached Hexham. Just before reaching the town I stopped to take a photo as I crossed Hadrian's Wall, the Roman frontier with Scotland. Going through the town I found a large Tesco supermarket with a cafe. I was early enough to get the breakfast menu and ordered a full English with plenty of tea. I then did my routine shop of supplies for the day and gave my change to a charity cyclist on a static bike raising money for Macmillan.

After my detour in to Hexham, I returned to the A68 and continued on to Darlington. The road continued to be as challenging as before with frequent need to walk the last stretch to each summit.

Steep Gradient Sign