Last night was not the most relaxing ever. There was no air conditioning in the hotel, and the room was sweltering so it took quite a while to get to sleep. Then, at around 1:30am I was awoken by a party of wedding guests, who had obviously decided to continue their celebrations in the corridors after the main bar had been closed. Luckily, my ear plugs came to the rescue; some of them were still at it by 6:45am...
The morning ride was also not the most inspiring, passing through the dreary towns of Leigh, Westhoughton and Chorley. The constant proximity to the M61 (over and under which I passed several times) did not help, and I developed a splitting headache for most of the morning.
Things began to improve at last with a climb through the pretty village of Mellor, followed a while later by a couple of fantastic straight descents into Whalley. I ate lunch before setting off through the Forest of Bowland, which offered some wonderful landscapes despite the grey skies. Several long but gradual climbs took me to over 300m above sea-level; the highest on the trip to date had been around 260m.
Nearing the end of the day, rain set in as I slowly climbed up a deserted (except for sheep) road to the highest point so far - 426m. Over the crest of the hill, the rain dissipated and I had a long easy ride down the far side to High Bentham for 3 or 4 miles, feeling thrilled to see the sign announcing I was passing into North Yorkshire on the way. A few miles further on I checked into my B&B in the picturesque village of Ingleton. In the nearby "Craven Heifer" I had a delicious meal washed down with the appropriate local beer, "Lancaster Bomber"!
Oh, and by the way, I'm now over half-way to John o'Groats :-)
Distance: 64.0 miles
Total ascent: 1853m
Cumulative distance: 530.4 miles
Interactive route map and profile: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1858