Day 5 – Preston to Lockerbie

This was the fast day.

Breakfast at the Ibis was unlimited and thus suited our needs perfectly. Cheap and cheerful hotel, with a comfy room and cheap beer in the bar.

Quelling the desire to pocket a croissant or two, we left Preston and hit the A6 and stuck on it for the next sixty miles or so. We’ve opted for stops every twenty miles or thereabouts, so breakfast is followed by second breakfast (Lancaster for Powerade, then Kendal for Greggs), and then lunch (pub lunch in Penrith), and then a snack in Carlisle, some Coke near Gretna and a final Tesco lunch in Lockerbie.

Shap was overrated – just a slog. The descent was fast though and I’d definitely ride it again. The only thing I didn’t like was the false summit we encountered, but in hindsight it was better than the disappointing summit which is more a plateau than anything.

After a stop in Penrith for a pub lunch, then in Carlisle at an Aldi for some unbranded discount snacks, we made our way to the border. Losing the marked route we were on, we found ourselves cycling through an old RAF air base, now converted into industrial units. After ensuring that we could get out the other side, we rejoined the main route and rode towards Scotland.

Hitting the border, and getting the obligatory photo in Gretna, we made our way to Lockerbie.

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We’d finished England, so it now felt like we were back on home territory and that the end of the ride was in sight and completely achievable.

After a stop beyond Gretna for juice and another Tesco lunch in Lockerbie, we finished with a six mile sprint to the hotel.

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A big day tomorrow too – off to Comrie.

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