Hadrian's Cycleway Day 1-- Ravenglass to Egremont

Trip Start Jun 02, 2010
Trip End Jun 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Horse & Groom Court

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, June 7, 2010

Factoid: it gets light here at 4 am. We made our 9:07 am train from Oxford and it was a relaxing 4.5 hours riding through the countryside to Newcastle, where we met Peter Irvine, the man who arranged the bike hire and transported us from the east coast to the west coast to begin our ride. Peter is in the business of transporting cyclists and other tourists. He is also the Newcastle agent for Saddle Skedaddle, a large bike tour company based in England which runs tours internationally. The bikes were supplied by Skedaddle.
During the three-hour ride to Ravenglass, where Hadrian's Wall Cycleway begins, Peter gave us tips on which Roman ruins are most interesting, and information on where we'd be riding as we passed it in his van. It took us just three hours to travel by car the distance that will take us six days on bikes. We arrived at Ravenglass at about 4:45 pm.
After changing clothes and pedals (we'd brought ones with toe clips), loading our panniers, and adjusting seat posts, we were off at about 5:30, with 15 flat miles to ride. Although it was overcast, we thought the weather perfect for cycling. If you look at the map you'll see we were following the Solway Coast (as we will be for a few days) and the view from the bike trail was spectacular. Fragrant wild roses bloomed along side. Later, we rode next to a nuclear power plant.

 We would have made the ride in about two hours, but without knowing it we got off the marked route and rode an extra four or five miles. When we arrived at our lodging, a bike hostel, it was deserted, and it felt a bit surreal entering the passcode on the door and entering a building empty of people. Fortunately, we had brought backpacking meals for supper and breakfast (it was too late to go out again and we were too tired besides), and cooked and ate them in the kitchen. We had rented sleeping bags, which were waiting in our room. By the time we'd finished eating, we were only too happy to craw into them. So, not a very fancy or welcoming place,and probably wouldn't stay here again, but it met our basic needs.
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