Monday 5th February
So, suitably chivvied I accepted the challenge and headed out to find the nearest seven hills I could. Being somewhat circumfrentially challenged I am not generally known as a "grimpeur serieux" - more of a social climber really - but I dusted off my old mountain bike and headed for the hills.
Leaving Out Rawcliffe base camp heading east I was immediately into the lower slopes of Moorham Hill. Pacing myself as the old legs warmed up I made it to Lancaster Road and north for Pilling and my next conquest. A curcuit of the village allowed me to approach Ladies Hill from the comparatively easier way up.
Two down, five to go. From here I was glad of the flat stretch of coastal road to Cockerham, from where I planned my ascent of Clifton Hill. This one proved trickier than expected as I also had the canal bridge to tackle in quick succession - phew! Plenty of time to recover though as I sauntered south in search of Whitters Hill.
This brought its own problems due to the scree along Whitters Lane, not to mention the tarn half way up but I made it eventually after much slipping and sliding. Next up - Cogie Hill, first of the famous Three Peaks of Winmarleigh Moss.
I was pleased to crest this first summit with a bit of energy still in reserve as I headed west to Stake Pool where I braced myself for the big one - yes - the dreaded Eagland Hill - "The Giant of Wyre"! Taking it steady I kept my head down and concentrated on maintaining an even cadence for what seemed like forever.
As I rounded the final virage and emerged above the tree line there she was! Was that a flashing beacon beckoning me on to the summit? No - just a dodgy bulb in the church hall. One last push and I was there - the eagle had landed! A brief stop to get my breath back and I was away again swooping down the eastern escarpment which also provides the hefting grounds for surrounding Bone Hill Farm, Black Hill Farm, North Woods Hill Farm, South Hills Farm and Primrose Hill Farm (My God those hill farmers have it tough!).
After all the excitement the final conquest of Trashy Hill was something of an anti-climax but still had to be climbed on tired legs. As I coasted back to base the old legs finally gave up and I only just made it back over Moorham Hill (the easy way) - home for a lie down and a cold compress to stem the nose bleed. Who's a flat earth-er now Mr Chairman?!
31.9 miles at average of 11.76 mph and more feet of ascent than I could possibly count.(ed note- it was 515.0 ft of ascent) (Have I got the decimal point right? That's awesome)