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Giant Lowther Castle Ride by Rick Wiggans

Giant Kendal Lowther Castle Ride. This was originally planned as a timed, “official”, sportive, organised by Chris Dixon and his team at Giant Kendal. Unfortunately, there were too few entries to make it financially viable, so they decided to run it anyway, on a less formal basis. In any case, who need timing - IT ISN"T A RACE!!!! Participants free to ride their own ride, or to join one of the Giant led groups. With free cake at the end. In a castle. In the sun!!

A few GCC riders had intended to ride, but in the event, only Rick and Ian Tunbridge rode, others having been tempted away by the siren calls of other rides, Father’s Day, and various illnesses.

Sign-on was in the old stable block, in the heart of Lowther Castle, and already the heat of the day was beating down. We opted not to wait for the group rides, but to get going on our own, partly to avoid the worst of the heat, and partly because we were both suffering from Kath Wiggans Lurgy, and so should it become necessary to die in a ditch, it would be done in private. The route took us out of the castle grounds and off to Pooley Bridge. The temptation of ice cream at Granny Dowbekin’s duly resisted, we headed for the Col De Little Mell. We then followed a loop past the end of the Old Coach Road, and then on to Dacre, by way of some very pleasant little lanes, some of which even I haven’t ridden before. Back to Pooley Bridge – still no overpowering need for ice cream, and a loop up to Yanwath soon saw us back at the Askham, approximately half way. The route then took us on familiar roads through Bampton (where we topped up with water), and thence to Shap. A loop through Crosby Ravensworth soon saw us back at Shap, from where the A6 was followed back to Lowther Castle, where vouchers were exchanged for cake and ice-cold Coca Cola (other, equally unhealthy, fizzy drinks are available). A quick chat in the courtyard, and we went our separate ways, Ian hot-footing back down the M6, and Rick cycling back to the motorhome, to become intimately acquainted with the contents of a chilled, 75cl bottle. Approximately 58 miles, 6000ft, one piece of cake, one fizzy drink and no ice creams. A relatively modest ride, but well organised, based in spectacular surroundings. Well worth putting on your calendar for next year

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