Day 5 The pain barrier. An even longer day

After getting in at 10, having dinner and going to bed I had expected a good night’s sleep but it was not to be. I was up at 5 emptying the toilet. Camping is just not for me. Also we were out of water yesterday and there is no tap nearby. Why do people live like this? There are showers but you have to book in advance and it’s a pound. It’s like going back to the 1950’s. Hopefully I will be back earlier tonight so I can blog.

It was not to be. I got back at gone 10 having ridden 125+ miles. I can’t say exactly as my Garmin sat-nav (don’t buy one) has completely crashed. I am so disappointed. It’s like having a parachute that is brilliant for 80% of the time but that is of little solace when it leaves you plummeting toward earth for 20% of the time and finally crashing. To make matters worse it has wiped out all my stored rides. I will now have to use maps and will not have a record of what I have done. They are bastards – tell all your friends not to use them. was a replacement one as the first one never worked properly and they don’t come with maps which you then need to down load for £35 and they haven’t given me my money back for the first Garmin which I returned.

Anyway I left at 8.30 in drizzle. It seemed to be going ok but my knees and bum were hurting. Both my knee caps felt as if they were bashing into the corner of a coffee table with every rotation and I was nauseous with pain and I was getting cold so I called base camp who were trying to get away from the 1950s caravan camp where the stench of the bins hit you as you went to use the wash facilities. They were just leaving. They caught me up and I change my top for something warmer, took pain killers put on knee supports and Voltarol and greased my bum. From then on it all got worse. I wasn’t cycling well, everything seemed uphill and the wind against. Fortunately it was a lot flatter than the first couple of days. The pain was bad. I could barely stand in the pedals. I rang Lesley when I was a third of the way through the journey. She was encouraging and sympathised with the pain. I carried on but the pain got worse and I wanted to cry but felt there was little point.

I was finding excuses to stop all the time. Since Ian had mentioned his propensity to pee when cycling I didn’t seem to have stopped wanting to go.

I passed a cycle shop and in the light of my slow progress decided to stop to get lights. After a chat we fitted the lights and I went to leave. Unfortunately I had 1 foot clipped in and I slipped and fell flat on the floor which was lucky. As I picked myself up and dusted myself down the shop manager came out with my camera and phone which I had left on the counter when getting out my money.
I went through Blackburn (dreadful place) and started to look longingly at the cab firms. Could I? Should I? Could I tell Lesley? What about the money for Mark? Would people still pay? What about those who had? I passed train stations. Could I get a train? Where did the trains go to? What about going part of the way by train? Who would know?

I would know! I would have failed. Could I face it? No I couldn’t. I had planned to go up through the Bowland forest, off the main roads and I knew that it would be a hilly challenge. I decided to change my route and cut across to the A6. I didn’t relish the thought of this as it would be a busy road with juggonauts but needs must. At about 4.00 I met up with Chris the copper who was an amateur road racer. He rode with me to Longridge and we chatted and he gave me a historic running commentary of where we were going. It raised my spirits no end and improved my speed by at least 5mph. An hour or so later I was caught by 2 guys going at a fair old pace but I managed to catch them up and get in their slipstream. They had been cycling for 1 mile whilst I had been cycling for about 80. These guys were hammering it. I assumed the guy in front whose legs were pumping away like a steam train was the stronger of the 2 but I was wrong. He was in front to get his mate to ease up and pace himself. It transpired that the 2nd guy had done LEJO’G in 6.5 days and the 2 of them went from Lancashire to the Tower Bridge (260 miles) in 24 hours. We must have averaged 20 mph for the next 25 miles and the peeled off for Morecombe and I headed off toward what turned out to be the wrong place. The sat-nav kept telling me to turn back and eventually crashed. I got in at 10.10 – a long day but I was in beatiful countryside.

Shower, eat, amend route for tomorrow*nd sleep.



About marmiteman

Marmite man will be cycling 1000 miles over 10 days from Land's End to John O'Groats raising money for Mark Carey. My wife Lesley & grandsons Jake, Callum and Dylan and their Auntie Vicky are the support crew - not that they will be around during the day!
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1 Response to Day 5 The pain barrier. An even longer day

  1. Ian Randon says:


    If it was easy everyone would do it and doing it solo makes it far harder.

    Keep focussed, you know you can do it.


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