May 24th 2006 - Day06

St John's Town of Dalry - Keswick

Route - A712, A75, A7, A6, A66

Approximate Mileage - 108

6 days down and 7 more to go, now over half way gone in miles. We passed the 500 mile mark just outside Keswick overlooking Saddleback. The day started with some snoring thanks to Steve and Keith. They tell me that I snore but that can't possibly be true cause it's not woken me up yet!

We set off towards New Galloway and turned off on a road that was full of up's and downs. Even though we had a big tail winds at times the windy road didn't help as it meant that the tail wind kept changing to head winds. After the initial 15 miles or so we finally hit a straight road that was perfect for the tail wind.

Keith and Steve were surprised when I sprinted passed them as I'd been lagging behind for the last few days but decided to take advantage of the strong winds. The next 30 or 40 miles went quite quickly. We often reached speeds of 35 mph which helped increase our average speed.

We got to Gretna by about 1pm and stopped for a bite to eat. On our way out we passed the border into England which was quite a psychological boost as we felt we were really making progress. Once leaving Scotland we realised that today's journey was going to be longer than we first thought. Our original plan was to cycle 85 miles, but after a change in route to avoid the bad weather, we still had 19 miles to go by 5pm and were heading into 25 mph head winds up hill. It was such a relief to see the mile signs counting down but we were passing them so slowly.

By now Keith had cycled on ahead and was well on his way. Steve and I were cycling up yet another hill when Steve spotted a wallet, we picked it up to see if there were any contact details. Surprise, surprise inside was a work card and a business card for the Highway School of Motoring, Keith's business, Keith had lost his wallet as he was cycling on some way in front!

We finally arrived after 108 miles and met up with Steve's dad Paul Kelsey, who had driven up from York with a much appreciated "Red Cross supplies parcel". We then enjoyed a wonderful meal, (thanks very much to Mr Kelsey yet again).

I am in real pain now. I really struggled in the last 20 miles or so. Bad knees, sore bum etc. a lie in tomorrow (as breakfast is not until 8) will hopefully help. Then only 80 miles and the weather forecast looks good.