As I got on to the motorway my feet, collar and gloves felt damp, and I thought if this rain would stop then they may dry out enough to stop me thinking about how soaked I was and wondered if the others felt like I did? As soon as we entered England the sky was lighter and the rain stopped, thank goodness for that I thought. Forty minutes later the rain was back, but harder than the mornings effort. My drying boots, collar and gloves gave up any water proofing they had left and left me with soaked feet and hands and I could feel the water occasionally dripping down the insides of my Jacket on the inside of the water proof over suit.
We arrived at the services ten minutes after the rain had stopped for a rest, Jon and me took our boots off and rang out our soaking socks, while Col and Rich talked up their boots that hadn't leaked at all.
I didn't bother to put my socks back on, it wasn't worth it.
We left the motorway at the next junction after the services and followed the A684 into Kendal which turned out to be an unexpected bit of road offering some fun for the last 12 miles of the journey.
|Just after a soaking on the services at Shap|
|Sundial Guest House|
The route was made from a list of recommended roads that we had strung together, being mindful of the few dark clouds towards the north we did the route backwards and headed south. Rich knew the area reasonably well so led for a while until we came across the A5804 which became a most entertaining bit of road that twisted a lot and eventually went along the side of lake Coniston.
We turned left following the A593 and A595 both roads were fun to ride, until I gave my bike a big handful of throttle and the exhaust came apart. We stopped in a layby and assessed the problem, nothing major just a screw clip had come loose, so I did a roadside repair and we carried on eventually reaching Penrith as the A686 and the Hartside Cafe was not far from there. We arrived at Melmerby the start of the climb up the Hartside Pass and the clouds were dark and meaningful, looming above the hills. I think we had all guessed that the road was going to be damp. Luckily the rain didn't start while we were there, however there was a lot of water running off the hills and across the road, more than enough to spoil our fun, limiting us to a more careful accent. The menu in the cafe was the same as last year so we had Mars Bar cake and a coffee, Mmm yum!
We set off back down and the roads were still covered in water but Col and I exchanged the lead on a few occasions as we dropped back into Melmerby. Then finding the A6 towards Kendal we hit our next problem. Col pulled over and thought his chain was slapping as it went over the swing arm, he adjusted the chain, but it made little difference, we stopped again and re adjusted the chain but again it made little difference but Col said it seemed better than the first time we had stopped, also his Fireblade felt strange when braking and a warped front disk was suspected. The A6 turned out to be a nice route offering some good fast sections and some good corners. I passed Jon who seemed to be messing with something on the side of his bike and about a mile later pulled in to wait for the others in another layby. Col turned up shortly after still with a problem from the chain, then a few minute went by and Jon and Rich turned up. Jon informed me that his Mini DV camera had come off at 70 mph and he had had to go back to fetch it, luckily it still worked but looks battered!We returned to the hotel and messed with the bikes, and I discovered my exhaust end can had rotted through around the area that meets the pipe, it was wobbling around but was not going to drop off.
The following morning we headed home and 2 of us were contemplating some unexpected repairs.