Audlem to Biggar by bike

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Audlem "5A" Drama Group present Dave & Monique with a £500 cheque
Memorial on Shap Summit

Regular readers will have seen yesterday's report covering the first three days of Dave Cooper's and Monique Hollinshead's 8-day cycle ride from Lands End to John 'o Groats over the Easter week.

Their chosen charity for the ride was the Teenage Cancer Trust and their target was to raise £5,000.

Monique has sent us a Day by Day summary. Today, we pick up the journey in Audlem after Monique and Dave had spent the night at home in Coxbank:

#Day 4
Ben and his wife Susan came down to see us off from Audlem in the morning. This was a bit of an event as Alan Duncan photographed us being presented with a big cheque from Audlem 5A’s who have donated their Christmas panto raffle proceeds to Teenage Cancer Trust (who we have raised about £4000 for so far).

Also Audlem Cycling Club joined us for the first 30 miles to Warrington. The weather was wet, so another tea cake cafe stop was welcome. Then we pressed on into the Industrial North. Through Warrington, Wigan and Preston. The average dropped as it was all stop/start at traffic lights and junctions.

Lunch time stop was at a new garden centre cafe in Leyland — it was brilliant, really warm, and a decent cheese and ham toastie. The young owner of the café donated all the money from her pocket which was very generous.

Once out towards Garstang the going was easier and the weather dried off a bit. Our night stop was in Kendal, a short run round the town, before going out for a meal with Dave’s friend Umberto who had delivered changes of clothes as we were without Dave’s parents for the weekend. 
Distance 100.17m, riding time 7.54, avg. 13.96mph, ascent 4540 ft.

#Day 5 
We kept expecting real tiredness to kick in but once in the saddle we were both ok. Typically for the Lake District it was raining and Shap summit was bathed in mist.

We caught up with a trio of End to Enders, a family from Fort William. I was very impressed as their 11-year old was cycling. They had chosen a longer time and quieter roads so didn't expect to get all the way to John o' Groats before the school holidays were over. I wonder how they got on?

Our first cafe stop of the day was a brilliant one in Penrith, home baked scones. Lunch was in the worst cafe of the whole trip at an outlet village in Gretna, but Dave knew the choice was limited once you got to the quieter areas in Scotland.

I have to say the stretch from Gretna to Lockerbie was not pleasant — we were getting rained on and the places we passed through were deserted.

We did see a lot of under 50cc motorbikes heading the other way doing JOGLE and were in time to see a major bike race pass just north of Gretna. Once again it dried off later on and the scenery got more lovely as we rode towards Abington, where Dave’s mum and Dad caught us up in the car.

I had a short run, and then onto a Chinese with Dave's Mum and Dad in Biggar.
Distance 104.19m, riding time 8.43, avg. 13.8 mph, ascent 4801ft.

More tomorrow as Dave & Monique travel up through much of Scotland.