All Terrain Cycles Team Rider, Harry Carpenter , reports back on his latest adventures

A frustratingly poor 2017 saw me hitting up Trainer Road over the winter and starting 2018 in better form. A great week in Mallorca with my local club, the Settle Wheelers boosted my confidence further and inspired some planning.

An opportunity arose for a three day tour in Cornwall and Devon. Day one was Penzance to Lands End and then onto Looe, a deceptively lumpy 97 miles. Day two took me to Plymouth where I picked up the Devon Coast to Coast to Ilfracombe in the north, a very picturesque ride, 115 miles, mostly off road, mainly on tarmac cyclepaths (old railways) but with some gravel thrown in. Day three was a very hilly route over Exmoor to Tiverton where I jumped on the train home. Beware GWR trains, their cycle policy is very strict!

I’d long had a thought to try the NCN route 7, Lochs and Glens (south), a 214 mile route from Carlisle, through Dumfries to Glasgow. I waited for a decent forecast and hit out on a scorcher on Bank Holiday Monday. I drove to Carlisle, parked up and jumped on the first train out to Glasgow. 0830hrs saw me riding along the Clyde. The route headed out of the city on well maintained cyclepaths, a surprisingly pleasant route that led me to the coast, the towns of Ayre and Troon were rammed with tourists on the beaches as the sun was shining, not the best riding but they were soon passed. The route headed inland, lumpy but great riding led to the highpoint of The Pulpit where I headed down through Glentrool to Newton Stewart. A shop stop then saw the route head east through more beautiful terrain, following the coast at times to Dumfries.

By now it was dark and I was starting to suffer with some stomach issues. I continued on (my options were limited!), but unable to eat or drink, I cut straight to Annan and Gretna then on to Carlisle, arriving back at my car just after 3am. 15hrs riding but with sickness stops it had been a long day, I snoozed in my car for an hour before driving home, 207 miles done.

Plans are afoot for a 12hr Time Trial, not too sure which one and the Etape du Dales is in a few weeks, 2018 is going well so far.

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