Outside the Orpheus, which
is wonderfully remote and windy. At night, it's silent like you just don't
get in the city (oh, apart from the thunderstorm we had overnight). Stefan
and Lisa decided to call it a day and get a lift with Ned to the nearest
station, so we pedalled on somewhat depleted. It got hilly...
I think this was the climb
out of Hebden Bridge. The rest of the group had to get used to waiting
for me: I was twiddling up the steep ones in a 10" bottom gear (thanks
in part to a Mountain-Drive, of which more later). When I did turn up,
the trike was popular for sitting on as you eat your snacks... it looks
very wet in the pictures, but we only actually got rained on a few times.
We stayed B&B one night near Oldham, and then stopped at Earby Youth
Hostel (a nice, small hostel).
The roads got steeper and more remote as we crossed the Pennines... incidentally, the luggage on the trike is mounted on the superb Ostrad carrier rack, which I'd fitted hurridly a few days before we left.
Also just fitted the day
before leaving was a Mountain-Drive
bottom-bracket gearbox. It normally lives on the S-327, but it seemed like
a good way to get some seriously low gears in a hurry. Unfortunately, because
the tandem's front drive is on the left, I had to run it backwards. This
wasn't what it was designed for (I must say that it's generally a top-quality
bit of kit, and has a three-year guarantee). After doing sterling service
across most of the Peninnes it started slipping, first in reduction mode
and then in direct drive. It got really bad, naturally, in about the most
remote bit of moor and with storm-clouds coming up fast behind. Luckily,
Jase had some galvanised wire, and wedging a stone between ring and crank
to stop the ring being pulled sideways too much, we lashed it up solid,
keeping it all together with a cable-tie. This got me to Lancaster, though
pushing a 25" gear up 1 in 7s with the weight of the tandem and luggage
was fairly epic.
Just before we got to Dunsop
Bridge on the approach to the Trough of Bowland, we were stopped by a flock
of sheep. When one eluded the (very skillful) dog, Paul bravely volunteered
to help round it up on his Windcheetah (anyone who has seen Ross Lowell's
latest film will appreciate why we all found this rather amusing)
Right at the top of the Trough of Bowland (a much over-rated hill - steepish, but pretty short) Paul discovered a broken pannier rack. Naturally we all had to pile in and poke at it.
After that it was mostly downhill to Lancaster, where we were all happily reunited with our luggage and with the concept of dossing around for a few days.