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Bike ride Oxenholme, Coniston, Keswick, Carlisle, Cumbria. (3 day bike ride)
(3 day bike-pack)
Mon 20 Nov - Wed 22 Nov 2017

Mon 20 Nov 2017

Mon 20 Nov 2017
Tue 21 Nov 2017
Wed 22 Nov 2017

Waiting for the 06:40am train at Preston
The weather forecast was bad with low pressure, rain and wind. I set off on my bike at 05:30am in the rain. As I approached Preston the rain eased and at Preston Rail Station it had stopped. I caught the 06:40 Glasgow train to Oxenholme. As soon as I got on the train I was instructed to take all my panniers off and hang my bike up by the wheel. Shortly after the Lancaster stop I returned to my bike and started to re-assemble it ready for the Oxenholme stop.
Oxenholme
When I got there at about 07:15 it was still dark and the rain had just stopped. I wheeled my bike through the underpass to the platform by the exit. A queue of people were waiting by the small coffee vehicle that is usually parked there. Outside on the road it started raining as I set off towards the busy A65. I wasnt on it long before turning right along a minor lane that is also one of the cycle routes. It was very wet and flooded in places.
Underpass near the Derby Arms
Going under the rail bridge there was a cascade of water falling from above. In the village of Natland I turned left and along another road with floods to Sedgwick then over the River Kent. Up a narrow lane was a steep climb to Levens. Along the minor lanes to Sampool I reached the old road that runs parallel to its replacement, the main A590. At the Derby Arms I followed the cycle route across the A road through a narrow underpass. Then I was out into open countryside struggling into a strong headwind. Several sections of road were flooded.
Grange-over-Sands Railway Station
I reached Grange-over-Sands and stopped at the Railway Station for a quick look on the platform before taking the cycle route along the promenade. It was rainy a bleak as I cycled along. The sea no longer reaches the promenade as it is now a grassy area. I reached the old Lido which is boarded up and looks very dilapidated. I spoke to a young couple who were out walking. They said it is to be refurbished. I continued to the road and followed it into Allithwaite. Through the village I climbed up then down into Cartmel.
The derelict lido was built on the seafront in 1932 and it closed in 1993.
It was listed Grade II in 2011.
 
c 1910
Two of the lovely old photos on the wall of the Lido building
It was still raining so parked my bike and went into Cartmel Priory for a bit of shelter. It was very pleasant inside and two ladies were at the reception and offered me a free leaflet, which I declined. It was even allowed to take photos. I left and continued past the horse racing circuit along a very hilly lane with many ups and downs. It wasnt very picturesque and I wouldnt have come this way if Id known.
Cartmel Priory
A very steep descent took me down to Low Wood where I left the road to join a track that is also the cycle route Coastal Way. Id been looking forward to it but soon changed my mind as it deteriorated to an appalling surface.
Cartmel Priory
The final mile to the footbridge over the River Leven was almost unrideable and some sections under deep water had to be bypassed by the muddy grass adjacent.
Route through the rough lanes
Over the footbridge the track was even worse and I had to wheel my bike into Greenodd. I stopped at the bus stop to shelter from the rain and have something to eat.
Footbridge at Greenodd over the Leven
I was on the very busy A5092 and continued along it until I could turn off for Spark Bridge and the quiet lanes. I headed along the east side of Coniston and had forgotten about the long steep climbs around Brantwoon at the north end. I rode into Coniston village in the pouring rain and stopped at the first general store. The bottled water was very expensive so I continued to the next which was the Co-op.
This is the cycle track near Greenodd
I bought a 5lt for 1.19 then continued north on the A593. It was a long climb to near the summit where Id hoped to camp. Unfortunately the ground was waterlogged and brambles stopped me getting to a pitch Id used before. I had no choice but to continue down to Skelwith Bridge. Further along the main road I noticed a group of trees up to the left and some flat ground. I found a spot just out of sight of the road and pitched my tent. The rain was light but increased and continued through the night.
Camp 1 near Skelwith Bridge