VCB Lake­land 100 – It never rains, it just pours…

Scootering - - Club Do’s & Events -

Well we left Wake­field at 10.30am sharp in the pour­ing rain for the 80 mile jaunt to Ken­dal. We stopped off in Set­tle for a spot of din­ner and to wring out our clothes around 12.30pm. Back into the rain and onto the scoots for 1.30pm and ar­rived wet to the pants at the Ken­dal Rugby Club around 3pm. Things didn’t im­prove. Due to the weather, some had al­ready gone down the B&B route so there was plenty of space, tents up in the rain and then to the bar for a chat and a beer. A quick walk into Ken­dal for a few more early evening and then rather sur­pris­ingly the sun­shine made a wel­come ap­pear­ance! It was brief though, so back to the rugby club for a few more jars be­fore bed.

It’d be fair to say it rained a lot dur­ing the night and was still at it in the morn­ing. Bit of break­fast and a cuppa be­fore the ‘shall we shan’t we’ de­bate re­gard­ing the 100 mile ride ahead. It was de­cided that as it was only driz­zling now, we’d head off on the first leg of the ride and have lunch be­fore an­other af­ter­noon in Ken­dal. Any­way, 10 min­utes into the ride and the almighty down­pour came. Wet to our pants again, we de­cided to press on. A closed road, a quick spill on a round­about and a petrol pipe change later (Ray car­ried a spare) and we were still at it and get­ting wet­ter. As we ap­proached Hon­is­ter pass it was rain­ing heav­ier than I have ever ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore; it was of bi­b­li­cal pro­por­tions. The hill-climb and the hair­pins were at best very scary and had to be ap­proached with ex­treme care. At the top of the pass was a youth hos­tel and a café, so a brew and a pie was a wel­come break from the weather but over far too soon. By this time se­vere weather warn­ings were in place and safety was now firmly in our minds. We had no choice but to press on through the road-rivers and de­bris which the floods had brought.

Even­tu­ally I picked up a sign for Keswick and man­aged to get us back to a ma­jor road (still road-rivers only wider and with no sheep on them). We cov­ered 45 miles back to Ken­dal where we were met by our flooded tents, soaked cloth­ing and drenched sleep­ing bags. The rain never even paused for a sec­ond! This was the fi­nal straw and left us with no op­tion but to pack up and go. Frus­trated and de­flated, we loaded up and went for a fi­nal warm drink be­fore say­ing our good­byes. Three hours in the pour­ing rain would have been a plea­sure but much more was to come! Af­ter five miles or so and on the busy A591 the trusty GTS gave up the ghost; wa­ter­logged I guess. Any­way to cut a long story short my fav aunty Ca­role Nash said she’d send a very nice man with a re­cov­ery truck to pick up me and Ange. That was at 6pm and af­ter sev­eral games of eye spy and a few star jumps and still in the pour­ing rain I thought I’d give a follow-up call just to check the progress. Luck­ily at 11.30pm a pal and his wife (Graham & Haze) were pass­ing on their way home from Lancaster and kindly went miles out of their way to get us a warm drink and a whop­per burger and let us sit in their car to get warm if not dry. Even­tu­ally at mid­night the very nice man and his re­cov­ery ve­hi­cle turned up and we were on our way again.

It was a real shame the weather didn’t play ball as Ken­dal and the Lakes are a fan­tas­tic part of the UK. It did spoil the oc­ca­sion but not the week­end, as time away with your pals is price­less. Be­tween the rain a brill time was had by all, the ban­ter and sup­port was price­less, and we’ll be back to do it all again and more next year… rain or no rain! Cheers.

Paddy ‘Pat’ Gough Dirty Mills SC and Wake­field Cog 99 Pho­to­graphs: Jon Northey

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