This was the day I dreamed about the most. The day I would climb the Hartside Pass.
The Day 2 morning video
As we came out of the Guest House in Penrith, the road ahead was a steep incline. Not the best way to start the day – a climb on cold legs. But it was worth it for the view from the top, looking down on Penrith and the hills we had already cycled over.
In the other direction was the view of the hills to come, including a return to the place I had dreamed about, the Hartside Pass.
So far the weather had been bright and sunny and I had no use for all the wet weather gear I had packed. As we approached the base of Hartside the weather remained hot; the sun and heat was unrelenting, but the wind picked up. The wind became so strong it felt like you were in a wind tunnel and it started to make cycling difficult.
Here is a video of the wind about 3 miles from Hartside.
I was finding the wind far too strong to cycle in. Every time I got some momentum I was being blown into the centre of the road; it did not feel safe at all. So I got off the bike and walked it up the final 3 miles to the top of Hartside. It seemed a sensible but exhausting decision, as I heard another cyclist (not in our group) had apparently been blown off their bike.
I made it. This is from the top of Hartside. If you only watch one of the videos please watch this one.
You can also see and hear how strong the wind was at the top.
I captured some of the view, so you can see what a spectacular place this is. I would have liked to stop and sit for hours, alone with my own thoughts, but the wind and the arrival of the support vehicle made it impossible. I thought the descent down would have been fun but in the wind I was concerned about how much control I would have of the bike. It seems I made the right decision as the others in the group told me later that the descent had been like no other they had ever experienced – the strength of the wind was pushing against them up the hill, and they were having to cycle hard to reach the bottom.
Then I was driven to our luxury accommodation and made the final video of the day.
A few photos taken along the way
The Strava Stats from Day 2