#explorefromthedoor with Sean Conway - #1 The Call of The Lake District

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Exciting news, over the coming months we will be partnering up alongside extreme adventurer and Coniston resident Mr Sean Conway to highlight the beauty and endless adventures on tap here in the Lake District.

Follow us as we explore what makes the area around us so fantastic.

Before we get started here's a little introduction from Sean on how he found himself here in the beautiful Lakes.

Over to you Sean...

The Call of The Lake District ...

It was November 2016 and I had just returned home feeling pretty depressed. I had entered the first ever Route 66 bike race. Things had been going well. After 22 hours I had cycled 300 miles and had just taken the lead off Jay Petervary while he napped in a bush somewhere outside St Louis. My luck however ran out when I hit the hills of Missouri where I just couldn’t keep the pace and dropped back to third. On day three things took an even bigger turn for the worse when I pulled my right quad muscle, the bit where it attaches to the outside of the knee. I was out. My race was over. It took me 4 days cycling with one leg to Amarillo airport trying to deal with the rigmarole of getting home. 4 days, as it happens, was just enough time to stew in my own misery about what went wrong. It came down to one thing – I couldn’t hack the hills, because, well, I lived in Worcester, which is flat. I desperately needed some mountain passes in my life. I immediately jumped on the
internet. Where has mountains in the UK? Not big hills, not high moorland, but rugged, angry, breath-taking mountains. Something to get my legs strong again. For various reasons I narrowed it down to three places; Snowdonia, Fort William, and Cumbria.

I searched all afternoon and eventually settled on Cumbria for no other reason than when I first cycled Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2008 I was captivated by it. This all happened on a Friday afternoon and by the following Wednesday I was all settled into my newly rented 2 bedroom flat just up the hill from Windermere on a 6-month short term lease. It was perfect. Not only was there to be amazing cycling routes but The Lake District is famous for inspiring authors which also fuelled my ambition to be the next Bill Bryson or Wilber Smith (still deciding which one). So that’s what got me here and it wasn’t long, a few weeks in fact, before I realised this was my soul-place. I have since moved to Coniston which feels that little bit more remote and my cycling legs have very much returned. So much so I recently broke the world record for cycling across Europe, but that’s another story. For now, I’m enjoying everything that the Lake District has to offer, although the one downside is I’m nowhere closer to being the new Bryson or Smith, because, well, I’d rather be up fell.