Welcome To My World of Pedals and Paddles

An account of my Sea Kayaking and Mountain Biking exploits

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Coast 2 Coast The Main Event

The Coast 2 Coast route that we chose to ride starts in Whitehaven on the Cumbrian coast and travels east skirting the north end of the Lake district over the Penines down into Newcastle and finishing at Tynemouth.

We arrived in Whitehaven bright and early, first stop The Beacon cafe for a breakfast top up.

Before the start it is tradition to dip your rear wheels in the Irish Sea, the main harbour slip way was the ideal place for a line up but not all the 35 riders managed to get in the shot.

We left Whitehaven at 11.45 am and headed up the cycle track towards the Lakes.

It is a climb but a gentle one.

The landscape changed from urban to rural and then the mountains of the north Lake District came into view.

Our first stop was Loweswater by which time we were nicely warmed up and feeling good.

The gradient of the climb from Loweswater increased dramatically and gave a hint of things to come.

The visitor centre at Whinlatter Forest was a welcome stop for some, the descent down to Keswick was easy going and a chance to knock off a few quick miles.

We did not stay too long in Keswick, we also managed to avoid the busy town centre and it was not long before we were on the cycle track adjacent the bust A6 and the shadow of the mighty Skiddaw and Blaencathra.

The cycle track along the old road is quiet good views.

It was not long before the Lake District was fading into the distance behind us, by this time we were approaching 60 miles.

For our evening meal we took over the village green in Greystoke and ate as much pasta as we could.

North of Penrith the daylight was fading fast, we switched on our lights and dressed up warm ready for the night.

There are five major climbs after Penrith - Hartside, Garrigil, Nenthead, Allenshead and Crawley Side. They were all tackled one after the other and this was the most challenging part of the route. The cold made things a lot more difficult to the extent that we did not want to descend after completing a climb.

The daylight returned around 4am and was very welcome.

There was an enormous sense of achievement after completing the last climb out of Stanhope. It was all downhill from here to Newcastle.

At Rowlands Gill we joined the Derwent Valley Walk which took us right into the centre of Newcastle.

We followed the promenade along side the Tyne.

The bridges are a major tourist attraction.

We were only eight miles from the finish so we did not stay long.

After 136 miles and 23.5 hours later we arrived at Tynemouth where we kept with tradition and dipped our front wheels into the north sea.

Nine adults and six school children completed the full ride the other 11 schoolchildren all rode a minimum of 80 miles with some going well past the 100 mile distance - an amazing achievement.

No comments: