XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

Monday, 19 May 2014

Coast 2 Coast cycle route - some fitness training??

Well after a few beers in a nice warm pub  it was agreed a bunch of us would cycle the infamous C2C route from Workington to Whitby. A slight variation on the classic route but we all agreed both the views & the fish n chips were better in Whitby!!
Geoff sorted out all the accommodation for the route once we'd agreed a date & I did the moving of bikes from Selby to Workington, along with bringing Geoff, Mick & Paul to the west coast.
I hadn't ridden a push bike for over 3 years so although I'd agreed to it I have to be honest I wasn't that keen as the departure date came closer!

Workington Beach

Workington Harbour
On the Friday morning that we set off I'd borrowed a set of road tyres for my mountain bike off a mate who'd very kindly offered them to me instead of me buying a set but when I came to fit them, they looked a bit old & perished, still I fitted them with a vain hope they would do the job... Not so though, the front tyre punctured 2 inner tubes as soon as I fitted them, so I dropped back to my mountain tyre. The rear tyre seemed OK but after a rough descent towards Thornthwaite it blew out with a massive bang that scared the crap out Mick who was behind me at the time!!

 After a group debate & a phone call to my local bike shop, Keswick Mountain Bikes, it was decided I would wait for a bus & the boys would carry on to Keswick to a cafe for lunch.

The bus duly arrived & after a debate with the driver who was reluctant but finally allowed me to put my bike on the bus I headed to Keswick & a pit stop to buy new tyres & tubes. 
Tea, soup & a set of new tyres & we were off on the last leg for the day, Keswick to Penrith. Lots of uphill, a nice bit following a bunch of girlie bikers in Lycra for a couple of miles & a final drop into Penrith for a beer & some dinner!!

We stayed at a place called The Lounge, it was a newly refurbished place with great rooms & plenty of local life including an odd character in a leather jacket, turned up jeans, cowboy boots & half a shaved head... He was also in his mid 50's to add to the mystique!!! They cater a lot for the C2C crowd & have a great little bike storage place... 9pm saw us fed on good Italian food & beers then in bed, happy but knackered...

The Lounge, Penrith
Day 2 saw us up for breakfast & keen to crack on at the big uphill of the day, getting upto Hartside Cafe. The route winds its way through the beautiful Eden Valley & followed several of the roads that linked the green lanes in this area, so Geoff & I were pretty confident about our route finding on this bit, which was cool as it allowed us to just concentrate on the riding & enjoying the views.

We hit the bottom of the main uphill & set off up, Geoff soon found his new set of gears wasn't upto the steepness & ending up pushing up the really steep bits, Mick found his gears kept jumping out of the bottom ring & when I looked at them for him, it turned out he was missing loads of teeth on each sprocket... well set we all were!!
The uphill wasn't as bad as I thought to be honest, we finished at the cafe in good time, had tea, cake, fizzy pop etc & then set off towards Garrigill & Langdon Beck where we were staying for the night. This is an ace ride for any road going motorbike & plenty came past us over the day, such great scenery & bends!!

Hartside Cafe
We were caught out by the last uphill before Langdon Beck, it went on for ages & the wind was now blowing directly into our faces to make it tougher... still the descent was fab, blasting down with almost no pedalling all the way to our overnight stop at the YHA, with a brief stop at the Langdon Beck hotel which has great beer & food & was our evening watering hole.

Langdon Beck Hotel - great beer & food!

Day 3 saw us up & off for 7.30am. A 70 mile day was the goal, all on the flat, with several main A roads which are truly fab on a motorbike but not so nice on a pedal cycle, the noise & the fast traffic made for a headache & we needed to be pretty watchful, especially as a few caravans & a couple of 4x4 drivers thought it was fun to see how close they could get to a cyclist without knocking you off, pillocks...
We turned off the really fast main roads at Skelton & followed the coast road towards Whitby, which was bloody hard work as there are a lot of big uphill sections on this bit plus the southerly wind was now directly in our faces... One particular hill seemed to have no end as each time you went round a corner it went up again!!
Still we finished up descending Lythe Bank which is a 1:4 hill, fab... absolutely flat out all the way into Sandsend, where we dunked the back wheels of each bike into the sea to finish as we'd started, then it was off to the last night's accommodation for a beer & the much dreamed about fish & chips...
Well done to all four of us, especially as none of us cycle regularly, what an effort.. 160 miles in 3 days, Excellent.

Bottom of Lythe Bank... ooh yeah...

Sandsend Beach

Knackered but happy...