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C2C Report

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Hi all,
Well Dave Read and I completed the Coast to Coast C2C ride last weekend (17 and 18 Sept 16).
I went up to Kirkoswald (KO to the locals) on Friday afternoon, arriving at about 3.00 pm. After settling in at Mains Farm (the base) I decided to ride up to Hartside Summit and back. This was about 9 miles away but almost all uphill. Dave R arrived at about 7.30 and we went for a pub meal.
Day 1 Whitehaven to Hartside Summit.
Saturday morning we were up at about 6.30, quick breakfast then taken to Whitehaven for the start of the ride. So at about 8.45 am it was time to dip the rear wheels of the bikes in the water at Whitehaven for the obligatory photo by the C2C sign. After that we were on our own. It was beautiful weather on both days. The C2C route was reasonably well signposted although the Sustrans map helped on occasion. Reasonably uneventful day, nice weather, beautiful scenery, nice cafes etc. Only one of us fell off, couldn't unclip quickly enough when riding up a narrow gravel path up to a closed gate. Dave R was at the gate while I tumbled into a pile of nettles. All for a good story! We arrived at Hartside Summit at about 4.15 pm. 66 miles, 12.3 mph average 6,600 ft elevation ascent on the ride. We then cycled back down to Kirkoswald, quick shower then out for a pub meal.
Day 2. Hartside Summit to Tynemouth.
After another early breakfast we were taken up to Hartside Summit in the van for the start. Quite a cool morning at 8.50 am especially when the first 5 miles to Alston was all downhill. No pedalling required at all. A bit cold though without the exertion. Another beautiful day. Route was well signed. We could choose different options at times, ie off road (no) or alternative on road routes. All ok. We met a few riders that we had met the day before. Stopped at Stanhope for a coffee. On heading out of Stanhope up to Crawleyside this was some serious hill. Not quite in Mow Cop category but not far off, still rideable though. Newcastle was good, some impressive bridges but a pity they couldn't decide on which style they wanted so they have one of almost all styles over the river. The final ride up to Tynemouth was a bit boring riding through the areas of the docks etc but all ok. On getting to Tynemouth, a really nice place, we again had to get to the beach and take the second photo, this time with the front wheel in the sea. 71 miles at 13.1 average and 4800 ft elevation ascent. We were then taken back to Kirkoswald in the van (about a 2 hour drive in traffic) then a shower. Dave R went home at this point but I opted to stay the extra night (bunkhouse) so I went down to the local pub for a meal.
After an early start on the Monday I then packed up and headed home.
Thanks to C2C Hasslefree for the accommodation and transport etc. The rides are on mine and Dave's Strava (18 and 19 Sept 16) along with a couple of photos.
Would I do it again? Not sure, it is sort of one of those things that you do then tick off and look for another challenge. I'm glad I did it and I would recommend it to others. We had really good weather and met some really friendly people both on bikes and not.
So do I try Lejog next??
Dave W.