Steep calls unto steep

Long fast descents are consistently reached by a steep gradient. A very, very steep gradient in the case of this section of the Coast to Coast ride.
I’m not complaining. It’s been a really enjoyable day touching the two highest points on the ride. Both sections of road rise above 1900 feet.
Now I’m waiting for dinner at the Rookhope Inn and I feel I’ve earned it!
Last night I stayed at a hostel in Penrith run by a charming couple from Otley. Alasdair and Jackie. They were so kind to me. Their hostel was more like a family holiday cottage. I was the only guest last night – truly comfortable.
I met two other groups of C2Cers today. A pair of lads were thrashing along the whole way in a day. The other group of six men were on a four say pub crawl! Over twenty thousand people ride this route each year and the numbers are still rising.
Lunch was at Hartside Cafe. 1900 feet above sea level. It was a welcome sight after the long climb.
So the final stage is tomorrow. It starts pushing the bike to the top of a rough track too demanding for my road bike. After a mile I’m told it turns into a perfectly rideable moorland track and it’s downhill all the way from there to Sunderland.
Thank you to all the people who’ve made donations today. If you still want to sponsor me these are the links.
Riding Lights Theatre Company
The Funzi and Bodo Trust

Fellfoot Cyclists Hostel

Fellfoot Hostel, Penrith



Black Hill Summit

Black Hill Summit


Looking up Hartside from Renwick

Stopping Places

Signs for National Cycle Routes

Say “140 miles in a saddle” and your calves start to ache and your bum feels sore before you turn a pedal. So what is the secret of cycling long distances without a serious dose of weary anticipation?

It’s all to do with stopping points.

I’ve booked three places to stay overnight on my charity ride from Coast to Coast. The first is in Whitehaven. I arrive on June 22nd to make an early start the next morning on my C2C ride. The second stop is 53 miles away at Penrith. I’m staying at lodgings that specialise in looking after C2C cyclists. Fellfoot Independent Hostel has secure cycle storage and it’s really cheap. Then it’s over the Pennines for 40 miles, the stiffest part of the ride, to Rookhope, where I’ve booked into the Rookhope Inn for what will be a well deserved sleep (after suitable refreshment.) That leaves another 40 miles to complete the ride. After an initial climb it is – as they say – all downhill from there to Sunderland and the sea.

In between those planned stops there will be times for coffee, tea, cake, lunch, photography and map reading. I see no point in being in some of the loveliest countryside on earth if I don’t stop now and again to appreciate it. So the trip will be split into manageable sections which follow one after another until I reach my destination and collect all your sponsorship money.

Talking of which I am raising funds for two charities. Riding Lights Theatre Company and the Funzi and Bodo Trust. The first to support a professional company that delivers original productions in schools, prisons, theatres, churches across the country and also offers great experience to aspiring actors in its two youth theatres and Roughshod company. All with a Christian purpose. The second trust is providing two communities in Kenya with a much needed Medical Centre and a School.

To donate follow one or both of these links.

Riding Lights Theatre Company

Funzi and Bodo Trust