C2C Whitehaven to Tynemouth
26th - 29th June 2018
142 Miles of cycling across the England from the northwest to the northeast
Whitehaven, the C2C structure with the Irish sea in the background. This was the start of a challenge that would see Glyn and Angie cycle 142 miles to Tynemouth and the north sea.
The weather was hot and forecast was saying that it was to last for a long time.
Day 1 - Whitehaven to Keswick, 31 miles of gruelling uphill climbs as they followed the 'NCN71' and 'C2C' route signs.
Day 2 - cycle from Keswick to Alston ( via Penrith).
After a first day of beautiful scenery (such as Loweswater and High Lorton) and slow uphill climbs followed by fast downhill rolling, they were once again on their bikes for the second day and heading toward Alston by cycling through Penrith and up the dreaded 'HARTSIDE SUMMIT' !
The day was again sunny but very hot and taking on more fluids than expected was to become a concern later on in the day.
The journey was to see wonderful scenery and the most wonderful people who would shout good luck as you rode past. Glyn and Angie was wearing cycling attire that showed that they were taking on the C2C or supporting Bloodwise and folk acknowledged this by shouting support as they cycled along.
Some folk offered refreshments and the chance to refill drinks bottles, the hospitality of these people was so amazing.
A very tough day that had Glyn and Angie tackling the heat, humidity and the hills. It was a rollercoaster kind of day with lots of uphills and some fast downhills. Cycling from Keswick to Alston was to take in the villages and towns of Threkeld, Greystoke, Little Blencow and on to Penrith.
At Penrith the dynamic duo rested to take on a little food and drink ( Glyn opting for a cup of tea as usual) and then carried on with their journey to Alston.
After a lot of miles cycling through beautiful countryside the pair finally came to Renwick and the start of a steady climb that went on and on and on until eventually the summit of Hartside came into view and the cycling got harder as the road became steeper.
It took a lot longer than expected to reach Hartside summit and on such a hot day too.
Reaching the summit, the two posed for photographs before the long downhill road into Alston.
Day 3. After a nights sleep at Alston, the two woke up to another day of the challenge and a shorter distance to tackle.
22 miles is a short distance compared to the previous day but this 'shorter ride' was to signify just how tough the day would be and how many hills would have to be tackled before reaching Stanhope.
The villages of Nenthead, Allenshead and Rookhope were all separated by stunning views and some great big hills.
"Welcome to Northumberland".
Crossing borders and cycling along roads that many folk don't get to ride on was a real thrill for the two- especially Angie who is still a novice at long distance cycling but she was really enjoying the challenge and taking each mile as it came.
Glyn was amazed at her determination to complete this challenge and how she became a more confident cyclist as the week went on.
The day was a great day of cycling but with a few punishing hills to climb, some so steep and with effects of the heat - the two had to walk up one hill before stopping in Rookhope for a cup of tea and a bite to eat.
After getting their breath back, they were on their way to Stanhope and the end of day 3.
However, a sting in the tail of day 3 was the ride from Stanhope to the Parkhead hotel... a steep two mile uphill climb!!
DAY 4 - The final day.
After a well earned sleep, Glyn and Angie were facing the final day of the challenge, a 44 mile ride to Tynemouth.
The pathway that was once a railway track is now 'Waskerley way' and goes all the way to Newcastle ( with a few road crossings to make) and is relatively flat with a slight decline.
The route was mostly traffic free and shaded from the sun which would make the last day a real enjoyable day.
The different monuments were a sign of what the track used to be - such as a huge 'smelt wagon' that was a reminder of past days in this area.
Consett was reached a lot sooner than the two expected and was a good sign that the pair were in good spirits as the cycled toward the finish, however they still had a far distance to ride.
Angie was really enjoying the different monuments and was stopping at every chance to snap away with her camera - or give her camera to Glyn to snap away while she posed for a photo.
It was at this point that Angie suggested stopping somewhere for a cup of tea but Glyn wanted to push on a little further as he was aware that time may be slipping and some catching up would be required.
The two soon reached Newcastle and stopped for a light lunch before the 'push' along Keelmans way to North Shields and Tynemouth.
The route was now signed as 'NCN72' or Hadrians cycleway or 'C2C', the riverside pathway that is a shared right of way between pedestrians and cyclist was exetremely busy with folk who were quite rightly enjoying the heat and sun and so cycling became very slow for a few miles.
From Newcastle to North Shields seemed to take longer than expected but I guess when you think you are near to the finish the road will appear to be longer than it actually is.
A group of cyclists had joined Glyn and Angie, these cyclists who were taking on the same challenge and there became a feeling of camaraderie toward the end.
Eventually Angie and Glyn reached Tynemouth and did the traditional 'dipping' the bike wheels in the north sea to signify the finish of the challenge.
The first 'C2C' meeting in 1900
Glyn's Twitter page
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The Queen of the Black Country
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Trion Z bracelet as used by Glyn
Lumos 'new generation' helmets
Cycling UK - The cyclists champions
Audax uk, long distance cycling