Paul C
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Challenge 5: Coast 2 Coast Tick!

Paul C
Posted by
01 Jun 2015

I completed my 5th challenge last Bank Holiday weekend by cycling from the East coast to the West coast of the UK with the best team mates I could wish for, Craig Hoile and Tom Stockwell.

What a brilliant challenge this was! On the 23rd May, Tom, Craig and I cycled the C2C route across England the wrong way, going East to West rather than the other way.

Day 1: We set off from Roker beach with our back wheels in the North Sea to head the 55 miles to our first stop. We had glorious sunshine and after leaving Sunderland we began the long slow climb which lasted pretty much all day. We all enjoyed going through the Grouse moors West of Consett but were grateful to reach Parkhead Station to take on food; having misjudged this we all felt unwell until we'd eaten. A good lesson learned, keep eating! A nasty climb from Allenheads to Nenthead and our first stop.

Day 2: Nenthead-Troutbeck: No sunshine, strong winds (gusting to 50mph) against us and the long climb up to Hartside Top, highest point of the trip. Tea and more fuel at the cafe there and a wonderful sense of achievement to get the biggest climb out of the way. An enjoyable afternoon heading towards the Lakes with the Pennines done and dusted behind us. I was overwhelmed by the couple at our lunch stop who asked what we were doing and why, on the way out the man gave me a ten pound note to donate. What an inspiration! Day 2 finished at Troutbeck with the glorious Blencathra with Skiddaw behind welcoming us to the best part of the trip.

Day 3: Troutbeck - Whitehaven: A lovely run into Keswick and lout out all to quickly with the prospect of Whinlatter to deal with. I pushed the bike a lot here; so steep and my back wheel kept slipping on the surface. That out of the way and we passed through the most beautiful part of this country to the final long descent into Whitehaven. With families waiting for us and the smell of success in our noses we powered into Whitehaven to dip our front wheels into the Irish Sea. What a feeling of achievement!

While we headed back to the cars to leave the harbour, I noticed a lady waiting on her own holding a LLR cycling top. I asked her if she was riding the C22C; she said her husband was and was on his way from Sunderland. I asked when he started, "This morning".....

We talked and she said that they weren't affected by Leukaemia or knew anyone who was but loved cycling and wanted to ride for charity and chose LLR. So thank you John and Jo Blenkhorn for everything you do for people like me!

Special thanks have to go to my two very good friends Tom Stockwell and Craig Hoile who gave up their time to support me, make sure I was ok and get me through this challenge. We shared a fabulous experience, had a ball and lived life to the full. Already planning next year's big challenge with these guys....



Fabulous photo Paul and huge congratulations!

So, so proud of you mate and so glad that you enjoyed it. Intrigued to hear that you're already planning your next event. Let us know what you're up to and I'll see if I can join you.