Your Trips

2-day blast in frozen Hell

February 23rd, 2012 by

Three of us decided to do the C2C route in two days in the chilly month of February. We drove up on the Thursday night, stayed in the ‘Mansions’ in Whitehaven, a great spot with a downhill 1.5 mile ride to the start. The next morning we set off on our trip across the country.

Over the two days we cycled through sun, wind, rain and even snow! Covered a total of 148 miles (238 kilometers) and climbed a total of 9985 feet (3043 meters). It was hard work, but great fun, and quite extraordinary cycling through falling snow! Actually, the snow was not falling, it was blowing horizontally across us! Most the time it was behind us, blowing on our backs.

We did take a couple of wrong turns on our trip, one long detour just after Troutbeck, where we missed the turn and spent one hour doing an extra 12 miles trying to find our way back to Langwathby.

The hardest climb was definitely Hartside, the unrelenting 1300 feet of uphill certainly felt a lot worse after 73 ┬ámiles under the legs (thanks to our detour). We made the summit of Hartside as it was getting dark and starting to rain. Our trip down the other side into Alston was fabulous, except for the driving rain, and we went straight into the ‘Cumberland Inn’ for some hot tea and a warm fire.

Day two saw us completing the last few climbs, which although steeper were nothing after Hartside! The only factor we had to contend with was snow, which we felt in every direction thanks to the wind. Another false turn saw us climbing headlong into the driving snow as we turned back into Allenheads. We stopped at the ‘Allenheads Inn’ for some coffee, snacks and a much needed thaw before finishing the hills.

One 17% gradiant coming out of Stanhope was a tough one, but then a lovely long downhill followed on some lovely off-road track. The last few miles to the coast felt long, but it was all forgotten once we arrived at the west coast!

I used a Garmin Forerunner 110 to track my progress and the results are great to read using their Website, Garmin Connect.