Your Trips

C2C virgins do it over 3 days

April 9th, 2012 by Mr & Mrs First Time

Hi everyone, just completed our first 3 day C2C (in fact our first ever tour).  I have been cycling since last year, the wife only started training from January.  The forum has proved invaluable and having both the book and map are essential.  We rode on mountain bikes though locked the suspension forks and fitted smoother tyres which were ok.

We left Whitehaven on the 1st April, having stayed at the Glenard Guest House (from the C2C book).  Very nice, very hospitable hosts and a nice start to the route coasting down to the start from the guest house.  Our target was then to push on to Great Salkeld just to the east of Penrith, staying at the Highland Drove Inn where the food was fabulous and well worth the detour.  I would recommend pushing on through Penrith as you have a hill coming out of Penrith (which we hit at the end of the day, if you stay in Penrith then you have this at the start of the end of the day).  Very few mentions are made of the Whinlatter Hill, which we both found as one of the worst on the route, not particularly long but steep.

Day 2 was then onwards to Edmundbuyers, just north of Stanhope.  This was our hilly day which we both found to be ok and not as bad as we thought (even the wife managed them without walking although she never came out of granny gear)!  At the top of Hartside don’t be fooled by taking the off road track to the cafe to climb the last 100ft as it really rough – stick to road and just keep plodding on.  Hardest climb today we found was Crawleyside coming out of Stanhope which may have been because it was our last climb of the day.  Stayed at The Punch Bowl in Edmundbuyers which is a little off route though was a lovely contemporary styled room with amazing food.  In addition, the landlord was a keen cyclist and provided us with a few tips on the best way out of Edmundbuyers (which is up another big hill).

Final day on the 3rd April was then on to Sunderland and the weather changed for the worst.  Make sure you take your waterproofs as when you need them, you really do appreciate them on the exposed parts of the route.  We managed to cross over from Stanhope only 8 hours before the snow and wind hit which was a bit too close for comfort.  However, it caught us up in Sunderland where the rain and wind were horrendous.  On day 3 we found it difficult to find the small shops and cafes on route which had been prevalent at the other times so make sure you have a couple of snack bars for this section of the journey.  Throughout the journey the route is well sign posted and we never got lost once.

Just as a word of caution, we started the route one day early when we got off the train at Oxenholme (Kendal) and cycled to Whitehaven over Wrynose and Hardknott Pass.  Whilst looks easy on a map, this is a full on route and by far our hardest day.  Don’t do it if you want your marriage to survive!

We carried the minimum amount of kit with us (as we thought) though when weighing the panniers at the end of the route were 1.5 stones!  Whilst I won’t repeat the kit we took as this is covered several times elsewhere, the two things which we took with us and used which are mentioned are 1) disposal gloves which were needed when a chain fell off in the middle of nowhere, and 2) GT85 / WD40 or similar as the gears get a pounding and need lubricating along the way.  Overall, 220 miles covered in 3.5 days which if we can do it anyone can.

Overall, really glad we did it and would recommend it for anyone who is interested in a challenge – we are already planning our next tour.

Mr & Mrs First Timers