This is just another quick catch up post!
Back at the beginning of May, Mr Stoatie, his brother and a friend cycled the Coast to Coast. It was suggested that I might like to ride a little bit of the route (yes really!) but I decided that I was probably more use driving the support vehicle.
The official start is the harbour at Whitehaven which is an old fishing port in Cumbria. There is a slope down into the water where it’s traditional to dip the back wheel of your bike in the sea before setting off. Mike decided to ride down and turn in the water and ended up dunking himself as well as the bike. There was a steady stream of cyclists going down to the sea, both those beginning the ride and those just finishing.
As I was to rendezvous with the others at that night’s digs it meant I had a whole day to myself. I started off with a quick look at the Town. There were some lovely old buildings on the harbour.
There were quite a few of these benches along the harbour front. Each one had a different fact about the town and it’s connection with the sea.
There were shoals of these little fishes.
And quite a few of these bollards, all with a different knot.
From Whitehaven I drove to Bassenthwaite and spent the early afternoon sat by the lake. There are ospreys nesting nearby but I didn’t catch sight of them. I then had a wander around Keswick, which was absolutely heaving. They have an award winning market but I was a bit disappointed to find it mostly pricey tourist stuff rather than local produce. It was a bit weird to be strolling round without the dogs.
After an overnight stop at a gastro pub just outside Penrith (Mr Stoatie’s brother lost brownie points here by neglecting to book a table and forcing us to hoof it down to a less salubrious pub for dinner!) the men set off to climb the Pennines via the Hartshorn Cafe. Having dallied at the Cafe which was packed with cyclists and bikers they were then sadly held up by an accident shortly after they left, a cyclist had come off her bike on the downhill gradient and needed the air ambulance.
I spent the morning sat under a tree in a park in Alston preparing for my Glastonbury workshop until it got too cold and wet. In the afternoon I stopped off at the Lead Mining Museum at Killhope where I could dodge into buildings to get out of the weather. I spent three quarters of an hour talking to one of the volunteers in a room with a roaring coal fire!
There was some interesting old machinery.
The second night was spent at a B&B in Stanhope. This had some interesting machinery too!
There is no ‘official’ finish to the Coast to Coast cycle route, but one of the most popular places is Tynemouth. I was expecting it to be quite a big town and decided to spend the day there. Apart from a small high street and the Priory there wasn’t much to do apart from sit on the beach, which suited me quite well! There are a couple of long sandy beaches either side of the headland but I preferred the small rocky cove under the Priory and as it was the finishing point it seemed ideal. I resisted collecting pebbles but managed to pick up some lovely seaglass. It’s so close to town I expect there’s been lots of bottles and glasses and broken down there over the years!
There were lots of cyclists riding down to the sea for the obligatory wheel dip!
Finished! 140 miles over three days.