Last year we rode one of the Coast to Coast routes as a family, from Silloth to Tyneside. What made it special was doing this with another family who we are friendly with. It was a fairly gentle, easy going journey and I remember thinking I ought to do this again but with a bit more of a challenging route i.e. more hills and a little faster.
I must have mentioned that to another of my friends. This was Jeremy who, it seems, has a better memory than me. We had vaguely discussed possibility of doing such a ride this year but with running low on my annual leave allowance, it was not possible this year. However, it did crop up in conversation which went a long the lines of….
“Remember you fancied doing the Coast to Coast again Doug?” asks Jeremy
“Oh yeah, I do. Just ain’t gonna happen this year, maybe next year”
“How does a 150 mile route grab you?”
“Sounds okay Jeremy, I had in mind a longer route anyway”
“Yep but do you remember saying you’d like a slightly quicker pace?”
At this point I’m wondering if I ought to start getting worried as I can feel I’m being led into something. Thoughts of our last ride together and being left seriously behind ascending a hill sprung to mind. I remembered feeling so unfit on that particular Sunday pre-church ride with my upper leg muscles burning like crazy. In spite of this, curiosity got the better of me.
“Sure that would be great, we could do a lightweight and minimalist “credit card” tour”
“Nah don’t worry about that. How does doing it in a day seem?”
“150 miles in a day? Hummmmm that’s quite a distance but not impossible. Go on…..”
“Well I came across an organised C2C which looks pretty good and I’m tempted to do it next year. Oh by the way, you fancied a more hilly route? This one involves 4,500 metres, so how about it?”.
My easy answer is yes but now I’m thinking 150 miles is quite some distance in a day. Flippin’ eck! And 150 hilly miles at that! I have cycled over 100 miles in a day before, several decades ago, including going from Elmore (near Gloucester) to Tooting in London. Plus in 1984 I cycled the 300 miles from Mombasa to Nairobi in three days on a heap of junk with camping gear – that included climbing 6,000 feet. At 51 I’ve recently run a marathon in just under four hours so surely I can do the 150 miles? Afterall I have a year to do the training.
There is something strangely attractive for me with endurance events – distance, not speed. This proposition from Jeremy has got me thinking and I do like the sound of it. End of June in 2014 would be a lovely time of year with such long hours of daylight and a fair chance of some good weather. I just don’t want to be a 90 year old sitting in a nursing home with regrets I didn’t do the things I could have done when I had the opportunity.
What’s on offer is an organised cycle ride / sportive by Open Cycling, providing it is organised for 2014. It goes from Seascale to Whitby and travels through some stunning scenery. There’s some logistical back-up and support with sign posts, feeding stations etc along the way. It’s not a ride for the feint hearted but has real potential for being amongst the all-time great rides.
If you have done this ride or maybe thinking of doing it, could you either leave me a comment or use the ‘Contact’ tab above? It would be great to hear from you.
Here’s a link to the Coast to Coast in a Day site.
Here’s the link through to the gentle 2012 family C2C adventure.