Coast to Coast Route

Coast to Coast Route
140 miles of up and down

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Day 2 part 2

Walking up Hartside
Pedalling up Hartside
Still walking up Hartside
Cafe at the top of Hartside
At the top and about to go down the other side to Alston
The next challenge was the first big hill, Hartside. The foothills were daunting enough and some bits were steep enough to warrant walking.  We came to the junction that said turn right for offroad and straight on for onroad.  Our GPS route said right, but having read the guide book we were quite clear that straight on was the only sensible option.
A mile or two later we got to the foot of the hill and started up it.  It was a long climb.  We could see vehicles going up the main road a long way up ahead.  We passed the point where the offroad path crossed the road which completely justified our earlier route selection.  Steep and very rough.  After a combination of pedalling and walking we joined up with the main road.  We were heading for the cafe at the top, but first had to endure large numbers of motorcyclists racing up and down the hill. This was a far from pleasant experience. We got off the road as soon as we could and walked up the offroad path for the last few hundred yards.  It was certainly steep.  There was a speed camera sign at the top along with a big blue sign saying 20 serious casualties in the last 3 years. No wonder! Sustrans should lobby the law enforcement authorities to install permanent speed cameras on the sections that carry the c2c route.
Anyway, we got to the top just as the cafe proper was closing, but there was a takeaway window still serving.  There were about 30 motorcyclists hanging about and a few cyclists including the supported group that we encountered a number of times.  We stopped to enjoy a drink and had our photo taken next to the sign at the top, 1903 feet.
After that 5.5 miles of downhill - 1000 feet - down to Alston. No speed records - care was required due to the amount of traffic overtaking us at speed - but it was a fantastic descent on smooth tarmac.
We arrived at the Cumberland Inn without incident - much nicer place than last night.  Showers, food and liquid refreshment.
Tomorrow will be the hardest day, so a good night's rest is called for.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Panda... what a great adventure. You're doing so well. Someone's going to get a wonderful companion and a liberated life because of your effort. I'm so very proud of you.