Take a look at the below log of a group of friends supporting their local charity.
- Brian Rowell
- Johnny Ball
- Shaun Rowell
- Jamie Darling
- Martin Hunter
- Martin Cook
- Matt Dunthorpe
- Anthony Ellis
- Gavin Maxwell
The first half of the day was a nice gentle stroll down to Ponteland to meet the support van, the only real moments of drama occurring due to a puncture and a stray dog which caused a couple of riders to come off.
No harm done though, and despite this all riders made it to Ponteland for a quick water refill and a 10 minute soak as the heavens opened.
We then left Ponteland and headed to Matfen where the number of people painting pictures (3) far outnumbered the places serving food (1) – as someone commented “We cycled so fast we’ve travelled back in time to 1930s England!”
We grabbed a quick sandwich though and set of for the next stage.
The second half of the day was a bit tougher with a few big hills thrown in (or so we thought), although there were a few enjoyable downhill stretches too.
We then all arrived in Bellingham to meet up with the support drivers and check into the bunkhouse for the night, before having a well-earned meal! The Ribs were a particular highlight!
All in though we had completed approximately 56 miles I believe.
After an average night’s sleep in beds that were clearly made for people under 5 foot 8, we were almost ready for Day 2.
‘Almost’ turned into ‘completely’ once Brian had knocked up a full English breakfast for everyone.
Day 2 can only be described as a complete war of attrition!
It was a slog from start to finish and included several monster hills (It turned out that yesterday’s hills were mere bumps in the road!), some awful rocky and unfinished terrain, a ridiculous amount of midge bites and distance markers that were clearly designed by someone on the wind up!
However we all ploughed on and after a nice lunch stop which included some much needed homemade Lasagne, we made it to our Travelodge in Carlisle.
One of the riders had to leave at this point due to a prior arrangement for Saturday morning, but the rest had a quick shower and out for some food and refreshments.
Today we had completed just over 68 miles.
After a better night’s sleep in the Travelodge beds, we all headed for the local Wetherspoon for another full English breakfast to help us on our way for Day 3.
This was much, much better than day 2, and while there were still a few hills, there were quite a few enjoyable stretches where we could take in the scenery and enjoy the surroundings.
We made it to Cockermouth for Lunch and grabbed a quick sandwich before heading off for the last stretch, although one of the riders had to go his own route on road as he needed to catch a train home.
After a fairly leisurely last 20 miles or so, we finally made it into Whitehaven to complete the challenge, and dip our tyres in the sea.
In total today I think we had completed about 56 miles to make the total around 180 miles over the 3 days.
Everybody was shattered but relieved to have completed the challenge, and ready to head to the guest house for a shower before heading out for some food and more well-earned drinks.
I left for the train at this point, but from reports there was a fair bit of alcohol, a lot of karaoke singing and a few hangovers the next morning!
A special mention must be made to Brian and Johnny the 2 support drivers, as they did a phenomenal job of running the support van, ensuring food and water supplies were up, keeping everyone’s morale up etc.
We couldn’t have done it without them.