C2C 2019 Report

Over the weekend of 22/23 June, 18 club members took part in what has now possibly become an established event in the club diary – a 2 day bike ride from Whitehaven to Whitley Bay.

From experienced riders to first timers, everyone had a fabulous weekend – helped by very kind weather, great support and excellent food stops.

Full report below. We will be considering plans for next year in the coming weeks so please look out for further announcements if you’re interested.

This was the 3rd year the club has done the C2C bike ride from Whitehaven to the East Coast over 2 days. We were supported again this year by the excellent Alistair from Watbus who made sure our bidons (water bottles for the uninitiated) were filled and generally looked after us all throughout.

For 10 riders this was their first go at the C2C whilst for some others it was their first attempt at doing the longer, even more challenging route via Honister Pass. Others were simply back for more punishment and to offer support and reassurance to first timers.

As if the ride wasn’t challenging enough, we also had some Strava segments to see who would be crowned King or Queen of the mountains over the weekend. Junior Levison and Junior Buffham fighting over the climbs for the men and Abby and Nichola Matthews sharing the ladies awards.

Given the heavy rain in the days leading up to the event it was a very relieved set of riders that set off from Whitehaven in very calm sunny conditions. The sight of sun cream being applied rather than wrapping up in waterproofs was most welcome. We split into two groups again this year. One group going via Honister Pass, the other via Whinlatter.

Having climbed out of Whitehaven (one group having taken a lovely guided tour of the town centre first!), we set off towards the mountains and lakes of the Lake District National Park. How lucky we are to have such breath-taking scenery so close to home.

After the first stop, the two groups went their separate ways and started to contemplate the first proper climbs of the day before regrouping for lunch in Threlkeld. Next, it was on to Penrith before tackling the climb from Melmerby to Hartside with a very competitive and extremely tactical threesome (one of whom should be old enough to know better) vying for the fastest time of the day. The same three having got to the top then descended again to cheer on those that were climbing behind them. After a quick dash down to Alston, it was time for our evening meal together and an early night ready for more riding the next day.

Sunday morning saw much better conditions than had been forecast and some efficient group riding (a new bike skill for many of the group) saw the groups get to Allendale and Corbridge in good time for yet more food. After a brief stop in Matfen, all 18 riders re-grouped and 17 of them (can you spot the missing rider?) rode the rest of the way to Whitley Bay together. The low tide at Whitley Bay made “wheel dipping” challenging but it didn’t stop some clambering over rocks with their bikes to make sure they did it – doing a true C2C. Medals duly collected, it was back to Ponteland then home to find out where we’d left our chafe cream.

Over 125 miles and at least 9,000 feet of climbing brought out the very best in everyone taking part. Well done to the C2C crew of 2019 – do it all again next year?