Saturday 27th July 2013 - Whitehaven to Greystoke
Getting to the start
When the alarm went at 6.15 we still felt tired, and our recent aches and pains (my shoulder, Liz's neck) felt worse than they had for ages... Hmmm, not a good start! At least the sun was out, rather than the rather grim weekend that had been forecast a few days earlier.
With the train leaving at 7.45, we grabbed a quick cereal bar before packing up and heading off to get the bikes out of the car, then cycled to the station, where we grabbed a more substantial breakfast of sausage & bacon baguettes...
Once at Whitehaven, we cycled down to the official start point, marked by the rather nice C2C logo.
Time to bite the bullet, and make some progress!
Whitehaven to Whinlatter
The initial run from Whitehaven is mainly on a disused railway, so made for a nice gentle warm up, with friendly dog-walkers aplenty as we travelled through the outskirts of Whitehaven, and out into the countryside beyond. The route is very well signposted, with lots of signs to remind us that the end in Sunderland is 135 miles away...!
There are also various sculptures along the way to keep us entertained, as we continue to climb steadily. We then switch from the disused railway to quiet back roads, as we start to get our first good views of the Lake District fells. A short break under the shelter of a church Lychgate sees a few fellow C2C-ers pass by.
|Shady snack stop|
Onwards towards the main challenge for the day - Whinlatter pass. This is tough and the first real test of the legs, but we make it OK, heading onto the forest tracks as we near the top, and then head for the Visitor Centre for a well deserved lunch.
My shoulder is now improved, Liz's neck less so, both of us on the pain killers to try and take the edge off the discomfort.
Whinlatter to Greystoke
From the Visitor Centre, there are 2 choices of route, road or off-road. We agree to each take our preferred route, meeting up in Braithwaite at the foot of the pass. I enjoy the super speedy off-road tracks, but not the extra 1.5 mile along the valley floor at the end...
It is then a gentle ride into Keswick where we stop for pudding at 'The Pedlar', an aptly named cafe with good cakes!
|Under the A66|
From here we are on the home straight to Greystoke, now only a few miles away. We are treated to some lovely views back to the Lakeland fells, with Blencathra looking splendid in particular.
We finally pedalled into Greystoke at around 5pm, after 48.6miles and 4529ft of climbing, knees feeling a little painful, my shoulder now feeling ok, Liz's neck still feeling sore, but we had made it through day 1!
|Day 1 finish|
Shortly after arriving at Brathen B&B, it started raining in earnest, and pelted it down for the whole evening. Our hosts loaned us an umbrella for the walk down to the Boot & Shoe where we had a good meal, feeling glad that we had booked a table in advance given how busy it was.
We did feel sorry for the family who turned up on bikes, drenched, at about 8.30pm, who came in for food but left after only having a drink due to it being so busy... not sure where they ended up that evening.
Full stats for the day below, click through to Strava for the full details!