Recently I did the Coast to Coast in the UK from St. Bees to Robin Hoods Bay on my Dekerf. It was a blast and I will try to summarize the trip here.
Thanks to Suburbanruben, I wanted to have a framebag so that I didn’t have to varry all the weight on my back. I found someone local who could make one for me for €25. I only had to bring in the fabric. I was so glad I had one made, I am now thinking of a second one.
I now only had a 10l backpack and this framebag. So this was my setup:
We were doing this trip as a group of four. We were taking the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. And all four bikes were going on the roof.
When we arrived at hull we had to drive to Robins Hoods bay where we parked our car and we had to wait for the bus. I can absolutely recommend these guys as they took great care of our bikes with blankets to make sure that they wouldn’t be damaged.
The trip from Robin Hoods bay to St Bees would take us two days so we slept in Kirky Stephen in a youth hostel. Thi s hostel was a former church and was a pretty relaxed atmosphere. Because we were coming back here in a couple of days it was a great place to leave some stuff to have a lighter backpack.
Nest day we would finally go to St. Bees and started cycling. On our way we would joke about the latest capoeira moves we could make on the beach as we all are so athletic.
When we arrived at St. Bees we were dropped off at a parking place in the rain... We had some shelter using the public toilets but the wind and rain didn’t make a good first impression. Thankfully there were no capoeira moves shown and we didn’t even go to the beach. We saw a sign and that was it...
The rain soon stopped and we went from St Bees to Eskdale going through beautifull Ennerdale. From there we started an hour of cursing, carrying and pushing the bike up the Black sail pass. Once we had reached the summit, it was wet, cold and claudy. We decided that we were not going to do the second climb of that day. We were tired and wouldn't want to risk an accident and didn’t want to cycle in darkness. In total we did 62km.
Start of the Black Sail Pass.
During the descent of the Black Sail pass
The next day we went from Eskdale to Ambleside. We rode up Hardknott pass which apparently is Britains steepest road.
I did cycle everything but not in one go. I had to stop to catch my breath. One of our group rode 1x10 and he was flying uphill. After that we did Walna Scar. A couple of years ago I did Walna Scar as well but unfortunately I fell off back then. I still have a scar on my left hand because of this. I was now anxious to do it again an d not fell off. The first part of the descent went pretty well. I didn’t fell off and had all went good. The second part of the descent was a shock... They have sanatized the descent!
What a shame. I can relate to that though. There were so many people (walkers/cyclists) doing the Walna Scar that they simply had to but nevertheless it was a shame.
Roy does the last bit of climbing on Walna Scar
The next day we went from Ambleside back to Kirky Stephen. By then, fatigue was setting in and the muscles were staring to ache. It was a hard day. The first climb offered a stunning view of lake Windermere.
The first descent we had, reminded me of a descent during the Alta Rezia tour. We had one there with a rock garden. https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos ... 8839_n.jpg
After that we have spent a lot of time in bog. That was nasty! Sometimes it was impossible to even steer. It was good fun for once but I am glad we don’t have this in the Netherlands. We wasted so much time there that we skipped some off road bit and went home over tarmac. But in the end we did more kms and I even think we did more climbing as well. The distance between Ambleside and Kirkby Stephen is 65kms. The last 18kms were hilly but fun. If you can keep your momentum you could have a lot of speed. In the evening we ate some Indian food which proved to be great ‘fun’ during the night and next day’s ride
From Kirky Stephen we went to Grinton. Which started out in the rain and the wheather forecast wasn’t that promising. Even the C2C walkers cancelled walking and declared us mental! Eventually we did close to 38kms and stayed dry most of the time. Riding through the Yorksire Dales is a blast even on the road. You have to have a very aggresive riding style to keep your momentum. My average speed was something close to 22km/h and my top today was 56 km/h. That is on a mountainbike with a not so hard rear Nobby Nic tyre. We have done the Lake District now and the Penine Mountaines. So the hardest part seems to be over but we still have some Yorkshire Dales and the Moors to do.
The next stop was in Osmotherly which is about 60km from Grinton. We started off road. The tracked seemed muddy but was completely covered with menure. We have seen all sorts of poo. We had a good lunch in a town which I forgot it was called but they had a pie shop
Then we had a dull 30ish km spin on the road. Nevertheless we had a good spin. Tomorrow is gojng to be hard again.
In the evening we met a Dutch woman who tipped us a restaurant. We finally had some proper food and some fresh veggies.
The next day we went from Osmotherly to Glaidale today. We started in 'light drizzle' which got us soaked within 2km. I didn't shot a lot of pictures because the Waterproof gloves are a pain to get on and off. The Yorkshire Moors were hard to ride. The surface was a bit muddy which soaked up all the energy. It was a desolate surrounding but it was ace! Windy, rainy, cold and poor visibility but we all agreed that this was the day that made the most impression on us all.
The next day ws going to be the last day. It was so much fun seeing the sea again...
But fatigue was really setting at some of us. They were cursing all the way. Neverteless we made it:
We had no failures whatsoever . We had no flats, broken chains or anything like that. We only had to replace som brake pads. I used the kevlar ones from Superstar but the weren’t any good and I have replaced them already for the original Magura ones. At the end I felt my wheels was a bit wobbly but the spokes of my wheel need some tensioning. The PBO spokes were completely loose!
I had bought some Assos clothing here on sale and that was a life saver. Others had to carry two or even three jackets while I only had one. Chamois creme and Sudocreme were good tips too.
It wasn’t the most techniscal riding I have done but is sure was the most physically demanding thing I have done. I am glad I did it and am already planning next years trip