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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:35 am 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 8:18 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Warwickshire
The route is well signposted (blue signs with C2C on). Only problem, particularly in town, is the risk of missing one.

I used a Garmin etrex 30, which isn't strictly necessary. This forum does not appear to support gpx file upload - I can e-mail them to you if interested. There are 3 files, one for each day.

I used a hybrid (700c wheels) with cyclocross tyres (very fine grip pattern) at 70psi. It was pretty much perfect.
Suspension not needed, so the rigid forks on my hybrid were fine.
Rim brakes were more than adequate on the downhills.
Lowest gear I had was 22 front 30 back and only had to resort to that for the lower part of the Garrigill road climb.
All in weight of bike plus luggage was about 38lbs (24lb bike plus 14lb pannier/rack etc).
Risk of punctures is very low.
No phone signal for day 2 and half of day 3.
We did not attempt the 'old coach road' bridleway route out of Keswick, but chose the road route instead so not sure what we missed there.
The off road route up to Hartside Cafe appeared to shunned by every rider in favour of the road (comments indicate that it has become very washed out and loose).
Hartside to Nenthead - A lot of riders appear to take a detour via Alston, presumably to avoid the steep climb out of Garrigill. We chose the Garrigill route, which is only granny ring steep for the first half a mile, then eases off considerably.
The bridleway out of Rookhope, up and across Stanhope Common, is well worth doing for the views. Bridleway is in good condition - second half is along a narrowish rut that can catch your pedals in places. However it is slightly downhill and therefore easy to freewheel through the narrower sections. It was bone dry when we went, I suspect it could get rather boggy/puddly in the wet. There is one stream crossing that has a steep exit and caught a few out when it caused them to stall.The alternative was a road route via Stanhope but would have involved a steep climb out of Stanhope.

Would be possible to do in 2 long days - but not for me. It was a leisurely ride for us and we were in saddle for about 5 hours a day, with about 1.5 hrs worth of stops.

Rob J

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:43 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
Posts: 11899
Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
I would just shove some touring tyres on your road bike and have at it.

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 2:08 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 8:18 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Warwickshire
Rob J

File comment: Stanhope Common. Result of stalling on exit of stream.
Stall.jpg [ 188.08 KiB | Viewed 93 times ]
File comment: Wythop Wood. Outcrop a bit wet and polished in places. Fairly short sections though, with occasional small drops.
outcrop.jpg [ 208.68 KiB | Viewed 93 times ]
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:52 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:29 pm
Posts: 625
Location: He doesn't live in "The You-Kay"; he lives in GREAT BRITAIN!
Don't know if it's been mentioned already but it is the done thing to do it from West to East gradients and prevailing wind are in your favour. The cafe at the top of the big hill above Melmerby- Hartside Pass?- has great chocolate cake. If I remember anything else about it I'll let you know.

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