Posted Monday 24th June 2013 –
On the first day of the 100th Tour de France, 29th June, hundreds of road cyclists will line up in Seascale School on the Western edge of the Lake District and ride the challenging 150 mile road route to Whitby on the far Eastern coast of Britain. This iconic ride is the second to be organised by Open Cycling and has attracted a sell out field of riders thanks to its beautiful scenery, challenging ascent and distance and flawless organisation.
The Coast to Coast route from the Lakes to Yorkshire is celebrated amongst mountain bikers, hikers and road riders alike. Most tackle the road route in 4 or 5 days, but this sportive challenges even the fittest riders to tackle the epic route in just one day, albeit one of the longest days of the year. “It’s a unique challenge amongst sportives” explains rider Barbara Lonsdale “and one I couldn’t refuse. I’m normally a mountain biker but the combination of that amazing scenery and the long distance makes this a real challenge and I can’t wait to get going”.
One group of riders has decided that tackling the route one way just isn’t enough, and are going to ride ‘the double’, from Seascale to Whitby and back again, using the Open Cycling event to support them to their half way point. Their ride is in aid of Help for Heroes and you can sponsor them here – http://www.bmycharity.com/backtobackc2c.
Open Cycling has left no stone unturned in the organisation of the event, either. On top of the detailed signage, regular feed stations, medical cover and marshals you would expect, they have laid on park and ride transfers from Penrith to the start in Seascale, plus overnight camping and a transfer for the weary finishers back to their cars as well as a post-ride massage! “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people”, explains event organiser James Thurlow.
Having just finished his own Coast to Coast challenge, by foot and non-stop (complete with Type 1 Diabetes just to make it an extra challenge – www.howfast.org), James is looking forward to sitting back and watching others complete the challenging course. “It’s a long way”, admits James, “although will be easier by bike than on foot, and there’s the enforced rest of the timed-out Windermere ferry crossing!” That said, 150 miles is a long way and many riders can expect to take well over 12 hours given the formidable 4500m ascent. “Even mid-summer, lights are on the kit list!” adds James.