Day 1




All sorted we decide we would set off at 7 am Sat morning, only running slightly late we piled into the mini bus and headed west. Thirteen miles (well it is an unlucky number) Stephen asks. Did any one pick up my cycle helmet? As no one had, we had to turn back home to collect it, Then set off west again. Glen commented, " I've been on this bus over an hour and I am still only five miles from home. A Toilet stop at Penrith then on to Workington for the start. 

Setting up 

Ready for the off


Stephen insisted we all dip our rear wheels in the sea and pick up a stone to carry across to the East Coast. 



Dipping the wheels

Yes thats the direction

We collect our pebbles

Stephen goes large



The first push and we haven't even started yet


So after a warm drink a sandwich and the usual photo calls we were ready to start at 11 am. We set off Karen caught us up in the bus to hand over the camera she had kept in her hand.

Setting off

On route


A final wave to the girls, who were all sat in the front, and were going to the Zoo for the day, then we were finally on our way. We passed a man and his wife, who were some day-trippers trying to follow the badly signed route into Workington. They thought we looked as if we knew where we were going so decided to follow us. We hadn't realised this and going through some wasteland had stopped for a pee. Yes they both came round the corner while we were in mid flow. Then the signs picked up and took us towards the town. After relying on them for three turns they gave as a bum steer. We had to stop and pull out the map. I had asked who wanted to be map-reader but all had declined leaving the task to me of all people. After a bit of orientation we were back on route, and the signs became reliable again.

First proper route sign

 Picking up an old railway line that had a nice smooth tarmac surface, we gently climbed out of Workington. We settled into the formation that was to be normal for the next three days. Stephen and Christopher leading with Glen and me following. After a few miles, I had to shout Stephen and Christopher back as they had cycled past the turning off the railway line onto a Minor road. Yes were settling into a pattern.

We cycle along Papcastle Road the name tickles the others. We have to do a photo call.

Papcastle  Road


Into Cockermouth and a lunch stop. A bit of a tricky route out of Cockermouth through some houses, along a river bank. Up a steep path round some houses over a bridge past a cemetery, they were starting to doubt my map reading when we came to a sign pointing us along a minor road. It's nice to have a confirmation comfort sign. Then a steep climb to go over the tops towards Keswick. Glen had been pulling so hard on his handlebars they worked loose. So we stop to tighten them. We are settling into a pattern. At the top of the climb, we come to an off road section, through some fields dodging the sheep, opening and closing gates. Glen keeping stopping and cussing as his chain kept coming off, yes we were settling into a pattern, Christopher's mobile rings. It's his friend asking him if he wants to go for a game of golf? It's just a little inconvenient at the moment these fairways are a bit rough!

Any one for golf?


Then a descent down through the trees, on a rough track. Stephen's favourite kind of riding so he took off, with Christopher in close pursuit: Glen and I following at a more sedate pace. It wasn't long before we caught them up, Stephen was stopped at a sharp turn in the track, and the view was breath taking over the lake and the lower levels of the forest. As we stopped to admire the view Stephen said" its a good job my brakes worked, otherwise I would have been over the edge and stuck like a Christmas fairy, on top of a tree. The speed Stephen goes downhill he may well have cleared the trees and landed in the Lake with a big splash.

Worth the climb


We carry on down to the road, and continue our winding way to Keswick. The lads are beginning to discover Sustrans routes are not direct. One and a half miles from Keswick and we get turned away on the route and its another five miles before we enter Keswick.

As usual Keswick is busy. We push our bikes through the crowded market place, and on the way out stop at a cafe for a cup of tea. It starts to rain a little but soon eases off and we are underway once more. The route goes past the swimming pool to pick up, the old railway line that will take as out of Keswick. Once again it is badly signed, but with a little look around we pickup the route and ride traffic free out of Keswick. It's a lovely ride along by the river though the woods, the planners deserve a pat on the back and a big thank you for this part of the route.

Then a small rise and we come out  beside the A66 .The  C2C sign is pointing us over the road. The others are all for following it; but my instinct tells me they are wrong. The map is inconclusive, but I finally convince them to head in the direction I say, and thankfully we soon come to a sign confirming I was right. Now the route is fairly easy with gentle climbs and well signed. Sometimes right beside the A66, sometimes taking a back road running loosely parallel with it Then we come to a section that although very scenic, becomes steeper and steeper, all the time taking as farther away from the A 66. After seven miles we come out at Mungrisedale. Turning night we ride down a bank heading back towards the A66. We realise we are riding back along the way we have just come but on a different road. When we eventually come to the A66 we see we are only one mile along from where we left the A66. We are not impressed with Sustrans routes, especially as we are starting to tire.

With the late start we are running later than expected so I ring the B&B to say we are on our way.

Then a blast along the easiest shortest route to Penrith, the beauty of the C2C is there are options and you can take various routes.

A stop at the Welcome to Penrith sign for a photo call then the last mile and a half to the digs.

Penrith at last

 Bikes parked in the rear yard and it was a relief to rest in our comfortable rooms. Stephen with Christopher, Glen sharing with me. Only down side was no tea or coffee facilities in the rooms, and the shower did not work so a quick bath and we were ready for some food. We were all tired so a short walk to an Italian restaurant. The waiter lights a candle for us suggesting it is more romantic, he seems to think we are gay? Stephen is most offended. Than a walk up to the top of Penrith, for Glens curiosity about the railway station platform sign's, (internet search Penrith Railway station platform sign to see what I mean) but it was all closed up for the night, so that was a waste of time. Than back to the digs for a goodnights deep sleep.

Awoke about 6am to heavy rain, I hoped it would stop before morning but there was nothing to be gained by Lying awake so I turned over and went back to sleep.