After our beautiful full / MASSIVE English Breakfast Aidy and I set off from the beautiful Park House B&B to a cloudless blue sky and with our optimism high knowing we were heading to our final bike destination.
The route we were taking was less roads and included some monster hills, awesome off-road tracks and a 4 mile downhill all the way down to the coast – who wouldn’t be happy?
Still, a meaty 51 mile over challenging terrain we had to prepare ourselves mentally, including also not setting off until after 9:30am….oops.
Ok so we took a main road for about 5 miles reminding us of yesterday’s route with the angry 70mph lorries overtaking us. Couldn’t wait to get this road over and done with and then we eventually came off the road and started flying through beautiful villages, stopping off at one village for water.
We started climbing into The North Yorkshire Moors and started hitting some of the hardest hills yet.
At the top of a monumental hill we came to a crossroad where we could see THE EAST COAST AND SEA!!!
We took a break here in the hot sun and tried to work out where we were heading. After some time we realised our path was taking us via an awesome off-road track only passable by 4×4 vehicles and mountain bikes. This track was really fun and we eventually came to a high lookout point where we could see the full east coast, Middlesbrough and other coastal places and features.
At this point we realised that the rest of the journey was pretty much downhill which was a pretty cool thought. I attached my GoPro HD camera and recorded some high speed downhill off-road video.
At the bottom of the off-road track we came to a main road. This road was downhill and I mean downhill, and more downhill – it was bloody marvellous and I was thinking to myself how much incline over the past three days we had built up and now melting away beneath our wheels.
THEN, the coast came into view still all downhill and the view of the coast became bigger and bigger. This was really really cool, probably the highlight of the bike ride.
We came to about 2 miles outside Whitby which I’ve been to a few times with Angela and Sebastian on a family holiday so I was familiar with the surroundings. But we weren’t taking the road to Whitby but instead a road which took us to Robin Hoods Bay.
Now along this road and following my phone’s GPS to reel us in, we came upon an off-road path named the “Cindertrack” which apparently is an old Whitby to Scarborough coastal railway route. It hugged the coast and cliff tops, offering outstanding views, no motor vehicles, a quiet and amazing slightly downhill route all the way into Robin Hoods Bay.
Robin Hoods Bay came into view, OK it was probably this part which was the most awesome bit of our three day bike ride. The huge Coastal Head which dominates the area reminded me of when I was last there – with Angela and a very young baby Sebastian.
We arrived in Robin Hoods Bay village and Aidy’s mum was waiting for us. She seems a lovely lady and gave Aidy some well done hugs etc. We then made our way down the steep path that takes you deep into the village and towards the end of our route.
WE ARRIVED!!! We were outside The Bay Hotel and we were feeling jubilant…. well I was anyway, let’s not forget Aidy has already done Everest Base Camp so this probably wasn’t as massive for him as it was for me.
We got a real ale, signed the completion book which all of those doing the C2C must do as tradition, and talked about our journey. At this point I realised the bike made it without any problems. Didn’t need the puncture repair kit or the new inner tubes I bought in case. Even the chain didn’t snap haha (reference to last C2C attempt). The bike was a tank considering it wasn’t the most expensive one you could buy, said by the man himself who lent me his bike, the Legend Gaz McDonald.
At this point we met some cyclists coming in on mountain bikes who must have done something similar to us. My competitive edge burned inside me to find out what they did, no way I’ve come so far too find out that some other guys have just done something more difficult than us. After Aidy started taking to them and me joining in mid-conversation we discovered they had done a 4 day route, skipping Whinlatter and even had a pace/supplies car to carry their belongings so that they could travel light! We congratulatively and politely said well done and gave our tale of events including that we’re about to take on the 5 day run/walk from tomorrow. They looked in shock, the guy I was talking to could probably kill me in one punch and could probably bench press me so I really didn’t want to upset the him lol.
After here we put the bikes in Aidy’s mum’s car and headed off to Whitby where we were stopping. We’re staying in a hotel above a pub which wasn’t too shabby and we unpacked, showered and headed out for tea which was of course Fish and Chips at Magpies with a few more celebratory real ales.
Summary: I really enjoyed the cycling part of this challenge. Some amazing views and fun memories. I’ve proven to myself it can be done over three days on a mountain bike. It could have been done in two days on a road bike but that would have been just roads and no off road fun. I wish we did more off road routes instead of the roads but that would have meant more days. Maybe another time. It was a good mix and a very tough test.
Now begins the running/walking part of the challenge which will require patience with the slow speeds we’re doing compared to being on bikes. Wish us luck!