Coast to coast (C2C) in a brutal day, by Team CA

Member Ila Pearson gives her account of how she and five of her cycling Star friends tackled their C2C ride last summer.

Who are Team CA We are a spin out of the Banbury Star Cyclists’ Club, a group of friends brought together through the love of two wheels. What could go wrong?

Meet the team Aidan Daniels, Claire Stratford, Marcus Edmans, Andy Perry, Ila Pearson and Simon Furneaux

Looking for a challenge! Once the group, Err Aidan has an idea he is very hard to shake. Truth is we should all know better and should avoid drinking with him, but truthfully he is a great guy, and although the idea of slogging 210km, over hours and hours, with 8500ft of climbing in howling winds and heavy rain is daunting, we all love cycling and a challenge and we know as a group we always have fun!

 

The route Glasson Dock, Lancaster to Whitby – 210km

The forecast

A fully supported ride, thanks to Andy at Yellow Jersey Cycling Holidays (YJCH).

A ride of several halves it was. The forecast didn’t bode well, a damp, blustery and grey start from Glasson Dock and the rain lashed down for days before and for the first couple of hours. And then, luckily, the rain stopped and the sun shone.

The plan was to meet Andy YJCH every 50km or so, for drinks and snacks. The first stop being in Ribblehead, and then 100k in at Barden Moor Road, 155km just east of Stikesley, and 170km on same road to help us over a couple of bumps through the North Yorkshire Moors!! and then onto the finish at Whitby (Whale Bone Arch), Hoorah! An ambitious ride in perfect conditions, mostly following quiet and traffic-free country lanes with a lot of challenging ups and downs.

One section has a bus route, with a flowing downhill before you go up, quite narrow in places especially when met with a bus at speed.

The ride The first 170km took us no time at all, with a good tailwind and Simon pushing us on in the heart-lifting way we all love him for, oh and the singing!! with no hint of the physical price that must be paid for those stunning views.

There were a few breathers along the way, just to take a lay down on the ground and stretch our weary limbs, not to mentioned falling off moments as you could not unclip Marcus!

As we ate cake and sandwiches and drank tea at the last food stop. We were chatting and fooled ourselves it was “just a 7 cols ” to do. We were going to smash this! We could all taste the fish and chips! And, now, at 177km with only 20 or so miles and a couple of hours daylight, we asked Andy YJCH, if “that was everything”, he replied with an ominous smile!

Happy faces and well wrapped up in spite of the conditions

We waved goodbye to Andy and see you at the finish line – turning a corner to soon realise that this section was going to be ugly. The ride took us into the rolling hills with sharp climbs and longer steeper descents. These climbs, each one being like doing the 7 cols. Even Keri would give a little shudder at the idea of 49 cols surely!

We were all watching and waiting for Andy to dip into his sweet bag, a sign of every upcoming hill, let the dread begin! We worried that these hills were more than our leg muscles would cope with. We all cursed those jelly babies!

Our legs were tiring, our bikes beginning to shake and wobble. Yet again we began to climb. Most of our strength was sapped attempting to stay upright never mind climbing the hills. Claire was showing off popping wheelies in the middle of the road (or it may have been the steepness of the gradient). At a point, Andy popped his own wheelie and it went too far causing him to topple off the back of the bike and slide gracefully back down what was basically a wall!

Most of us, excluding Marcus who was effortless and Aidan being stubborn, wanted to get off and walk the last few climbs, with no gears left, it did not feel epic, just stupid!

Towards the finish line, entering the outskirts of Whitby, a mix of relief and excitement of completing the challenge was soon forgotten by yet another wall to climb. Those fish and chips better be bloody good!

It was now dark riding down to Whitby, we hadn’t enough lights between us, so we shared lights as we rolled into the coastal town- seeing – and smelling the sea again, to be met by Andy YJCH at the Whale Bone Arch with champagne and this time feeling amazing. The celebrations continued with the most delicious fish and chips.

The finish Whale Bone Arch at Whitby and time for Fish and Chips

The rain resumed once again as we were transported back across the Pennines and to an exciting end to the day, as the lane leading to accommodation had been covered by the sea and a damp, dark wade with bikes and bags for the last half mile.

The evacuation wasn’t as eventful, thankfully! However, the bikes had to be dismantled and ‘drained’ on our return.. .

I hope we’ve not put you off!

Glasson Dock to Whitby, in one outing is a great achievement. Impressively, this only took us a moving time of 10 hours! (12 hours on the road). Would we recommend it? Yes, please do get in touch with Andy at Yellow Jersey Cycling Holidays – you’ll need all the help you can get! Would we do it again? In a heartbeat!

A quick mention.. .

Aidan’s little ride around Wales!

Aidan will be riding the Dragon Ride Devil 300km in 2021 for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance to support a great cause that attended the scene back in 2016 when he was knocked off his bike resulting in life changing injuries. Team CA will all be at the start line with him, this time joined by Rob Paul our newest member, taking on the 210km Gran Fondo. To sponsor Aidan please visit www.justgiving.com/Aidan-Daniels