Sunday, February 17, 2008

Practice ride - C2C Workington to Sunderland

Following the purchase of our spangly new steeds, it was decided that we should go for our first proper bike ride. Off we went, pedalling to the train station.

While standing on the platform we had our first freaky moment. We were approached by a couple who seemed very fascinated with our bikes. It just so happened that Richard and Sarah had not long since returned from a crazy bike ride in South America and they had used the exact same bikes. It was good to know that we weren't the only insane people round here.

Here we are looking for alternative ways of getting to South America.

All we need are really long straws to help us breath as we pedal across the ocean floor.

After deciding it might be more comfortable catching a plane, we begin our bike ride home.
The coast to coast bike ride is approximately 140 miles which would take us three days to complete. Along the way we would encounter the biggest hill in the country and also the highest road. To keep our spirits high we had cheesy smile competitions.

Our map reading skills were terrible. We were supposed to be heading east, back to Newcastle, which is obviously in England. Somewhow, we managed to cycle thousands of miles in completely the wrong direction. Maybe we were so excited we just had to get to South America straight away. Here we found llamas and alpacas. Luckily we managed to find the right map and found our way back to the C2C route.

Gemma had never really done much cycling before this and after finding out she had more than one gear on day two, she tackled the monstrous Hartside hill. Amazingly she made it all the way to the top without hitching a lift from the numerous lorries whizzing past. Maybe it was because she saw the gi-hyooj cake in the cafe at the top.

After Hartside there were many steep hills through the northern pennines. Although none of these hills are as high as some we will tackle in South America, we certainly had our thighs tested. To ease the pain we ate more chocolate and cake at the Crawleyside bank cafe before the last long hill all the way down to the coast at Sunderland.
Finally we reached the end. It suddenly occurred to us both that we didn't live in Sunderland and that we were still miles from home. We might have just cycled across the country but we certainly weren't going to back track. Many thanks to Gemmas mum for coming to rescue us with her lovely warm car.
Satisfied and confident, we figured we didn't need any more training. The bikes went into the spare room and haven't moved since. Maybe we'll have one more ride before we go, especially now we have the worlds bestest tent ever.


Global Mum said...

Good luck you mad couple! Everyone back home will be rootin' for you (and missing you loads)
Love Lynn (a.k.a. Gemma's Mum)

Lucky mum said...

You'll have a fantastic time, I know. Stay safe both of you and Ian no more scars. We'll all be with you and me on your shoulder just to make it a bit harder.
Love Sue (a.k.a. Ian's mum)

Lucky mum said...

Enjoy. enjoy. enjoy. We'll all be with you. Please stay safe both of you, and no more scars Ian.
Love Sue (a.k.a. Ian's mum)