Unseasonal weather, said the kind gentleman. That had to be the understatement of the holiday. We cycled from Whithaven in the west to Tynemouth in the east over 4 days. The first day only threatened wet weather. But the following three days had drenching rain. Unseasonably we’re told. Apparently it was dry in April and May (almost a drought I understand). All I can say is that reinforced our prejudices that it rains all the time in England.
1) The Greystoke Cycle Cafe (mentioned earlier) has at the ready towels for cyclists to dry themselves.
2) Lowbyer Country House. Very friendly and the welcomed us with a room with a big bath and took all of our wet clothes and dried them out for us! Lovely place to stay.
2) The lightning as we reached the top of Hartside (and the Hartside cafe at the summit)
3) The downhills… they are the best we’ve ever done. They went for ever had wonderful easy turns.
4) The scenery, the Lakes District and across the Pennines are beautiful.
5) The beer and cider.
6) Friendly people.
It was great fun, even though we were officially drenched rats. All I can say is that those altitude charts can be misleading. Helen distinctly recalls me saying that hey, we can do this it is not even as high as Mount Lofty.
Well that is true, but there were a lot of ups. There were so many ups that it justified 45 kilometres of down in the last day!!
Also, the profile doesn’t really show the fact that the English have no respect for the contours of the land. The back roads go up and down and if it is 22% gradient that is what the road will do! I recall riding past a 15% gradient sign thinking it was easy compared to some minor roads. That is how steep some of the minor roads are!
All in all, I would encourage any keen cyclists to try this trip!