Distance covered: 1831 miles
Eastbourne to Newcastle
Made it to Tynemouth this afternoon after a few fun but challenging days. Spent a very wet couple of days in the Lakes, and discovered that Rossett Pike, on my route was completely unrideable...
Turned round about half-way up after speaking to people on their way down who all said the downhill on the other side was going to be equally unrideable. Not worth the pain if you don't get the gain, I decided, and had a pint of beer called Single Track at the bottom, fittingly! It was really tasty as well.
The following day was rather damp, but the trails around Skiddaw were fantastic, beautiful riding, if a touch dangerous at times. At one point I was making my way across slippery rocks on a 'bridle way' a couple of feet wide with a hundred-metre vertical plunge to the river below. But as I'm writing this you'll already have worked out that I didn't fall off and kill myself or anything gruesome like that!
Kielder Forest was the next big draw on the route, and though it's neither natural forest nor the most beautiful area, it is wonderfully set up for bikers in most respects. I spent a day zipping around some wonderful single track dotted with forest trails, and went into the 7 Stanes network over the border as well. It was the perfect end to an amazing trip.
I got down to Tynemouth this afternoon, having miraculously avoided a puncture on the bike path made of broken glass - along the banks of the Tyne.
So back to work now, well next week, and, more importantly, to planning the next big fat bike adventure. Please e-mail me with suggestions, the less plausible the better!
The edge of the Lakes, down from Skiddaw
Might need a passport next time I cross here?
Red route around Kielder Water