• This topic has 17 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 6 months ago by nre.
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  • C2C Advice & Insights
  • Premier Icon handybendyhendo
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    Planning on doing a C2C ride in early July over 2 or 3 days….it is a charity ride with work with relatively inexperienced, but resilient, folk.

    It prob needs to be the easiest option if it is to be 2 days…..but it also needs to be hard enough to make it sponsor-able. 🙂

    It will on Hard Tails….so if there is some whinlatter involved that does not add to the distance then great…..the bikes will be on fast rolling tyres as it looks like the 140mile options are 80% tarmac. It would be great it someone has done a great route and has a gpx?

    Thanks for any thoughts….


    Premier Icon TrekEX8
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    If it’s the standard C2C Route, then it’s great.
    If you’ve got a mix of experience/abilities, then 3 days is ideal, Keswick is a good first stop, Allenheads worked for us for night 2.
    The Whinlatter bit is optional, it can be done on road tyres, but not recommended.
    The last 50 miles or so seems to be all gentle downhill – great.
    Finish with the obligatory fish & chips.
    A great ride, well signposted, rewarding but not too hard.

    Premier Icon handybendyhendo
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    So is the ‘standard’ C2C waymarked and close to idiot proof…..I have a Garmin 1000 and managed the SDW so hoping that best case it is something like that?

    Looks like Whitehaven to Sunderland is most common?

    So does 2 days make it more ‘sponsor-able’ or is that biting off too much of the fun element?

    Premier Icon handybendyhendo
    Free Member

    Quick bump on this as it was postponed last year and we are bringing it back to life for September this year in aid of Spinal Track.

    Struggling to decide on 2 days or 3.

    If 2 days…would you stop at Penrith as this is close to half way…..and perhaps more than half of the tough stuff if the last 35-40miles are largely downhill?

    Anybody with some thoughts on this please?

    Premier Icon jsync
    Full Member

    We stopped in Alston, Penrith would make day 2 too long.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
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    I’m still not clear if it’s the MTB CTC or the road one…

    If it’s off road then 2 days is well impressive.
    If it’s the road one then 3 days is taking the piss ( for sponsorship)

    Premier Icon kateezdad2
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    I did on road Whitehaven to Tynemouth over 2 days with a stop over in Alston. Oh and just because it is the highest village in England dont expect an easy start day 2 (especially after a full english)

    Premier Icon northernmatt
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    2 days you wouldn’t stop in Penrith as you’d wake up and have to do Hartside then another climb out of Alston (Or Garrigill).

    I’ve done it twice over 3 days. Day 1 to Penrith, Day 2 over Hartside to Allenheads, Day 3 to coast. Tynemouth is a nicer finishing point than Sunderland by the way.

    Personally I don’t think 3 days takes the piss for a sponsored ride especially if your group isn’t used to rides this length. We managed to raise well over £2k for the RVI Kids Cancer trust.

    Premier Icon jonba
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    A lot of this is off road. Mostly Gravel. I made the effort to get away from Tarmac but would have been on a CX with 33mm tyres so there is nothing nuts in there.

    PM me for more details.


    There was a bit near Keswick that got washed away but is now rebuilt?
    Whinlatter can be done on gravel or Tarmac, it would be easy to split a group depending on ability.

    The offroad bit from Rookhope to Parkhead is a nice bit of singletrack. Often closed during shooting season but July is ok (?). There is a road about 100m away going in the same direction if you want to split and regroup at parkhead.

    I disagree with the end of the C2C. I was finishing in Tynemouth. I rode my own route that I think is better (I live in Newcastle so this was purely a need to get to the sea and chippy).

    From Parkhead it pretty much is downhill and then flat along the river. Penrith feels a bit early. But not long after that is Hartside which might be tough for a tired group. I think the next common stops are in Alston or Garrigill. Alston has some good cafes and pubs.

    Premier Icon handybendyhendo
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    Looking at the ‘classic’ C2C and as a couple have said it seems to be a 60% gravel / 40% tarmac mix so should roll fairly fast.

    It looks like there are ‘proper’ off road options along the way but we wont take those as some will be on road / gravel bikes – or at very least fast rolling MTB tyres.

    I will take a look in the booklet @ Alston.

    Jonba – cheers for the Strava – is this sticking to the C2C route in full so I can steal the gpx?

    Is Rookhope to Parkhead a long section?


    Premier Icon b230ftw
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    I have done the C2C and the Way of the Roses and would very much recommend the latter, especially for less experienced or less fit riders. Although it’s 50% longer it’s easier IMHO – there is 50% more climbing in the C2C than the WOTR in 2/3rds of the distance!!
    The C2C when I did it it was sunny and calm but the middle bit is very hilly and bleak and wouldn’t be much fun at all in crap weather.

    I would agree the end of the C2C isn’t nice, I wish I had known a better router to Tynemouth as I didn’t enjoy it much, the bit after Newcastle centre.

    I Stravad both routes along the full Sustrans route if it would help you.

    Premier Icon jeffl
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    I did the official C2C 6 years ago now. Only seems like yesterday. Did it with a group of friends from work for fun. We did it in 2.5 days. Reason being we had to drive up to Newcastle, dump the car then get the train over to Whitehaven. Time was cracking on by then so our first day was only 20 miles, although I did ride to Sheffield to meet up with everyone so that made mine 35 miles 🙂

    Anyway after our initial 0.1 day start day we stayed just past Alston in OverWater on the second night. Initial climb from there but then basically downhill to Tynemouth which I found a bit boring. Worst bit of the ride was cycling back from Tynemouth to Newcastle to get the car. Only 12 miles but seemed to take forever. We did it on MTB’s but I was running Shwalbe Marathon tyres.

    Strava Links Below. But yeah I’d say do it in two days stop over in Alston. We all cycled semi-regularly but I’ve never been the fastest rider in the world, so if I can do it anyone can.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/369366543 – 20 miles

    https://www.strava.com/activities/369712435 – 80 miles

    https://www.strava.com/activities/370406959 – 60 miles.

    Premier Icon Neb
    Full Member

    I’ve done it a couple of times, latest with a mixed work group of non cyclists. Penrith is a good first stop, nice places to eat and good pubs, first day is long but not too hilly. Second day is hilly and long, but it does make for a short 3rd day as off the moor towards the coast goes on forever!

    Everyone enjoyed it, even the non cyclists.

    With the same gang, we also did the French C2C, Atlantic to the Mediterranean following the canal du midi. That was a slightly longer trip about 320 miles, but mainly gravel canal paths so easy to get the miles in. Nice weather, 2 3-course meals a day, lots of wine, bloody brilliant!

    Premier Icon nre
    Free Member

    I did it over 3 days in 2013 with my wife, I wrote this blog:

    Photo links are long-dead, but the info may be of use… Can provide gpx files if required (both my route and my wife’s slightly more road biased alternative!)

    Premier Icon handybendyhendo
    Free Member

    Nice read NRE – what bikes / tyres did you use as you seemed to try gravel and off road options?

    Premier Icon nre
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    We have his’n’hers Giant Anthems. Nice’n’comfy, not too heavy 😉

    Premier Icon handybendyhendo
    Free Member

    OK – so Rekon Race tyres so light and fast. FS though – good effort!!

    Premier Icon nre
    Free Member

    …on the tyres, I had to dig out some pics to work it out! Looks like I was on Kenda Small Blocks and the wife was on Mezcals, so light tread for fast rolling…

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