Jul 032010

We’ve managed the longest climb of the C2C, although the highest point comes tomorrow. Our muscles might be growing accustomed to pedalling, because the climb was not as bad as we feared.

Some of the steepest ascent today was right at the start climbing out of Penrith. It didn’t take long to get a great view back over the town. Penrith itself was historically a market town, and these days it feels more industrial than Keswick.

Our route wound up and down between country villages and fields, and we detoured a mile or so to see a stone circle that dates back to druidic times. The stones were a lot smaller than the more famous Stonehenge formation, but this circle (called “Long Meg”) was still about 100 m in diameter. It was well worth the little diversion.

The big climb was up Hartside, and it went on and on. The view kept expanding as we gained altitude, and made it all feel worth it. Near the top there was a nice little white cottage, with sheep around it. Perched on top of the pass was a welcome cafe where we got some celebratory nibbles for a late lunch. It seemed like a popular stopping point, and we had a great chat with some motorbike riders.

The climb up took hours, but we covered the few miles down into Alston in minutes. The top of Hartside was very open moorland, but we have dropped back onto rich farmland.

Everyone we’ve met or stayed with has been thoroughly intrigued by our trikes. Even experienced cycle-friendly B&B owners haven’t seen anything like them before. It is possible that we are the first people to do the C2C on recumbent trikes!


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