This is just a little get away to do a different coast to coast route. It may be one to do with the school kids in the future so I will be making observations that will help when cycling with forty plus teenagers.
I have recently finished making up some new touring bikes for the family so this is also a nice try out ride although for this kind of touring I already know they are perfect.
By this kind of touring I mean no rush, sit up and take in the beautiful sites. The route is 172 miles long so we could get it done in a day if we wanted, but we ain’t gonna play silly games like that. Ideally I would want the route to take 15 years with a few detours around the world in between Ravenglass and Tynemouth. Then end up in Tynemouth with a beard down to my pedals and holes in every item of clothing. But we will need to wait a few more years before we can do that dream. In reality we have seven free days so we have plenty of time to do that mileage and we are not putting a quota on doing a set amount each day, just stop when we want.
We got the train from Sowerby Bridge and we have two changes. Sowerby Bridge to Preston, Preston to Lancaster then finally Lancaster to Ravenglass. The train operators are Northern, Virgin, Northern. It is straightforward to take your bikes with Northern, you just turn up no pre booking required, if they can fit on, they get on. It is more complicated with Virgin. You have to pre book your bikes. But everytime I have called them to do this on various trips I always get told they cant do it on the system for that journey and you just need to take a gamble by asking the conductor when you get there. So we did, and it was fine. It always has been and on such a small local trip it would always be fine. But if I was catching a plane I would imagine I would be getting a nervous, so maybe a better system needs to happen with cycles and trains to get more people riding bikes. Although it does justify another bike purchase in the shape of a Brompton as they can go any train line including the tube without pre booking. To be fair that is the same for any folding bike but Bromptoms are so so cool. The only other folding bike I would consider are Bike Friday they really promote those for touring and even make a Samonite case for them that doubles as a trailer when you get to your destination, you can even have them built with a Rohloff so the bikes are bulletproof. Bike Friday bikes, you know you need one!
Any how I deviate getting carried away with sexy bike talk. We set off at half two and we got to Ravenglass at six. The trains were all on time and we were only waiting five minutes at changes.
When we got off the train the guest house we are stopping was one hundred metres around the corner. We dumped our stuff and went to the pub for food and drink. The room has a view of the sea and the weather is perfect. We were sat outside the pub with our woolly hats on watching the sunset.
Hopefully every day will end with a clear sky, but if we get to the end and we have not had to put our waterproofs on we will be very happy 🙂