Monday, 1 September 2014

C2C: Billy's Charity Challenge

We have conquered the coast to coast challenge, and managed to raise £500 for charity (Brinsley Animal Rescue and BornFree) Thank you to everyone who has donated!

Within the first half hour of setting off from Whitehaven, we had a puncture! However, we were carrying all the necessary equipment with us, and we had a puncture kit and a spare inner tube. Within 5 minutes we were back on the bike! This wasn't the only problem we had...

The tracks and paths which we were cycling along were well signposted, and they passed through some stunning areas such as the woodland below! After we went through the wood below, we entered the most amazing silver birch wood!

 As we were on a tandem bike and I was on the back, I had the opportunity to take photos and videos as we were cycling. I had never been to the lake district before, and I was surprised by the stunning views of the mountains and lakes. 

The photo below was taken whilst we were on a giant wooden bridge crossing the river. We spent 30 minuted crossing the meanders of this river. It was one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole trip!

We were now moving into the north pennines, and the tops of the mountains were covered in a bright pink kind of heather. Many types of heather can be found in the lake district including bell heather, crowberry and bearberry.

The signposts were almost perfect the whole way. However, it was harder to navigate on the roads. As you can see below, we had a map which helped us on the more complex areas.

We were really lucky with the weather! The only time it rained was as we were heading towards Penrith. This clouds (shown in the picture below) were heading our way, and we soon were surrounded by them. There was some magnificent rainbows though!

Until now, we hadn't had any "Killer Hills" but just as we thought this, we approached HARTSIDE SUMMIT! A 1903 feet mountain which was extremely hard to climb on a tandem. I think the only thing that kept us going was that we knew there was a cafe at the top! Eventually, after around an hour, we reached the summit, and had a flapjack and a hot chocolate.

The views from the summit!

We were now well over half way, and entering County Durham!

Here are some close up shots of the pink heather! Its amazing how such little flowers can completely transform the landscape.

109 miles down, 27 to go! 

Nearly there! We were approaching Sunderland. We passed under the stadium of light, as we cycled parallel to the River Wear.

And we arrived in Sunderland! We dipped out wheel in the North Sea, and had a well deserved sit down! 

If you would still like to donate, please visit this link: CLICK HERE

Species I saw along the way:
  • Redstart
  • Buzzard
  • Hare
  • Rabbit
  • Deer (too far away to identify)
  • Red Grouse
  • Pheasant 
  • Lapwing
  • Kestrel
  • Carrion Crow
  • Swan and Canada Geese
  • Common Gull
  • Pigeon and Collard dove
  • Goldfinch
  • Sand Martin
  • Swallow
  • House Martin
  • Starling
  • Magpie
  • Moorhen
  • Pied Wagtail
I probably would have seen more, but I was concentrating on cycling!