Friday, May 20, 2011

Up Hill and down Dale

Sorry, no movies and only a few photos today. I crested Hartside (580 metres) and Nenthead (609 metres) in a wind-driven chilly drizzle that precluded any exposure of my cameras to the elements.

I left Edenhall this morning around 8:30 and arrived in Rookhope around 13:00, having traveled a distance of 36 miles. I'm pleased to report that I didn't have to get off and walk the bike up anything save a horrid steep rock-strewn 'alternative' route which I could have avoided. Reading the map later I noted the notice 'Very Steep Rough Track'.

UPDATE: Here's how one C2C rider described that 'alternative' section that I mention;
Garrigill – mile marker 77 approx
This is a very short but very steep and stony off-road section leading out of Garrigill to join the B6277. This is a killer, the most I have managed is 50 yards of the hill and even then I nearly killed myself doing it. My advice is save your energy, pick up your bike and walk it! One consolation though is the water splash just before the climb, it is brilliant fun – especially in hot weather!

It's unfortunate that I couldn't have captured video of the downhill runs on the eastern sides of the high points.  They were white-knuckle affairs with my screaming down the middle of the lane to leave room for last millisecond correction, judiciously applying braking bursts when the speed approached suicidal levels,  and scanning the road for obstacles.  My GPS indicates I reached almost 35 mph (58 kph).

The road into Nenthead could, without argument, be called a paved cliff. The twists and sudden turns and a T-intersection at the bottom mean one can't let off the brakes and ever hope to stop in time. I was expecting my brake pads to be little rubber nubs by the time I reached the town.

I felt like Fungus the Bogeyman at times (see Raymond Briggs) flying along in my soggy rain gear and wet gloves.  Watership Down also came to mind upon seeing the roadways strewn with dead rabbits.

Having passed from Cumbria and through Northumberland I am currently in County Durham at the Rookhope Inn.  The weather forecast for tomorrow is favourable to my delight as that will make my visit to the Beamish Outdoor Museum all the more enjoyable.

Edenhall Evening

 Hartside Summit Cafe

Just me and maybe 3 cars per hour

The Cliff Road down to Nenthead 

Nenthead when the sky finally cleared

The Route

View Edenhall to Rookhope in a larger map

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