When it comes to preparing for the UK’s most popular and best-known long distance cycle route, there are various factors to consider…

Above all, you should be physically aware of the strenuous journey you’re undertaking and ensure your bicycle is capable of the 140 mile trip!

With two start and finish options – Whitehaven or Workington and Tynemouth or Sunderland – you should already be thinking about plans for the journey. However, there are also many practical and in-depth matters to consider – for instance, what should you pack and how should you prepare your bike for the trip…?

The C2C Route

Wherever you choose to start and finish, there is nothing but quiet country lanes and cycle paths, for the most part. Our C2C holidays mean you’re provided with everything from accommodation, secure car parking and more, which you can find out about here (link).

General Guidance for C2C-goers

The crucial factor is being physically prepared for what could be a draining journey and don’t over exert yourself to finish the route quicker than you’re reasonably capable of. The route itself is suitable for cyclists of all riding abilities, with most choosing to finish the route in more than 3 days (although others do it in less). Take advantage of the scenic route and stop off at various places to rest and recharge your batteries.

It’s a wise idea to do the route from West to East, as the prevailing winds and long, sloping descents should cause less physical exertion, than doing the route East to West.

Always check the weather forecast for the period of time you’ll be cycling and pack wisely – some sections of your journey may be exposed to the elements and on higher ground.

Our holidays mean that you can forward luggage to the next place of accommodation as well as having emergency backup and support teams on hand for vehicle service.

Practical Advice for the Coast to Coast Cycle Route

Some things shouldn’t have to be said, or they should be said, either way these are some great practical tips for completing an enjoyable C2C trip.

  • Take a bike lock: Why risk worrying about your pride and joy when nipping to the toilet, if you can simply lock it up?
  • Pack 4+ bottles of water a day: It is easy to think you’ll be “fine”, but riding long distances (in any kind of climate) can easily dehydrate a person.
  • Carry bicycle lights regardless of time / season: If you’re riding later in the day, in particular, take bicycle lights with you. Whether you end up being affected by summer mist, get held up and have to ride at dusk or discover unexpected punctures, bicycle lights will make you feel much safer and give you a better chance at a comfortable ride.
  • Children tire quicker than adults: Although children are welcome to participate in C2C – and they have before – you should accommodate plenty of time for them to complete the ride. Children will obviously find the ride physically and technically demanding, more so than adults, so don’t rush them or pressure them into going further than they are able.
  • Prepare for riding over hilly terrain, as well as long distance: It goes without saying that parts of the course aren’t flat and simple rides, which is why you should incorporate some hilly terrains into your pre-C2C preparation. Most types of bicycle will complete the C2C, but consider a mountain bike if hoping to do some off-road sections of the route.

The biggest thing to remember is that the C2C can be a wonderful experience for individuals and groups, regardless of age, technical ability or the weather. Plan how long it will take to complete the journey and how you will do so, but don’t make a rigid itinerary. Instead, take in the scenic route, the people you’ll meet and experiences you’ll discover – enjoy!

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