UK Coast to Coast - Charity ride??

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by matt_t, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. matt_t

    matt_t Guest

    Basically, does anyone fancy riding coast to coast across the skinny bit
    of England in early June for a fantastic charity?

    I got a Coker 5 weeks or so back with the intention of doing Land's End
    to John O'Groats on it this summer. I knew it'd be pushing it to get
    ready in time, but a recurrance of a minor knee injury 2 days ago is
    making me think twice about the wisdom of a doing that, especially
    since I was planning on doing it for charity and pulling out after 30
    miles wouldn't be on.

    So, Plan B: Coast to Coast
    It's a much shorter ride and I'm certain I can do it without snapping
    any knees. Also, I'm hoping that some of you lovely people will be able
    to join me since we could do it over a weekend. It's beautiful country
    around here, and I know it'll be a fantastic ride, maybe even as
    legendary as Snowdon (but less cold:p )

    The charity I'll be raising money for is the Lotus Children's Centre in
    Ulan Bataar, Mongolia. Have a look at http://www.lotuschild.org. I'm
    going out there to work for them over the summer, from late June on.
    It's basically an orphanage for street children, and takes it some of
    the most vulnerable people out there and does a fantastic job. I've
    been out there twice before and the poverty is really sickening, and
    with these guys you know your money isn't paying for a suit to drive
    around in a 4x4, it's actually saving people's lives. We could raise
    tons of money if a bunch of us did it!

    So, in conclusion, would anyone care to join me if I go ahead with
    this, is it worthwhile etc? It'd be either the weekend of the 3rd or
    the 9th of June. It would be easy to do the shortest route in 2 days
    (90ish miles, basically Newcastle to past Carlisle) or 3 for the longer
    one across the lakes if my calculations are correct (correct them if
    they aren't!)

    Come on, you know you want to:D

    Matt (green haired guy, see you at BUC!)


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  2. pinwheel

    pinwheel Guest

  3. sarah.miller

    sarah.miller Guest

    Go for it, can't join you this year, but did this ride on my coker a few
    years ago with Paul and Roger. Rogers ride report is at
    http://www.unicycle.uk.com/c2c.htm

    Its a great ride, we did it in two days but I think 3 would have been
    more sensible.
    SArah


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  4. treepotato

    treepotato Guest

  5. matt_t

    matt_t Guest

    I do understand that Morris dancing must always come first Mike;)
    It's a bad time of year for all us studenty types I know, I'm just
    lucky my exams finish early this year.
    As for doing it on a 20", well it would take a while, but it would be
    epic and you would go down in the annals of unicycling history! You're
    probably faster than me at the moment anyways...
    Anyone else fancy having a go?


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  6. welp

    welp Guest

    treepotato wrote:
    > would love to but it's in the middle of my exams and i only have a
    > little 20"
    >
    > Good luck!




    Same here, I'd be willing to do it on MY 20" but there's the exam
    issue...


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  7. Matt,

    I did the C2C a few years ago on my Coker. I did it 4 days, but it
    could easily be done in 3. If you want another option on a C2C route,
    then have you thought about "The Trans Pennine Trail"? This runs from
    Southport to Hornsey and is 215 miles. Mark Wiggins, Alan Chambers and
    myself did this lovely route last year and took us 4 days to cover the
    distance.

    If you would like to talk to us about either of the above routes, then
    track me down in a couple of weeks time at the BUC.

    You're supporting a very worthy charity and I wish you every success in
    your challenge. Even if you don't need advice on riding a C2C route,
    I'd still be interested in talking to you about your experiences in
    Mongolia.

    Steve
    p.s Most of the older unicyclist would be able to point you in my
    direction.


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  8. matt_t

    matt_t Guest

    Just to say thanks to everyone for getting back to me. Sarah - I read
    the report of your, Paul and Roger's ride before, that's what made me
    think about doing CTC, that was a cool report It sounded like an
    amazing ride over the lakes!
    Steve, that sounds like a good route, especially if it's just me as
    I've basically got 2 weeks free anyway so the extra distance would make
    it more of a challenge. I'll definitely speak to you about it at BUC :)

    Cheers everyone,
    Matt


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  9. AndyN

    AndyN Guest

    Matt
    Before you set off on your journey (which ever one you decide to do) You
    will need to do quite a bit of planning. When Rog, Paul, Sarah and Claire
    did it there was also a 4 strong support team behind them (me, Jack, Len and
    Susan his wife) plus a van, car and caravan. You will need to book b&b's for
    the 1st night, 2nd night and any other nights. Plenty of water then some
    more and some again. Energy bars and food (more than you can carry hence the
    van). When they did it they ate on the hoof and drank on the hoof, when they
    weren't riding they were eating and drinking.

    To do that ride in 2 days is one hell of an achievement and it will
    physically drain you. There are some very steep hills going over the
    Pennines and through the Lakes. Up to date maps are essential! Don't rely on
    the Sustrans guide map, OS maps of the entire route are a must. It is
    traditional to ride west to east. A couple of reasons for this, the hills
    are short sharp uphills with long descents west to east and also the wind
    tends to blow west to east which on a long ride like that makes a big
    difference. Be prepared to share the ride with bicycles too, this is a
    relatively busy route at the time of year you mention. I live just off the
    C2C at Beamish and I will not walk or ride there over any weekend during the
    summer.

    Anyone thinking of doing this ride, you need a Coker to stand any chance of
    doing this. I would say it would be impossible to do it on a 20" (prove me
    wrong if you must)

    Good luck with your ride, be prepared and you will do it. If you don't put
    the planning into it I don't fancy your chances.

    Talk with Rog at BUC he will be able to give you more advice on the set up
    for your Coker.

    Andy
     
  10. joemarshall

    joemarshall Guest

    It sounds fantastic.

    I have a feeling I can't make either weekend, this summer is a bit
    mental, otherwise I'd be up for giving it a go.

    There's also various Scottish coast to coast routes, although I think
    all of them involve off-road, so are way harder.

    Joe


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  11. matt_t

    matt_t Guest

    Sorry to hear you're busy Joe, Scotland sounds like fun though!
    hmmmm...
    Thanks for the advice Andy, support and adequate food will be quite big
    issues if I go it alone, but then again I'd have more than 2 days so
    could take it easy. I've been training quite a lot, and have started to
    do about 8 miles a day now on the coker and hopefully get that much
    higher as time goes on. It'd still be very knackering though, I'll have
    to do a few proper long rides soon to get use to it.
    I think if anyone does manage to make time to go we'd go across from
    past Carlisle to Tynemouth, following Hadrian's Wall. Much easier in 2
    days and nowhere near as hilly.
    I'll definitely to speak to you all at BUC, I haven't done anything
    like this before so I need all the help I can get!
    Cheers,
    Matt


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  12. joemarshall

    joemarshall Guest

    AndyN wrote:
    > Matt
    > Before you set off on your journey (which ever one you decide to do)
    > You
    > will need to do quite a bit of planning. When Rog, Paul, Sarah and
    > Claire
    > did it there was also a 4 strong support team behind them (me, Jack,
    > Len and
    > Susan his wife) plus a van, car and caravan. You will need to book
    > b&b's for
    > the 1st night, 2nd night and any other nights. Plenty of water then
    > some
    > more and some again. Energy bars and food (more than you can carry
    > hence the
    > van). When they did it they ate on the hoof and drank on the hoof, when
    > they
    > weren't riding they were eating and drinking.
    >




    Support crews are nice, but by no means an essential, especially if
    you're staying in B+Bs. In some ways they make a long ride cheating
    really, because you're saying 'I can ride 150 miles' but really you
    mean 'I can ride 150 miles as long as a car a van and a caravan are
    following behind me' which kind of defeats the object of riding
    somewhere. There's always towns/pubs/petrol stations on rides to get
    water and extra food, and it's pretty easy to carry thousands of
    calories in your camelbak in easily eatable forms like malt loaf,
    energy drink powder etc., enough to get you through a couple of day's
    riding for 10 hours plus.

    Joe


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  13. sarah.miller

    sarah.miller Guest

    Would haveto agree that surport is not essential, but will increae the
    milage you can cover in a day. Pauland I have done unsurported long
    rides with 26 inch whels and did about 30 miles a day , the C2C was
    80-90 mile days over some big hills. we couldn;t have done it in 2 days
    with out the back up team who made food and water appear magicly
    right on the route so no time lost finding fuel. We also found a
    cottage right on the route for our over night stop ( this was luck, it
    was owned by my boss! (and i worked 300 miles away)) so no time
    wasted gettingto accomadation . On other big trip we have had to stay
    some miles off route and it all adds to the time riding.

    on training for big rides- personally I've gone for the build up the
    miles approch. i was doing a 40+ miles ride about one a week for
    several weeks before C2Cas well as my normal comute and some shorter
    fun rides of 20 miles or so. Before I started training for big rides
    I was happy doing 12 miles in a ride on my 26 inch muni


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  14. AndyN

    AndyN Guest

    : Support crews are nice, but by no means an essential, especially if
    : you're staying in B+Bs.

    Aggree.

    :In some ways they make a long ride cheating
    : really, because you're saying 'I can ride 150 miles' but really you
    : mean 'I can ride 150 miles as long as a car a van and a caravan are
    : following behind me' which kind of defeats the object of riding
    : somewhere.

    Sorry but I don't see it that way. It's not just food and water but the
    constant support along the way. Plus carrying spare clothing, water proofs,
    nightware, beer (for the support crew) etc.

    : There's always towns/pubs/petrol stations on rides to get
    : water and extra food, and it's pretty easy to carry thousands of
    : calories in your camelbak in easily eatable forms like malt loaf,
    : energy drink powder etc., enough to get you through a couple of day's
    : riding for 10 hours plus.

    Well thats up to you. From seeing how Rog, Sarah, Paul and Claire managed
    with carrying what supplies they did, I would think they could'nt of done it
    without support. If you are super human? I suppose it could be done. There
    aren't that many shops, pubs, petrol station en route. Yes you will pass
    through towns but what happens when you think you have enough water for the
    next 10 miles and the next shop is 20 miles? Or a town or village you were
    expecting to have a shop, pub or petrol station doesn't?

    I don't think anyone would think any less of someone who does a ride like
    this with support than someone who does it single handed. I did'nt say it
    couldn't be done single handed, I offered, from experience, what I thought
    was sensible advice. Considering Matt's original post plus the others saying
    how far he has been on his Coker I don't think he could do it alone, unless
    he does it over a considerable lenght of time.

    Roger planned that ride and considering how much experience he has with long
    distance riding, does that not speak for its self?

    Andy
     
  15. joemarshall

    joemarshall Guest

    AndyN wrote:
    >
    > Well thats up to you. From seeing how Rog, Sarah, Paul and Claire
    > managed
    > with carrying what supplies they did, I would think they could'nt of
    > done it
    > without support. If you are super human? I suppose it could be done.
    > There
    > aren't that many shops, pubs, petrol station en route. Yes you will
    > pass
    > through towns but what happens when you think you have enough water for
    > the
    > next 10 miles and the next shop is 20 miles? Or a town or village you
    > were
    > expecting to have a shop, pub or petrol station doesn't?
    >




    The way I've always done this is that you should always have enough
    food on you to get you to the end in an emergency. Chocolate bars, cake
    etc. are easily bought and eaten. Any time you get to a place to buy
    food, buy something, even if you're not hungry and stuff it into your
    camelbak. Particularly if the food in question is cake. Similarly, fill
    up the camelbak at any possible water stop. As for waterproofs, spare
    clothes etc. I always carry those in my camelbak anyway, spare clothes
    are the same as extra layers in case it's cold, which you need to have
    with you.

    Support crews are great in a few situations, firstly if you have a
    large number of riders, the chance of a mechanical becomes much higher,
    so it's nice to have a support crew to save everyone waiting for it.
    Secondly, if you're not 110% sure you can ride the distance, having a
    support crew means you don't end up walking 20 miles to the nearest
    train station or whatever. Thirdly, they mean you can easily carry
    camping gear, which involves far less organisation than b+b's. Some
    hardcore people do coker rides plus camping, and I've done bivvy rides,
    but it isn't something I'd recommend for a first really long ride. They
    also allow you to take loads of spare clothes and be un-skanky.

    If you have mates with bikes you could persuade to ride with you, this
    can be a good middle ground in terms of organisation, Sam who did Lands
    End-John O Groats last year did this.

    Joe


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  16. matt_t

    matt_t Guest

    I agree that support would make things a helluva lot easier, but I'm
    also fine with camping. My intention was to take a bivi bag and just
    sleep somewhere quiet near the road once it gets dark if I end up going
    alone. When I go cycling I can't afford campsites etc all the time so
    just tend to sleep in fields/bus shelters etc. That way if you don't
    make the distance you intended in a day then you're still alright, just
    a bit smelly:eek:


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  17. Another option for replenishing your camelbak in an emergency is to
    start knocking on doors. I did the C2C 3 years ago over the August
    Bank holiday weekend, which unfortunately coincided with the hottest
    weekend of the year. I tried to keep my camelbak toped up when I knew
    there was going to be a distance before the next refuel. Because of the
    heat I ran out of liquid sooner than planned and so had to resort to
    knocking on doors for some water. This wasn't a problem once I
    eventually found someone in!

    I've done long distance rides, both with support and unsupported. When
    I've gone unsupported it always seems a greater sense of achievement
    than having a safety net accompanying me, just in case, or to help
    (food and drink) along the way. Saying that, I like to involve my
    family when possible with my unicycling. When I do long distance
    rides, these are never races, but social rides. Everyone's different
    and it depends on what you want to get out of the ride. I've done over
    a dozen rides of 70 miles plus in one day and unsupported and loved
    everyone of them. But ask the ones that did the 100 miler, the Trans
    Pennine Trail (215 miles) and several Manchester to Blackpool rides
    (only 60 miles) with me, what they thought about having a support
    supplying food, water, emergency first aid and transport on the ride?
    On last years Blackpool Run there were 9 Coker riders, and so more
    chance of mechanical and physical breakdowns. As it happens, Super fit
    Des needed to bale out on route do to knee problems. On the 100 miler
    Sam Dobbie had a nasty crash and couldn't continue riding. We also get
    very spoilt by Wendy when she supports us with endless yummy goodies!

    Like I say, everyone's different and we all get different things out of
    riding, as our goals are also very different. Each to their own!! The
    idea is to have fun and enjoy yourself, whether you want to ride
    unsupported, or have someone there for you if needed. It doesn't take
    anything away from the fact that you've just done something very
    special and ridden all that way on one wheel.

    Steve
    p.s. Looking forward to BUC, but I won't be ridding there.


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  18. joemarshall

    joemarshall Guest

    matt_t wrote:
    > I agree that support would make things a helluva lot easier, but I'm
    > also fine with camping too. My intention was to take a bivi bag and
    > just sleep somewhere quiet near the road once it gets dark if I end up
    > going alone. When I go cycling I can't afford campsites etc all the
    > time so just tend to sleep in fields/bus shelters etc. That way if you
    > don't make the distance you intended in a day then you're still
    > alright, just a bit smelly:eek:
    >




    Do you have a cunning way of carrying a sleeping bag that isn't in a
    rucksack, or do you do something silly lightweight without a sleeping
    bag? I've bivvied in just a 'blizzard survival bag'
    (http://tinyurl.com/lqngz) + sleeping bag liner, when muniing, it was
    quite cold (it snowed on me), I did survive, but it was definately a
    matter of survival rather than anything like a comfortable nights
    sleep.

    I think my next experiment is going to be with a decent sleeping bag
    and my normal bivvi bag. I'm doing some testing with a seatpost mounted
    rack to put the sleeping bag on in the next week or so, if that works,
    it might be a good solution to camping on a coker for minimally
    organised / skint people that means you don't need more than your
    camelbak on your back.

    Joe


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  19. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

  20. matt_t

    matt_t Guest

    joemarshall wrote:
    > Do you have a cunning way of carrying a sleeping bag that isn't in a
    > rucksack, or do you do something silly lightweight without a sleeping
    > bag? I've bivvied in just a 'blizzard survival bag'
    > (http://tinyurl.com/lqngz) + sleeping bag liner, when muniing, it was
    > quite cold (it snowed on me), I did survive, but it was definately a
    > matter of survival rather than anything like a comfortable nights
    > sleep.
    > Joe




    If its unsupported (looks likely) I'll put my sleeping bag/bivi bag in
    my rucksack, possibly a thermarest too if I have space. Should be warm
    that time of year, so as long as I'm dry that's the main thing, I'll
    probably be so knackered at the end of the day I won't care about a
    thermarest too much.
    BTW looks like there's a chance that Kit Johnson and Joe Baxter might
    be interested. yay!


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