Graham’s Coast to Coast Cycle

In June I took a week out of the office to cycle the Coast to Coast. The route I planned to take was created by Tim Woodcock which starts on the West coast of England at St Bees and finishes in Robin Hoods bay on the East. The route is almost entirely off-road and cuts right through the glorious North of England, including the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors national parks. The plan was to spend the week covering the 210 miles and carrying all my own gear.


Start - St Bees
St Bees

My first day was to be an easy one; leaving St Bees at 4.30pm, I rode along the side of Ennerdale water, past the Black Sail YHA, over Black Sail Pass and into Wasdale for an 8:30pm arrival at Wasdale Head. This was the first time I had experienced Ennerdale, and I was pretty blown away with the how amazing the valley is. The Youth Hostel at the head of the valley is only accessible on foot or by bike and makes a perfect base for climbing on Pillar.

Ennerdale Valley

Monday was a pretty tough day’s riding, starting in Wasdale and finishing in Kentmere, taking in three big climbs. I was pretty tired when I arrived in Coniston so after a good feed I opted to miss out two small sections of the route and ride from Coniston to Ambleside and Troutbeck to Kentmere via road.

Top of Walna Scar Road

I left the Maggs Howe bunk barn in Kentmere on Tuesday morning at around 8am. I was hoping to get to the Tan Hill Inn for mid-afternoon. The riding after Kentmere eased off a bit as the terrain changes from rocky climbs and descents to long slogs over boggy moorland. Arriving at the Tan Hill inn was a nice milestone, the sighting of the ‘Yorkshire Dales National Park’ sign providing a nice little boost to morale.

Welcome to Yorkshire!

On Wednesday I rode from Tan Hill down into Keld, through the Swaledale Valley, to Richmond and finally onto Osmotherly. I’d made the decision to crack on to Osmotherly from Richmond as there was a nice 25km or so of road riding, meaning that I could hopefully finish a day earlier than anticipated!


I was extremely lucky with the weather, having wall-to-wall sunshine every day, much to the envy of everyone back in the office. I paid the price for this on Thursday, where I was struck with the worst sunburn I’d had for years. To finish off Thursday I rode from Osmotherly through the North Yorkshire Moors and onto Robin Hoods Bay. This part of the ride was brilliant – very fast riding over moorland double track and excellent views of the moors and East coast.


All credit must go to Tim Woodcock for creating this route; it packs in some really amazing riding through some incredible terrain.

Robin Hoods Bay


As this was the first self supported ride I have done, I wanted to make it as comfortable as possible both on an evening and whilst riding. This meant carrying normal camping gear such as tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and cooking gear. All my gear was to be on the bike so I tried to pack as light as possible.


The kit list

Bike & bike bags



Tent – 1 Man bivvy Tent

Sleeping Bag – Mountain Equipment Xero 200

Sleeping Mat – Thermarest Prolite

Pillow – Exped Air Pillow UL



Waterproof Jacket – Montane Minimus jacket

Waterproof Pants – Montane Minius pants

Warm Jacket – Rab VR Lite jacket

Windshirt – Montane Singletrack jacket

Riding clothes – Shorts, Bib, jersey, etc.

Buff x 2


Spare Clothes

Base Layer – Arcteryx Phase SL LS Crew

- Arcteryx Phase AR Bottom

Spare Shorts – Marmot

Socks – Smartwool pHd outdoor light crew



Stove -MSR Pocket Rocket

Cook Pot – MSR Titan Kettle

Fire Steel

2 x Small Gas canisters


On top of my main kit I also carried a small First Aid kit,small wash kit and bike repair kit (spare tube, multi tool, Leatherman CS2 etc) and food. Food wise I took two Expedition Foods main meals, 3 bags of fruit and nut trail mix, 5 energy bars and 5 x gels, and picked more food up en-route.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *