From epic adventures such as Lands End to John O’Groats to weekend retreats combining cycling and yoga, Brake the Cycle takes groups touring across the UK and Europe's most beautiful landscapes.
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In this piece Joe recalls a particular section of the coast-to-coast cycle route from Whitehaven to Penrith.
I’ve been fortunate enough to cycle around so much of the UK over the last few years. From the lung-busting gradients of the Cornish hills to the broad expanses of the Norfolk flats, from freewheeling through the verdant valleys of Snowdonia to the mist-obscured mounts of the Pennines, the memories roll on.
One that constantly returns to my mind is the first day of our coast-to-coast cycle from Whitehaven through the Lake District to Penrith. It’s such a dream start to that adventure!
'From the lung-busting gradients of the Cornish hills to the broad expanses of the Norfolk flats, from freewheeling through the verdant valleys of Snowdonia to the mist-obscured mounts of the Pennines, the memories roll on.'
After dipping your wheels in the sea you follow a secluded cycle path leading out of Whitehaven and into the Lakes. The route eases you in, with no more than 200m climbing over the first 30km. The 30km point conveniently takes us to Lorton Village Shop, an award-winning community shop and cafe serving excellent coffee and local produce to fuel yourself for the first climb.
Fully fuelled, you’ll be ready for the challenging climb that is Whinlatter Pass. As you ascend you’ll find the countryside opening up and expanding in front of you before descending into Keswick, a beautiful spot for lunch.
I’ve been lucky enough to do this ride a fair few times now, and have experienced it in all weather: rain, mist, hail and soft summer skies. Although the climate is changeable and capricious up here, each variation of weather brings its own beauty and mystique to this incredible landscape.