Preparing for Coast to Coast

We all prepare for challenges in different ways!

Boo’s preparations for riding 140 miles Coast2Coast so far this month have included joining in with a 30-day photo challenge. This shot was for the ‘Alone’ day:

Alone

And she has also been busy kayaking with a fabulous trip to Matlock, managing the Eskimo-rescue that has eluded her so far this year, and finally shooting the weir in Leamington not once but three times. She even had a smile on her face when we watched her third attempt.

Weir Concentration Movement Weir Done Beaten the Weir

Now she has conquered those gremlins she feels ready for anything, which is probably just as well considering the route elevations. Day Two out of Penrith will start with a rather long and steep ascent and then continue with some challenging climbs. The good thing is that Day Three is almost completely downhill.

Route Elevation

We have just received our Sustrans paper map of the route which is exactly what we need as it includes contact details for bike shops and, some might say more importantly, cafes and tearooms suitable for cyclists. Boo likes the mile counters on the map as it is a really good visual prompt of the distances between sections, and the length of the ascents. Some sections of the route are off-road so we now need to decide if we want to stick to roads or vary the road surfaces. This will determine the wheels and spares required so we’ll be poring over the map and then translating it into a Garmin route for our bike computers. We’re hoping time spent with the map, loading the route on our computers, and cycle route signage will ensure we don’t take any unplanned detours.

Whatever happens with the route there is no doubt in our minds that Boo is going to need to channel her hero Jens Voight as we pedal over the Pennines. It is a good job she will have his, and now her, mantra “Shut Up Legs” to look at on Charlie’s headset.

Headset

There were a couple of ideas that we did not manage to act on in our preparations for last year’s LEJOG ride, so we’re working hard to make these happen for this month’s Coast2Coast. One of these was to have a map that could be viewed in real time and allow our supporters to follow our ride. We have found an app that we think will make this possible and Mark rode a test ride yesterday. He lost signal shortly after taking a photograph of the view so we will continue our testing. Meanwhile you can take a look at the interactive map:

Follow Ride

Boo’s ‘fingercam’ last year was somewhat limited so we were delighted this morning with the arrival of an early Christmas present for the two riders to share; although we are well aware that Boo feels she does more interesting activities and therefore the gift is likely to be hogged by her.

ActionCam

We’re going to experiment with the ActionCam over the weekend and on some test rides in the week. We were delighted to see that the Tree House Bookshop in Kenilworth is hosting a video workshop for youngsters led by Sally Evans Photography in the week before our Coast2Coast ride so Boo has a place booked and we’re looking forward to the footage of her hilly descents.

We’ve been introduced to the joys of Airbnb and have been lucky to find accommodation on the route. One of our hosts has worked with people walking or cycling from coast to coast before.

Our ‘to do’ list is reducing:

  • energy gels for Boo as she is still rather particular about the flavours available
  • finalise the route and put it on the Garmins
  • organise appropriate bike carrier for the roof rack

Please do support Boo’s efforts for her Scout Troop. Thank you.

Saluting Coast to Coast Scout

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