My bags are packed and half my kit is already in the office ready for the noon departure tomorrow. A number of coaches are taking 40 of us from Sage’s head office over to Workington tomorrow evening and then we set off 8:30 on Saturday morning. Tomorrow is Sage Charity Day so there will be lots going on around North Park, I happened to be up there last year and set a very competitive time for the rodeo during my lunchhour. Not much happens in the Manchester office other than a few raffles, quizzes and some car washing by the managers but in Newcastle where well over 1,000 people work there are stalls set up in the atriums and all manner of sporting competitions and challenges around the grounds of the offices. Amongst all this JP and myself have to drop our bikes off and then head out to Whitley Bay where we are leaving his car just a couple of miles from the end of the C2C trail for a quick getaway on sunday afternoon.
Looking at the itinerary and breaking the ride up into chunks it doesn’t look too bad. We ride 25 miles to Keswick have a break and then 15 miles later stop for lunch. We then have the 22 mile climb to the Hartside Cafe that JP and I tackled at the end of March so at least that bit will be familiar even if it is the longest climb on the ride. Then there is a final 8 miles across the top of the Peninnes to Alston where we stay overnight at a bunkhouse. Sunday morning we have two tough 12 mile up and down sessions before lunch and then the last 40 miles through the afternoon should be easier downhill riding to the east coast.
The weather forecast is poor; 69% of riders go west to east because of the preveiling westerly winds but this weekend the forecast is for a 25km/h easterly wind and heavy rain so it’s not going to be too much fun. Still it will be a great experience and I’m still looking forward to it.