Entiries open for Sustrans Sea to Sea Challenge ride this September

Three day ride aims to raise fund to maintain Coast to Coast route

by Tony Farrelly   April 20, 2012  

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Sustrans is calling on cyclists to join it this September on a three-day coast-to-coast fundraising ride from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Tynemouth on the North Sea, organised in partnership with cycling holiday specialists Saddle Skeddadle.

Now said by Sustrans to be the UK’s most popular challenge ride, the trip along the Sea to Sea (C2C) route will take participants through the spectacular scenery of the Lake District, Cumbria and North Pennines.

On the trip, which takes place from Friday 21 September to Sunday 23 September, riders will climb Black Hill, at 609 metres the highest point on the National Cycle Network, which is developed and maintained by the Bristol-based sustainable transport charity, and which now comprises routes totalling more than 13,000 miles.

Sustrans says that participants should be able to cycle 40 miles comfortably in a day and points out that while the itinerary features “some steep climbs, these are eased by long descents, sections of easy flowing cycleway and quiet country lanes.”

As well as providing a challenge to riders, the trip also aims to raise funds for the upkeep of the C2C route itself, which according to Sustrans costs £67,500 a year to maintain, plus other Sustrans routes.

Sustrans Events Officer Kate Jones commented: “The Sea to Sea is an incredibly popular route, taking in some of the finest scenery across the North.  And what better reason to take on the challenge than to raise money to help other people enjoy all the fun that riding a bike can offer.”

Saddle Skedaddle’s support of the ride will include putting signs up alongside the C2C route as well as producing leaflets, both of which are aimed at increasing awareness of how much it costs to maintain it, with users encouraged to make a £5 donation by texting ‘C2C’ to 70007.

Andrew Straw, director of Saddle Skedaddle, said: “The C2C is an incredibly popular cycle route; it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. We are keen to do what we can to support Sustrans in maintaining this fantastic facility for everyone to use.”

The trip has been subsidised by Saddle Skeddadle to help raise as much money as possible for Sustrans, and costs £300 of which £100 is a mandatory donation to the charity. Participants are encouraged to raise extra money through sponsorship, with prizes on offer to the most successful fundraisers.

Accommodation will be in B&Bs along the route and the cost includes breakfast and lunch plus other refreshments during the day. Sustrans says that places are limited, so early booking is advised.

Further information is available from both Saddle Skeddadle and Sustrans.