I arrived home today after a great weekend doing the Coast to Coast run with the Northumbrian Section of the VMCC. The run is for low powered machines, though there are some exceptions, and more powerful bikes do attend.
The run starts at Tynemouth on the Saturday and winds it's way along the Tyne through Newcastle until at the Western end of the city starts to veer to the north and joins the Military road that runs along the course of Hadrians wall before dropping down past Lanercost Priory through Wetherall and skirting to the North side of the Lake District before ending up on the Cumbrian coast at St Bees.
The return leg takes place on the Sunday and travels through the Lake district and the Cumbrian Fells skirting Penrith and climbing up to Alston moor via Hartside Pass. From here the Old lead mining towns of Garrigill, Nenthead and Allendale before dropping down off the moors into Tynedale and finishing back at Tynemouth.
In total I reckon the run was around 280 miles, certainly my arse felt like it had done all of that and more, pan saddles are not comfy. The worst thing was the weather, it was extremely cold up on the moor, particularly on the Sunday, given that at times we were at around 2000 ft A.S.L. and for most of the run we would certainly have been about 1000 ft, It was about 7 degrees when we left St Bees but as we climbed it dropped a good 3-5 degrees. However, the good thing about the run was that it was dry and there were only two breakdowns out of the 29 entrants.
Machines being used ranged from a brace of Honda Step throughs, a Honda Melody, A Fizzy and various older bikes such as my 1927 Humber, a 1911 Triumph (no clutch, belt drive), a 1927 AJS 500 OHV, A Raleigh 500 S.V BSA C12 G etc.
It was a real test for some of the older machines, the hills make Sun Rising Hill look flat.
Despite the cold weather it was brilliant, both from the social point of view as well as the riding. It was very well organised with good accommodation and meals on the Saturday and breakdown cover.