Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cycle Challenge 2015

The weekend of 23rd - 25th May 2015 will see Seaton Sluice Backpedalers undertake their third long distance cycle ride. The chosen route is from Edinburgh to Seaton Sluice along the Coast & Castles cycle path following National Route 1, a total distance of 186 miles.

The breakdown is as follows:
Day 1 - Edinburgh to Melrose, 55 miles.
Day 2 - Melrose to Purdy Lodge, 69 miles.
Day 3 - Purdy Lodge to Seaton Sluice, 62 miles.

According to the Coast & Castles Guide, this is the wrong way round. Most people start in Newcastle and finish in Edinburgh. The reasoning is:
  1. The prevailing wind is likely to be south to north, and
  2. Edinburgh is a nicer place to finish than Seaton Sluice!
The first point is highly debatable. As regular cyclists in the north-east of England we are aware of trends in wind direction and are prepared to take our chance. If we're cycling into a head wind we'll get our heads down and get on with it. As regards the second point, what could be better than arriving home to a welcome from friends, families and supporters? Judging from our previous experience, the Delaval Arms is a pretty good place to finish.
The route itself, although longer than previous challenges, should be reasonably straightforward. The route profile is:

As ever, route profiles have to be treated with caution as they exaggerate the severity of the climbs. Day 1 will be the toughest with a long grinding climb over the Moorfoot Hills to Innerleithen (37 miles from Edinburgh) but once that has been conquered the route holds no demons. 
Planning is well advanced. WatBus have been booked to transport riders and their bikes to Edinburgh, accommodation and a restaurant in Melrose have been booked, and accommodation and the restaurant have been booked at the Purdy Lodge.
As mentioned, most people ride the route from south to north. One group who, like us, chose the north to south option have recorded their experiences in an informative and entertaining blog which is well worth a look. (Thanks are due to Jane and Michael whose Googling skills are better than mine.)
Coast and Castles South - Day 1
Coast and Castles South - Day 2
Coast and Castles South - Day 3