Hadrian’s Wall Coast to Coast

02-08/09/22 Newcastle – Carlisle, with a bit extra

I wanted to try hammock camping this time, but took some poles so I could use the tarp in the absence of trees. In conclusion; the hammock is very comfortable, but not that well suited to a tour of any length, as it pretty much has to be wild camping, and dragging a bike over fences and through low trees was a bit of a hassle. Better suited to a walking trip (when you know there will be trees).

02/09/22 Newcastle – Tynemouth – Redesmouth

03/09/22 Redesmouth – Kielder Forrest

04/09/22 Kielder Forrest – Bellingham

Not a great time to see the sculptures as there was a lot of storm damage and many were closed/inaccessible.

05/09/22 Upper Coquetdale and the Otterburn range

The best day’s cycling (bonus: unloaded)

06/09/22 Bellingham – Once Brewed

07/09/22 Once Brewed – Bowness-on-Solway

08/09/22 Bowness-on-Solway – Carlisle

A short return via the amazing second hand bookshop in Carlisle, where I surprised myself with how much room I could find in my panniers.

442 km, 7 days

More Aire


Another hot day, so walked to Armley ‘beach’ and went as far as the weir near the industrial museum, then back upstream to find somewhere to get out. Carried the raft to the canal for the return trip.

London Edinburgh London – Barnard Castle


If I wasn’t going to ride I could at least help those who were. A hot, dry LEL, with additional climbing just north of this control because of a Yad Moss road closure. I didn’t do the entire stint which helped as I was able to pull an all-nighter on the last night, being slightly less knackered than some of the other volunteers. A great time with team Davis and Co.

The one coast, and COVID


More successful than my last attempt at this one, but I was really struggling and done in by the time I got back to Mytholmroyd for the sleep stop, with no time for sleep, so decided to pack there. Had a bit of a snooze before I left but people deflating and rolling up air beds around me wasnt entirely conducive. Still feeling rough the next day I did a lateral flow test, which explained a lot (I’d had a negative one before the ride).

Realised LEL was not going to happen this year.

375 km

Messing about in boat(s)


A great thing to do in a heat wave.

A venture slightly further afield, cycled to Calverley Bridge and got in the river near the packhorse bridge. Tried loading some kit inside the raft for the first time – must remember not to include the inflation bag! The river was too shallow to get much further in either direction.

Northallerton 300 285 km


Continuing my form from the attempted 200 km I didn’t quite finish this one, but more as a result of being in a strop than being done in. I will not be riding this again, nor I hate to say anything else by the organiser.

I know that the majority of people use a GPS unit for navigation, but not all of us do neither is it a requirement. It *is* however a requirement that the org provides a route sheet, and IMHO (and I hope that of AUK) it should be of sufficient quality that a rider can follow the route using it alone. This one was more like a series of comments on the GPX file. It wasn’t only me who was struggling with it; BB (an experienced audaxer) who is another GPS-less rider was also having problems but unlike me doesn’t have a smart phone he can use to check a map, so was resorting to knocking on people’s doors to find out where he was.

In addition to this (again this was commented on by others) the info control instructions were not very helpful, e.g. ‘bus stop before bridge’, so you had to get to the bridge and retrace in order to find the right one.

Eventually I realised I had missed a turn to another info control and decided I wasn’t going back to find it, so I texted the org to let them know I would be a DNF, and made my way back to the car I had hired* by the most sensible route. In the last few km in the dark I heard, but did not see, another cyclist singing as they road along in the night.

*Although Northallerton is train-friendly, it isn’t during the hours that are required for a 300 km.

285 km, 22.4 kph average

Helping at the Highland Fling featuring 200 and 100 km

28/04/22 – 01/05/22

Train to Skipton to avoid the less pleasant roads before what I should have registered as a DIY 200 km. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the comedy off-road section just after Gargrave, amazed that I didn’t come off.

210 km, 13 hours

The reason for the trip was to help out on the Highland Fling 1000 km at the overnight stop in Caste Douglas in the Gordon Memorial Hall, along with Les and Andy, and run by Windy. Pretty much spent all night making sure there was hot and not-too-soggy pasta at all times. Quite an interesting experience to see the pointy end of the ride (I’m never going to be there otherwise). Photos by Windy and Dean.

First section of the return journey was a detour to visit a proposed section of LEL, which Andy had been telling me about at the control. He had un-recommended it for that because of very bad road surfaces (which it had) and it was indeed rejected before the final route was published. I tool a wrong turn somewhere and didn’t quite go the way intended, but these were new roads for me despite being just outside Lockerbie.

I have long wanted to try following the train line along the Settle – Carlisle route, which I did once I was through Carlisle. Stuck to the rail line as closely as possible but called it a day at Langwathby, which was around the 100 km mark, plus it gets a bit fussy around here and Appleby.

110 km, 21.1 kph average