This blog entry is a bit of a break from the discussions about Architects and Architecture. On the 18th, 19th & 20th of this month, I have agreed to do the Sea to Sea (C2C) cycle route with my father in law, Tony. The route, ridden over 3 days, totals about 137 miles, and takes us from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. The route was opened in 1994, and takes riders from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, via the northern Lake District, through the Eden Valley, over the Pennines, then down through County Durham, past the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and on to the coast at Tynemouth. More info on the route can be found here: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/sea-to-sea-c2c

While this is something I’ve always fancied doing, I am no cyclist! I enjoy a quick ride out on my bike, but am certainly not used to such long rides, predominantly on roads. As such, I will be doing it on my 15 year old Mountain Bike, bought from Halfords, which weighs approximately 1 tonne. I have gone to the trouble of having a service and changing the tyres to road-going hybrid type tyres, but suffice to say, this is still going to be very hard!

On one of my training runs to Castle Howard

On one of my training runs to Castle Howard

So far the practice runs are going well, the only issue being the lack of hills in and around York. I think when I hit the Lake District, it’s going to come as a shock. Tony, on the other hand, used to training on the steep slopes of Huddersfield, will probably be a speck on the horizon as I puff and pant my way up the climbs. I’ve been enjoying the training so far, even the roadside puncture repairs, bursting lungs, and the occasional fall as I realise that you can’t take gravel corners fast in road tyres…

As I imagine I would quickly give up if left to my own motivation, we do have another incentive and are doing the ride for charity. We are raising funds for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice. This wonderful charity supports children with life-shortening conditions and their families across West Yorkshire. They do this partly through their hospice at home service, but also at their Russell House hospice in Huddersfield. They need to raise £3.8 million each year to continue providing this excellent and much needed support. Our efforts will be a drop in the ocean I’m sure, but we have already raised £590, and hope to raise even more. We have a Just Giving page set up at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tony-Ruttle-SeatoSea and any donation at all would, of course, be hugely appreciated. If you would like to learn more about the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, their website can be found here: http://www.forgetmenotchild.co.uk/

I will be tweeting over the cycling days with progress updates, photos and videos so follow me at https://twitter.com/Tim__Hatton or on Carve’s twitter feed https://twitter.com/CarveArchitects to share in my pain!