On Saturday 17th June, in the blazing 30°C heat – the hottest day of the year so far – eleven of Leyland Trucks’ employee’s, along with a much appreciated support team, set off on the 2017 Coast to Coast cycling challenge from Cumbria’s Bowness to Walls End, Newcastle on Tyne – all in aid of Helping Hand.
The course was a gruelling distance of 83 miles long and the team had set themselves the target of achieving this in a maximum of 8 hours.
Throughout the west-to-east journey, the sun shone down on the cyclist’s right-hand side, catching out a minority who didn’t apply their SPF 50 lotion adequately! After the gentle roll through the flat lands of Carlisle, the picturesque sights of Hadrian ’s Wall and the rolling hills through Northumberland’s National Park spirits were lifted in amongst a couple of never-ending 15% gradient climbs half way into the ride. The green surroundings of the countryside quickly turned into the hustle and bustle of a major city centre (Newcastle on a Saturday afternoon) at about 65 miles into the trek which meant that cars, pedestrians (some of them after a few bottles of Brown Ale) and famous bridges over the Tyne (without fog) became the hazards. In the last few miles, the sound of seagulls was welcomed as the second coast of the day came into view.
There were no major incidents (if you don’t include the sunburn) or any notable mechanical failures which is a credit to everyone’s preparation for the event.
Most of the guys clocked around the 6 hour mark - all started together and all finished together.
A well-deserved glass of bubbly at the finish line topped off a fantastic day of cycling.