Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The Harborough Five Coast 2 Coast - has become the Harborough Half Dozen

30th June 2010 - 4th July 2010

The Harborough Five is now the Harborough six due to a late addition of the one and only Mr Pete Hoinville. The harborough half dozen are a group of nearly 40 somethings except Tom Spiers (nearly 30) and Chris Stanley (Mid 40's).

Against our better judgement we have decided to give ourselves a mountain bike challenge before it’s too late. This is some kind of sacrifice as the most suitable time falls during the World Cup. This will obviously make things even more difficult for us as we will be trying to avoid drinking copious amounts of alcohol in the evenings whilst watching the footie.

Our challenge is to get from Saint Bees in the Lake District across to Robin Hoods bay on the North Yorkshire coast taking on some of the most mountainous terrain in England. We plan to complete this journey of 210 miles in five days.

We have decided to take on this challenge to support our favourite charity Cancer Research UK.Cancer Research is making great strides in tackling this disease in many areas.


Thank you for your support, any donation whatever size is most appreciated.

Meet The Team.

Ian Tandy

Ian works in London and was one of the originators of this stupid idea. Too much grey hair at too early an age probably led to an early mid life crisis. Then a real crisis hit when his mother in law was diagnosed with Cancer and sadly recently passed away. This has led to this trip moving from a personal challenge to a charity ride which will hopefully go some way to finding a cure.

Ian rides a Boardman Limited Edition Pro Hardtail

Jamie Buckby

Many will have seen Jamie, during the winter months, in his Saturday matinee "Cycling on ice". A unique performance of cycling and break dancing. Jamie is very much looking forward to his "upright" role on his five day tour of the Coast to Coast (C2C).

Jamie rides a Rock Hopper SL

Paul Wike

Paul is knocking on a bit and is a Principal Consultant for a Microsoft Gold Partner Consultancy (Business Agility Limited). Paul thinks that training is a form of cheating and is trying his best to not cheat in preperation for this crazy outing. Paul is hoping to see some of the world cup during the challenge and hopes to make it back home in one piece.

Paul rides a Carerra AM Fury hardtail - the heaviest of the bikes at 13.3 Kilos.

Pete Hoinville

Pete Hoinville is 39 and works as a Principal Consultant for IT Security specialists 4Secure ( He is undertaking this ride in memory of family and friends that have fought, and ultimately lost, their battles with cancer. Pete hopes that the money raised by this hairbrained scheme will ultimately help in finding ways to combat this horrible illness.

Being a latecomer to the team, Pete is now undergoing the most punishing training schedule of his life in order to get into shape for the ride in June. Although beer is still allowed at the moment so it’s not all bad...!

Pete rides a 2010 Specialized Rockhopper SL Pro.

Chris Stanley

Chris is 45, but still thinks he is in his 30's with enough energy to make the coast to coast. He is a Sales Manager working for COBA Europe Ltd, Leicestershire selling to the industrial/flooring market.

Chris rides a Specialized Rockhopper Expert 2009 Model, but would like a Lapiere Spicy 516 (keep dreaming).

Tom Spiers

Tom is the heartthrob of the group, young enough to interest college
girls but man enough to interest the older woman - not bad for a Ginger.

Tom has a carpe diem attitude to life, whose raison d'être is to fill
his drive with as many clapped out motors as possible.

Tom rides a custom built hard tail.

Training Routes

Pauls Favourite 20 miler

Training to date has been challenging for us all and has come with its fair share of incidents ranging from crashes into the Canal, suspected cracked ribs and a whiplash disagreement with a fence at high speed (which also resulted in an expensive wheel being bent into the shape of a banana).

The Bikes

Carrera AM Fury. Aluminium Frame, Rock Shock Tora Forks, SRAM gears, Shimano SPuD pedals, 26 x 2.3 Continentals and a heavy rider.

Specialized Rockhopper Expert 2009.

Boardman Limited Edition Pro Hardtail, fueled by a lager drinking brummy.

Rock Hopper SL

Bike Kit

We have decided carry the following tools and spares with us:

2 spare inner tubes each
puncture repair kit
multi tool
tyre levers
spare chain links
spare gear cable inner
chain lube
cable ties
First Aid Kit

George Halls Cycle Centre - Market Harborough.

The Route

The route has been organsied through Packhorse who specialise in coast to coast trips, view their website here.


St Bees - Pooley Bridge / Dockray.

The excitement of setting off not knowing what lay ahead of us was playing with our anxiety levels, we had spent the evening in Kendal and had to get up early to make our way to Kirkby Stephen for 8am to join the packhorse minibus staff. We hit Kirkby Stephen and started the search for bacon butties - to allow the 90 minute minibus trip to digets our breaky. The minibus trip over to St Bees was starting to set the scene for the enduring challenge placed before us, realization was starting to hit us all.

The day started with a few pictures on the beach, two of us came off our bikes on the beech, one into a pile of quicksand falling sideways still stuck in his SPDs, the other coming off the bike into a pebbled area which was frequented by a party school kids who proceeeded to laugh uncontrollably.

The journey started by us climbing a small hill before we realized we was heading in the wrong direction, a quick sanity check with some locals and we was soon back on track. The weather was scortching and was taking its toll on us especially when going up the steep hills. Within the first hour of riding we had taken two falls, had 1 puncture and a broken chain.... we decided to have a sweep stake on the number of punctures for the whole trip....

The first planned stopping point was at a visitors center in a forest, the 30 minutes leading up to the forest were tough, we were all short of fluids and starting to feel the exhaustion in the hot summers sun, eventually we arrived and frequented the cafe mob handed for a sandwich and squash. After a long break of around 90 mins we set off for the second leg of day 1. We headed through Penrith and then found a nice riverside track for several miles, after some handbagging with the bikes we eventually came to the highlight of the day - The Old Coach Road. The old coach road is a rocky track that just climbs and climbs for miles and miles. We came to a crossroads and decided to turn left as the road looked more used , this was a mistake - we ended up near an old quarry and rather than taking a sensible option we opted to handbag the bikes over a boggy marshy field which really took it out of us. It was a great feeling when we arrived at Pooley Bridge around 8pm, the B&B owner was a star , he phoned the pub for us to warn them that we needed food as they stopped serving at 9pm.

The days journey had taken us around 9 hours to complete the 55 miles, and after 6 Steak dinners and a few pints we were all ready for some shut eye.

The OLD COACH ROAD is pictured above (Not even half way along the track)

The Riverside track pictured above


Pooley Bridge / Dockray - Kirkby Stephen

After a hearty full english and quick bike check we set off. The weather was dull and dark, rain was forecast and at a few points it came down with a vengence, the rain soon past and after a few ups and downs on the roads we ended up in a place called chat, time to stop for tea and cakes.

At some point we crossed the M6 and headed off into the hills and hollows, the day delivered some good off road and some small roads where the large climbs were
outweighed by fast downhill sections. We soon eneded up lost after following a few bridalways and ended up in a farm instead of on a bridalway where we received a certain amount of abuse from the lady farmer after losing the trail.


Kirkby Stephen - Danby Whiskey

The weather forecast was for rain again, the day started off with a few quite roads for the first 7 or so miles, we then ended up on a track that led to wrenside farm. the tracks started to dissapear and we ended up handbagging and pushing our bikes for the next 3 miles, this was takinjg its toll on some of us and exhaustion was starting to bite some of us. We soon hit a road and cycled for the last mile to the highest pub in England - The Tan Hill Inn. After leaving the Tann Hill Inn we faced an 11 mile downhill section YES 11 MILES DOWNHILL SECTION and the 4 mile competitive race to be first at the pub in Danby Wisk.


Danby Whiskey - Blakey

A low point was getting lost on the moors and a 2 mile uphill push/carry
on difficult and un-rideable terrain. The highlight was a sprint along
an old railway track on top of the moors into Blakey Ridge.


Blakey - Robin Hoods Bay

We were all very tired this morning and knees beginning to hurt a couple of us. Most of us were sick of eating and had dodgy stomachs, one of us almost ran into a
car on a fast downhill when it popped up from around the corner. We managaged to find inner strength for the last 10 miles into Robin
Hood's bay. A great feeling to make it and well earned fish and chips
washed down with a few pints.

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