The Crossing Part 2: I did it!

I did it! 200 miles mountain biking over 3 hill national parks, from coast to coast.

I did it! And yes, it wasn’t easy!

The start of Day 1 from Whitehaven wasn’t too bad, as we started along an old railway line.

At the start on the west coast in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

However, once the hills started, the struggle really began.

A long climb up into the hills in the Lake District

And as the day went on, the temperature rose. I had never experienced a heatwave in the Lake District before. It was like a desert, with dust whipping around and filling our nostrils and backs of our throats. We had to climb rocky hills (or push the bike up, as these were practically unrideable). Then, when we did reach some tarmac, the heat from it was energy-sapping. It was so hot that the bikes were leaving deep tyre marks in the melted tar.

An off-road climb looking down on one of the lakes below.
Ullswater behind me, at the start of another brutal off-road climb.

Fortunately, on Day 2, the weather cooled. However, it was time for the Peak District, which has some very steep climbs.

It felt like this climb in the Yorkshire Dales went on forever.
Great views from the top of the Dale though

Once again, we had a mix of road and off-road.

I had cycled some of the route a few years ago, though this time, a lot quicker without the kids 😉

Day 3 was the North Yorkshire Moors, and as the day wore on, the temperature rose again.

This day was mainly off-road, but by day 3, my legs were drained of energy. A particularly steep and rocky climb after the first 10K was just not possible!

This was very difficult to climb, especially by day 3.

Day 3 was also the toughest mentally, especially with all the mind games they put on and additional challenges, like pushing your bike up a downhill run in Dalby Forest, to eventually seeing the sign heading downhill to Scarborough, but instead, they want you to go the other way, up the hill.

This climb (or push) was brutal. At the top, they said it’s pretty much downhill to the finish. It wasn’t!

Finally, made it to Scarborough, and to the sea on the other side of the country.

Glad I spent all those months training for it, as the challenge would have been impossible without it.

I’m already thinking about what to do next year! 😉

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The Crossing Part 2: I did it!
The Crossing Part 2: I did it!

Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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  1. Well done. That made me tired just looking at those hills! ?

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