St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay off road on mountain bikes – 375km and 7700m of climbing
Worst climb – a toss up between Black Sail Pass (more of a carry) or Walna Scar (a long push) Best descent – tricky; depending on skill levels either Black Sail Pass down into Wasdale ( Olly, Mat and James) or Burnmoor Tarn to Boot (me). Honourable mentions for Garburn Pass, the Swale near Crackpot Hall and Gamekeepers Cottage. Wettest trails – Wet Sleddale (the clue is in the name) streams in spate and massive puddles; closely followed by James' attempt at losing his bike in a small lake on Glaisdale Rigg Most useful clothing item of the week – Alan's knee length waterproof socks Best fall on camera – Richard's histrionic effort on the Pennine Way Best fall not on camera – Mat's finger wrecker on day 3 (much whisky needed to get his wedding ring off) Most determined rider – Ed carrying on every day despite getting a cold on day 1 Best hostel – Eskdale for location and food Most suprising hostel meal – Osmotherly, far exceeded my expectations (which weren't very high) Most creative and innovative Scrabble players – Ed closely followed by Judith and James (bonza is not a word and neither is ween and don't get me started on two letter words beginning with Q) Most imaginative cycling outfit – Alan, lycra shorts and knee length waterproof socks Muddiest trail – got to be the bridleway from Scugdale to Chop Gate; a slippery, muddy ravine with a river running down it but closely followed by the glutinous plod over the moor near Fylingdales Best drying out stops – Richmond Station, two hours spent eating and dripping plus an amusing sanitary interlude involving Marigolds; the café in Shap, very accommodating and had a REAL FIRE Noisiest bike – Ed down to the metal on the last day as he didn't bring ANY spare brake pads!! Best weather – sunshine all the last day and fantastic views and ice cream to finish
A brilliant trip – hard work, challenging, funny, rewarding; thanks to Richard, Ed, Alan, Judith, James, Mat and Olly for making it happen. Check out the video on the website!