Fred Whitton


New Member

I am riding this event, which is 3 weeks Sunday (eek!!).

Just thinking through some of the logistics of this - I wonder if any of you guys who may have ridden this before can help out with:

Is the event well signposted - I was going to laminate the little road map that is on the web site just in case but am a little concerned that I may need more detail though do not want to carry the three pages of directions which are also on the website.

I plan on taking my own energy drink powder in little bags to mix up as I get to the feed stations with their water. Has it been known for any of the feed stations to run out of water?

I have a compact chain set (50/34) along with a 12-27 block that gives a good range of gears do you think this will be low enough? - cannot find a larger block and do not really want to change my rear mech to a long cage to accomodate anything bigger.

Where are the best places to spectate? my other half will be in the car and would like to see me a couple of times. Appreciate that Hardnott will be manic so she will stay clear of there but can you recommend anyware else?

Anyway, any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance


Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
S of Kendal
It's worth taking a map and note the turning off the Ambleside-Windermere Rd into Holbeck lane and the stretch from Whinlatter to Cold Fell as this is where people get lost.

The feed stations are in the Lake District. They never run out of water!

Your gears will probably be fine. If not, walk with everyone else.

Support cars are a completely unnecessary pain in the arse. They should be banned as they cause most of the congestion. All the supporters want to get photos of 'their rider' on the steep bits, which by definition are also the narrow, twisting bits.

However if you can't do the event without the crutch of personal support, then make sure they avoid the event route as much as possible. Go over Dunmail Raise to reach the A66 and use the laybys there for a stop, then go along to the visitors centre at Whinlatter and then on via the coast road to Gosforth if you must. Again use the coast road south of Gosforth to return to Consiton via Broughton.


Chandler's Ford
I think I'd print some odd bits out from the OS Landranger (from Bikehike) for the lowland sections. For the big passes you're on roads with effectively no alternate route.

For the instructions - you can retype just the turns surely, there are far less on this than many lowland routes?

Wish i was doing it too:smile:
er rephrase that...
Wish I was fit enough to be doing it too.


New Member

Thanks for the tip re walking - I would never had guessed that bit.

As for the support vehicle - it is not, - the car will not be following me the whole route. As stated, just looking for the hot spots to avoid. As I posted, simply looking for advice on where is the best place to observe.

How would the ban on public roads work? would really upset us - like most people from the South - we love blocking your roads up.

Thanks for the friendly advice.
Route was pretty well signed, but I have a decent idea of Lakes geography anyway and so could have found my way round without.

The feedstops are fine, lots of food (energy stuff plus sandwiches, etc), they won't run out of water.

No cars over Hardknott, Honister or Newlands, far too narrow
But don't see why they couldn't see you off at the start, go out of Coniston 'the other way' and see you at the top of Kirkstone, then nip across to Whinlatter - those are all main roads.

Your gears are of course very personal to you and how strong you are as a cyclist.
I did it on 50/34 and 12-27 last year and was OK up Honister, Newlands and Wrynose but ended-up having to walk 100yds of Hardknott - I'd have been OK at 25 miles I'm sure, but it's at 90-odd miles and my legs were gone.
Walking was as fast as cycling, 90% of people were walking and I walked less than most, but there were that 10% who managed it...


New Member
Thank you for the post guys - really helpful.

Addick, will try your recommendation.

Andy - really helpful guideance, thanks are you doing this again this year?

David - good luck mate, I am sure you will be fine.



rich p

ridiculous old lush
I remember seeing my wife at the top of Whinlatter. There wasn't much congestion, even up Hardknott, when you were as near the back as I was!
No Russ, not doing it this year.

I did say that I would, after last year, and that this year I'd manage that missing 100yds on Hardknott without putting a foot down, but eventually I'm doing other things instead.

It's actually a really good event - if the weather's good, enjoy it.
I know it's talked-up in the magazines as being the hardest sportive in the UK, but I trained for it, did a lot of miles and hills leading up to it and so I found it quite do-able (apart from that 100yds...!).
But the organisation's great and the atmosphere is excellent, the course is super and I really enjoyed it, would recommend it.

Take real care on the descent of Honister - there's a sudden off-camber, tightening chicane thing with drystone walls, paramedics were scraping someone up there as I passed last year...
The A66 isn't brilliant, lots of traffic and cats' eyes, but Ullswater and Buttermere valleys are lovely.
The descents of Kirkstone and Newlands are superb (again obviously use a bit of caution, there's a couple of sudden hairpins on Newlands, so only go for it if you can see where the road goes...) and the drops down Hardknott and Wrynose are fun too, if a bit more take-it-easy technical.
It can get a bit lonely out in the Northern section, after Whinlatter/Lorton and before the second feedstop, and that's the only place where I found navigation could be tricky and you had to keep concentration on looking for the direction arrows - the rest of the route is on the obvious/only road.

Have a good one !
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