North Halifax Grammar School Coast to Coast II


Just had the last meeting up at Craggies with the parents of students that are riding the Coast 2 Coast in aid of their school.


The support is unbelievable.  These parents have been kitting their kids out with panniers and racks etc.  So they can ride the C2C route, but they have also been busy fund raising as well.  Thank you so much!

Just to provide answers to a few questions that were raised in the meetings:

When you drop your kids off on the Sunday make sure they have food for their tea that evening and their breakfast the following day.  They will have access to a single burner stove so anything that can be heated up will be fine.  Also, staff will have extra food items in case they make the wrong food selection. No one will go hungry!

Each afternoon we will stop and buy things for our tea that evening and our breakfast the following morning, so they don’t need to carry loads of food.  Also staff members will provide guidance in the shop about what is nutritious and what they can easily cook on a single burner.  Students will need about £10 – £15 each day to buy tea, breakfast, energy and lunch.

If students are using a water bottle and pack wisely each day (keeping waterproofs, energy food etc to the top of their panniers) they do not need a day pack. If students are using a hydration pack, they could use this bag for small, light items, but you may want to keep daily items in your panniers also.

Finally, meeting you has been lovely.  I am looking forward to the ride and we are all going to have a really amazing time!!!!

See you on the 9th July in St Bee’s!

Upcoming Tours

Just thought I would let you know about some upcoming tours you may want to be apart of, or maybe just read about when they happen.  If you want to take part or help out in anyway, just drop me an e-mail and we can see what we can do:
  • April 9th – 12th:  Coast 2 Coast recce ride:  Whitehaven – Tynemouth.  B&B
  • July 9th – 14th:  Coast 2 Coast student fundraiser.  Forty students (13-15 years old) riding to raise money for their school sports hall.  The target is £10000.  If you would like to donate please go to the Parent Association Just Giving Link www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C2 The students are carrying their own gear and cooking their own food on single burners, so this is a massive challenge for them!
  • July 28th – August 28th:  Cycling from Santander, Spain all the way up the west coast of France and getting the ferry back to Plymouth.

Canada to Mexico: The Movie

Canada to Mexico:  The Movie.

Two versions of video.  One is 60 minutes long and includes some useful interviews and advice.  The other is 15 minutes long and is the final stretch into San Diego.

1 Hour Movie:   http://youtu.be/GlKt7oLT_go
15 min Movie:   http://youtu.be/BARwcFPuJi4

1 Hour

15 min

Day 29: Canada to Mexico

Day 29:  Canada to Mexico

San Simeon to Oceano

56 miles / 2000ft Accent

Last night was really good, I forgot to tell you about the four french girls we met on the road the day before.  We were cycling to Murdocks the warm shower host and about four miles from his house we saw in the distance four bikes, four girls and they were all wearing the same t shirts.  I had to take another drink of water because I thought I was dehydrated, I thought it was a mirage.  Then as we rode up to them to say “hi”, guess what they beautiful french accent came out of their mouths.  Eugene and Gabyrel were talking to them so I knew it was not my imagination and they were real.  How cool, four girls just deciding to do something different jump on some bikes and ride a little bit of the West Coast for their holidays.

Anyway the night before last they came to the same campsite and we had a few beers and a bit of a singalong.  So all day today we were bumping into them on the road and we talked them into doing more miles than they normally would to be at the same campsite last night.  They did really well and made the full 56 miles.  We got some fire wood and a few beers and put some music on.  The miles did take a toll on them and they retired to bed quite early, well I am using that as the excuse and not the fact that they have had enough of us now and are completely bored.  They are also taking a rest day here in Oceano.  They are then going to get a bus to bypass this hilly stage today and meet us in Malibu for the beach party with David and Maddie.

On the bikes the four of us have become one rolling entity it feels really good when that wind is on your back.  Also our rolling community is growing bigger and bigger.  I cannot understate the amount of people that give you a beep, or a shout out from a car to big you up.  The people you meet on the street are just really nice and keep on spurring you on.  Obviously, their are the people that think bikes should not be on the road, but they are a minority and what I have come to realise is that the people that do not want bikes on the road are really un-cool and I would not want to be them, their friend or have their lifestyle and the people that are bigging us up all the time are really cool dudes and dudettes so times are good!!!!!   


Day 28: Canada to Mexico

Day 28:  Canada to Mexico

Pacific Valley to San Simion
40 Miles
3000ft Accent

This morning our host treated us to waffles, maple syrup and ice cream.  He gave me one of his forest fire service t shirts as a reminder of the trip and he also gave me a letter that a traveller passed on to him.  Everyone that goes by his spot he gives them a copy.  The letter should be the blueprint for life and I am sure the world would be a better place and people would live a fuller life.  I am not going to preach so if you are interested in what the letter said, just contact me through whatever media you wish and I will send you an image of it.  I love this community of people just helping each other out, this is what life should be like, it really helps to make some good solid friendships.

We had our pictures taken and started the day.  We knew today was going to be a bit shorter because we did a little bit more than expected yesterday because the host lived a little passed the state campsite that we would have used.  

We are at the beach again, the tents in arms reach of the sand.  We had a really good cycling day again.  I know how to pace myself now for a tour, if you can’t sing up a hill you are going too fast.  That does not mean go slow, it means you have to get fit enough so you can sing and a reasonable speed. 

The scenery today was spectacular as ever, it was hot from the off.  No sea fog this morning.  I have about 250 miles till I reach LA.  About 500 miles in total.  There really is a feeling of relaxing a bit more now and hopefully a bit more partying to be done.

Everyone keeps telling us about the fun we are going to have at LA, Malibu Beach, Huntington Beach, Santa Barbara.  Also down at San Diego on Pacific Beach.  They keep on telling us to use our accent and we are sure to have fun.  Hopefully we can find a good base for a couple of nights and let our hair down.  A few days to go though before we get to that.

I have hundreds of images of today, but the wifi will only allow me to upload a few today.

Canada to Mexico Day 5

Miles Today = 55
Total Miles = 204

In the tent last night I was having some strange dreams, like there was a bear or tiger ready to kick me ass, nothing to worry about.  It was most probably a rabbit, when I woke up in the morning they were everywhere.  

One thing I hate, cause I like looking after my stuff, is putting away my gear when it is wet. But I had to put my tent away covered in due.

I got the ferry from Fort Casey to Port Townsend and it was £1.50 pounds in our money.  It felt good the first few miles.  But the weather did come in and that was predicted so I did not care.  Just get your jacket on and bite it up boy!  The weather from now on is meant to be cool.

I was meant to stop at a warm shower last night but it was my fault because I was not dialling the access code for the USA, but I needed to dial it cause my UK SIM bounces from home.  Once I realised the problem I sorted it and got in touch with Liz in Seattle.  She has been amazing, given me a room and a map and a shower, really really cool.  Given me a key and just said do as you please!!!  I walked in to Seattle and the first thing a lady said to me just walking down the street was “nice legs”.  Gotta get these boys out some more :).

So I went on a stroll.  Went up to the place called Capital Hill,  loads of cool bars and places to eat. Did both.

People keep on telling me how beautiful it is going to be later on and I am like how can it be better that this!!!

Seattle is a beautiful place I have seen and spoken to so many really cool people.  This trip is amazing!

Next summer I am defo doing the East Coast, if your in, just let me know, I already have the cycling top for it 🙂 🙂

BTW the beer here is double the strength of that in the UK.  They know how to brew, the micro brewer thing over on the West Coast is massive!

I have seen snow capped mountains that I could grab!! That don’t even show up on a compact, it is crazy!!!

BTW the day started of sunny when I got the first ferry, they on the one to Seattle it was raining and cold, But boy was it worth it!!!!

Lucile is the best bike you could every wish for on a trip like like this, she does not bat an eyelid!!

I stopped the garmin whenever I got a ferry so these are cycling miles.  I get the ferry back to my starting tomorrow cause I am doing the adventure route.  End of!  no short cuts!

Oh yeh guess what!  the first guy I met was called Frasier   The only other thing I need to make it really crazy would be to be admitted in to Seattle Grace with Mc Dreamy.

Oh yeh, I have seen a snake…… and a squirrel 🙂

Canada to Mexico Day 4: Bellingham to Port Casey

Miles Today = 69
Total Miles = 149

I am currently in a cafe at my final point for today.  I am listening to Duran Duran, Def Leopard, You spin me right round, on the radio, this has been a day.  The best I can think of.  WOW!  Today I am in love.  This is why I do this.  I got up had a beautiful breakfast and set off.  Had a nice chat with a couple of folk over breakfast.  As you can see from the photos it has been stunning all day.  It might look like I have been round the same bit of water but I am on a narrow strip and tomorrow I get a ferry over to Port Townsend.  I am stopping in my tent tonight at a State Biker and Hiker Site.  Has all what you need shower wise and it is only 12 dollars, SIX QUID!!!!

On my way round today I met a lovely bloke in a coffee shop called Mario.  His ears pricked up when he heard my Yorkshire accent.  He was/is from Manchester.  He has lived in the USA for five years, he started in New York met a girl got married had a couple of kids and set up on the West Coast he said the life style is just amazing, and don’t I know it.  They are so healthy down this West Coast.  Exercise and good food is all around you.  Mario said I must have a tough arse.  I said “Too True”!

I found this campsite by asking a lovely lady for directions in the travel information place in Coupeville.  When I got to the site there were two lovely ladies on reception that showed me where to get some food and told me about the ferry tomorrow.  

There is nothing more to say about today really.  It has just been one of those days that comes around and blows your mind.  THIS HAS BEEN THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!

The people are beautiful friendly and helpful and the images I have seen today are just taking my breath away.  

I have just eaten a Caesar Salad and just spoilt my being good with a double scoop ice cream.  Damn Terrance Trent Darby has just come on the radio!  This is good, made me contemplate a beer as well.  Might buy two to take back to the tent.

I know some of you have been asking for video.  I have taken loads of footage, but that all needs editing.  I take my video seriously so that will have to wait until I have some time, SORRY!  All the images of today are below.  

Day 1: Canada to Mexico

Miles Today =  0
Total Miles = 0

Well my plan was not to have too many beers on the last day of term.  Planned failed, had way too many and then thought there is no point in going to sleep seeing as Daz was picking me up at 0400.  I still had the last few things to pack as well which I did when I got back from the night out.

Getting Lucile in the box was a bit of a squeeze and when I tried a couple of days ago I just had to leave it, sleep on it and give it another go at a later date.  It worked out in the end and I managed to fit all my luggage in the box as well!  The total weight came to 27.5kg and the limit is 32kg so I was well under.  I forgot to tell you the best bit.  As it is my only checked in bag/box it did not cost me anything.  So that got me thinking, you would be better off using a bike box and pretending it had a bike in it and it could just be your clothes.  Another bonus would be that your box would be always waiting for you to collect at oversized baggage, no waiting at the conveyer belt.  My Lucile was always there before me. https://photos.gstatic.com/media/slideshow.swf

Has you can see from the pictures I had an idea to make some supports that look like the evil fighter spaceships from Star Wars, idea by me, made by Mick which was best, as they are both neater and stronger that mine would have ended up.  Cheers Mick!

The flight from Manchester to Toronto is about eight hours so got that bit done and dusted, had to collect Lucile and recheck the box as it was my first airport in Canada, bit of a strange system but not too much trouble.  But it was at this point that I realised it is true that baggage handlers don’t give a shit and it is up to you, the packer to make sure it is safe.  The box was mangled, anyway I did not worry as there are plenty of bike shops in Vancouver and if anything needed replacing I would just need to spend some cash.  But it did get me thinking that on any more touring trips that involve plane trips I am going to do it on a folding bike.  Another one to add to the stable.  Going to get a Moulton like that cyclist I stopped with in Montpellier last year.  

The box before check in.

The box after first flight

Flight to Vancouver from Toronto takes five hours and all three airports, Manchester, Toronto and Vancouver all have different time zones.  Manchester (0), Toronto (-3), Vancouver (-8).

The longer flight from Manchester did not have any screens or entertainment so it was just the iPod and sleeping I was right on the back row and could not even see a window  never mind look out of one.  I thought it best to try and perfect my Hugh Grant English accent by making up reasons to speak to the beautiful cabin crew.

When I landed in Vancouver it was very straight forward.  Lucile was waiting in oversize.  Outside taxi.  Got to the room, dumped my stuff and went straight to the food place next door.  The menu was lovely, healthy and nice.  I had a salmon and berry salad and it was gorge!

You can’t see them from my hotel room window, but around the other side are bloody huge mountains, they look really cool.  Hopefully tomorrow when I venture into the city I will have loads of cool pics for the blog.

Got back to the room and thought ‘lets see what Lucile is like’.  Opened the box and she was fine.  The bend in the box was where the frame ended and the wheels started so looks like it will be sorted once she is build up.

So a bit tired now, I will have a sleep, get up early, build Lucile and go explore the city.  Well I am here, excited to build Lucile, excited to get into the city, excited to see things and meet like minded and completely opposite kinda people!

First ‘Realisation Of The Trip’ which in further posts will be shortened to ROTT. Yorkshire is not English.  No one can understand me, they just seemed to nod their head and answer questions that I have not asked.