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NRC Members Chase the Northern Sun

After the fun of Chase the Sun South last year, Mark Williamson and myself joined a small band of 5 other riders from Banjo Cycles to take on the ‘North’ version of this year’s iconic event.

The CTS started in 2008, when 3 cyclists set off to see how far they could cycle in a day. The event now has 4 locations (South and North UK, Ireland and Italy). The North starts from Whitley Bay at sunrise with the aim of reaching Ayr (200 miles away) before the sunset.

After a long drive up, much carbo loading took place on Friday night at an excellent Italian restaurant in Whitley Bay before an early night in a hotel overlooking the beach front.

Multiple alarms were set for the unearthly hour of 3:00am before rolling down to join the other 480 starters. Thankfully the dire weather warnings of the previous week prove wide of the mark, and conditions were perfect (apart from a cheeky little headwind!).

The route was outstanding. The scenery was breathtaking, with babbling brooks, majestic glens, beautiful vistas and glistening lochs. Without doubt the most stunning ride I have ever experienced.

The route winds through the Northumbrian National Park, onto Kielder Water, Langholm, Dumfries and finally to the esplanade at Ayr. Strongly recommended for a cycling holiday!

Our group had the luxury of 4 support cars, who meet every 35 miles to hand out endless amounts of food, drink, energy bars and encouragement. They know who they are and they are all stars.

Thankfully the last 20 miles were mostly downhill ( payback after 3,200m of climbing!), which meant we rolled in 75 mins ahead of the sunset.

Just a wonderful, magical day with a fantastic group. ( not forgetting Tim Pyatt, who spent hours assisting with all the timings and logistics but sadly was unable to take part - it all went to plan Tim!) Thanks to Sarah, Alison, Mark, Ali, Huw, and Richard for a treasured memory.

A few photos of the unforgettable day...


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