Rich Rothwell’s Iron Horse, ready for a non-stop coast-to-coast assault. Possibly not so clean now…
Word has reached us that Rich Rothwell (Team Iron Horse Extreme) has just completed the “proper” MTB England coast-to-coast route in 28 hours and 31 minutes. If you’re not familiar with the route in question that may not sound hugely impressive, but trust us, it is. The route was devised by Tim Woodcock in 1994 and runs from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire across the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, covering 210 miles and a not-inconsiderable 26,710ft of climbing, including the likes of Black Sail Pass in the Lakes. Woodcock’s original route guide suggested a week-long trip, staying in Youth Hostels and B&Bs on the way, so clearly a one-hit effort is a substantial undertaking.
It’s not totally straightforward to navigate, either – there are various ill-defined stretches and of course Rothwell will have ridden a hefty chunk of it in the dark. It’s part of Iron Horse Extreme’s “Seven Deadly Spins” campaign, with team members tackling seven endurance MTB challenges around the UK. The English coast-to-coast was the fourth to be completed, after the South Downs Double, all the 7 Stanes red routes plus the roads between them and the Wales coast-to-coast. All the challenges have to be unsupported, with everything riders need either being carried or acquired on route from shops or taps.
As yet unridden are the Pennine Bridleway Double, the off-road Lands End to John O’Groats (1,200 miles) and the “mystery” seventh challenge that’s presumably waiting for someone to decide what it is.
Rothwell was carrying a Spot GPS tracker on his ride – you can see the resulting trace here (ignoring that other coast-to-coast straight line where he clearly turned the box on in his house before travelling to the start…).
Find out more at http://www.the7ds.com/seven-deadly-spins/.