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The first part of the C2C is a mixture of rolling countryside with a few big hills. The riding is hard, but not nearly as hard as the middle section.
Mostly quite roads, cycle paths, and some moderate offroad sections
Follow the well sign posted route from the start at Workington to Penrith. Most of the route is well marked and easy to follow, bar finding the start of the railway path in Cockermouth.
My first ride on the C2C took a day and a bit, with a stop in Alston. Despite scorchingly hot weather, and a bit of mechanical difficulty, I felt that I could do it in a day.
So, 4 AM found me crawling out of bed in a hotel in Workington, to get dressed and get on the bike. I was soon underway, and coverd the short distance to the start. Soon I was enjoying the crisp night air and heading along the rolling countryside to Cockermouth. As the sky grew light I was getting stuck into the first big hill, above Wynthrope. The descent down towards Bassenthwaite was exhilerating, with the views towards the lake and the rush of speed through the woods. Before long, I was in Keswick, which was still not fully awake. Leaving behind Keswick, I made good progress along the pretty riverside path, and then the not so nice cycle path by the A66. I decided to cheat a little and ride the A 66 rather than make the dog leg up to Mungrisdale, and it's many speed sapping gates. I wouldn't recommend doing this during busy times, but this early in the morning traffic was light. Soon I was in Penrith.
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