On 2nd June, twenty eight riders and four support crew met at 6.30 am at Durham Services. Bikes were loaded and the team set off for the start line in Whitehaven. At 10am, on a drizzly Cumbrian morning, the team dipped their rear wheels into the Irish Sea. As the PGM of Cumberland & Westmorland waved his Provincial Flag, accompanied by Durham’s Deputy PGM, the team embarked on their 150 mile journey.
Literally full of ups and downs, the cyclists faced Hartside Pass, Garrigill, Nenthead and Crawleyside Bank in the blazing sun. Along the way the reception at Keswick Masonic Hall and from Durham brethren in Consett was tremendous. Early Sunday afternoon found the team riding downhill along the traffic-free route from Consett to Roker.
The team rode around the headland at Roker together. They were cheered over the finish line by friends, family and many Brethren and after dipping their wheels into the North Sea, were delighted to be able to present Eric with a cheque for £25,000.
Having made friendships that will last a lifetime, and having got over the worst of the hills, talk turned to a follow-up Coast & Castles Ride in 2018.