The Coast to Coast Charity Cycle Ride 11th August 2009

Shift workers Chris and Jez found themselves one night shift wondering what they could do to challenge themselves and at the same time raise money for a local cause. So various mad ideas started to be tabled including, cycling from Spalding Power Station to another of the companies plants in Rotterdam Holland, or another plant located at Coryton in Essex. Eventually after much deliberation the Coast to Coast route was discussed and research began into the route and the pros and cons of the challenge. The charities chosen were The Garth School and The Priory School, two schools that provide specialist education to children with severe learning difficulties from their local Spalding and surrounding areas. Both schools received free mapping for the route so that the children could see what the team were accomplishing.

The Coast to Coast is a route that was developed in 1972 by Alfred Wainwright and covers a distance of approx 190 miles, from St Bees Head in West Cumbria to Robin Hoods Bay in North Yorkshire. They followed as closely as possible to this famous route, but in places were required to deviate slightly from the original route due to restrictions on cyclists using footpaths. The route included both on and off road sections and passed through 3 of the UK’s most spectacular National Parks: The Lake District National Park, The Yorkshire Dales National Park and The North York Moors National Park. To undertake the off road sections of the route they realised that they would require some detailed mapping and it was then that they contacted Mapyx.

We, Mapyx, donated the entire route mapping for the team as well as for the schools (their chosen charities) and this enabled the team to break down the route into greater detail and plan the daily routes.


The mammoth task of organizing the event began. The original team grew from 3 to 5 as 2 colleagues joined in. They gained support from their station manager and their employers, Intergen Spalding Energy who agreed to purchase 3 mountain bikes and all clothing and equipment for the ride. The local bike shop agreed to supply all the spares and tools needed for the ride.

Further sponsorship for the challenge was secured both corporate and personal. (For a full list of sponsors see the web site

The team trained hard during the passing months both as a team and individually. One day in particular at Rutland Water with the mapping software and GPS unit and testing out all the equipment.


Jez Keyworth, Chris Murphy, Simon Walker, Zak Keyworth, Mark Renshaw were riding whilst Julie Keyworth, Tom Keyworth and Mark Killick gave their time to provide the much needed refreshment and encouragement along the route. (Tom Keyworth unfortunately sustained an injury whilst training and had to withdraw from riding to take a support role, his brother Zak replaced him as a rider.)


A great deal of effort and planning went into bringing the challenge together. The team of eight people, 5 riders and 3 support crew arrived in St Bees on Tuesday 11th August all prepared for 5 days hard work.

Day 1

They travelled 65 miles from St Bees to Patterdale, on the shores of Ullswater. This covered a large section of the Lake District National Park. They left St Bees at 8:00 am and after nearly 14 hours arrived in Patterdale.

A total of 33 miles covered; of which 22miles were either pushed or carried…..some bike ride!

Day 2

From Patterdale taking in the wonderful lake shore route along Ullswater finishing at Kirkby Stephen a total distance of 39 miles.

Julie and “Ginge” (Mark) cooking up greatly appreciated bacon sandwiches in a lay by ready for us arriving in Shap Village

Day 3

A 36 mile ride from Kirkby Stephen to the lovely historic town of Richmond.

Leaving Cumbria behind and entering North Yorkshire

Day 3 was, mostly, completed on road sections and they arrived early at Richmond, the target finish point, so they decided to continue on and covered another 12 miles. This reduced the next day from 49 miles to 37 miles.

End of day 3 Danby Wiske.

Day 4

The North Yorkshire Moors section, now a 37 mile ride to Ainthorpe near to Danby.

Downhill section out of the woods and through the fields, numbers were down to three temporarily as Jez and Zak missed the turning meeting up with the rest of the group about 2 miles further on.

Up to Urra Moor, then across Urra Moor on the disused mines railway, through the heather, with the grouse, towards the Lion Inn, Blakely Ridge.

Day 5

The final day a relatively leisurely 24 mile section (so they thought!!) from Ainthorpe into Robin Hood’s Bay.

The team prepare, nursing their heads (after “refreshments” the previous night) for the final leg to Robin Hoods Bay.

Re-fuelling after another steep climb and taking in another fantastic view.

Another climb leaving Grossmont, the home of The North York Moors Steam Railway

The final descent into Robin hoods Bay

Mission Accomplished, the Team at Robin Hood’s Bay.

The ride was a huge success; the entire team completed the challenge, regardless of some very tough sections which not only tested both the fitness of the team but also the mapping and equipment to the full, all coming out with flying colours. Overall the challenge was a great achievement by a team of people who were not regular cyclists, but through determination to succeed completed a very rewarding but tough challenge. The total distance that was covered was approx 200 miles.

The entire team would like to express their thanks to all friends, family, colleagues and members of the public who have supported them in their challenge and also the many companies both associated with Spalding Energy and local firms who have donated sponsorship to the team’s chosen charities. (In excess of £6,000)

The team are still accepting sponsorship donations, details of how to donate can be found on The Base Loaders website at

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