Challenging and historic 100 mile route

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Keith Aungiers
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Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by Keith Aungiers » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:37 pm

From my archives/memory I have redrawn the historic Northumberland and Durham CTC "100 miles in 8 hours standard ride" route of some 40+ years ago, which I remember completing twice, including riding in from Ashington. It may not be fully accurate but is as near as I can make it. It was and would still be a challenging route, starting and finishing on the outskirts of Newcastle and taking in parts of Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria, with lunch at St John's Chapel and tea at Carts Bog.

It would still be a good day out for those with the legs to do it and could be adapted to start and finish at Ponteland. It would need some refinement for today's road conditions and traffic volumes eg one would not wish to use the very busy road up the Derwent valley to Shotley Bridge. The route takes in some classic but not too difficult climbs - Carterway Heads, Muggleswick Common, Chapel Fell, Yad Moss, the Whitfields, Staward bank and (a sting in the tale after 85 miles) the relative pimple of the Ryals - for over 7000 feet of ascent in total. Anyone interested can view the route here:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26564874/

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jon bennett
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by jon bennett » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:26 pm

I think that's a great route, Keith, and something we could certainly do as a Club Run special. Many thanks for digging it out for us.

I have made some small changes, essentially to cover the things that you mention: it now starts, and finishes, in Ponteland and avoids some roads that just aren't suitable these days - the A69 being the main one - but I have, for the most part, left the overall shape alone. I don't really know the roads around Rowlands Gill/Hamsterly Mill/Shotley Bridge, so I've left that part alone too: if anyone has better suggestions in this area, then I'd be very happy to adapt the route further with those...

The amended route is here:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/16920252

Anyone up for that next year some time?

Chris Bartram
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by Chris Bartram » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:47 pm

jon bennett wrote:I think that's a great route, Keith, and something we could certainly do as a Club Run special. Many thanks for digging it out for us.

I have made some small changes, essentially to cover the things that you mention: it now starts, and finishes, in Ponteland and avoids some roads that just aren't suitable these days - the A69 being the main one - but I have, for the most part, left the overall shape alone. I don't really know the roads around Rowlands Gill/Hamsterly Mill/Shotley Bridge, so I've left that part alone too: if anyone has better suggestions in this area, then I'd be very happy to adapt the route further with those...

The amended route is here:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/16920252

Anyone up for that next year some time?
Evening Jon,

Yes, I'll be up for having a run out on this route. You've probably picked the best route over to Rowlands Gill from Pont, avoiding the busy roundabout at Swalwell but sticking as close to the original route as possible. At Hamsterley Mill your route goes off road [emoji47]! For simplicity it's probably easier to stay on the A694 to Ebchester or even Shotley Bridge - I'd imagine it'll still be early in the day and traffic should be light.


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Roger Clarke
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by Roger Clarke » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:59 pm

Keith - I'm intrigued as to why it started where it did? Seems to be on the former site of Elswick station. Was that just to make it exactly 100 miles? Similar sort of question regarding the finish.

Jon - like Chris I was going to point out the offroad sections. The A694 to Shotley Bridge and the original route would be fine as a one off. Would be nice to keep as much of the original route as possible, so in Hexham the old road adjacent to the A69 could be used, and the run-in to Pont could take the same route from Stamfordham as far as Darras Hall.

In the same vein I have been talking to Gordon about whether we could have a rerun of the reliability trial that features in the video footage of the club's 1960 event. I have a small stock of original certificates! Maybe a 60th anniversary rerun in 2020?

I have been thinking it would be good to incorporate one or two of the club's classic old club ride routes back into the calendar on an occasional basis. I can map out the ones I know and add them to the club rides library.

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jon bennett
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by jon bennett » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:23 pm

Chris Bartram wrote: Yes, I'll be up for having a run out on this route. You've probably picked the best route over to Rowlands Gill from Pont, avoiding the busy roundabout at Swalwell but sticking as close to the original route as possible. At Hamsterley Mill your route goes off road [emoji47]! For simplicity it's probably easier to stay on the A694 to Ebchester or even Shotley Bridge - I'd imagine it'll still be early in the day and traffic should be light.
Roger Clarke wrote:Jon - like Chris I was going to point out the offroad sections. The A694 to Shotley Bridge and the original route would be fine as a one off. Would be nice to keep as much of the original route as possible, so in Hexham the old road adjacent to the A69 could be used, and the run-in to Pont could take the same route from Stamfordham as far as Darras Hall.
Thanks for the feedback, gents. I have amended the route as per the suggestions - it has added around 3.5 miles onto the total route length, so we're now up to 105.6 miles, according to Connect. The only concern I have is with that small road alongside the A69 - I can see it's there and both ends of it show up on Google Streetview, but I've never tried to go along it - do we know at this time whether it is passable by road bike? Or are we going exploring on a future Club Run? ;)

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Roger Clarke
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by Roger Clarke » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 pm

jon bennett wrote:The only concern I have is with that small road alongside the A69 - I can see it's there and both ends of it show up on Google Streetview, but I've never tried to go along it - do we know at this time whether it is passable by road bike? Or are we going exploring on a future Club Run? ;)
I've ridden it on a club ride - entirely passable, just a tiny bit scruffy at the Acomb side, but I'm happy riding it on a road bike. You turn left south of the A69 though, not crossing the big roundabout - there's a small bridge takes you over the A69.

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jon bennett
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by jon bennett » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:51 pm

Roger Clarke wrote:I've ridden it on a club ride - entirely passable, just a tiny bit scruffy at the Acomb side, but I'm happy riding it on a road bike. You turn left south of the A69 though, not crossing the big roundabout - there's a small bridge takes you over the A69.
Fair enough: I've made that change...

Gordon Atkinson
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by Gordon Atkinson » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:29 am

jon bennett wrote:
Roger Clarke wrote:I've ridden it on a club ride - entirely passable, just a tiny bit scruffy at the Acomb side, but I'm happy riding it on a road bike. You turn left south of the A69 though, not crossing the big roundabout - there's a small bridge takes you over the A69.
Fair enough: I've made that change...
We rode it on the 24/9. Perfectly rideable, with care.

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Keith Aungiers
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by Keith Aungiers » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:05 pm

Roger Clarke wrote:Keith - I'm intrigued as to why it started where it did? Seems to be on the former site of Elswick station. Was that just to make it exactly 100 miles? Similar sort of question regarding the finish.
Yes, from what I remember it was just to make the distance 100 miles. Our clubruns used to start at the Haymarket but this one was a bit different and the start and finish points were customised. From another memory search, it seems more likely that the start was actually slightly further west beyond the (since demolished) Paradise bridge and outside the Armstrong factory. The finish was (I think) not on Newbiggin lane but at the layby by the houses on Brunton Road at Kenton Bank Foot. Remember that in those days we had no mapping software so planning the route needed work with a map and a measuring tool - not sure who did it but it may have been CTC stalwart Glen Robson.
Roger Clarke wrote: The A694 to Shotley Bridge and the original route would be fine as a one off. Would be nice to keep as much of the original route as possible, so in Hexham the old road adjacent to the A69 could be used
For the outward journey I had thought about reversing Andy Berne's C ride route back from Blanchland, which would lead from Ponteland to Wylam, up Sled Lane then on to Greenside and Newlands, picking up the original route at the crossroads between Snods Edge and Carterway Heads. But that would add in quite a bit of climbing, not least the steep hill up Lead lane from the quarry to Newlands.

The old A69 west of Hexham is passable on a road bike and has been used on clubruns a few times in recent memory. It is much better than using the current road.

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Keith Aungiers
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Re: Challenging and historic 100 mile route

Post by Keith Aungiers » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:18 pm

I've done some fiddling with the route to start and finish at Ponteland and added 2 variants to the online library of club rides under the title "4 Counties 100 miler". Variant A (102.7 miles +7,242 ft) uses roads that might be busy to join the original route at Swalwell roundabout. Variant B (102.4 miles +7,513 ft) uses less busy roads and rejoins the original route at Snods Edge, after about 20 miles.

Follow the link to the Club Rides Route library from the main website: https://www.tynevags.org.uk/index.php/t ... club-rides

If I still had the legs to do it my preference would be for variant B. Jon Bennett's route offers another start which includes a canny hill through Winlaton and an ambitious 17 mph average.

I would post a picture of my "100 miles in 8 hours" badges but can't seem to get this to work at the moment.

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