Raising money for...
The XL Challenge is kindly supported by the following businesses:
designed by Andrew and Pete
Events will be added
as they take place
I was inspired to do this challenge by a magazine article that I read a good few months ago about a couple of guys that rode around the traditional version of the Monopoly board - Old Kent Road, Trafalgar Square etc and thought that it would be a good idea to adapt it to my own requirements. I found a list of the squares used on the Newcastle/Gateshead edition of the popular property game and set about finding a weekend to squeeze it in to my already busy Challenge Calendar.
Then came the route planning. Of course a lot of the streets and places were in Newcastle City centre, which would make it easy to get between them, but there were a few that were a bit further afield and meant I had to get the cycle maps out and work out a logical course around them all.
I started at the Airport, which was one of the extreme edges of the route, headed to Gateshead to reach the most Southerly points, back to the Quayside, into Newcastle, then hit Jesmond before heading along the Coast Road to pick up the last couple of places, finishing in North Shields.
Highlights were the Angel of the North, St James Park, Go to Jail (aka the law courts), the quayside - including lunch - and the 4 stations ( Central Station, Monument Metro, Haymarket Metro and the Shields Ferry Terminal)
Low Points and difficult sections included the steep hills from the Metrocentre to the Angel, trying to ride up Northumberland Street whilst it was full of Saturday afternoon shoppers and getting a puncture about a mile from the end, realising that my pump wasn't working properly so I couldn't fix it and having to walk the rest of the way!
Overall it was a very enjoyable 35ish mile ride, visiting some of the best spots our region has to offer and bringing something a little bit different to a bike ride. Plus I must have broken some sort of record for the most selfies taken in one day as I posted a shot of me at every location to Facebook as I went!