After the cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s Fred Whitton Challenge will take place on 09/05/21. All riders will by now know they have been accepted or not for this ‘Mother’ of cycling challenges.
This year, the organisers are committed to delivering aCOVID-safe event on Sunday 9th May 2021. This will include Social distancing, pre event screening, reduced contact at sign in and enhanced safety measures at feed stations and in the venue. This in itself will add greatly to the organisation of the 2021 event. Lets hope it all works out and there are no last minute hick-ups. After all, cycling in the fresh air of the Lake District must be one of the healthiest ways to exercise.
This 113 mile ride starting from Grasmere is the toughest route in the UK. This is not a relaxing way to see the Lake District as the route takes in eight, yes eight, lakeland passes Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Cold Fell, Hardknott, Wrynose and finally Blea Tarn. These climbs are a major issue, but equally so is the weather. The top of these passes in May can throw everything at you rain, hail snow, gales as the prevailing wind is a westerly. The last couple of events have had exceptionally the opposite weather… it’s been too hot . So in 2021 a cold one is due. Depending on the extreme Lakeland weather on the day problems may be exposure from the cold or heat exhaustion!
This year, two family members will be participating , my son-in-laws Mark and Graham. Mark has completed once previously and Graham three times. You can follow Graham’s training updates via Facebook. Bike hire for the “Fred” is available from the largest selection of top-end road bikes in the north of England, see Ladies Road Bikes & Road Bikes. Try a carbon Trek Madone or the light titanium framed Enigma bikes from the hire fleet. If you want to get in some training before the “Fred” on the roads of the Lake District the challenging rides are a great opportunity to hone your climbing legs.