CRA 2012 winner - Cycle-Rail Photograph

Train to Seascale

David Martin had signed up for the Open Cycling Coast to Coast in a Day sportive and found himself one Friday afternoon last summer sat on a train heading from Chesterfield to Seascale to get to the start of the race.

David was not looking forward to taking his bike on the train, but he had heeded the warnings on various Train Operators’

websites and pre-booked a space on three out of the four stages of his epic rail journey – leaving the Barrow-in-Furness to Seascale leg to chance.

An eleven-minute turnaround in Sheffield to board the Manchester train almost saw his undoing, but safely on board, he resumed his journey in relative comfort. The Barrow train was a different story. Packed to the rafters with Stone Roses fans heading to Heaton Park as part of their Reunion Tour, David was forced to squash into a standing-room-only carriage complete with his trusty bicycle.

On his last train of the day, approaching Seascale, David finally had a chance to relax and enjoy the journey. He says: “The train was slow as it chugged its way along the coast and stopped at most stations. The Cumbrian landscape presented itself outside the train windows and there were quite a few flooded fields from the recent rain. The forecast was not good for the ride and a dry day was not anticipated.”

He continues: “My home county of Derbyshire has beautiful countryside, but Cumbria is a little bit more rural, a little bit more rugged and the hills are a little bit bigger. Cumbria is like Derbyshire, but with the volume turned up a bit and it was relaxing to travel through this wonderful landscape in the sunshine by rail.” Arriving at his destination bang on time, although perhaps not the most direct route, the trip was a pleasure and provided him with a stress-free build-up to the big event. David says: ”A surprisingly straightforward journey with my bike by rail, something I won’t hesitate over again!”

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