Not many takers for this then - just 3 starters, which is a shame as there are so few audax events from Cumbria. (I'll have to make my 100k DIY into an event one of these days)
Despite the urban nature of the turnaround section, this is a route for those who like the high and lonely roads of the Northern Pennines. The July weather - cold, wet and sometimes windy did, however, make for a stern test.
A gentle start soon comes to end with an ascent of Hartside followed by more climbing over Killhope and the tough ride up to the Parkhead Cafe (an old station on the Waskerley Trail). After the descent to the rather grim towns of the Sunderland area, it is back to the climbing with ascents over to the Wear and the Tees - long lonely climbs but splendid descents and not too much need to brake.
Further climbing over to Brough leads to relatively gentle terrain to Appleby and Pooley Bridge. A short flat spin along Ullswater soon leads to more climbing as the route heads back to the A66 and Keswick, not serious stuff but hard enough in the dark and with nearly 300k in the legs.
My gps said 4231m of climbing, although I did get off route now and again and after a few weeks largely off the bike I certainly felt it.
I don't know if this will run next year, but Dave Sharpe, the organiser has strung together some good controls here. I could see it being better if the distance were to be done without doing the urban section around the outskirts of Sunderland, favouring the quiet roads of the moorlands and the routesheet also needs a bit of tweaking. Having said that there is a strong Sunderland connection behind the ride so the target destination is perfectly understandable.