Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 4, 2022

Unexpected weather

We had been watching the weather forecast all week and it seemed it would be wet and grey as the rest of the week had been.

I went to my quilt group on Thursday and enjoyed our Christmas lunch but drove home in the rain. Friday didn’t look any better, so I sat and sewed until lunchtime when the sun shone through the roof light.

I switched off my sewing machine swiftly and went downstairs. DH was in our “snug” which has very little natural light and asked if he wanted to come cycling. We were soon changed and got out but only cycled about 12 miles along the river Tees and did some supermarket shopping for things we can’t get elsewhere.

On Saturday morning , we drove to our GP surgery on the other side of town where we could get our flu vaccines at a walk in clinic. It was raining but as we returned home the sun appeared. So once again , we quickly changed and made a sort of plan as to where to head for. As usual, I made the decision to go to Hurworth to the Mustard Tree which is a little cafe in the Methodist chapel.

We went over there by crossing the river at the barrage and then up through Stockton where the Christmas market was in full swing. Then it was through the major roadworks near Elton and along through Long Newton and Middleton St George.

We thought we were too late for the cafe , but fortunately, we got a warm welcome with toasted teacakes and hot chocolate. There was a sprinkling of rain but we didn’t get too wet.

We decided to come back through Darlington and negotiated the roundabout near the football stadium without difficulty. Then we picked up the patchily signed cycle route to Morton Park. Here we decided to head past the Amazon warehouse and on across the A66 bridge but then on to Sadberge. No stopping there as the cafe doesn’t open at the weekend. We rode along to Stockton and I stopped to take a not very good photo of one of the booths all lit up.

Stockton

While we were there, one of the lads from the bike hub came to chat. We hadn’t seen him for a few years and he asked if we were still with Sustrans. Unfortunately not. There is no group on Teesside and he is disgusted in how many miles of routes Sustrans has abandoned as they are on roads. I understand and do wish that instead of just letting those routes go, more effort is made to make roads safer to ride on. More publicity needs to be given to the changes in the Highway Code to educate all of us.

48 miles this week and 3391 YTD

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 27, 2022

End of November already

It’s hard to believe that C——-mas is only 4 weeks away . The days are getter by much shorter so not as long for day rides. I have started to work again but am restricting my self too how much I do. People always said once you hit 70, it takes longer to recover and in my case that’s true.

The weather on Friday was lovely with sunshine but temperatures are still up for the time of the year.

We has decided we to head for Carlton , the one near Stockton but took an incorrect turning and ended up neat Elton. So we rode back across to turn up towards Bishopton and on through Redmire to Carlton before heading for Norton. I was able to buy a calendar produced by a local photographer, from one of the shops. That will be posted to Norway , very soon.

As it was now lunchtime we sat on the green and I fired up the stove to make the cheese toasties. It’s such a surprise for passerby to see how we do it. Then as a fine muzzle started we rode the shorter way home.

Saturday , we rode to Hutton Rudby where two friends from quilt group were involved with a craft fair in the church hall . This is in aid of a food bank charity. Such a shame for our country to have to resort to this .

We did get a lovely hot chocolate and cake sitting outside before returning home. We came back through Thornaby and saw crowds of people who were waiting for the Santa parade to begin.

I’m not sure of the route but we saw hundreds of motorcyclists in costume and they did come into Middlesbrough I could get any photos but a friend did.

Love how all these people put on a Show for the children .

We cycled 50 miles this week YTD 3343 miles. Much less than last year but hopefully will get more in before the end of the year.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 20, 2022

It never rains but – – –

Sorry I have been missing in action. You remember we had covid and then recovered and had a short ride.

Well within two weeks we were both afflicted by flu!! Furthermore, part way through the flu, I had to go to hospital with upper abdominal pain. It seems probable that I passed a gallstone. I don’t even know if I gave them. More investigations will have to be made but now I am being careful with what I am eating just in case I do have them. Eating fats causes the gallbladder containing bile, used for fat digestion, to contract spilling into the duodenum. Eating low fat seems to have stopped pain and I am pretty much back to normal.

The past couple of weeks has seen a lot of rain here in our part of the north. It has put us off a bit but we had a short ride in the previous week but then on Friday decided to ride across the Sadberge . It’s about 25 miles round trip.

We did encounter flooded parts of the path and some tiny streams turned to torrents.

Tiny stream flooding

There was one point where I hit off and walked up on the verge while DH rode through.

When we got to Sadberge , frombb be the garage point of the cafe, the flooding in the fields could be seen. We returned home a different way but still cane across more flooding but I was able to ride through.

So we are well on the way to a full recovery but need to get our vaccinations updated.

We also rode to the market in Stockton to buy eggs from our usual egg man. It’s important to buy local and support small businesses.

45 miles in 2 weeks and YTD 3293miles

45

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 30, 2022

Thankful for the NHS

Sorry folk still no cycling to report. Got laid low with flu after recovering from Covid .

Then on Wednesday night couldn’t sleep with upper abdominal pain. Rang the GP and told to call 999 or get myself to A&E.

Got there and was triaged quickly. Then had to wait to be seen by a doctor who was an absolute joy. A Middlesbough born Asian woman who came from a very traditional family so was married soon after she got her A levels. After her children were grown her husband has encouraged her to follow her dream and become a doctor. She waited to make sure I got a CT scan even though her shift was finished.

The upshot is I may have passed a gall stone. That is my take on things because the scan showed a distended gall bladder and a slight liver enzyme elevation.

My abdominal pain is gone completely but I am being more careful than usual with eating foods. I still have a snotty nose though so am resting up.

DH also has the flu remnants on his chest so I can’t see us cycling this week.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 9, 2022

Catching up

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted but not a lot of cycling.

DS2 is still having investigations for his health problems but it seems highly likely that there is a serious brain condition.

Also both DH and I have been down with Covid and tested positive for 15 days. I felt very lethargic and the first week just slept. I had a splitting headache and a mild sore throat. DH had the worst sore throat he has had since childhood and a hacking cough which we are both starting to really feel better from. I will get back to work this coming week but reduce the number of hours I work.

We did buy ourselves some new Tern Vektron s10 folding E-bikes but haven’t really had a chance to go far on them.

DH’s Koga world traveller E-bike is also away having a new motor fitted. It’s 4.5 years old with in excess of 21,000 miles so we have been offered a 25% discount so that’s good. All our bikes use the same batteries.

Two Tern Vekton

This weekend we felt well enough to attend the cycle touring festival at Waddow Hall. It was a much smaller gathering than in the past but in fact this gave us more chance to chat with each other.

It was so lovely to see M who I was in Portugal with in February who looked after me when I wasn’t feeling too well.

Also it was lovely to hear Caroline the poet give a performance of the show she has been riding around the country performing in various small venues.

In addition Rob Ainsley entertained us with his very funny song about cycling in Yorkshire as well as a lovely talk about how he goes about his yours in this country and in Europe.

Louise Clines did a super talk about inter railing with their family and that has given us much food for thought.

There were also smashing talks about cycling in cycling in various places in Europe so I have. One home buzzing. Just the lift I needed post covid.

Camping under a full moon
Sunrise over Clitheroe

You may also remember a post about a quilt I made and finished earlier this year. I entered it into the Great Northern Quilt show at Harrogate and gained a 3rd place blue rosette.

I worked out that I have cycled 139 miles since I last posted so that’s 3193 miles to date this year.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 4, 2022

Bank Holiday week cycling

The weather for bank holiday Monday wasn’t the best but there wasn’t any rain forecast but we puzzled a bit over a destination.

Like many cyclists, we seem to ride the same routes over and over again so we decided to try to go through some small villages we have never been to, even though not far from home.

With this in mind , we rode across to Newton Aycliffe and instead of heading along to Shildon as we often do , we decided to explore a cycle route heading south.

This took us along through a very quiet industrial area and on a decent route for the most part. There was one bit on a main road that was busier . We could see a cycle track beyond a hedge but most of the entrances had gates across.

Near Heighington village

From Heighington village , we rode to a place called Houghton le side and we’re over taken by a couple on e-bikes . We were going slightly uphill and I was using minimal assist. They stopped for a break and so we caught them up. It turned out that this was only their second outing and they decided to see how far they could go on using the ‘tour’ setting.

In Houghton le Side

Then it was on to Denton and then through to Piecebridge where we picnicked in the Roman fort remains.

It was reasonably warm as we sat there but we did get a bit chilly. We set off again riding to Cleasby and then up a little used road ( by us) to go back home through Croft and Neasham.

I was at quilt group on Thursday but the weather was lovely so managed to get in a short ride. One of the quilt group members offered for us to go and pick plums at her place.

So on Friday, we rode the long way round to her place heading up to Great Ayton and along to Stokesley. We took the road up through Skutterskelf to Hutton Rudby. The Methodist church serves drinks and snacks and just as they were closing, they very kindly served us as we had cash. There is a little sheltered seating are so a bottle of elderflower and a scone we’re soon consumed.

On our way again, we rode through Craythorne and across the bridge over the A19 and to my friends place. We picked pounds of plums and a few damsons. So I have made a small quantity of damson jam and we have had plum crumble today. There are still lots of plums to stone and make into jam.

The other thing I made this week was a dice for the primary children at church. They loved it when I took it in today. It will be used in singing time to pick out songs for them to sing.

A big soft dice

Are you aware that opposite sides of a dice always add up to 7. I wasn’t

If anyone is wondering about my younger son, he had a brain scan on Tuesday but no results as yet. I think no news is good news but he still isn’t his normal self with memory problems and other issues. I am praying for a good result and a return of my cheerful son.

Riding this week has been 106 miles so YTD is 3054 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 28, 2022

Riding out

Well I am pleased to report our younger son is no longer having hallucinations but still has some we memory problems. He has had bloods done this week but no results back as yet.

We felt confident enough to go on a long ride on Friday and so set off to Eppleby for scones at the cafe there. While there we talked to a younger couple who had over taken us earlier in the morning and it was lovely to have a relaxing chat in the sunshine.

We decided to carry on going to Richmond but I took a ‘detour’ and we ended up at the A66 dual carriageway. I was a bit concerned but the traffic was at a standstill on the east bound section so we were able to get to the middle easily. I recognised the names to places I rode through a few weeks ago in my little solo jaunt. Soon we could cross the west bound carriageway and we descended down past Newsham. I had to stop and photograph this very old way marker. It’s interesting to see where the roads went originally.

Catterick road
Richmond road
Centuries old road sign

Carrying on we past through Gayles and Kirby Hill. Now the small lane was filled with cars , vans and even big lorries and it took me a bit to realise they were using it to avoid the hold up on the A66. Some of the drivers were very aggressive which is not nice.

We turned through Gillung West and then climbed up to descend into Richmond. We changed our route slightly as we had spent a bit of time talking. Still it got us to Bolton on Swale and the church where we had cheese toasties made on the camp stove.

We rode back into Scorton and decided to continue on up to Moulton before going over on lanes to Easton Cowton. On familiar ground it was up through Great Smeaton and Hornby to go through Appleton Wiske and home. It was 75 miles and I did feel tired.

The other couple of days we just did a bit of local pottering for shopping but the miles all add up.

So this week the mileage is 110 miles YTD 2948miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 21, 2022

Not much doing

Unfortunately, we only got one ride in this week as our younger son, who is on the autistic spectrum and has epilepsy, began hallucinating. It’s not been a fun week but by a miracle , we got a same day appointment. He is awaiting blood tests and has had urine tests done but awaiting results.

Today, he seems a little better but I am having to be around home more.

YTD 2838 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 14, 2022

Cycling the Yorkshire Wolds

This past week DH and I took off into a different area of Yorkshire. We have dear friends from our kayaking days who live in Rillington , just off the Yorkshire Wolds route which takes in NCN1 and 164 and possibly more I can remember.

We loaded the bikes onto the back of the car as a time saving measure and drove down through Helmsley on the moor road. After we had caught up with each other, set set off about 11.30am and the sun was blazing hot. I have ridden some of this route a couple of years ago and had decided to go clockwise so our destination for the day was Hunmanby by a circuitous route. First we had about half a mile on the A64 but traffic wasn’t too heavy. There had been a dink hole appear last week and everything was slowed down.

Golden fields

We turned left onto a minor road to Thorpe Bassett and we were now on beautiful quiet roads through fields of barley and wheat. Then there was a stiff climb up to Setterington beacon but no where near the steepness of last week’s climbs.

Setterington beacon

We turned off to Duggleby and stopped for 2nd breakfast sitting watching sheep in the field near by. Then it was on a back road to Kirby Grindalythe and on very poor road surfaces to Sledmere.

We took a little time at Sledmere and then turned left mainly downhill through Weaverthorpe and on to Wold Newton where we stopped and ate a sandwich.

Every day before we set out we pray and ask for safety on the roads. Now you may not believe in God , but I do. The road had a lot of gravel and so I slowed down but because of the thickness of the gravel I lost control. I really thought I was heading for a really bad wipeout. It was though I felt a hand on my right shoulder that lifted me upright. DH said it looked like I had been pushed up when we spoke later. I really believe without the protection of God I would have been seriously hurt.

Sledmere

Carrying on we rode through to Hunmanby and down near the moor road to Springfield House camping site that is also a kennels and chattery.

We were made very welcome and were given pints of ice cold orange squash and our batteries were taken into the garage to be charged. There were no showers but decent toilets and a washing up room.

Wednesday 10th August 2022

Very stupidly, we didn’t bring sufficient medication for our trip. Cavalry to the rescue. Well DS1 drove down very early and we had what we needed by 6.30am.

It was another gorgeous morning but still a bit cool and condensation needed to dry off. We moved the tent across onto the sun and wiped it off but even so , we still had a slightly damp tent to pack .

Another fairly early start at 7.40 am and we road down and crossed the busy moor road and on to Reighton. Although we had the route in Komoot it differed from the signed route. We chose to follow the road signage. This zig zagged across golden fields through Grindale and later crossing the Scarborough road we came into Bempton with its pretty church. Bempton cliffs are famous for the nesting of puffins.

Bempton

However, we wanted to go down to Flamborough so didn’t have that much time.

To do this we took a detour through Danes Dyke and along to Flamborough Head. I discovered a white chalk building that preceded the light house. There was also another beacon.

White chalk tower
Flamborough lighthouse

We had to go back the same way on then back onto NCN1 onto a lovely section of cycle track past Sewerby hall and on to Bridlington which was bustling with people and a land train. Free toilet facilities and nice seating made a lovely 2nd breakfast stop where a man stopped to chat about our rigs and where we get to on the bikes.

Chalk cliffs at Flamborough
Bridlington road train

The route then took us off the promenade and through the back of Brid onto nicely restored roads – for a while- to Burton Agnes. It we here I for a puncture in a trailer wheel which we changed and road on through Harpham and Nafferton into Driffield. Which is great for restocking if you need to. Following the route out through Skerne is a very nice café, popular with cyclists, we were stopped and indulged ourselves a ice cream sundaes.

We continued on through golden fields with the sun really blazing down. We actually stopped in Hutton Cranswick and sat in the shade on our trailers to take a break. We were soon onto a wonderful cycle

track on into Beverley which begins near the turning to Cherry Burton.

Beverley Minster

Our route through Beverley took us right past a big supermarket where we bought some goodies and across the main road on a bridge to Bulls Farm ccc. Here they had a dedicated E-bike charging station and beautiful showers.

I hadn’t been able to find another site and thought we would have another 60 miles day but the lovely lass recommended another site near Pocklington so that was Thursday sorted.

Thursday 11th October

It was a good job we had another site booked as when we awoke, there was a thick fog. So we had a slow start and the sun burned it off by the time we left at 10am.

The route was a return on the good tracks up to Cherry Burton. We did make a wrong turn near Etton and this added a few miles. Komoot was trying to take us off onto the Hudson Way which is a gravel track. Another cyclist helped us find a beautiful road into Market Weighton which is also blessed with free public toilets.

Market Weighton public loos

We then rode on to Pocklington and again treated ourselves to ice cream. Komoot was supposed to take us to Old York forest campsite near Allerthorpe. Oh dear, it didn’t work too well. There was a horrible track and a chap told us it might be shut. He gave us lovely ice cold flavoured water without us even asking. Then another local came along that way on a rickety old Hercules and said the gates weren’t locked. I had to walk some of it but once past the gates there was a lovely private road and were soon at the campsite. Here we had a hookup so got the batteries filled. There was also a shower and washing up room.

Friday 12th August 2022

We had checked the temperatures and knew it was going to be a hot day so hot away by 7.00am. I had seen the moon go down and half an hour later the sun popped up in the eastern sky. Magic.

Moon going down about 5am
Sun rise 6am

We found a much easier route into Pocklington but there was a difficult broad crossing that had us waiting a while. From the town we climbed up up Millington and I was taken by the shadows on the hills and what I presume are remains of the lady ice age. It did look a bit musty further north though. After the climb it was down into Thixendale , a beautiful U shaped dry chalk valley cut out in the last ice age.

Humps and hollows
Look at the tree shadows
Up Thixendale

Second breakfast was in the village and again we were offered water. People are kind. It was a daily easy climb and then a decent through Leavening and down into Norton.

There is a cycle path to Rillington but it’s a bit narrow and rough and stupidly crosses the A64 without benefit of a crossing. I did have my trailer over turn at one point but no harm done.

We were soon in Rillington as the track was faster than the queuing traffic caused by a sink hole appearing last week and now being repaired.

The total mileage was 157 miles. YTD 2808 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 7, 2022

A pootle in the Dales

The weather was dry but windy when I set off along the river to ride up into County Durham near Barnard Castle.

I had decided to go off on a little solo camping trip just to take a bit of time for me.

Infinity bridge over the Tees

My route took me across the familiar trails and roads to Long Newton and on to cross the Tees again at Croft. From here I climbed up and along to Barton where I stopped to eat 2nd breakfast at 20 miles. It’s strange , but even solo , I seem to follow familiar patterns of riding and eating.

I had just started riding when rain started to come down. So I stopped and donned full wet weather gear- more in the hope that it would clear up soon. It didn’t last too long and by the time I had got through Melsonby, the rain stopped. I carried on to the crossing of the A66.

This is where I took off the wet weather clothing and took a few photos .

The prevailing winds shaping the trees near A66 crossing

On the way up to the crossing I was passed by 4 or 5 lads from Ferryhill wheelers. They peeled off to cross the main road with the cars and I thought they would be well ahead of me. However, a tree had come down across the descent after the crossing, so they were waiting ,while the road was cleared and we had a nice little chat.

Road down towards Gilling West

At the bottom of the hill, I turned off left and didn’t see the lads again. My way now was on very minor roads and I passed a turning to a tiny village called Hartford. I was just curious so turned down . One thing I saw was a beautiful tree.

I was attracted by the beautiful pale green tree

Starting off again, I returned to my route through Whashton, climbing to Kirby Hill, Gayles, Dalton and Newsham. Along the way , I met a man repairing a dry stone wall.He was happy to haveis photo taken.

Dry stone walling
View looking north

Carrying on climbing, it was on to Barningham with its restored water fountain that was brought back into use in 2004.

My bicycle near the fountain
This side was used for drinking from

I hadn’t been riding long when a lady called Sue flagged me down. She was awaiting 4 vans with furniture as she and her husband are moving into the village. She is also a cyclist who loves hill climbing which is why she has moved here. The road is narrow and they had missed the turning and she knew they would be coming back and there wouldn’t be room on the road.

After a short while, they returned and I was off again and was careful down the bank that DH came off on two years ago. I had forgotten just how hilly it is to ride up to Bowfield farm at Boldron.

Pitched up at Bowfield Farm

I was able to get a hook up and so could charge my batteries.

I was awake early on Thursday 4th August and got packed up. Bowfield farm has a covered washing up area with a kettle so that’s where I ate once packed. At 7.30 am , I set off down the hills crossing Rutherford Bridge.

Rutherford Bridge

Then gentle climbing started up towards Stang Lane. The climb wasn’t too bad at first and I was joined and the overtaken by Ben from the Dales bike centre. As the road pitch increased, I put up the power assist until it was at maximum. Even that wasn’t enough and I remembered DH saying not to fall off. So off I got and used pedal assist as I trudged up the last of the 17% hair pin bend. The views were wonderful.

Climbing the Stang
Near the summit

There had been a strong headwind so it was a joy to have a descent into what I think is Arkengarthdale.

Into Reeth

I was in Reeth, about 10 miles, far quicker than I anticipated so I stopped for a hot chocolate and millionaire’s shortbread at the village shop. I was hoping to see somethings in the craft section of the village but I was too early. I did see these though.

Graculus sculpture
Made from junk

Leaving the village , I crossed the bridge over the Arkle Beck .

Not what you expect to see in a used car place

I was soon at the Dales cycle centre which also has a lovely café so I stopped for more refreshments and chatted to Ben in the workshop. I also chatted with a group who had arrived to hire -bikes. The husband thanked me for reassuring his wife it wasn’t cheating and she would still have to work to get along.

I asked advice about the next climb and was reassured it was no worse than the Stang. Actually, Ben had never ridden it but his boss said it was the best way unless I wanted to add a lot of miles. In a fact , it was easier and I was soon at the Swan campsite and I was really pleased to have only used 2 of the 5 cells in my battery. This is a lovely little site with good clean facilities and I was able to charge the battery in the kitchen area.

Blooming heather on Redmire moor
Down into Wensledale

To be honest , I didn’t do much else all day. A family invited me to a BBQ but I had already eaten. However, I did sit and tell them tales of my travels both by bicycle and kayak. Their little 8 year old daughter and enjoyed ourselves on the swings. Haha I am still a kid at heart. This is a picture she drew for me of my tent, my stove and me on the swing. I was so touched.

Brenda camping

Once there, I stopped to phone DH and a chap told me he had seen a man on a similar bike. Yea it was him looking for sign post. We enjoyed a hot chocolate and I bought some Norwegian brown cheese from a stall on the market. So good to get some.

DH said he would ride out to meet me so again I was off at 7.30am and ride down along Wensleydale. It was another beautiful day but again still a bit breezy. The climbs were easy and I was soon in Leyburn having turned onto the main road at the village of Wensley.

We then followed NCN 71 across to Bedale and Leeming where we had another chatty break with church friends who live there.

Across Wensledale

Then in back roads that are familiar into Romanby for a feed stop before riding home. On Saturday, we did go out for a short ride and that made my total mileage for the week up to 125 miles YTD 2651 miles

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