Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 19, 2023

A day of sunshine

Thursday was a horrible wet day. We did plan on a ride but cancelled it due to rain and wind but used the time to visit a friend who is very unwell. She is also living with cancer and had Covid a few weeks ago and isn’t recovering too well. It was lovely to see her but we did have the Tern folders in the back of the car.

Friday was a complete contrast – warm and dry with blue skies. We set out early , togged up for the cold but within and hour we were stripping off.

In the first couple of miles I had some problem with my Tern Vektron e-bike. I kept getting an error message and the assistance would cut out. When we couldn’t work it out , we phoned DS1 who is our go to for anything electrical.

He told me to check the sensor. Duh! Where’s that? With his guidance , we located it on the wheel and sure enough it had turned around. Possibly from being in the back of the car, folded up.

So once we got sorted, down by the river we headed up through Stockton and eventually got through the road works near the A19 roundabout. There are still months ahead until it’s finished and so far I don’t understand where NCN14 will be directed. Then we carried on the usual way through to Darlington and along to Eppleby. I wanted to see the daffodils.


Unfortunately, we are a week or two early for the show. It is glorious when they all bloom together.

There are some just starting but many to come fully.

Plenty to come

There was a tub with miniature daffodowndillies as my great grandfather used to call them

I have to be honest and say I was very tired after only 25 miles but soldiered on as we road home through Piercebridge with its Roman remains and back past Ulnaby and through Cockerton to Darlington.

We stopped in Sadberge to finish off the scones bought in Eppleby.

Saturday waS really wet again so no cycling for me but I was tired.

54 miles for the week so YTD 498 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 12, 2023

Crocus out- snows about

This is what a friend said to me and she’s correct. Many times at this time of year, especially when Easter is early, we have camped in snow. No camping or even cycling this week due to snow and ice. Twenty years ago , even ten years ago I wouldn’t have bothered and would still have cycled but now I am a bit more wary.

Last Sunday, just after I had posted my blog , we got a phone call from a friend who had fallen at home and couldn’t move. She needed urgent help ( her husband has dementia) and when we got there it was obvious to me , she had a hip fracture. She isn’t much older than me so care is needed.

Anyway I haven’t been idle in my spare time.

Hand knitted Cardigan

I am pleased to say this was knitted from a Norwegian language pattern. I have been learning that language for a year now and doing reasonably well , at least in reading and writing. How well I will actually speak it remains to be seen.

Not having enough Norwegian buttons that I bought when last there in 2019, I resorted to using them interspersed with plain black.

Mixed buttons

I have also made my bag for the front of my Tern Vektron and I love this waterproof fabric.

Home made waterproof bag

So hopefully , the weather will pick up very soon and I will be back off cycling and my friend will be home from hospital

Miles this week 0 – YTD 444 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 5, 2023

Into March

While the weather hasn’t been brilliant , it hasn’t been bad enough to stop us cycling. Not sure what next week will bring according to the Met Office forecast. So get out while you can.

We are all feeling much better and I went to my quilt group last Thursday but it wasn’t bad because there was plenty of rain.

On Friday, we first thought we might head north but after all the rain decided against riding up that way on muddy tracks.

So , avoiding the road works near Elton, we cycled up to Stockton and picked up the road to Sadberge- the one we usually come back along.

After the obligatory hot chocolate and cake, we rode down through Middleton one Row and all at the 13 century St George’s church . We tried to find it once years ago and got lost, but signage has been improved. Unfortunately, it was locked.

St George’s church Low Dinsdale
A ? bracket fungus

From there it was back towards Yarm and then across Six Fields where the trees are blossoming again.

Koga world traveller E-bike

Friday saw us needing to return some crockery to a friend so that helped with the decision on where to ride. So it was across through Yarm and us to Kirklevington and along Forest Lane to get to Picton. Her son was happy to take them from us as she was away.

Then we rode through Crathorne where I again stopped to photograph a church. I think this is AllSaints but not sure.

I found I could get inside this one.

Riding on along to Hutton Rudby and despite the cool cloudy weather there were plenty of cyclists out. Once through Hutton, we made a last minute decision to head towards Hilton so we could return via Hemlington and the curly whirly bridge. Strangely I went into google maps and found this is how it’s listed. We had a little sunshine break through the clouds for a couple of minutes but did get wet on the last stretch home. I wasn’t bothered though , as I had some miles in for the week.

So mileage for the week is 67 miles so YTD 444miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 26, 2023

Getting there

I am feeling much better this week and have been out cycling a few times.

On Thursday, we had plans to go out together but DH wasn’t feeling up to it. Not to be deterred, I set off on my own. While travelling down towards Newport Bridge , I met Andy one of the local CTC lads who was doing a bit of a reccy ride , so we ride together towards Stockton. I told him I intended to be back for the lunchtime meeting of the CTC. This was to be a talk about using cameras on bikes.

I rode up through Hartburn , to find that the roadworks going on at the junction with A66 now have temporary traffic lights but it’s not very helpful for cyclists.

Anyway, after carefully negotiating the now almost nonexistent roundabout I rode along through Elton and Long Newton where I passed a group of 5 cyclists who turned off. I carried along to Sadberge and enjoyed getting in before it got too busy. Lovely hot chocolate and ginger cake hit the spot nicely. I had a chat with the one other cyclist in there. As I was leaving another 8 cyclists, 5 who I had passed came in.

Knowing how difficult it would be getting back the way I had come , I chose to go back on the Norton road back into Stockton and home.

I had Komoot switched on and both DS1 and DH were outside our house as I pulled up. They had a sandwich ready for me to pick up and get to the very interesting talk while I ate. Andy was surprised I had actually made it in time. Good that I have an e-bike.

The spring flowers are blooming beautiful now despite the weather being a bit on the cool and windy side.

Purple haze attracted me
Beautiful croci

I have also been busy making bags for our Vektons as we can’t fold them if we fit front carriers for panniers. This one is a bit of a prototype on DH’s bike. The seams are sealed with silicone bath sealant inside. Mine will be more colourful .

Stuffed with whatever was to hand

So this week I cycled 47 miles and I believe YTD is 377 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 19, 2023

Late winter colds

Unfortunately, only managed one ride this week. I had a cold in the early part of the week and DH is down with one now.

We were prepared to go out on Thursday having packed our Tern Vektrons as though we were off on a cycle trip. It was very windy and rainy so along with my cold it didn’t happen.

Friday, I went off to the Spring Quilt fair in Harrogate. I wore a mask all the time, as I still had some remnants and didn’t want to infect anyone else.

The winds were wild so I used our cycle route to get down to Harrogate. One advantage of cycling is you know the back roads. The A1 had become blocked with an overturned wagon due to the wind so I was happy I had chosen an indirect route.

We did a 22 miles ride on Saturday morning using the loaded Vektrons. Went up through Cowpen Bewley and along through Billingham near Wolviston . Then it was a main road to Thorpe Thewles and back home through Stockton.

It’s good to see banks of snowdrops, croci and some gorse in bloom.

Gorse in bloom

So YTD is 330 miles. Well down on previous years but it will get better

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 6, 2023

Cycle Touring Festival and some riding

The past week has been a delight watching the on line Cycle Touring Festival – it’s organised by Laura and Tim Moss to supplement the in person festival that has had to be postponed due to Covid. There will be an in person festival later in the year.

The talks were so inspiring ranging from cycling across Mongolia to the Rebellion way in Norfolk. One of my favourite talks was by Rob Ainsley who talked about cycling the end to end in Austria. He also sang his version of a song from the Sound of Music. Really funny. A lot of the talks are available to watch on YouTube if you look up Cycle Touring Festival.

On Friday, we had a ride across to Darlington and tried a new way through the town. We ended up on the Staindrop Road. There were plenty of Snowdrops across the way

We turned off to Piecebridge and then ascended the bank up to the Eppleby turn off.

Once there , we enjoyed fresh fruit scones and jam. We had our own flask with us so had hot chocolate. There were a number of us with E-bikes so you can imagine how we all talked about the merits of the various systems.

Then it was off home through Manfield and Cleasby back to Darlington. My knee was a bit sore but I had been pushing myself hard. Still I iced it and it’s a lot better.

We did have a short ride on Saturday but hitting a pothole made my knee sore again so we cut the ride short. Still we managed 75 miles in the week YTD 238 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 29, 2023

Getting out

I am pleased to say although the weather wasn’t good , we still got out.

On Thursday the local CTC had invited us to speak on touring with E-bikes so we put together a talk explaining our years of cycling and how we got to using E-bikes. One of the chaps , David, kindly set up the power point on his computer so I could go through the photos with his clicky thing( don’t know the technical term)

DH sitting out until needed
Looking at our e-bikes after the meeting

I am pleased to say the talk was well received by about 20 members despite the rainy ride to get there.

On Friday , we awoke to pouring down rain and thought that would put a dampener on riding. However by about 10.30am the rain stopped so we got changed and went out.

We headed across Newport Bridge over the Tees.

Smoke stacks downriver

After that we used the usual route along the north side of the river to Stockton before heading across to Sadberge.

Between Long Newton and Sadberge there are a lot of overnight road works taking place on the A66. This lot was dumped messing up the cycle track.

Dumped from the A66 roadworks

While they are hopefully making the roads better, it was unsafe to ride across with slippery mud and boulders strewn across the path. I walked it.

Unfortunately, by the time we got to Sadberge the cafe was closed, so we carried on and continued along and then under the A66 to ride down to the bridge to Darlington. We turned left on the cycleway and once in Middleton St George stopped at a new to us cafe. Probably won’t go there again as the food was no better than the community cafe at twice the price. Still it was somewhere to go. I did brighten the day for a young mentally challenged young man who took a shine to me- bless him.

We carried on through Middleton one Row and climbed up once past Low Dinsdale. We came to my friend C’s field and turned in to sit an have hot chocolate we had in our flask.

Then it was straight home on the school run traffic which was a bit daunting.

On Saturday , we were all ready to leave, opened the door to find it was pouring down. As DH said , if we never rode in the rain , we couldn’t tour. So pulling on our waterproofs we headed out on a circuitous route to try and buy some pearl barley. Couldn’t get any!!

So this weeks riding was 45 miles YTD 164 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 15, 2023

Brutal wind and trains

There hasn’t been much decent weather for cycling this week when I wasn’t working.

Earlier in the week the forecast was ok for Thursday until the night before then it started raining. Yuck!!!

So another plan for the day was hatched. I have wanted more Voilé straps for our bikes in a while and found out that there’s a cycle shop in Ripon, North Yorkshire that has them in stock. So DH and I decided to drive over there to get some. It’s called Bikemongers and they do on line selling as well. Really excellent choice and such a helpful young man. Not cheap mind but it will set us up for a long time. I lost some, that were my older son’s , last year in Portugal.

Voilé strap selection

Friday dawned dry and bright but the wind was blowing a hoolie. We checked out wind direction and decided to try to get across to Shildon as we would be heading into the wind.

We used our Koga world travellers and I am glad we did , as being a little bit heavier than our Terns were more stable. I don’t think I have ever used the Tour setting as much anytime in the past but we got to Shildon.

The Locomtion railway museum is free and even free car parking but they like it if you can donate

They now house the original Stephenson’s Rocket . There was a bit of controversy when it was moved from Darlington.

The first train in commercial use built here in Shildon I believe

The place is packed with trains and there was some sort of train enthusiasts meeting on, with wives waiting about patiently

More modern trains

The ride back was lovely with a following wind asking a slightly different route. Didn’t need the Tour assistance level once on the way back and sped up the hills, wind assisted.

Saturday was also wet but I had arranged to go and see an elderly Parkinson’s patient of mine who had to cancel because of the flu. I had made a lap quilt for them and they were delighted when I gave it to them. Stupid me forgot to photograph it.

This is a small wall quilt a finished a couple of weeks ago. An abstract landscape from a Norwegian fjell(mountain ) scene.

Abstract landscape
Using two threads in a needle for the green

So last week we cycled 47 miles making YTD 119 miles. It’s a start and the cold weather forecast doesn’t look too hopeful .

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 8, 2023

Hello 2023

Well it hasn’t need too bad a start to the year. We didn’t do a real New Years Day ride because of church commitments so when the sun shone on Monday off we went.

We decided to take our Terns on an outing to the seaside so chose to follow NCN1 to Redcar and along the prom to Marske. Except we didn’t follow it, as we thought well we’ve missed a turning. We nearly ended up in some docks!! Serves us right for chatting to much.

There was a bridge , with two flights of steps, we could have hauled the bikes over but decided to back track and came out to cross what I believe is the A66 and once in South Bank , we picked up the track.

As well as lots of dog walkers , we saw a lot of people with tripods and long lens cameras about. Eventually, I couldn’t help myself and had to know what was going on. It seems some unusual sort of tern( the bird) had been spotted off the coast so it had attracted bird watchers from a large area.

Bird watchers at the south end of Redcar

We carried on and tried to find our friend Phil’s house. It’s so long since we were there and always came from a different direction, that we never found it. He has one of those lovely Tern cargo E-bikes with a seat on the back. He is able to take his granddaughters on it too.

Anyway, we were going to Saltburn but it was decidedly chilly so once in Marske we headed for home.

I’m back working again- forgot to mention I am now 72!!!!- so on Friday we headed off to Sadberge. There was a brutal , cold headwind along the A66 cycleway but we got there. The cafe was open and not crowded so we enjoyed hot chocolate and a delicious cake. There we a couple of other cyclists in too who commented on the brutal winds.

Community Cafe Sadberge
View across the fields

We returned home via Stockton but got rained on before arriving home. Still another good ride.

Saturday dawned wet , wet , wet but I wasn’t too bothered as DH had a church meeting. However, when he got home at lunchtime, the rain stopped and we had another ride. I wanted to use a gift voucher I had been given so we headed into town. When I came out with my purchase- unfortunately not in the sale- we decided to go home via the river. Once there, we thought we’ll, why not a bit further so did the circuit along and up through Thornaby.

So my total for the week is 72 miles which I am very thankful for.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 31, 2022

Bye Bye 2022- thank goodness

Well, I wasn’t too well again during the month of December- just a severe cold this time. I must say I am pretty fed with the weather too- cold, wet and very windy.

We have been out a few times and clocked up 91 miles for the month. It seems a bit pathetic when we often do that in a couple of days.

We did get out on our Tern folders

Waitin for me da

Down near the Transporter bridge which is still out of commission.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

We celebrated 51 years of marriage and my 72 birthday. I suppose I should start a new blog as I am definitely not in the sixth decade. Will decide soon.

Miles ridden in 2022- 3434 miles.

Happy New Year everyone

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