Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 19, 2017

Autumn Ending

Last week on the BBC news, one of the presenters said that it was winter. Well, the weather was cold but the weatherman said that its not really winter until 1st December.


So I have managed to get out riding most days and by Saturday morning was reading 59 miles on my cycle computer. There was a mizzling rain in the early hours but the forecast was for it to brighten up by 9.00am and by 9.20am the sun was breaking through. We would go for a longer ride and getting our stuff together we headed down across Newport Bridge and decided to head up towards Thorpe Thewles. We would check out the track up NCN1 and if it was too muddy , we would modify the trip.

However, although there was a lot of leaf fall, the ride up to Hurworth Burn was very enjoyable. We stopped briefly and I took these photos. There was a fairly strong NW wind blowing across the reservoir.

I could hear a real noise coming from across the water and so managed to zoom in  and see it was geese.



Once we had got to Station Town, we were again on the track across the fields until the junction of NCN1 and NCN14, the Hart to Haswell track and we turned to head into Hartlepool along here.

A young lad had broken his gear cable and a mountain biker stopped to help. It was obvious he knew what he was doing , to we left them too it. It was too cold to be hanging about .

This track was a bit muddier and I am cautious so we were overtaken by the mountain bikers but they hauled there bikes across the bridge over the railway line to go to Crimdon Dene. Too much like hard work for me.

Once down at the headland in Hartlepool, we stopped for lunch near the war memorial and I toasted the sandwiches and also boiled the kettle to refill the flask. It was still windy but not as bad as up at Hurworth .

We then rode into town so that I could buy some yarn from the wool shop Bobbies that has been there for many years. She also sells on line as Worldwide Wools but I prefer to call in. Funnily enough, I discovered that the lady I have called Bobbie all these years , is actually Vivienne and her mother started the shop. I don’t know how long ago but it must have been in the 1950’s if not earlier.

We decided , as we had been to Saltholme only recently, we go back via NCN14 across the field tracks to Billingham. We stopped at Cowpen Bewley nature reserve and had another hot chocolate and home made ginger and chocolate cake that DH had made. I am a lucky ‘girl’.


As the days are so much shorter now, it was time to light up both me and my bicycle for the return home. So once at the river , we followed the north shore and then crossed the barrage and home through Teesside park shopping area. There were more vehicles exiting than entering so that was easier.

So mileage this week was 104.6 miles  so I have reached my target and gone beyond .

YTD 3067 which I am well pleased with as I haven’t been able to cycle as much as I would have wanted. It will be interesting to see how many more I get in this year.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 13, 2017

An unexpected ride

This morning, work was unexpectedly slack, so I took the opportunity to ride out with DH. He had an envelope to deliver in Great Ayton and so he would ride up. The forecast wasn’t great – cold and cloudy but the sun did make somewhat of an effort and showed its face.

As we rode up through Nunthorpe, we saw the tribute from yesterday’s remembrance service  outside the parish church. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a couple of photos and realised that these were knitted and crocheted poppies stuck on sticks and planted in the grass.


People have spent time and effort in making all of these and it is lovely to imagine them thinking of those who gave their lives so that we can live in the freedom we have today.


I took this photo with the zoom lens from across the road  and think it has come out rather well.

We rode along through Little Ayton and along to Stokeley but didn’t stop for long. It looked beautiful along the side of the River Leven.


Once at Tame Bridge , we turned off and climbed the back to Seamer. I was pleased with how I managed the gearing  and got up with no great effort. It was now 11am so we had a short stop and as we had the flask with us had a hot chocolate and a biscuit. From Seamer , we rode down to Hilton and  we could see that it was very misty to the west but sunny nearer the coast. We turned to follow NCN 52 down through Maltby and up and down the valley to Stainton .

Then it was through the housing estates and back home for lunch. A very satisfying 25 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 12, 2017

Frosty Mornings

We suddenly seem to have winter upon us and the cold clear nights, with bright shining moon, have led to frost forming. After last year’s accident and fear of another fall, I didn’t want to go out early on some of the mornings , but luckily , was able to get out later in the day.

On one of the days , we were really surprised to see that the river levels were lower than we have ever seen before, so we must be on neap tides at present. I did get a photo of this heron , feeding on the muddy bottom of the river.


Then I noticed a seal pop up and managed to catch both on the same shot.


As you can see there was a fair bit of wind too that day.

We are also noticing that the berries and hips on trees are much more visible , now that the leaf cover is going fast.


On Saturday, we decided that we would stay fairly close to home  but that we could vary the ride as and when we wanted. We started out by heading south out of town and then turning and going straight through town and DS1 had warned us that there were works going on along the track over Newport Bridge. Well, we decided to investigate if they had finished and they had so, we decided to go over to Saltholme.  The bird reserve was busy with visitors and I popped into one of the hides. That was packed with men with huge telephoto lenses on their cameras. I jokingly said I felt very inadequate as I extended the zoom on my little camera and that got a laugh.

I was able to get a photo of a Highland cow grazing the lake edge.


The single occupant of the lake was a redshank.


We then rode back along the main road leading to the A19. It was busy with lorries but mostly they were good and gave us room. Then when we came to the track near Cowpen Bewley  we rode along through Billingham and along the A19 track and into Stockton following the route along the north side of the Tees and then back across and through Teesside Park. That was 31 miles so not bad for a mornings ride.

On the textile front I have finished up a small wall quilt for a challenge at my quilt group. This depicts the front of our Edwardian house and I couldn’t leave out putting a bike on too. It is 12″x 30″.

P1010218 (2)

I have also finished up the Norwegian cardigan, knit from a pattern written in Norwegian so I am pleased with myself.

I also found some ribbon to finish off where I had to cut up the front. This is called steeking and I couldn’t resist using it. The wool and buttons came from Norway.



So my mileage for the week was 64.2 and YTD 2962.4 miles


Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 5, 2017

Mild Autumn Continues

We have managed to get in more riding this week, on most days even though we didn’t go out when it was raining. Mostly it was early mornings with a longer ride on Saturday.

I love the colours of the lights reflecting in the river from the many bridges that span the Tees.


Overnight, there was heavy rain which influenced our decisions on where to ride. We avoided muddy tracks , so it was mostly road riding.  It wasn’t until 9.00am that I filled the flask and got a bit of food together to set off. We rode across through Yarm by this time it was getting busy with motor vehicles. Yarm is a bit of a bottleneck because of the narrow High Street and traffic lights but we managed to get through and away up to Kirkleatham where we turned onto quieter roads. We still weren’t too sure where we we going but once through Appleton Wiske decided that we would climb up to Deighton and then take a road there we have not ridden before.

This was a well surfaced road in contrast to some of the awful states that the back roads have become so we quite enjoyed it. We then came to the B1     which leads along through Great Smeaton and we hit a traffic hold up here. There are roadworks with traffic controls and it was a fairly long stretch of a couple of hundred yards coned off. Fortunately, when we got to the lights , they stopped so that we were then at the head of the queue. Cars were very good and not one tried to overtake in the narrow lane . We waved thanks for the patience as they safely overtook , once through.


By now it was noon and time for a stop , so once in Hornby we went to a picnic bench and ate.  It was necessary to put on a warm jacket as we sat and I tried, not too successfully, to take a selfie.


The days are becoming much shorter now and we didn’t want to be back home too late so chose to ride down the road towards Girsby but then back along to Yarm. This small market town is really having a lot of new housing being built, extending it. The new housing has cycle paths but they unfortunately don’t link up with anything.

We cycled home through Yarm and then through Stockton and rewarded ourselves with a stop to buy ice cream and a dessert for out evening meal  – in these parts called tea. We however, do not drink the usual English black tea.

Something else that happened this week was that a photo was posted on Facebook that has led to me being reconnected with an old friend that I lost touch with. We were members of the same Lifesaving team back in the 1960’s and went on to win the national championships a number of times. I dug out some old photos and my son has made them suitable to put on here.

I am the girl at the back holding the legs of the casualty.


In this one I am on the far right kneeling on the ground.


I have always been blessed/cursed with thick strong  legs  but they stand me in good stead now.

This weeks mileage 77.6 miles  – YTD 2898.2 miles




Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 28, 2017

A nice Autumn week

20171023_061029240_iOSWe got a good start to the week , with a couple of early morning rides. It is very dark at 6.00am but after the last Sunday in October, the clocks go back , so we will get a bit more morning light for a few weeks. We have had a very mild October but it has been windy a lot of the time. The forecasters are saying that the cold weather will begin next week. I hope they are wrong as I don’t like cycling on frosty paths.

We had a lovely day yesterday when the weather was beautiful. I was surprised when DH suggested loading the folders into the car and going somewhere different. I suggested leaving the car outside one of my brother’s homes and then following NCN14, the Keelman way downriver and into South Shields. We used tracks we haven’t been along before and did so enjoy seeing how much they have improved the sea front.

In my teenage years, I spent lots of hours as a volunteer lifeguard patrolling the beaches, which have all been renamed. They have also made an installation of what are locally called weebles after the toys of the 1970’s.


I have also been learning to use the various functions on my camera and got this photo of the Groyne with Tynemouth Priory across the Tyne. P1010125 (2)


We rode along the seafront until we reached the pier. The surface  has deteriorated in places and there is still a restriction on cycling along the pier so we continued along passed Marsden and Souter lighthouse and on to Seaburn. We sat and toasted our sandwiches here and enjoyed sitting in the sunshine that was warm out of the wind and shade.P1010130 (2)


We had thought about riding through Cleadon village but that would have been a much shorter ride so  we returned along to Souter by a coastal path for a fair bit of the way.


Once back into South Shields, I was in a bit of a reminiscing mood and we stopped near the Tyne lifeboat and the Memorial to William Wouldhave  who was one of the first inventors of the lifeboat. I do remember my great Grandfather taking me for long walks, well 4 miles is a long way for 4 year old legs. We would walk through the parks and past the monument on many occasions and walk along the cliff paths to Souter lighthouse.

From there we rode up through the North Marine Park to the Beacon and then along to Greens Place. I was surprised to find new housing here . We lived in a little 2 room plus scullery, flat with my great granda until I was about 3 years old. After that my parents were able to buy a small house, with a mortgage that cost £1 19s a month!!! Its laughable now but as a  6 year old I was sent off to Vasey and Reeds to pay the repayments.


After that we had a little look around the market place but it was now 2.30pm and so we headed back off to my brother’s house as we needed to be home for 5.00pm.

Saturday wasn’t as sunny a day but we still went out by about 8.00am and headed along the river through Stockton and along more of NCN route 14 towards Darlington. As we rode along the river , a seal popped up and I was able to get a photo. He was close enough to hear him snorting.


When we got to the Whinneys  nature reserve , we decided not to go that way because of the rain. Did I mention that it had started with gentle rain, but by stopping to don raingear, we got the rain to cease.

We turned right and rode on a path alongside the A 167 and then went up to Sadberge and then down the bank towards Norton. Now we had the wind from behind and the going was good. I was delighted to be riding uphill in higher gears than usual.

Back down in Stockton, with the sun out, we stopped and had an early lunch on a picnic bench. I got a photo of a young gull.


I  noticed this tree. It looked like a chestnut tree but the seeds looked different to the usual conkers.


Further along the river I got this photo of another seabird. I never know if these are cormorants or not but I love how they dry their wings.


The autumn colours are really lovely now.

Mileage this week 85 miles  YTD 2820.6 miles.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 22, 2017

A better week

Despite the weather this week, I have managed many more miles than in recent weeks.

Ex-hurricane hit the British Isles on Monday , but we live in the North East and Monday morning dawned dry and not too windy. So arising at 6.00am, we had a decent 12 miles ride around through Thornaby and back into Stockton.


About 15 minutes downstream, it was very still as the light intensified and we could see the steam from the cooling towers rising straight up into the air.


I haven’t pushed myself to ride everyday and so it was Wednesday before I went out again. Mind you, on Tuesday we had strong winds and the weirdest sky . I didn’t get any photos but the sky was affected by apparently sand blowing in from the Sahara desert and smoke from the wild fires in Portugal. Lots of people did post of the yellow/orange sky and the sun an orange /red ball in the sky.

Wednesday, saw another early ride and again the winds had died down but we were warned that another storm system was due to hit. Again we were largely protected and so on Friday afternoon  we had a ride up to Stewarts park where I saw things I haven’t before . We took paths that were new to us.

I also discovered a small pond in there too. Imagine , I have lived here nearly 40 years and haven’t seen this previously. The ducks were used to being fed and came quaking up begging for food. Fortunately, another lady has some .


Saturday, again dawned dry if blowy. We knew it was predicted to come from the south, so headed off into the wind up through Nunthorpe and Great Ayton and along to Guisborough. As soon as we turned in Great Ayton, we could feel the wind on our backs. So good to have a following wind helping you along.

I stopped to fabric shop in Leven Crafts to get a few small bits for a project and then we were off again and I have to say, considering my dismal efforts these past few weeks, I managed all the hills. Woohoo!!  We rode up to Errington Woods and the coast was laid before us. It is so sad that the remnants of the old steel works are still lying unused.

From there, it was back down the hill,  reaching speeds of  over 33 mph. That’s when I pulled the brakes on  as I was getting scared. We turned on to Plantation Road and along to Kirkleatham Hall.  I was so surprised to see these peacocks and hens and just loved the colours of the male birds.


I have felt a bit better. I don’t know if that’s because I have my hospital appointment come through. I still have some low grade pain but I can cope with that and the nausea has gone.

Our friends fly back from the mission to the UK tomorrow so I can show the landscape quilt I made for them. Its to remind them of the grey days here in the North East, that they have come to love. Well I don’t know about the weather, but they love the people.



So my mileage this week was 64.8 miles and the YTD  mileage is 2735.6 miles.  I am getting there.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 15, 2017

Blood Tests

Well its been another week with little cycling  and I am getting a bit fed up. I did go for blood tests last Monday and pleased to report that they were all fine and my BP was good too. Isn’t it a bit annoying though that I still have some symptoms. I suggested maybe a virus would account for the fatigue and I told the doctor not to suggest it was my age. I think he was a bit afraid to say that after I told him my normal cycling regimen for a usual morning and we laughed about it. He said it had gone on a bit too long for a virus and he is sending me to see a uro-gyneacologist  at the hospital. When that will be I am unsure but as the blood test results are OK , I will push myself a little bit. I feel so much happier when cycling. Maybe I need a different saddle to protect my nether region.

The knitting is going well and I am on the sleeves now. I did have to email the pattern book company who I have to say were very good about answering and so I am now knitting the sleeves . I have also finished a wall quilt but wont post about that as its recipients will leave for the USA after next Sunday.

Cycling miles 18.1 miles YTD 2670.8 milesP1010042


Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 8, 2017

Still not 100%


I took a turn for the worse and so haven’t done much cycling in the past 2 weeks. The antibiotics I was given have worked but I still do not feel up to par. I haven’t been lazy doing nothing though. I have still managed to work , albeit, at a lesser number of hours and I have been knitting.

When I have been out cycling , it has been early in the day and I got some photos that I like.

This is looking downstream from the Infinity bridge over the river Tees.

P1010036This is looking upstream towards Stockton. I do like how the lights shine in the early morning pre-dawn light.

I have been knitting a cardigan from a pattern I bought in Norway. Unfortunately for me, it is written in Norweigan but I am managing to knit and translate, after a fashion and this is my progress so far. It is knit using a circular needle and will then be cut up the middles. I know it sounds really scary but I will use a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to keep it secure.


We had a ride into town yesterday and saw the African Children’s choir doing a street performance. These children gave a wonderful performance of singing and dancing in an effort to raise funds to build schools so that all children can have an education. We here in Europe don’t always appreciate the schooling that we have.

The children also gave performances at the LDS churches in Billingham and Newton Aycliffe. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to the perfume sensitivities I have but friends say they were sensational. The young lady in the navy jacket had a beautiful voice.

After that we had a ride along the river to Stockton and back. The river levels were really low and I wonder if this is due to being the day after the Harvest Moon?

Just near the bridge there is a very large mud bank.

So only 49.1 miles cycled since last update and YTD 2652.7 miles



Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 24, 2017

Back to Work

This week saw me get back into the swing of things.  Early, before 6.00am, saw us arising and getting out on a short ride. I cant believe just how much fitness can be lost in a few short weeks and a bout of illness . Still we had a 6.5 miles ride on Monday and Tuesday and I shaved 6 minutes off the time on Tuesday. We were able to get a slightly longer ride in on Wednesday and the days are really shortening now. I forgot to take my camera so had to rely on the phone to try to get the sunrise colours.


20170920_053839293_iOS A short while later the sky overhead was a stunning pink colour. So beautiful. Most people were probably still in bed so wouldn’t have seen it.

The other weekdays were so full of work that I couldn’t take the time to ride so was glad when the weather was reasonable. We decided on a ride of about 30 miles.  The festival of thrift was on this weekend near Redcar and so as they blocked the cycle track with stalls last year, we decided not to go that  way.

We rode up through Nunthorpe and on along to Great Ayton and turned on the back rode through Little Ayton and on to Easby where we turned right to Stokesley. We were passed by a number of fast riding roadies but that didn’t bother us. We got at my pace.  We found that Stokesley  had its own show on and the High Street would be one giant fair with rides and fortune tellers. The raod was only open until 12.00pm and would than be shut off. Still it was only about 10,00am so plenty of time.

We had sort of discussed the route but even after nearly 46 years of very happy marriage , we still don’t always communicate effectively. We reached the turning for Seamer in Tame Bridge and I thought that is where we would turn and then ride up the hill before turning along to Hutton Rudby.   DH thought we were riding to Hutton Rudby and then coming back to Seamer. As it was I rode to Hutton Rudby and he rode up towards Seamer and we met on the  small back road.  He thought I was having a strop. I wasn’t really just wanted to go his way and he wanted to go the way I thought.

This road has lovely rolling hills, just right if you get the gearing correct. Someone has put a bench and there are a couple of inscriptions on it to William and Jonathon Stott. There are also a couple of planter boxes  so I think this must be a special place for this family. The bench is so welcome at the top of a hill.

We stopped for a warm drink and a biscuit and when we were sitting we saw a mature lady walking up the hill pushing her bicycle. We had  been passed by a few roadies and I noticed one with a number on. This lady also had a number and it turned out she was on a Sportive but had no idea where she was  and there was no-one riding with her. She gave us a description of where she had been and we believe it was near Ingleby Greenhow  and then up the steep. very poorly surfaced hill to the carpark at Clay Bank. There was a feed station here and they had told her it was all downhill from there. I couldn’t help but laugh and say they had lied to her . The hills to follow on the way back to Nunthorpe weren’t as steep but they were hills all the same. She did say she had travelled up from Harrogate for this but I don’t think she was really enjoying herself.  She had a heavy bike that she had bought second hand and she has started to compete in triathlons as she is really a swimmer.

We rode back down through Hilton and on through Stockton where we saw these birds flocking onto the replica ship that Captain Cook sailed to Australia in. I am not sure what they are but wonder if they are starlings?20170923_112213296_iOS


I have also made this small quilt for my friend K who had a baby boy 10 days ago. She was delighted with it. It wasn’t heirloom quality but more to be used and she had it with her at church today.


Mileage for this week 55.1 miles                        YTD 2603.6 miles







Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 15, 2017

Waffling On

Today, our last full day  was beautiful and sunny.  Kjell needed to visit his friend who has been living with cancer  for 30 years and had some bad news yesterday.  We walked down into town with Gerdur and tried to visit  the local museum. Tried was the operative word  as it was closed and so was the glass works.  Everything seems to have closed now the children are back at school. I did call into the woolshop though to discuss a pattern but I have done very well reading it and had it correct. The lady was impressed with my ability  to read Norweigan but I said it’s because I know how to knit.

Still we had a lovely walk in the park  and along the river. Autumn colours are showing here too.

Eventually, we arrived at Lake Mosja  and the ferry was closed too.

We walked back into town and had wonderful icecream at a chocolate shop. We had apple pie ice cream that tasted exactly of said pie. Wish I could bring some home.

Then we walked back up the hill, passing the emptied swimming pool –  it too has been drained for winter but it was rather hot in the sun this afternoon.

Gerdur had bought fish for our evening meal and then she made waffles with more ice cream and home made red currant sauce. Yummy.

We could never have imagined 11 years ago , that a chance meeting on a campsite would have resulted in a lasting friendship.  Thank you our friends.

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