Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 26, 2020

A Slow Week

It was a bit disappointing to have heavy frosts in the early mornings at the start of the week. Now , I don’t mind riding in the dark but when its frosty as well, I don’t get out.

Wednesday , I started seeing patients at 7.30am to help those who work. I really am a morning person preferring an early start rather than working in the evenings. I did get a short afternoon ride in when I was finished


However, Thursday saw  was a better morning. No frost and another short ride around the cemetery , Albert Park and then up to Ladgate Lane.

P1010362 (2)

This gave me almost 20 miles but Friday we were away for the day over in Chorley at the LDS Temple so no riding.

Come Saturday, the weather had dark grey skies and was very damp with the prospects of rain. So DH asked if I wanted a ride along the river to Panicos, the fabric shop. Shock!Horror!!  I actually didn’t want anything but we did ride along the river and then through Stockton and Preston Park to return again along the river and home.

I spent the rest of the day quilting.

43 miles this week and YTD 268 miles. Hopefully will get more next week but the weather prospects aren’t good.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 19, 2020

Saturday Redemption

We managed to get a couple of early morning rides in during the week but they were very damp. It did make me aware of just how quickly the moon starts to wane as we were out.

Then it became much wetter and we were looking forward to a  Friday ride but the Met Office let us down, We had planned to have a ride to check out a road over near Leeming. This came about because we have been looking out and planning routes for the Spring and Summer trips – all being well with my knee.

We have friends in Leeming so had decided to take the folders over in the car and have a short ride to Barnyarns that  sell needles and threads, Yes I am a bit addicted !!

Anyway, by the time we got to Leeming the rain was pouring down. We had a nice chat with out friends and DH suggested checking out the route in the car. Actually, I am glad we did because it is not the quiet road I imagined it would be. It runs parallel with the A1M and I thought it would take most of the traffic. On a Friday morning it was busy with not only cars but large wagons too. So Komoot didn’t get a quiet enough route for me.

I did buy some titanium coated needles and a couple of new threads for a quilt I am working on and spent the rest of the day sewing quilt blocks.

What a contrast the weather was on Saturday!! We were up early and still had our stuff sorted from the previous day. At 8.15am , we hit the road and headed down across Newport bridge. As we passed over to the north side , I looked down and saw a chap sitting on the river bank with a few bags around him.  I was concerned that he was homeless and so went to talk to him as we passed close by. I wanted to make sure he had money for food but he laughed when I asked if he was homeless and said he had come to sit and enjoy the quite and peace of the river. He had been to one of the local  supermarkets and had bought up the loaves they sell off cheaply so he had plenty to eat.

So I went away feeling at least I was willing to help, if not needed on this occasion. We cycled along the river, dodging the morning runners and followed our usual route across to Hartburn. As we rode , we could see a helicopter up in the air and wondered where it was going.

Well , we found it.


Crossing the road , we knew why it was there as further along the road were 4 or 5 emergency vehicles including an ambulance and paramedic vehicles and police. I do hope that things went well whatever had happened. P1030531

In my opinion , this is a charity well worth supporting.

Carrying on, we rode along and through Long Newton and followed NCN 14 across to near Middleton St George.  The rain over the week lad left the track through the woodland , a muddy mess, so we chose to take a slightly longer route coming into Darlington where we had a diversion as the signage disappeared – or we just didn’t see it. Eventually, we came to another road and spoke to a lady who pointed us in the correct direction. Passing the Blackwell Grange hotel, I knew exactly where we were, but in traffic accessing the A66M. A bit busy , but we crossed safely and took up out usual route to Cleasby,.

Our destination for the day was Eppleby , were we haven’t cycled to since last September.  We noticed much more frost on the ground after Darlington. I was glad to see the village shop/café is still open and  went in to use the facilities and buy cheese scones.

We talked with a poor chap who had come off. He had been riding in a group and one of them had hit black ice on a steep descent and 4 of them had gone down. He hurt his hand and I fear he may have fractured his pisiform , a small bone in the hand . He was more concerned about his ripped cycling tights at that time but said the pain was kicking in.

DH and I sat in the bus shelter having hot oxo and our scones and saw him cycling home to Cleasby, one handed. I do hope I am wrong and he is back to normal today.


I have been trying to get a photo of my bicycle for Jon on the Cycletourer website but am still not getting success.

From , Eppleby  we rode back along to the Roman road leading down to Piercebridge and I was very careful as this is a good downhill but I could see the frost. Carefully does it.

We passed through the village and turned right along the A67 for a short distance before turning off towards the Medieval Ulnaby  farm shop. I called in to try and get some locally produced rapeseed oil but it had all gone. So it was off through Darlington and then  back to cross the A66 on route 14.

A huge puddle greeted us n the other side of the bridge – not really unexpected so it was along the cycle track on the side of the A66 and under the tunnel to get across to Sadberg where we had another stop for a biscuit and another hot drink. We sat at the small memorial garden and there was a lovely view across the fields.

So, the usual route home with a detour to buy a birthday gift for one of my sons and we were home by 3.00pm having cycled almost 55 miles.

My legs were a bit achy and I really welcomed a hot shower. I was so cold that the water running off my chesticles  ( thank you Ilona) and bum , was cold by the time it hit my legs.  I was so pleased to have ridden more than 50 miles in the day.

so weekly total 69 miles  YTD 225 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 12, 2020

Uncertain Weather

This week , we didn’t know if we were on our head or our heels with the weather. Temperatures were as high as 14C and as low as 1C, one day after the other.

This difference is the result of air pressures and so we have had very high, if not gale force winds.

Earlier in the week, I got out in the pre-dawn hours and cycled a few miles. As I rode along, I was waking up the birds with my bright lights and they would start chirping or singing and then would settle down.


Friday resulted in mild and sunny weather , so we took a slightly longer route to get across to Cozy Coffee. We crossed Newport Bridge and then along through Billingham to Wolviston .  Turning on to Wynyard road we cycled along  and crossed Durham road to the village of Thorpe Thewles.  There is a steep descent before a less steep climb up to the village of Carlton.

Usually, we would carry on to Redmarshall but decided to turn right up to Stillington before using very minor roads to Great Stainton and then on the Brafferton where the café  is situated.

We could see a couple of cyclists already in there and had a lovely chat. It turns out we have mutual friends and one of them SC is a keen cycle tourer but he tends to head south having ridden down to Greece and other Mediterranean countries.

I don’t do heat well so we tend to always stay in cooler areas and are discussing what we will do this year. We are already committed to the Cycle Touring Festival at the late May bank holiday. I am also hoping to get away in Yorkshire for Easter.

We used the bad weather on Saturday to talk about this. I also got some sewing time in as the wind blew a hoolie and the rain lashed down

So this week 56 miles YTD 156miles


Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 5, 2020

A Great Start to the New Year

Sorry this post will have a lot of photos as we have been out cycling on 3 days since New Year.

Ride one was on New Years day and saw us riding the trunk road to Redcar in the dawn light. We rode past the works that used to be the steel works.


Then along the prom to Saltburn. The car parks were packed with cars and many people were walking in the beaches as it was sunny and not freezing cold.

There were people  in the sea – some surfing in wetsuits and others just in bathing costumes. I tried to get a photo but it was all blurry but believe me they were there.

We called in to see some friends and quite by chance her daughter who had emigrated to Australia was skyping so we had a lovely  if short chat to her.

Then it was on to Guisborough and along to Great Ayton where there had been a cross country run on so it too was packed with cars. We sat near the stream and had hot chocolate and biscuits that we brought from home.


Then it was off home via Newby and Hemlington. 40 miles

Thursday I went to my quilt group for the day and DH went riding solo

Friday, again exceeded expectations in weather so we set off again to Yarm and then up to Appleton Wiske. We had thought about Northallerton but we always seem to ride that way so we changed plans and went through Welbury and along to East Cowton before crossing the A19 bridge and along to Swainby.

The Rusty bike was doing a roaring trade by the number of bicycles on the racks but we by-passed them and went to the bus shelter and had hot chocolate and a snack there. while we were sitting in the sunshine I suggested riding up to Whorlton Castle. The road isn’t a through road so DH wasn’t too keen, but we went anyway. Its a bit of a climb but not bad with the e-bikes. The views were splendid and Roseberry Topping stood out clearly.

Being a bit nosey – I went through the gate and had a look at the other side. This had clearly been quite a place at one time.


I even ventured up a few stone stairs to take a view inside  but wouldn’t go any higher as I was afraid of slipping as there isnt a hand rail.


There were some people on the top of the ramparts too – braver and probably younger than me.P1030520

Then it was back into Swainby and across the road and up to Hutton Rudby. This route is all part of NCN65 so we followed it back to near home. 43 miles

Then Saturday dawned a bit chillier and I wanted to complete 100 miles. So I suggested a ride to Stockton – more fabric buying as I am busy away on another quilt. Why is it, you never have just the fabric that is perfect for your project.

Anyway that is my YTD with 100 miles under my belt. Its work starting again tomorrow so I wont get the time or I suspect the weather for that much during the coming week.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 31, 2019

Goodbye 2019

I had hoped to go out day but there was a very heavy frost that never lifted the entire day. I seem to be getting a bit of sense now I have entered my 70th year eeeek!!!!!!!


We did get a ride in yesterday which was surprisingly warm with some sunshine. DH wanted to ride up the Castle Eden walkway as he thought it would have dried out. No such luck and it was very muddy – clarty is a northern word for it. So when we got up to Station Town we made the decision not to head on to Hartlepool as that would have been more clarty paths.

In my previous life I was familiar with the roads around there so we turned tight and headed off to the Trimdons. There are various villages  Trimdon Grange, Trimdon Station and Trimdon village that go by the name of the Trimdons. If you know anything about British politics you may recognise this as the place that Tony Blair represented. Very surprisingly , recently they voted in a Tory representative. I hope they do not live to regret the decision.

From here we carried on to Sedgefield and stopped at the church to have some hot chocolate. Duh! I had packed everything but our mugs. Still I was able to use the small flask cup. DH didn’t bother. We had a nice chat with a pedestrian who admired our bikes and wanted to know more about them.

Then we rode past the race-course and carried on towards Great Stainton before turning off to ride to Bishopton and home. The distance was a little over 45 miles.

So I decided to give a few stats from Komoot.

During the whole of 2019 I rode 209 times that I recorded. I know there were a couple of times I forgot to turn it on, so I rode for over 452 hours. The mileage was 4,752 miles with a total elevation of 147,200ft. The countries I rode in were England , Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway.

I am so pleased I bought my e-bike when I did as despite a diagnosis of Osteoarthritis in my right knee, I can continue to pedal away. Here’s to 2020. Have a great New Year everyone.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 29, 2019

It’s Christmas Time

Well, I hope you have had a wonderful time – it is so for some of us. Luckily, for me, I now have time off work and can now spend some time getting out cycling and I had time to make another quilt. I will show them at the end.

First cycling. On Christmas Eve, we knew that there would be carol singing across in the small town of Yarm. Its a very old town which apparently was called Yarum back a thousand years ago.  On the way across , we noticed that the river was very swollen near Thornaby. There has been so much rain of lane that there is still lots of flooding.



Well, it has blue cobblestones and so there was Carols on the Cobbles accompanied by a brass band.


We also met our cycling friend Carole on the cobbles and sang together.


As the darkness fell just before 4.00pm the rain started falling and many people departed which was lucky for us , as it was easy to get the bikes out and on to the road.  We cycled home in the rain and enjoyed a meal on our raclette. We bought it many years ago in the Netherlands and its become a bit of a Christmas Eve tradition in our home. Cooking at the table is so social.

Christmas day didn’t see us do any cycling as we had guests coming to lunch which was beautifully cooked by DS1.

Boxing Day , is the day to visit family further north. My older brother had returned from their holiday home for the week so we called in there and I was able to gift a quilt I made a few years ago to my nephew and his wife. Actually, it was the Rajah quilt I made back in 2016 and as it was based on a convict quilt. As my niece  in law is a barrister, it seemed a nice place to go.

We also visited with my younger brother and his family so it was a lovely day so we only got a short ride in early in the day. I stopped to photograph this plant that was blossoming near the river.


Friday dawned dry and DH needed to go to the bank to pick up receipts for church so agreed to ride with me to Stockton where I couldn’t resist sale fabrics in Panico’s. Another quilt is being started soon.

Saturday was another lovely dry  day and the sun even came out for a short spell. We headed off up through Coulby Newham and along to Hilton and then Hutton Rudby. We werent too sure where we were riding to so turned off with the idea of going to Swainby.  However, we got down near Carlton in Cleveland  and noticed lots of other cyclists. We headed along through Faceby – well I did  – somehow DH and I got separated. I got down to the main road being ‘policed’ by motocyclists. This was for the Velo29 sportive which was why there were so many cyclists about. I had to turn back from here and eventually DH and I met up again. From there, we went down into Great Busby and stopped in the church porch for a hot chocolate out of the wind.


Soon we were back into Stokesly and then home. 74 miles for the week

So YTD on Komoot is 4708 miles

Now for the quilts which I have made for my sons. This Harry Potter one was for DS2 who is a HP fan.


I tried to quilt Golden Snitches in the white spaces.


This one was finished because when DS1 found out about the HP quilt he wanted a quilt too. Like kids they are. This was a free  pattern from the Missouri Star quilt company


I did many different free machine patterns in each square

And this one doesnt have a home but was made in 10 days as it was trying something out and I got hooked on making it using spare minutes when I could.



So, there is a couple of days until the year end so hopefully I will be able to get a few more miles under those wheels.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 22, 2019

Winter Solstice

Well, here we are at the solstice . Its a special day for me too as its my last birthday in this decade.  I know the date  varies from year to year but I always look forward to it as the longest night  comes and goes and we can look forward to the return of the light – well in a few weeks anyway.

The weather hasn’t been too good  with continuing rain. I said yo DH that I would love to be camping if it wasn’t so wet. He thinks I am a nutter but I always get stir crazy to go camping  when I haven’t been for a few months.

Yesterday, we combined Christmas shopping (unsuccessful) with a visit to our favourite Cozy Coffee. Rosie said that it was all cyclist who had been in but there was enough to make it worthwhile.  We had a slightly different route than usual but enjoyed the ride together.

On Friday, the physio called me to confirm osteo-arthritis in my right knee. Still , he is encouraging me to carry on cycling. Only another 40 miles for the week.

So its either 4090 miles or according to Komoot  4641 miles for the year. Either way  I am happy.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 15, 2019

Time flies on Wings of Lightening

That is a line of a hymn we sing. This year has flown so fast. They say that as you get older, it goes faster and faster but even talking to young people they say how quickly this year has gone. We have to make the most of every day.

As a child, I was always rushing on to the next thing and juggling activities. I had a primary school teacher, Mr Henderson, who took me aside and asked  if I knew what the phrase ” burning the candle at both ends ” meant. He explained it to me and I think I have always been the kind of person who is always on the go.

I went to see the physio about my legs and after examining me , he told me he thinks I have developed Osteo-Arthritis in my right knee and gave me a couple of exercises to do. He also arranged for me to be x-rayed and that happened on Thursday.  In the long ago days, I qualified in radiography  and so I was able to ask if I could see the images. No longer is film used, so the images were instantly available. Well, it didn’t look too bad so I am not worried -just yet.

The physio will talk to me after the holidays and form a plan of action. He was delighted when I told him I was still cycling and told me my legs are very strong – those sturdy thighs and calves can’t be a bad thing then. Onwards and upwards. Keep cycling so I will.

The early bird tickets for the Cycle Touring Festival in May, went on sale late last Sunday night  – when I was in bed. At 6.00am Monday , I saw the e-mail and  immediately got our tickets. There were only 6 of the 50 EBT left and all had sold out within 12 hours. So I have something to look forward to.

DH has almost recovered from his viral infection  and said he would come out cycling with me yesterday. The three of us set off cycling across to Yarm with the intention of going to Northallerton. However, the queue of traffic into Yarm was so long ( its a bottle neck at 9.30am) so DH and I turned off up to Aislaby without knowing where we were headed. DS1 carried on with his own ideas.


So we carried on and decided to head to Hurworth to the little café in the Methodist church. It was lovely to go in there and recognise a lady who used to be the practice manager for her GP husband and we were able to have a little catch up after 15 years.

We had a lovely scone and hot chocolate and then started for home. Another couple of cyclists  rode alongside and chatted but we decided we were going towards Darlington , while they were going the way we had come. The early part of the ride had been wet and icy rain but not heavy, but the ride home with the wind on our backs was a much warmer affair. Only 39 miles but so satisfying. We both made use of the e-assist.

So YTD  is  either 4050 miles or Komoot says  4601 plus I forgot to put it on until we got Thornaby so that should be plus another 2 but who is quibbling. I am delighted which ever way.

I have also been quilting away and enjoying the season. We awoke to snow today but it didn’t last. I do hope that I can get more cycling in. Only another 4 days of  work for me and then holidays. woohoo!!



Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 8, 2019

Confusion over Mileage

Its a funny title , but this is what I have this week.

I decided that in order to reach my goal I needed to ride 47 miles during the week. DH is still down with a virus and I have been busy working on the first three days of the week. The first Thursday in the month , I attend my quilt group and I wasn’t going to cycle there , as I had 2 quilts and a bag I had made from the left over scraps to display in show and tell. I didn’t want to be lugging that lot as I wasn’t camping.

So on Friday, I decided to ride the river route and go across to Stockton to buy some backing fabric from Panicos. Carl gets some cheaper fabrics that are old stock from other places. While they might not be the most up to date , they are great for backing.

He does also have the much more expensive fabrics as well, but I don’t use those as backing fabrics. Well, the ride was windy but at least it was dry and I was on my own . Carl is good  and lets me take my bike into the back of the shop and  so I was able o have hot chocolate and a brownie before returning home. Did you know there is a café in there  too?

So on Saturday, I knew I had 30 miles more to ride and DS1 said he would accompany me. We again decided to ride to Cozy Coffee  but go a different way. So it was breezy but at least it was sunny. We headed across to Stockton and there was a Christmas market starting up. I was so pleased to see and hear this street organ playing Christmas carols.


Looking at the paintings on it and hearing the sound made me think of the Netherlands.


This is a typical Dutch sailing bargeP1030438

Typical windmill scene

Then it was off across to Elton and Long Newton before riding along the cycle track on the A66 to Sadberg. Once in the village , we had just started a descent when we came across these festively dressed sheep statues.P1030440

It was lovely to see Rosie at the coffee bus and there were a couple of other cyclists out too.

We returned a slightly different way  but came into Bishopton  from the north by using a minor road.

So by the time we got home , we had competed 39 miles and I was thinking as I had 58 miles for the week , I was just over the 4000 mile goal. DS1 said to check it on the Komoot app and I got a big surprise. . According to the app I have cycled 203 times for a total of 435 hrs and 9 minutes  , totalling 4564 miles with an elevation of 142125ft. Somehow I must have made a mistake in my adding up. So I have reached my goal whichever way you look at it. woohoo!!

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 1, 2019

Welcome Winter

Today is the first day of Winter according to some people. Well if the weather is like today that is OK by me. It’s bright but very cold . Give me blue skies over grey any day.

Cycling wise , I have managed to get out a few times. DH has come down with a virus so hasn’t been with me and had to stay at home.

On Friday, I met another blogger Tony Rees. He used to be an iron man triathlete until and accident cut that short. His blog is called The race for the Café if you want to look it up. He had just writing a blog post about e-bikes and had borrowed on to try. We saw him on one side of the water and as we came under a bridge he took a photo.


That’s when we stopped to have a chat and he told us that an e-bike will be in his future but not yet. He had borrowed one from a local shop and tried it on a known loop he was used to .   He sent me these photos which was very kind of him.


On Saturday, DS1 and I decided to have a ride over to Cozy Coffee. It was cold with frost covering the cars and house roofs but at least it was sunny as we made our way across through Teesside Park in the early morning traffic to get on to the river path and up across Stockton Market place. DS1 was going much faster than I, as I was afraid of slipping on any ice and it was difficult to make out if any was black ice.

As we were riding up to Bishopton, we saw slush on the road. I have no idea if there had been any snow but it was definitely slippery slush. Maybe as we have had so much rain, pools had frozen and then been broken up as cars had driven over it.

icy roads (2)

As you approach the village of Bishopton, there are some mounds on the left side field and we stopped to look at the sign that was erected a few months ago. When I am with DH, he doesn’t like to stop and look. He is just not as inquisitive as me. Well it turns out to be the remains of a Norman castle and not a burial mound.

On to Cozy Coffee and Rosie  (The kidney Donor) was off on a well earned weekend break. Friends of hers were running the café so we were still able to have our favourite chocolate cake and hot chocolate to drink. Then we rode on the cycle way down towards Darlington  and turned and rode along the track on the A66 to Sadberg. Here we made the decision to continue on to Middleton St George, stopping briefly at my nephew’s  house. All throughout the day , the frost never lifted and has remained so.

When we got back to the river, it was quite still and I saw this swan preening itself on the rowing club steps.

In the meantime, I have been stitching away and can show you the quilt top that needs to be layered up and quilted. I cannot see this happening before Christmas.


Mileage for the week 68miles YTD 3953miles – I don’t want to jinx myself by hoping I reach my goal of 4000miles  by next weekend.

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