Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 11, 2018

Did It – woohoo!

Well a couple of rides during the week and a lovely ride out to Cozy Coffee has seen me exceed my 4000 miles target.

DS1suggested  a ride to Cozy Coffee but going a little longer way to get there so I would achieve my goal early.

The three of us headed out through Thornaby and across towards Preston Park. The autumn colours of the trees looked stunning in the early sunshine.

 

Once in Preston Park , DH went off another route that he had thought about and wanted to see if it was shorter.

DS1 and I rode along to Yarm and then turned off to go over the railway line and climb up past my friends field and along to Aislaby. There was a fresh wind blowing but with the e-bike it was relatively easy to climb up out of the village and along the winding road to Middleton One Row and Middleton St George. From here we passed by our usual track into Darlington and rode along under the A66 and in to Sadberge. There had been a motor vehicle crash at the junction involving 2 or 3 cars and there were 2 police cars present so we quickly got through the crash site so as not to be in the way. I don’t think anyone was seriously hurt though.

The road descends a steep hill and then undulates across until there is a climb back up to Great Stainton. I don’t think I have ever been on that particular road before so its nice to do something different. Then we were on familiar territory and I knew the turn off to go to Cozy Coffee. We met DH just near and he had called in to see if we had arrived and set off homeward. Well hot chocolate and melty chocolate cake were too hard to resist. I should have taken a photo but just whoomphed it down.

The sun had disappeared behind thick cloud , so it became quite chilly. I thought we would have the wind on our backs on the return but it wasn’t to be. DH even remarked how cool he felt. However, once we got near Bishopton, the sun smiles on us again and it warmed us up a bit.

So yesterday’s ride was 39.8 miles.

I have been stitching away this week including some hand work which I don’t usually do. Here are the 2 pieces for you to compare. The longer piece has half Dresden plates  and the  smaller piece has a full circle of the orange/yellow 15degree wedges. I can feel more of them will be made as the next year goes by.

 

I will be quite busy next week working so wont get much cycling or sewing done and then we are off for a week next Saturday.

 

So this week I completed 62.7 miles making my YTD 4019.7 miles woohoo!

Advertisements
Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 4, 2018

Another “slow” week

The cold weather continued in the early part of the week with especially frosty mornings. A cycling acquaintance had come off her bicycle resulting in a hip fracture which required a total hip replacement. She is walking with 2 sticks now but as she and I are a similar age, I think you can understand my caution.

Later in the week, the winds changed from northerly around to the SW bringing warmer temperatures but some rain and high winds. The great thing about the e-bike is that I don’t worry too much about direction as the assistance makes it much more manageable whichever direction we travel.

I did get out after working one day but as the sun dropped before 4.30pm, so did the temperature plummet. That made for a short ride of only 8 miles but it all adds up.

On Saturday, we had a bright , sunny morning so decided to head across to Saltburn as we haven’t been there in a while. We chose the usual route up through Eston and Normanby and along to Marske by the Sea before rising the track along to Saltburn. I called in to Ripping Yarns, a lovely friendly wool shop, and bought a couple of skeins of embroidery thread for the project I am currently working on.

DS1 decided to go down the bank to the beach and then come back up along the donkey track. Usually, we walk it but with e-assistance, it is doable for some people. Not me! I wouldn’t even attempt it, as its too narrow and uneven.

This is Huntcliffe looking south. The cliffs are crumbling away along this part of the NE coast.

P1020338

The pier had a few people breathing in the bracing air.

P1020337

We then rode back down to Marske and then along the promenade to Redcar and home via the Trunk Road.

This is the finished table runner.

 

I am really pleased with it because the piped binding went so well and mitring the corners went so well.   I also like how the two colour prairie points have worked out.

P1020341

Here is the small piece I am currently finishing up.

P1020342

I have even done a little bit of hand work – unusual for me.

 

The weeks mileage a paltry 38 miles         YTD 3957 miles

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 28, 2018

First signs of winter.

The contrast between the start of the week and the end couldn’t have been more different. Work was quiet so we took the opportunity to get out when we could. It was mostly just local riding along the river but on Friday, although it was windy, we did get out to Great Ayton and then rode along to Stokesley.

When we rode up through Nunthorpe we passed one of the numerous displays that are popping up to commemorate those who died particularly as it is the centenary of the end of WW1.

 

This is the sculptress  Tina Frank who made the willow horse and soldier. Nunthorpe Knitters made about 5000 poppies in knitting and crochet.

P1020328

I also discovered recently that my Grandfather’s brother was killed fighting in that war. So many men who sacrificed their lives for us and many still haven’t learned to love each other as we should do.

In Great Ayton there are tow displays but I only took a photo of one of them.

P1020330

We had a few close passes and as the temperature dropped quite a bit as the wind increased, DH wanted to go straight home, I wasn’t prepared to ride the main road and so we separated for me to go on quieter roads. He gets much colder than me and hadn’t brought along a warmer jacket. Me , I always have extra clothing. Be Prepared is a motto I have followed since childhood.

So I rode along towards Seamer but then turned for Newby. I was going to go up to the main road but as I was passed by very few cars decided to turn down through Thornton and Stainton before going home via Coulby Newham . This added an extra 4 miles on DH’s mileage.

I managed to finish up the small wall hanging that I started with Sheena Norquay.

P1020331

I have an online Craftsy class with a lady called Susan Cleveland and so I used her method to applied a piped binding and some prairie points into the binding too.

 

To give it a bit of glam, I applied some foiling too. I used Susan’s idea of hanging little felt beads from the corners. I didn’t buy the felt beads, I made them with some wool that I felted with a little tool that has barbed hooks . I did stick my fingers a couple of times but no blood was spilt.

 

 

I am also working on another piece  inspired by Susan Cleveland. I hope that will be finished to show next week.

P1020336

We didn’t ride at all on Saturday, as the wind and rain turned to sleet and there was snow on the hills. Winter is starting early this year.

So this week, I rode 60 miles and my YTD total is 3919 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 21, 2018

Back on Form

Well, its been a few weeks since I last posted, partly due to illness and partly due to doing other things. In the first two weeks after the virus , I didn’t get much cycling but did take the time with finishing up a large quilt.  When I say large , I mean over 100 inches in all directions. I will never do so again – well not in one large piece. It was just too much weigh to move around under the machine needle as it moved up and down and I manoeuvred the quilt layers beneath the moving needle. I am not too pleased by  the way it lays but it will go on a bed , so its not a problem.

 

I took it over to church to photograph it  and  lots of the sisters admired it. I didn’t point out the glaring mistakes.

IMG_5173[3340]

I also went across to Panico’s in Stockton. The lovely Abbie from AbbieAnn Patchwork in Wadebridge Cornwall had come up to run a workshop on creative landscape work. I didn’t do the workshop but had a lovely chat with her.

abbieann

Andy had come up from King’s Lynn with his lovely quilting templates and rulers. I must admit to succumbing to buying a couple more. Andy makes all of these here in the UK

andycraftyuk.JPG

I have also been to a workshop by a quilter called Sheena Norquay and am finishing up that piece – a small wall hanging of a fantasy bird. I hope to show you that next week.

So on to the cycling. This week , the weather has been great. The previous weeks were stormy with high winds , but this week was so different. Mostly, it has just been local riding but on Thursday we cycled up NCN1 as far as Shotton Colliery and then rode across to Peterlee. We were going to visit a friend and I never realised just how hilly that area in. The views out over the sea were good though.

 

We chose to ride back home via the coast road through Horden and in to Hartlepool before picking up NCN14 back home.

Yesterday, we took the opportunity to have another longish ride and set off through Yarm. Once we got to Kirkleatham village, we had to stop to take layers of clothes off as it was so warm. Then our son showed us a way through Girsby and down to Low Dinsdale to cross the River Tees. The road climbs up from the valley floor and is narrow. The road edges are potholed and a driver was irate even though we were cycling single file. He was being slowed down and made a very close pass. DS1 shouted out. The car driver stopped abruptly – unsafely  on a bend – and proceeded to swear at us for riding in the middle of the road. We weren’t  but had to stay a little way out because of the poor road margins. It was when I said that he was too close that he got back in the car and sped off. Such unpleasantness is unnecessary.

From there we went through Cleasby and Manfield before arriving in Piecebridge. We joked that Manfield may need to have a name change as there is so much political correctness just lately. A big paper tissue company is changing the name of Man size tissues to extra large.

We stopped in the organic café/ farm shop and recharged the electric batteries while we had a drink and cake. Setting off again, we cycled up through Walworth and Heighington to get on to the A167 at Aycliffe village. I missed the turning so had to double back to get to Cozy Coffee for another refreshment stop. Then it was our usual way back home making a ride of just over 60 miles.

 

three weeks mileage 201 miles  YTD 3859

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 30, 2018

Virus stops play

Both my son and husband got  what we assume is a common cold virus a couple of weeks ago. You know the sort, runny nose, streaming eyes, sore throat and a hacking cough. I thought I had dodged it. Big mistake. I hadn’t, so this weeks mileage looks pathetic.

We have had some cool blue sky days with briskish winds and I did get out but by Wednesday, I couldn’t speak at all and had to give in. As I write , I feel slightly better but all that nose blowing resulted in a nose bleed this morning. All over the front of my one and only cashmere sweater so I didn’t get to church and went back to bed.

As for the sweater, here is a top tip from my other passion in life – quilting. Did you know that your own saliva has an enzyme in it that will stop the blood from staining.  I now this from those who hand quilt and prick their fingers. So I spit on the blood spots and rubbed it in and left it while I slept. Then I hand washed it and its now drying.

The autumn colours are beautiful at present.42432903_1801726329955116_5914935557397413888_o

This was taken last Monday morning at sunrise. It was chilly with the first grass frost of the autumn.

This weeks riding 38.8 miles  YTD 3658.mls.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 23, 2018

Autumn Storms

While the news has been full of hurricanes and tornadoes around the world , Britain has been blasted by two storms in quick succession. Winds have exceeded 80 mph and for us that is really strong but we have still managed to get out cycling when it was safe to do so – usually early in the morning before the sun came up. The sun rising always seems to increase wind strength.

Most days it was only short rides of about 8-10 miles but we did get in a ride of 32 miles on Saturday. I have seen the cygnet in the park and it is about adult size now but still has juvenile plumage.

I thought I had managed to photograph it , but haven’t managed it. I like the teasel heads in this photo, so here it is.

P1020294

The trees are changing colour and there is debris littering the tracks and  roadways. I think because the trees were still in full leaf , that branches have been torn off too. I know a couple of trees were downed locally too.

We have cycled through the park often this week and along the river.

 

Saturday saw 3 of us out up to Great Ayton and then along to Guisbrough passing Roseberry Topping.

 

We were a bit at odds with each other. I thought we were going one way and DH another. He kept referring to Carlton when he really meant Charltons. So we ended up along route 168 , through Boosbeck and then the climb up to Skelton Green where we saw a couple of these signs hanging outside pubs. I think this means cyclists are welcome.

P1020307

Then came the steep descent into Skelton village before carrying on downhill to Marske. The Festival of Thrift was on at Kirkleatham and despite being assured the cycle track would be free to ride across, I was very sadly misinformed. The place was heaving with stalls outside blocking the way. I was so pleased not to be trying to attend by car as the place was gridlocked. People were getting off buses and walking  and the one way road from Lazenby had very dangerous drivers coming up it the wrong way. They were obviously sick of being in a traffic jam. When the festival was held in Darlington , there didn’t seem to be these problems.

I was also supposed to be camping this past weekend but due to the weather my friend C and I have postponed our little overnight camp.1. the ground was too wet and 2. we were afraid of damage from the branches coming off her woods.

Because of reduced cycling hours , due to the weather, I have had a chance to make a cot quilt for some cycle camping friends who have recently had a baby. I was able to use bicycle fabric one side and camping fabric on the reverse. Simple but I enjoyed making it.

 

So this weeks 79.7 miles  and YTD 3619.3 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 16, 2018

Enjoying the cycling

We have been able to ride 6 days out of 7 this week and that made me really happy. The weather hasn’t been too bad with very little rain or wind but the forecast for next week isnt so good. Apparently the tail end of an Atlantic hurricane will be blowing in by Wednesday , so I will make the most of the days I can.

The early mornings have been chilly, so we have started wearing long pants and long sleeved jerseys to keep warm. The sun isnt rising until after 6.30am but it is making for some beautiful sunrises even though soon after the clouds thicken to a grey sky.

We just rode the usual early morning routes needing lights more to be seen by vehicles, than to see the road ahead.

P1020284

I took this one more for the sky colours , the pinks and lavender colours near the bend in the river. Further round, the sun was just cresting the horizon.

P1020286

The weather forecast for Saturday wasn’t the best, but we decided to try a longer ride using the e-bikes so by 8.30am we were ready to go. We rode across through Thornaby and Preston Park before heading up through Yarm and on up to Northallerton. I had maps with me and we turned on to the A684. I can say, that I wouldn’t have ridden it without the speed afforded by the e-bike as the traffic was fairly heavy going towards the A1. There was a bit of fine drizzle in the air and so put on rain jackets.

We pulled over in the village of Ainderby Steeple and let a string of cars pass until I could take a photo of the church on the hill. This  village is mention twice in the Doomsday Book so it dates back more than a 1000 years and the church , St Helens dates from the 14th century.

P1020288

After that we carried on crossing the river Swale and on to Leeming Bar and then down along the old A1 to the village of Leeming where we have a friend who gave us a lovely welcome and a hot chocolate drink. By now we had cycled 30 miles and after a happy visit, we returned along the same route through Leeming bar and back towards Northallerton.  We could see a string of cars and thought it was a farm vehicle but I could hear a faint popping sound. At first I thought there was something wrong with my bike but there wasn’t. It was a steam vehicle pulling a trailer. Something similar to what we saw in the Netherlands on our summer tour.

P1020291

 

We managed to get past and I stopped at our turn off. I hoped the steam vehicle would come past but they stopped at the bottom so I used the zoom lens to get a photo.

I also got a photo of DH  while he waited for me. The sun had come out by now so we were both happy and remarked that we hadn’t expected that.

P1020289

We rode on through Scruton and Great Fencote, a little village. We saw a nice cyclist’s dining room, a bus shelter with a seat, and pulled up to have 2nd breakfast. A lady walking her dog told us there are very few buses along there these days, although they used to have 2 a day. She was interested in our bikes and was surprised where we had come from.

P1020292

Along from there , we picked up NCN 72 in Kirkby Fleetham and along to Great Langton which is another ancient settlement going back before the Anglo-Saxons  came to the British Isles. From here we carried on through Streetlam and were back on what we regard as home turf , as we ride it so often.

DH didn’t have the assist on much at all  and came home with 4 out of 5 cells on the battery showing. Me – well I used it more and had 2 cells left so for 71 miles , I was pleased. This is really good. I was watching a programme about electric cars last week and they talked about “range anxiety” when people don’t know if they will have enough electricity to get where they are going. I didn’t take the charger with me and did feel a little anxious  but this was good as it encouraged me to ride without the assist on for more of the time and for now I am quite capable.

So this week I rode 133.1 miles so now I am on 3569.6 miles YTD.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 9, 2018

First signs of Autumn

The weather has taken a definite change in this past week. We have had to dig out the long fingered gloves and cover our ears when out on the early morning rides. Most days have had some rain at some point in the day – even when it hasn’t been forecast!!  The shortening days, also mean we are out as the sun is coming up.

P1020281

I didn’t tell you but last weekend while at the Harrogate quilt show, DH went across to Cyclesense and invested in a Koga World Traveller for himself. It wasn’t something we had thought we would do, but the Hadrian’s Wall ride made him think again, As we are now in our later 60’s , the ability to carry our camping gear and get up steep hills, was getting harder. We also discussed the possibility of the UK leaving the EU. It is so uncertain what will actually happen but one thing we are fairly convinced of , prices won’t come down. He had seen me get up the hills pulling my trailer with ease and so decided to go for it now, instead of waiting a few years. So this week , he has used it on our early morning rides  mostly not having the assist turned on. A friend asked what he will call his bike. mmmmm he’s not really a namer of bicycles but we have decided to call him E-ZeeRider. Sorry no photo so far.

P1020283

Yesterday, we had a ride across to Cozy Coffee as we didn’t have a lot of time as it was a weekend that we needed to be at church on Saturday and Sunday (Stake Conference). I also wanted to go into Stockton as a quilt shop was having an official opening and I was personally invited last weekend, It is called Panicos and on Teesside those of us who have sewn for years are well aware of the name. The next generation have revived the name and I for one are so pleased to see them succeed. I came away with a couple of purchases to finish a quilt I am working on. I will show it when it is finished.

So yesterday we cycled 39 miles and during the week 81.8 miles making a YTD 3406.52 miles. I am pleased that I will exceed last years total if I keep going this way.

 

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 2, 2018

Great Northern Quilt Show 2018

This week has been a short one in terms of cycling as I reported in on Tuesday. We have been out but it has only been short rides, along the river and through the park type runs.

The weather has been much cooler in the early mornings and as the days shorten , there is a feeling that autumn is in the air. Indeed, the meteorological autumn started yesterday on 1 September.

I had a small piece on display at the quilt show in Harrogate, Yorkshire and so DH and I went down to it . I needed to buy a new rule for cutting out and my trusty cutting board has seen better days so I got both of those at the various traders who come to the show.

 

P1020272 (2)

These pieces were all made by members of Pieceful Days Quilters. M had decided to issue a challenge and supplied us with sky fabric and we had to make small quilts to depict our houses. We are a very diverse group and this is reflected in our homes. We wanted them all displayed together but for some unknown reason J’s quilt was not the next one along but it is delightful. Mine is 2nd from the left with the bicycle on it.

P1020273 (2)

I was also fortunate enough to get in a one hour workshop with the delightful Kate Andre who teaches fabric colouring in various ways. Yesterday was working using screen printing and stamping and then colouring using Inktense pencils. I still haven’t finished them but have made a start . Its good to have play time.

These are some of Kate’s samples and she makes these instead of birthday cards.

 

There were some beautiful quilts on display and i did take photos of my favourites but cant show them as I don’t have permission.

So this week I managed to get in another 47.92 miles so YTD is 3324.72 miles

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 28, 2018

A Bank Holiday Tour

Thursday saw us up at the Crack of Doom in order to get the 5.47am train. Yes , you saw the correctly. It was a very early start, cycling to the train station. I have to say that Northern Trains are not the best for transporting bicycles. You cannot book, so its first come , first served and they say only 2 bikes per train , but in practice , they take more. The other bigger problem is, that the space for bikes is just too short. This means that even with the front wheel turned in, there is still not room on the older trains. Consequently, DH stood all the way on the 3 hour journey  steadying the two bikes, as they couldn’t be secured to anything. Luggage had also been removed too. It was a good job Carlisle was the last station on the line, as it gave us time to get off. There was also a delay, as there was a potential suicide threatening to jump off a bridge and they had to wait until the police talked the person down.

So we arrived in Carlisle after 9.15am and I had asked DH where he was . The Premier Inn. What we didn’t know was, there are at least 3 in the Carlisle area and we got to the nearest one to the train staion only to find it wasn’t the correct one. Duh!

The lady in there wrote down directions for us and we got to the BroadGate one well but it is up near  junction 42 of the M6 motorway so traffic was heavy at that time. Fortunately for most of the way , there is a cycle track.

We went up to meet our friends who are cycling the Lands End to John O’Groats route with their 2 little girls on trailer bikes. I had to put on my yellow cape and helmet cover as it began to rain heavily after we had breakfasted.

P1020172

The girls loved it and asked me to play being a bride , so they could hold the cape like a train of a dress and had me walking around the carpark while everything was readied for them to leave.  As you can see , I had great fun. Looking closely at the photo. it looks as though one of them has 2 heads – she hasn’t but moves so fast.

 

Carlisle to Haltwhistle 

We left at the same time as the Jones family  but we didn’t ride back down into Carlisle, as we could go up over the M6 and then head down to Wetherall and join the NCN72 route there.P1020265

The  map was a bit obscured for the way we needed by the Carlisle insert but we found it easily. The way isn’t too  bad along here, with rolling countryside but it was becoming increasingly wet. When we came to Warwick Bridge, I was fortunate as a car stopped to let me out onto the main road. It was then I realised it had Dutch registration plates, so their natural instinct is to give way to cyclists. Thank you to the Netherlands.

From here, the route twists and turns its way up through  the busy little market town of Brampton and along to Lanercost Priory. It was here I called for a halt as the rain was heavier and it was now time to eat again. There is a very nice café here so I asked if I could plug the battery in – no problem  – so we ate nice paninis and had hot chocolate to warm up. There were lots of walkers who are walking Hadrian’s wall and I spoke to a couple of American ladies who were enjoying themselves despite the weather.

Once through Lanercost the climb begins – gently at first and then up to Banks where the steepness increases. I was using Bluebell and increased from Eco mode to Tour  mode to help with the climb. I stopped a little after Banks for DH to catch me up and then it was off again .

 

Even though the weather wasn’t too good, the rain at least abated a bit  and the views are beautiful even in the wet.

 

We rode on and looked at one of the milecastles that were dotted all along the wall. Its amazing they are still standing even after 2000 years.

IMG_0200[3189]

The climb continues to Birdoswald but we didn’t stop at the museum and I remember a previous occasion when I walked up that hill. Now I swooped down, chased by DH but with the e-bike assistance I was up the other side with no difficulty.

Part of the path near Gilsland has been resurfaced which is really nice but when you get to Greenhead, the road in the village , I would describe as “dire”. It’s possibly an unadopted road  and not well maintained. The path then goes off road and I had a bit of difficulty here. I think it was because I got the gears wrong and the surface wasn’t good but I ended up walking a short stretch ably assisted by DH pushing the rig for me. Once up at Walltown Craggs, it was an easy run down into the town of Haltwhistle , calling into the Co-op for some supplies. I saw Co-op and stopped only to find it was the funeral place Heehee. DH might have needed it ,he says, if he had had a heart attack on the climbs.

We cycled down to the Camping and Caravanning Club site to the south of the town near Park village and were well received. I asked if there was any chance of a hook-up for my battery and was greeted with a very enthusiastic yes.  One of the assistant managers even came to ask about the e-bike and how it all worked. He is thinking of retiring at the end of the season and may invest in one. We were really fortunate that the sun had come out for pitching the tent and stayed dry in the evening.

P1020187

This was early morning as the sun rose. We used a home made tarp to cover both bicycles.

Haltwhistle to Bellingham

P1020267

 

During the night, I had awful leg cramps not once but three times. I hadn’t packed any salt, my usual remedy and so wolfed down some crisps. They helped a bit but I knew I had to get some salt in case it happened again. I was going to go to the Co-op again but didn’t really want to carry a whole tub. I spotted a butchers and asked if they had any. The assistant was only to happy to put a small amount in a plastic vacuum pack  and a plastic bag for later use – no charge either. Thank you to W M H Fresh Farm Meats for your kindness.

IMG_0203

We then set off eastwards along the South Tyne valley following route 73  through Melkridge and along to Bardon Mill. We saw some scarecrows dotted about  through the village in  a celebration for the Bank holiday weekend.

P1020192

After this there came the big climb. We have been to Vindolanda , a big Roman fort on a previous trip so opted to use a small route up to near the highest point on Hadrian’s cycleway. First was the climb up to Westend Town and this scarecrow was on the corner.

P1020193 Here is DH resting before he starts to climb up again.

P1020197

Fortunately there is  then a flatter bit following the contour before climbing again. There were lovely views. I stopped and waited at the road junction which had this wind blown tree.

P1020201

 

 

It was cool and damp but there  was a great descent of about 5 miles into Newrough where we encountered a German couple on e-bikes. They were headed for Dumfries in Scotland but would find accommodation on the way, They said that they had been so pleased by the friendliness of the people they had come across on their journey and were so pleased when I spoke German to them.

We left them as they headed west and we road along towards Fourstones and up to the Chesters Roman Fort. I did go into this museum as its not one I have been into previously. There was a really good free tour and the guide said that at the time the Romans invaded with 40,000 troops, Britain had about 4 million inhabitants. So it was a huge force with such revolutionary technology that has changed our country .

There is a museum displaying finds that the Victorians have preserved and I talked to a chap who was running a “dig” for children. He said it kept children entertained while the parents had a chance to have time to look around themselves.

 

After this visit, we headed to Chollerford and then started a gentler climb on the B6320 . There was a road sign saying the road was closed 7 miles head. We knew the village of Wark was 7 miles ahead but didn’t know if the road was closed before or after this. We decided to just ride up and see.

Well we were in luck and although there was a chap sat in a car at the road block , we just rode through and then past the workforce who were just working on one side of the road. This meant we had the road to ourselves. It did begin to rain a bit  so we stopped and donned the rainwear.

We rode up to the campsite just outside Bellingham ( pronounced Bellingjum locally)  and again got a pitch  with a hook-up – all without booking because we arrived by bicycle. We got a choice of pitch too . It was interesting  to see this fungus in this old tree stump. I wonder if it is a bracket fungus?

 

The sun came out later and we rode the mile down into the village to buy some cake. yumyum. There is a lovely kitchen and sitting area at this site. When the weather is clear at night , it’s in  a dark sky park so you can see the stars. We weren’t so lucky but the sky must have cleared later in the early hours as it got quite cold for an August night.

Bellingham to Jarrow

 

Saturday morning saw us getting up and making breakfast in the kitchen while waiting for the tent to dry out in the early sunshine.

P1020233

Then we left the site about 9.00am and then  headed back down the B6320 back to Wark. In 2016, I rode across route 10 to Bellingham with my folder and had a real slog on the bit before the town. By coming down to Wark, that bad off road bit could be avoided. There was a stiff climb up to Birtley above the North Tyne.

 

I needed to use the turbo mode on a couple of occasions but the views were stunning in the sunshine.   We had to cross the A68  and there is a supposed crossing point but it is a bit of a joke – we couldn’t use it with full kit on the bikes – as it was choked with vegetation.  We did cross fairly easily though on the road and then we were on very minor/farm roads across to the church at Throckrington.

Then its down towards Little Bavington and Ryal before getting to Matfen. Here I knew there was a village shop / café. We stopped and again I asked if I could recharge the battery. The owner thought I wanted to bring the bike in. I explained that the battery is easily detachable and I could just plug it in. He agreed and  we sat and had a sandwich and the tiffin – a sort of chocolate biscuity thing was fabulous.

While we ate, the battery recharged to 4 cells and we were now on much gentler country.  We continued east to Stamfordham before using a small road  that took us to a much safer road crossing of the A69T that I used in 2016. You live and learn.

In Wylam, I spotted the sign for George Stephensons cottage and I knew the Wylam Wagonway ( cycletrack) was there. Again we were back on NCN72 and it was a lovely ride down into Newcastle where we crossed the Millenium bridge to Gateshead on the south side of the river. NCN14 then undulated down to Jarrow where we stayed with my brother and my SIL for 2 nights. This gave me the opportunity to go to church in South Shields and meet up with friends from so many years ago who I rarely see these days. I was glad we had made this decision as Sunday was the wettest day of the whole weekend.

Jarrow to the Boro 

We set off from Jarrow at 7.45am and road through South Shields up past Temple Park on well made cycle paths . Then we rejoined King George road up to Cleadon village where we took a road we have never ridden before into Whitburn , where we rejoined our usual route. We believe this saved us about 8 miles , rather than riding the river and coast to the same point.

We got home at 2.30pm having called in at a supermarket  so I was really pleased with how Bluebell had performed.

Ridden this week was 208.3 miles and YTD 3276.8 miles

Older Posts »

Categories