Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 22, 2018

Picton Show

We have been getting out a bot most early mornings but it is become evident that the daylight hours are shortening. Still, I have been able to get out most mornings during the week cycling between 6.5 miles and 12 miles  when I had more time. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you look at it a different way, I have been extremely busy caring for peoples feet – a job I love.

The weather has been good with only the odd light shower but none yesterday. My friend Farmer Joan , had asked me if I could put something into the handicraft section of the Picton Agricultural show to make sure there was a good assortment of entries. I passed on my quilt before we left for holiday, as I didn’t think I would be able to get it over there. Well my entry ” Never Again” won 1st prize. Its the quilt based on the convict quilt   and its a play on words. Never again will I make such a fussy quilt with tiny little pieces and I suppose those ladies who were sent to Australia as convicts probably thought never again would they commit crimes.

 

The poppy quilt was made by another  friend.

I was riding Bluebell, and so we could take hillier roads than we have been doing for a while. We left the show field and road along to the bridge over the A19 that leads to Crathorne.  A couple od lads on road bikes passed us and DH said he thought I would put it into turbo mode to give chase. Not me , steady away lass.

We turned and rode along through Hutton Rudby, whose 17% hill , I have never managed to get up for a good few years. This time in a low gear and battery on Eco, sailed up despite the poor road surface. We then road along the track road to Seamer and I stopped to photograph the Cleveland Hills.

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From Seamer, it was on towards Hilton but we turned and rode along to Maltby before going on through Hemlington and home. DH left me to go on ahead saying “You will soon catch me up”. He was right, I did on the next hill.

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This week 78.5 miles and YTD 2611.8 miles.

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Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 15, 2018

Meet Bluebell

As some of you will know , I really struggled in some of the headwinds on our last long tour. DH said to me , he thought I should consider getting an e-bike. In the Netherlands and Germany, they are an everyday site. I have always said , not until I am seventy.

When away we met a Dutch couple and the wife had an e-bike so I could talk to them and discuss what it is like really touring. I also looked in a few cycle shops in the Netherlands, so I could get some ideas.

When we got home , I messaged a lady I now who has an e-bike and asked where she got hers and she recommended going to talk to the chap in a local shop. He was very helpful and I got further ideas but realised that the brands he sold while good were not quite the same thing as a touring bicycle.

I was in a bit of a dilemma as I do like Koga but last time I looked they had carbon forks. Not ideal in my opinion but I phoned Cyclesense   to talk to Dave in this family business. It was funny really because he said he had been going to ring me but thought it was cheeky.

So I said I needed advice on an e-bike and he told me that he had just had a delivery and one of them was a Koga World Tourer in my size and an e-bike. I told him of my reservations but he said the new model doesn’t have the carbon forks. So we chatted a bit more until I asked the question “What colour is it? ” Blue . Well that was it. It was meant to be.

In my childhood , I always had blue bikes  from my very first trike made up from bits but painted blue. So now in my second childhood, I have a blue bike.

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I got Dave to change the saddle as I do like the one I purchased a couple of months ago and brought he home.

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Even the battery has been colour co-ordinated.

During the week, being back to work, I was only able to manage short rides of 10-15 miles and so yesterday , we decided to do a long ride.

So we set off to Northallerton, 23 miles and then decided we would ride back through Darlington and up to Cozy Coffee near Coatham Munderville. I had no idea of the distance but felt good. For the first time ever, I have seen DH with a sweaty face as he rode up the hills behind me. On the flat , mostly I turned off the assist  and just rode  and was doing well. In total by the time we returned home, we had ridden 66 miles and I still had 3 bars of battery charge left. I was so delighted I phoned Dave to tell him.

I have to say that I used the gears in the same way as I usually do and only had it in eco mode except for once turning it up higher accidently when I was approaching a roundabout.

In the park the cygnets seem to have diminished on number and I was only able to take a photo of this one. I do hope the others are just hiding in the rushes.

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weekly total 123.4 miles YTD 2533.3

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 12, 2018

Making a sort of pizza on tour.

While we were away, we thought we would have a go at making a sort of pizza. We had seen a video on “Travelling Two” blog  about making a sort of Calzone but not using a bread dough base.

DH doesn’t like that sort of base so we started by buying a small box of plain flour ( I had to get someone to check for me it was suitable). and we carry a couple of sachets of  instant easy mix yeast.

As it was a lovely warm day, DH mixed up the dough of plain flour, salt, instant yeast and warm water and then kneaded .

 

While he did that, I sliced onion, red pepper and some mushrooms and then cooked them in the frying pan.

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The dough was left to double in size and then knocked down and divided into two pieces and made into two thin circles that would fit in the panP1020107.

I carry a number of different herbs and spices so we spread tomato puree on one side of both pieces and sprinkle mixed herbs and garlic granules onto it.

Then the vegetables were placed on one piece and cheese sprinkle generously over.

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The second circle of dough was placed on top   and the edges were crimpled together.

The frying pan was lightly  heated oiled and then the “pizza pie” was slid into the pan with the gas on fairly low. One side was cooked and then slid out and turned over. Sorry I didn’t get too many photos of this manoeuvre .

 

This is the result.

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Absolutely yummy.

total mileage YTD 2409.9 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 11, 2018

An Unexpected Tour 2018 – part 5

Sunday  1st July 2018

On Saturday, we had used that well known mapping system to find our way into Haarlem and on the south side we found our church. We did this so that we know where we were going. We then wanted to find the Corrie Ten Boom museum in the city centre. We did find it but unfortunately, we weren’t able to book and even though we went back later we couldn’t get in. This was a shame as I remember  hearing about how she and her family protected Jewish people and members of the resistance during WW2. They were then captured and she was sent to a concentration camp where she thanked God for the lice as it kept the guards out of their barracks so they could have a Bible study class each evening. An inspirational woman who fortunately survived her  ordeal going back to  the family watch makers in Haarlem. I will hopefully be able to visit on another occasion.

The was a young couple with a couple of young children who were cycle touring and the older of the little boys , was a delight and very polite.  He came and chatted to us – in Dutch , we seemed to managed and he seemed to understand us well. What a delight to have this interaction.

 

Anyway, on a beautiful Sunday morning, we rode to church and had a pleasant surprise as we were issued with a headphone system and a lady translated everything that was said.

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When we returned from church, another couple Kym and Kevin from the south of England  were also there. They had tried to go to Amsterdam but the wind was too strong and they couldn’t even get a train in. So we suggested having lunch together and Jozef and I made Pizza Pie on our camp stove. I will share this in a separate post.

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Later in the afternoon , they cycled off as the wind started to drop and they let us know they were safe in Leiden.

Another Dutch couple arrived a little later and I noticed that the lady had an e-bike that she was touring with. We chatted with them as I had been finding the wind a real problem and was holding DH back, I felt. Food for thought.

Monday 2nd July 2018

We decided to have a ride into Imjuiden  and chose to go along to the coast and ride along that way. It was  beautiful but again the winds were really strong.  We found a camp shop but it was shut on Monday. In the Netherlands,  businesses are often closed on Monday especially if they open on Saturday.

We went into the town centre and  I bought a bell as a gift for my son as he likes the one I have. We returned the same way making note that we had to turn off near the Shell garage as the cycle sign to the port is missing.

Just before we  left , I put my Kindle on to charge in the facilities block. I should have known better  but it vanished and at first I thought the farmer had taken it for safe keeping but it wasn’t to be. I wont be so trusting in future.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018

 

So our last day in the Netherlands. We had a very leisurely pack up and  rode to the port a slightly different way.  We  bought some more gas canisters to take home and  then rode to the port. We thought we would have a long time to wait to board but it wasn’t so and we were soon settled in our cabin and a welcome dinner and then we sat outside watching the ferry leaving a wake as it navigated the North Sea.  We stayed outside until we started to get chilly in the   wind. So to bed

Wednesday, 4th July 2018

We enjoyed a hearty breakfast and then waited to dock and start for home. The sky was grey and overcast and would you believe it, the wind swung around so that it came from the SE and we were again faced with a headwind. DS1 had texted us to say he would arrive and pick up our luggage  in the car which heartened us. So it was with unloaded bikes , we rode all the way home. The track has really deteriorated south of Sunderland as DH had said but we managed,

All in all, we had a fabulous time despite the pesky headwinds and it has probably been the driest cycle tour we have ever made.

110.7 miles so that completed 1029.3 miles in the tour.

 

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 10, 2018

An Unexpected Tour 2018 – part 4

I had severe leg cramps during the night after yesterday’s exertion and I had left my salt in a bag outside the tent . Dh went and got it and a pinch under my tongue soon had me right again. I probably hadn’t drunk enough or taken any minerals  so was very careful not to repeat the mistake. I had been doing so well and got complacent. It seems that riding over 50 miles will bring it on.

I had been contacted by a Polish friend M to say that H was at home and so I called and asked if she would like us to visit. It was only about 20 miles away but she  was at her mother’s and wouldn’t be back until 3.00pm.

We couldn’t ride to a nearby church of our own denomination and so decided we would visit Oudenbosch as we had been told of a Catholic church that was a smaller version of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. There were services going on so we didn’t like to go in but it was amazing to see another enormous church in a small village. if you want to view some of the interior,   here is a link https://www.basiliekoudenbosch.com . This part of North Brabant a southern province seems to have a large number of very large churches.

We had to retrace our route back to Staandaabuiten  and we did go a bit too far. I remember riding past a guy with a Tshirt that said the Best Polish Lorry Driver so I greeted him in Polish – one of a few Polish phrases I know   and he and his friend were so surprised that they answered me in Polish. Its the little things that you remember sometimes.

There were a variety of paths from superb to downright awful. Indeed, DH remarked that one was worse than the Planet Track at York which has become very rutted with tree roots. Still, it wasn’t far and we arrived in Steenbergen  at 2.30pm. What were we to do? Ice Cream – yummy.

So at 3.00pm we made a call and H responded immediately and cycled down to meet us. She is a remarkable woman who started going to Poland in the 1980’s when things were not good . We went kayaking there with her  in the 1990’s which is how we met. It is all due to her that I can speak German .

So we rode home with her and met M her partner and S her daughter who I haven’t seen since she was a toddler. It was a lovely afternoon and we went out to dinner nearby. H had a late night , as she was contacting another person on the other side of the world who was recently widowed and so was up skyping most of the night.

Monday 25th June 2018

Although we were up early we couldn’t leave without seeing H,  so we could chat again. Later in the morning DH helped M with a tree that had fallen but lodged on a branch and that gave us more time together bouncing ideas from each other which energised both of us.

We rode the pretty way back to Bergen Op Zoom and as H is a member of SVR she had shown me how to get the app working. So we found a campsite at Woensdrecht but we had only ridden 20 miles.

Tuesday 26th June 2018

It was a wet pack because of heavy dew  and condensation. It was foggy but soon cleared as the sun rose bt we were shielded by high trees and didn’t get any direct sunlight. We were wearing long sleeved tops but soon had to stop as it was so warm.

The route took us down to the coast and we saw lots of shipping in a canal. There are actually 2 canals parallel to each other at this point, the Rijnverbinding and Bathse Spuinkanaal.

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We rode along many bays at the coast  in superb warm sunshine with only a bit of a headwind. We could see lots of industry  with cooling towers in the distance. We stopped at a point near Hansweet but not  before missing a turning due to lack of signage and a sign for a non-existing cycle ferry.

After another short coastal ride, the route turns inland across Beverland and through fields of grain. Rustling leaves in the trees helped to drown out the noise from a  motoway. Interestingly, as we rode along we came across a young woman in a horse and cart with her dog. She was camping as she went along and apparently does this every summer. She spoke excellent English and the dog responded to both Dutch and English commands. Smart dog.

I didn’t mention but we were on and island and the route twists and turns  but the docks at Vlissingen are ever present. Eventually, we got to Middleburg and then rode across  the city to an SVR campsite that is a real working farm.

Wednesday 27th June 2018

What a tiring day. We cycled over 61 miles and most of it into strong headwinds nearly all day.

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We left Middleburg in sunshine so that was a bonus and found our way to Serooskerke where by chance we came across a camping shop in this small village. We bought a canister of camping  gas as we weren’t sure how long the one we were using would last.

The we travelled along tree lined roads, the leaves constantly rustling , to Vrouwenpolder and Breezand where we crossed our first dam of the day and across to North Beverland and then across another dame to Schouwen. We had a brief stop for 2nd breakfast and then we followed LF1b through forest and duneland. If anyone says that the Netherlands are flat, they have never ridden the dunes. The paths went up and down into the wind,  Trying to get off the island wasn’t easy as another music festival had shut the cycle path across the bridge.

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Fortunately, we saw an Australian couple emerging from some bushes  with their bikes. They had come the other way and  then couldn’t get off the bridge unless they went through a large hedge.  They told us that we would be able to get across a bit further ahead and we did. We bought some food in Ouddorp  before slogging into the wind across the next dam.

We were headed for Brielle but the signs were not good and we cycled 2 miles with the wind on our backs – the wrong way so had to slog back. Duh!  So we eventually made it but not to the campsite we have stayed on in previous years . However , we were just glad to get into the first campsite we saw.

Thursday 28th June 2018

We had a much more restful day but again that pesky NE wind kept on blowing making the cycling hard work.  We had to wait  until 9.00am to pay reception but it was actually 9.20am when we left because of computer glitches.

I asked about the passenger ferry across to the Hook of Holland but the receptionist said to use the Rozenburb to Maasluis ferry as it was a much nicer route.   She was correct. The other route is in the petrol  harbour but doesn’t run too often.

We followed signs to Rozenburg, well almost but there had been a car accident so we had to find another way. We got to the ferry landing just to see the ferry leave but there are 3 every hour so it gave us time to work out the ticket machine use.

There was a couple on mountain bikes from Switzerland but they were touring in a motorhome and doing day rides. So once in Maasluis, we set off downriver and  passed a very interesting set of white gates. They are part of the tidal protection barrier. In 1953, the North Sea had exceptionally high tides resulting in sever flooding in both the Netherlands and the UK resulting in many deaths. The Netherlands have done a great job to protect their citizens.

We stopped in the Hook of Holland and bought food before continuing on LF1 northwards now on the west coast. The change in direction was soon felt as we rode through the dunes . The Dutch go to the seaside on bicycles and there are huge cycle parks along the dunes. The path keeps you away from major urban conurbations but its simple to find your way into cities like the Hague.

When we reached  the outskirts Scheveningen, we could see a large number of yachts and wind surfers. It turns out that the Volvo Ocean Racing event was on causing traffic chaos  without any diversion signs.

This made me very stressed as the signage just wasn’t visible.  Eventually ,w e saw signs to Katwijk and we made for the campsite there. We came across a water pump for cyclists which had welcome cold water.

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There were a number of cycle campers and one chap who was back packing and we had an enjoyable chatting to each other.

Friday 29th June 2018

We had picked out a campsite up near Haarlem as it wasn’t too far from the port  and it we could also get to church. It wasn’t going to be a long day  but as we rode through the dunes to Nordwijk aan Zee, we realised how difficult it was going to be. That awful headwind once again. Anyway, we decided to turn inland for a bit and this afforded much more protection from the headwind.

We stopped near Noordwijkerhout for 2nd breakfast and there was another water pump and an electric charging point for bicycles – all free of charge.

We continued north and parallel to a railway line through Bennebroek and Heenstede  into Haarlem.

Its a very nice city but too crowded for my liking. We had an ice cream and then started to find to try to find our way out.  Eventually, we used a good old compass to find a way until we came to signs for Spaanwoude where another road angel cycled with us to the road to the campsite. By chance, it belonged to the parents of his daughters football team mate. Even though it was only 27 miles , I was shattered and fell asleep making my notes for the blog. Normally, because we hadn’t booked, they would only allow us to stay 1 night but I explained we need to stay in the area  and so they agreed we could have 4 nights.

217.4 miles

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 9, 2018

An Unexpected Tour 2018 -part 3

Sunday 17th June 2018

We had a lovely rest day – I didn’t get out of bed until 8.00am – it was comfortably warm and sunny. We wanted to get a bit of washing of clothes done but the man with the key was missing so we had to wait. We spent the morning reading and listening to some talks and then in the afternoon rode the 4 miles back into Hattingen.

The old town  is really quaint  and a bit like a German York but on a smaller scale, We wandered about and then sat at a little café in a square and eat rhubarb cake and cream.  The lady who runs this café from her home was about my age and we chatted about the weather, knitting and how she has a friend living in Cornwall and thinks she will go for a visit. I told her she would love it near the sea.

Then we strolled into the shopping area, so different to the UK. All the shops apart from cafés were closed but you could see in the windows – no shutters to be seen . An ice cream was now almost inhaled , I ate it that fast before we headed back down river.

After tea , we had a walk and found another way to the river but it wasn’t suitable to take the loaded bikes along. Stupidly , I lost the adapter for the phone charger.

A chap had warned us that Germany would be playing in the world cup and it could be a bit rowdy. When all was quiet, we realised that they had lost.

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Being well organised, we got away early on Monday morning and had a dry pack. The weather was overcast but warm and we followed the Ruhr downstream. Getting down to Duisburg wasn’t too bad but there was a nagging headwind all day that was very tiring for me.

We managed to get another adapter in a marine shop in Duisburg  before heading across  the main bridge.  This is where the Ruhr and the Rheine come together  but we got a bit lost. When we found the route again, it was only to be told by a young cyclist that the way ahead was closed. He had a few letters to deliver and then he showed us the way as he was going that way to a swimming class. Again , we were on very busy main roads but it wasn’t a problem with the fast traffic well away from us until we reached the river path again.

 

We slogged along into the headwind until Rheineberg hoping for a campsite  but not was to be found. We asked about a B&B and an elderly lady told us of one in Ossenburg, a few miles away. When we got there I spoke to a chap in his garden and he directed us to a place called the Pepper Pot. It must have been like the jungle telegraph because when we got there , a young man asked if we were looking for accommodation. Yes please. A very simple but nice room – on the top floor. Still we were able to lock the bikes away in a basement. Mind getting in and out was a bit tricky as it was so steep.

We enjoyed chicken and chips for dinner in an attached restaurant  and had a wander around the village.

After a restful night’s sleep, we enjoyed breakfast with a group who were staying there for a few days and then found the way easily. The weather was dull with fretty rain but not too cold although the headwind was still there most of the way.

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We set off for Xanten , with its huge church with beautiful stained glass windows and then outside of the town we saw a replica of a Roma fort that stood there anciently. W carried on  alongside lakes and connecting rivers and eventually stopped on a  bench situated conveniently golf course for 2nd breakfast. Then it was off to Milligan An Rhein where we found a very nice campsite.

 

I met up with Florence a young French girl cycle touring on her own, She was knitting so we sent some time knitting and chatting together. It turned out she was a care worker so it was interesting to discuss the similarity and differences of the various systems. She had cycled up from Lille and then was going to ride down the ride to Dusseldorf before getting the train home.

Wednesday 20th June 2018

We awoke to low lying fog up to tree height and so went back to bed for an hour and then I got up and made pancakes with jam for 1st breakfast. Now it was time to weave across the border back into Germany to Kranenburg where we spoke to a lady who look us along a beautiful disused railway path to Groesbeck (NL) . British Telecom nearly went into melt down , pinging off each   time we changed sides.  Once in Groesbeck , we rode up a hill , through town and through a beautiful woodland to Mook. Here we picked up LF3a – one of the Dutch long distance routes- and stopped for second breakfast  after 15 miles near Millsbeek. We were then following the Meuse until we got to Gennep and were again in woodland. We crossed on a pedestrian ferry near Alferden  and continued south to a SVR campsite  – Camping de Brunk . The temperature was 30C so we decided tp call it a day after 26 miles.

In the evening , we were invited to pick and eat cherries from the trees on the site – the ladder courtesy of the site owners. Yolanda and Titus who have given up farming the land.

Thursday 21st June 2018

It rained during the night  and the forecast was for rain between 7 -12 so we made a start in getting away early.  The rain came in bouts so we packed everything away inside the tent and then during a break got the tent down before the wind started.

We did a 2 mile “detour” in the wrong direction as the campsite had been off route. We crossed the Meuse again by ferry near Bergen and rode down though Aijen and well before recrossing at Blitterswijk and on to Broekhuizen where we stopped and had 2nd breakfast near a small shrine.  Wevthen rode in to Arden and choose to stick to the main road rather than go through the longer woodland way. The wind at this point was was behind us for a change at this point.

We stopped for food in Velden and then rejoined LF3a down to Venlo.

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This is a lovely city  but I am not too good in cities so we didn’t hang about and crossed the bridge and continued south and picked up LF13b through Maasbree with the last 15 miles a slog into  strong headwinds. We were so glad to find a VeKabo site at Spiesberg  which was run by an Autralian lady Kym who married a Dutch guy. She pressed half a dozen eggs on me as they have so many from their hens.

Friday 22nd June 2018

This was the only cold start of the tour. It was cold and windy  but it got worse as the day went on.  It was impossible to think that 2 days previously we had been sweltering in 30C heat.

We had lovely cheese omelettes for breakfast and then got away just after 8.00am and I wore long cycling tights and 3 cycling tops plus long fingered gloves just to be comfortable.

The LF13a route zigzags across the countryside which was fortunate as it meant we weren’t continuously into the cold , strong wind. We welcomed the forested paths as that afforded relief from the winds too. The route snaked NW up to Asten and then Lieron where we had 2nd breakfast after riding 20 miles. There is an enormous church in such a small town and we met an old man whose wife will no longer go camping. He has bought himself an electric mountain bike  and is cycle touring. The weigh of it was 60 kilo and I couldn’t lift it.. He had permission to be away for 6 weeks and intended to ride into Germany too.

The route looped around to Mierlo  and we shopped again before going on to Eindhoven. It is well signed apart from a small part in the centre but a chap, Dirk, who is a university lecturer  showed us the way.

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After another 10-12 miles we came to Oirschot and stayed at a large impersonal campsite but the facilities were nice. We could hear music from another music festival.

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Saturday 23rd June 2018

Fortunately, the forecast for cold and wind was wrong, as at least the sun did come out. We were away early and  we could see where the music festival was going on in Oirschot.  We cycled along the canal and then on to forested tracks which in places were quite sandy.

Again the route zigzagged across country and then we came came across a family of six on a special family cycle that they had hired. It was interesting talking to them.

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Then we kept south of Tilburh and Breda  and met up with LF13b as we had been on LF7. We rode east of Etten-Leur  and then on towards Zevenbergen. We turned in to LF2 and rode to Standdabuiten getting to the town centre just after 5.00pm. It was a small village really but the shop stayed open for us to get some food and then we rode to Camping Markdal which was a lovely little site that had a hut for sitting and cooking in. We also bought cherries and there was a shepherds hut that reminded us of Cozy Coffee , as it used to be.

278.1 miles cycled  this week

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 8, 2018

An Unexpected Tour – part 2

Monday 11th June 2018

We were up before the larks at 5.30am and I cooked the eggs we had been given yesterday – one was a double yoke and obviously very fresh judging by the beautiful colour. That comes from fresh free range hens. Delicious.

It was 8.00am when we left the site and as we did so, an old man staying in a pop up caravan on the site took a photo of us.  As it was quite early, the traffic was heavy in Emmen and we saw a girl fall off her bike skidding on some wet metal inserts in the pavement. We were soon on our way out of town and out of the Netherlands through  a convoluted was to Twist in Germany. Just before we arrived there , we stopped at a lovely  shelter (from the sun) and had 2nd breakfast.

P1010847  A lady dog walker came by and we started chatting ( in German) and she asked where we came from. Flying the Orkney flad from last years trip is confusing so many people who think we are either Norwegian or Swedish.

We stopped at a Combi supermarket  for the usual bread and cheese and yogurt  and very soon passed  one of the point signs , like the Dutch ones  and we made a note of the points to aim for the town being Geeste, Before getting there though, there was more food shopping in the Aldi and Lidl at Dalen. I also tried my bank card for the first time and it worked so we had more money.

After this we doubled back  onto the Ems canal and got on the west bank and made for Lingen and on   where we found a large, impersonal campsite. There wasn’t a washing up place which is usual but I approached a chap and he invited me to use his outdoor washing up place. It wasn’t particularly clean but it was better than nothing.

We camped right next to a large weir and fish lock.

 

The sound of the weir lulled me to sleep. DH  – he didn’t need any lulling and was asleep as soon as his head touched his pillow.

Wednesday 13th June 2018

I was so busy getting things done I didn’t write up on Tuesday night but did catch up.

We got away from Lingen and had to double back to cross a bridge and then through a steel making area and there was a sign down. Unfortunately we choose the wrong road and ended up cycling miles though lovely wooded countryside getting nowhere we wanted to be. There was no-one to ask as we saw no people until we got to a village called Bramsche. An old lady, working in her garden, was able to give us directions back to Gleesen where we could pick up the route again.

We chose to then ride directly to Rheine  through Salzbergen but be doing so we passed a ground water pumping station. We were fortunate to find a composting toilet here. It was a bit smelly but very welcome and I took a photo as our friend C is building one.

We carried on to Emsdetten and then on to Mesum. We kept thinking it said Museum. duh! We then headed to Greven – stupidly I kept asking for Graven and no one knew what I was saying. another duh! In Emsdetten , another of our “road angels” was kind enough to phone ahead to the campsite Ferienpark Westerheide. It was a long way out of Greven and we had to ask a number of people for directions. Greven had a large number of immigrants who spoke neither English nor German.

After we were pitched, a lady cycle camping on her own, came in. Monika, has similar difficulties in finding the place as we had. We got more washing done  but it hadn’t quite dried but hanging it overnight in the heated wash rooms got it bone dry by morning.

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We couldn’t leave too early as we had to hand in the toilet keys and there was a 25E deposit, we didn’t want to leave without handing it in. We set off for Altenberge  and the small hills came as quite a shock on our way to Munster . We spoke to a chap who told us to use the old road and it had a building site – no problem  – just ride through it. For a few miles , it was just a rough walking track. This made our of DH’s  pannier bags jump off. When we reached the road , the smooth surface made for very fast ride to Nienberge and then on a quieter way into Munster. We sat in a small park and ate 2nd breakfast . I saw a policeman cycle up and he was watching for cyclists crossing against the cycle red lights.

We continued into the centre and I located the bookshop I knew had very good cycle maps and books. I bought the Ruhrtal and Rheine maps books and a map to get us around  as well between routes. The shop assistant rolled her eyes at the purchases and I told her my nickname at home is Mrs Map.

A cycle camper, who had just returned form Spain, suggested a route out of the city and we managed to find our way out to Mecklenbeck and on towards Senden.  passing some carved tree stumps.

We were lucky to find a Belgian couple who were able to direct us to the campsite on the SW of the town.

Friday 15th June 2018

We left Senden on Thursday under  a cloudy sky on the way to Olfen on reasonably surfaced tracks. The Dortmund Ems canal is under renovation so not all of it was suitable  so we eventually rode on the main road heading SW to Datteln. I have to say, even though it was a main road , there was a big lane for cyclists and I didn’t feel unsafe. Another road angel took us towards Waltrop where there was a campsite marked on the map. Despite repeated asking we couldn’t find it, and then the rain started hammering down. So it was back into Waltrop and found a small hotel that had a free room.  It was very nice and we had dinner to the sound of the local church choir practicing in large conference room.

So Friday saw us riding out of town on another main road. We still safe but then had to cross it (risky) and then using some of the Dortmund canal albeit on the wrong side, we eventually made it into the city.

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It was  a nightmare getting out again but eventually a little old lady  on e-bike was another road angel and it was difficult to keep up with her at times.

P1010890  She directed us to a larhe main road which had a great separator lane for a long stretch. We then came off it and rode up and down hills to Hohenseyburg campsite which was down a 14% hill. Here there was a British motorcyclist  who couldn’t believe how far we had come.

P1010893Even DH had struggled with the heat and the hills today.

I chatted to a German lady who came out to bash her satellite  dish as she couldn’t get her favourite TV programme on. We then got talking and she is recovering from skin cancer (Krebs) . I couldn’t remember the word at first but then slowly the words returned to my memory.

Saturday 16th June 2018

We had a fine start but made a 10 miles  “detour” and found ourselves at a kayak slalom so we knew we had some upstream Duh!

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So it was another turn about and down past our campsite  and we nearly missed the turning again. If a group of cyclists hadn’t come up, we would have missed it as there was no road sign. We rode on for a few more miles and stopped on a roadside “sofa”  for 2nd breakfast but stopped again after a few miles to eat ice cream,

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After Wetter , we had another small detour but it wasn’t just us. Apparently it happens all the time and you come to a really steep hill. A local chap told us the views are stunning up there , but it reminded me of  some of the Nothumberland climbs I have undertaken but not today thank you.

So after a much less steep climb, we rode along through Witten to Stiepel and then on to Hattingen. We tried the campsite near the river but they refused a pitch as we hadn’t prebooked,. So we rode and stocked up at a supermarket for a couple of days and continued down river coming to a site 4 miles from Hattingen.

week 2 total 219.4 miles

 

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 6, 2018

An Unexpected Tour 2018 part 1

 

We had hoped to go cycle touring this summer with our dear friend from Norway but unfortunately a few weeks before departure he developed a heart condition  and couldn’t make it. We had our ferry booking made and didn’t want to change it so on Monday , 4th June 2018, we hopped on a train up to Sunderland and then rode into a drizzly headwind  up the coast and through South Shields, using the pedestrian ferry to cross the Tyne and get aboard the DFDS ferry to Imjuiden in the Netherlands.

 

The waiting area isnt too cycle friendly , but once aboard they were very friendly and helpful. I forgot to take my phone off the bike and a young officer escorted me down to the lorry deck where I promptly fell over a motorbike parking strap and came down heavily on my knee. The young man was horrified, but I assured him I was OK. At least I could walk but did develop a huge bruise and lump later on. Still we ate well, booking in advance for the discount and slept well on the overnight crossing.

 

Tuesday 5th June 2018

We got off the ferry and found our way into Imjuiden where we discovered the bridge across the river was closed to bicycles. A Dutch couple returning from a cycle tour in Scotland, showed us the way to the river ferry, which because of the diversion , was free. We were passed by another couple but then they turned off , only to reappear as their GPS had taken them the wrong way. They were from Stockton on Tees near us and we chatted away until we got to Alkmaar where we parted company. They were using B&Bs for their tour, while we were hoping to camp mostly.

By now , we were hungry and found a Turkish café near the river and had a lamb filled bun that was really tasty. The weather had been grey and overcast but then by lunchtime it was sunny again.

Then we set off again for Hoogwoud  and got set up at an SVR campsite. This is camping on small farms , or what were small farms. A couple there had a special caravan that they pulled with a tractor. Apparently, tractor rallies are very popular in the Netherlands.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 6th June 2018

The night was punctuated by the noise of frogs and we awoke about 6.00am and had a lazy pack up as the tent was very moist – most of which we dried with a wrung out cloth- before we got away. We had decided  to head for Enkhuizen  but then were told that the bridge/dyke was closed to bicycles  for repairs to the track at present. There was a bus but it was unlikely to take us with all our luggage.  What to do? We didn’t want to ride through Amsterdam as its like the M1 for bicycles so we decided to head up to Den Oover and across the long dyke. Don’t ask me to say it, as its very difficult .

As the sun rose, so did the wind – right into our faces. We had some time in a forest which was lovely as we got some shelter. Once in Den Oover , we located a bakery and bought Apple cake  and bread.  We started across the dyke but pulled over to eat the cake and I am glad we did. It was a real slog. We stopped at the monument to Lely and ate again. We were passed by a few cyclist on recliners but not sure if they had electric assist.

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I took to counting the white marker dots up the centre of the track  in order to keep plodding on. They had changed the way a lot since we road the North Sea Cycle route in 2006  and the campsite we used then is no longer.  We found another SVR site in Witmarsum and it was very quiet. The SVR sites have really good facilities with spotlessly clean toilets and showers. On such a hot day, into the wind, I had sweated buckets , so a shower was most welcome.  This one also had  curly haired pigs.

 

 

 

Thursday 7th June 2018

The day started warm and just got hotter. We decided that riding into the wind was a fool’s game and headed roughly SE along descent tracks and small roads through the village of Witmarsum and along to Bolsward where we found Jumbo supermarket to stock up on essentials. This includes fruit bread as we love the stuff in the Netherlands, Jozef was sheltering from the sun and I was sweating buckets yet again. We then rode to Sneek (pronounced Snake)  and stopped for ice cream.

We followed a route to Skearnegoutum but missed a turning and where deliberating which way to go when a chap suggested riding up the Sneekermeer ( a lake)  and it was lovely. We had another picnic stop but it was so hot the bread was drying out before we could put meat and cheese on to it.

The route wound its way up through Jirnsum and into Grou where we stopped at a marina campsite. It had a pool, so we had a swim  . We thought the pool was shallow and later found out it was a children’s pool. Well you could say we are in our second childhood, This was the cheapest site of the tour at 9Euro but we did have to pay 50C each for showers – still great value.

it was great to see this elderly lady on the paddle board being helped along  near to the ferry site.

 

Friday 8th June 2018

Although the sun shone very early, it was soon overcast but warm. That led to heavy dew so we dried the tent off as much as possible so it was almost dry as we finished packing up. We have the system for packing the trailer really well and if the tent is dry it all goes inside the radical designs trailer.

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Inadvertently, we ended up going back through Jirnsum instead of heading into Akkum. The beauty of the Dutch Knoorpunkt system is that if you go wrong , you can use the nodes to get back on track.  At Nes , just outside Akkum, we saw loads of white washing hanging in the streets – only white washing and some very old fashioned underwear too. We couldn’t find out what it was for but some sort of festival.

We passed through Oude Shouw and turned east to Aldeboam where we stopped for 2nd breakfast. After that, it was off towards Gorredijk but turned off just before to Tewispel and along to Lippenhuizen.  We turned roughly SE  but I was getting  bit sore on the backside and when we stopped for lunch at about 2.00pm I looked up a nearby SVR site. This was betweeh Elsloo and Bolil so we peddled off and  got set up in some light mizzly rain.

We find these small sites , off the beaten track to be really friendly and people were interested in what we were doing. People are quite direct here and this was the first time I was asked our ages – but not the last. I got some washing done and as  the rain had abated , I was able to get it on my little line

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We then walked down to a restaurant and sat down to a three course meal. It was a very Dutch meal and very nice but unusual t be served rhubarb with beef stew. A bit pricy but as we hadn’t bought any food, it was worth it.

Saturday 9th June 2018

The rain poured down through the night but we were warm, dry and cosy. This didn’t stop us getting everything packed inside the tent. Then we packed the wet tent and got away from the site near Elsloo just after 9.00am. We had a false start was we had to turn back to go through Zoravilied and south towards Diever where we stocked up on food.

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Then our way was mostly through forested areas on well laid tracks through Spier  and Wijster. WE found a beautiful, newly installed bench and had 2nd breakfast sitting under trees. In Wijster, we made another “detour”  and had to back track about a mile. It was then on through Meppen to Aalden and an ice cream stop in a small café that the Netherlands has so many of. We than followed signs to Emmen which is near the German border. There is a small mini camp site just on the edge of town which was ideal for us. We had already determined to take Sunday as a rest day.

Sunday 10th June 2018

Our faith is important to us and we determined to get to church and the campsite was only 1 1/2 miles away.  It was lovely meeting with other Latter-day Saints .

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Then we rode back to the site and I had a chat with the campsite  owner who is also a cycle camper. He had been away cycling in Wales a few weeks ago. I passed on the first of the cycle touring festival bookmarks to him. We spent the rest of the days chatting and I got a bit of knitting done too.

We also discussed our options for more travel, so as the wind forecast was still from the NE we determined to follow the Ems Cycle route as we had the book of maps from a previous year.

203.7 miles for the week.

GREAT NEWS

Today , we found our dear friend is fine and doesn’t need any treatment for his heart. So happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 3, 2018

Cozy Coffee

Well done Rosie on getting the new bus coffee shop up and running . We couldn’t get there on Bank holiday Monday as we were cycling back from Boroughbridge.

We knew that our friends the Jones Family had been cycling in the North and arranged a meeting there as it’s just off the A1 but very quiet. I had made bags for the children and wanted to pass them on. They hadn’t made it to the Cycle Touring festival this year so it was lovely to see them and the girls have grown so much in the year. Even though they are only 4 and 5 years old they remembered me. The bags were made with some cycling fabric remnants I had need to use up. My other vice apart from cycling.

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When we got there , the place was packed with cyclists ,so was great to see the supportD Rosie is getting.  This is a group of cyclists from Aycliffe.

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Despite there being so may people around, the girls had a great time playing with the sand and on a small slide. I don’t think these other cyclists realise just how far these little ones cycle. I know during last week , one of their days was 60 miles, on the tag-alongs, but they still had time and energy to play.

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Our time together with them was too short, but we may get to see them later in the year.

I did manage to see newly hatched cygnets during the week. One was trying to get onto its pen’s back and I think there are another 3 there but cannot be sure. The photos aren’t too clear but taking photos through the fence was difficult. Its the little grey fuzzy bit up near her beak.

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I haven’t got many miles in this week – in fact only 10 but I am extremely busy with work and now I am free for a month of cycle camping. I don’t know if I will be able to blog but I will make sure you know about my adventure.

YTD 1380.6 miles

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 28, 2018

A really good week

We have had a lovely week and the weather for the most part has been excellent.

At the beginning of the week, there was virtually no wind as we did our morning cycle rides.P1010694

I was delighted riding through the park to see that the goslings are growing nicely.

So, it was soon Thursday and we were prepared with our camping gear loaded on to the bikes  and off we set.

 

P1010704Originally, we had intended to cycle to Sherrif Hutton  but we had looked at the forecast and saw that Friday was going to be poor with lots of rain. We made a pact that when we got down to a little village called Helperby, we would decided how well I was doing and if we needed to stop. Well there was a following wind and I was going let a train. I felt like superwoman. I even pulled the trailer for 12 miles from Northallerton to Topcliffe as well as having my panniers. We don’t travel light – even have a Helinox table and chairs – so we are comfortable. Well we decided to go for it and make for Riccall our chosen camping spot at South Newlands farm. It took us 10 hours  with two and a half hours resting in short spells to cycle 73.4 miles. I felt EPIC.

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On Friday, as forecast the rain came. This is were the OAP buss passes came in useful as we walked into Riccall and caught the bus to York. I was fascinated to see these very colourful snails all along the path. There were hundreds of them .

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At this size in the photo , its about double the size in reality.

Once in York. we bought a Pastport that gave us entry to 6 archaeological exhibitions for the next year. At a cost of £16 each we thought it good value.

We  were waiting to enter the Jorvik  museum when we heard a group waiting across the street and they started to sing. They were really good and when I spoke to them , I discovered they were a choir visiting  from Narvik in Norway.

I have to say that we haven’t visited this for years and it has been refurbished after the flooding in York a couple of years ago. The animatronics are brilliant and you get a ride through a Viking village in an automated seat affair with the opportunity to listen to the commentary in a number of different languages that you select by a touch screen display.

After this, umbrella up again( borrowed from the campsite) , we walked to the Dig which is more geared to children and it was packed with school groups so we didn’t stay long, We popped in to a sandwich chain and had lunch. That’s pushing the boat out for us heehee!

We walked along to the Barley Hall which is a medieval restored building that once belonged to a Lord mayor of York. There was a wonderful exhibition  of costumes from a BBC production about  the tumultuous time with Henry VIII and the dissolution of the monasteries

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Saw this quilt straight away which is based upon the Barley Hall .

The rain continued to pour down and DH was afraid I would take someone’s eye out with the umbrella but I didn’t. We walked to the Richard III exhibition at Monks Bar.  Bar means gate  and so this is one of the original gates in the old walls. Then we walked along the walls to the Henry VII exhibition. There is a lot of climbing stairs to see these last two but at least the rain abated as we walked the walls. The bus return was really easy and I think DH quite enjoyed himself as he’s not one for museums usually. There are advantages to rain.

Saturday was blowy but we decided to have a ride to Blacktoft  about 20 miles from Riccall that has been there from Viking and Old English times and is recorded in 1116 as Blaketofte. There is an old school hall that is always unlocked for passing people eg. cyclists to use. You can use the facilities and make a drink.

We rode a similar route to what we had done a couple of weeks ago through Howden and along the route of the River Ouse. We we were leaving , another couple of cyclist arrived from the east. They had been blown along by the wind while we had pushed into it. Fortunately, for us, we had a tail wind almost all the way back.

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Sunday, dawned sunny too and we cycled down into Selby to attend church there before riding back to Riccall to pick up our gear.. I wasn’t looking forward to the ride into the wind but it wasn’t too bad.  One of the notable things on this ride was  that we came across a traffic jam on the cycle track caused by a cyclist who came off and sustained serious injury. Poor man needed to be airlifted out and I do hope he is OK but cant help thinking that a helmet would have made things a bit less horrific for him.

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A couple on a tandem , knew of another way to go, so we turned around and headed up the A19 on a pavement until we could get back to Overton and on the way to Boroughbridge. We got to the site before they had cashed up but weren’t very pleased that we hadn’t booked . However, they stuck to club rules and found us a pitch. Actually when I showed my veterans card ( more than 25 years membership and over 65) they were much more accommodating and we got a beautiful  pitch near the river. It was beautiful  as the sun went down.P1010772 (2)P1010779.JPG

So today was a really early start – not really my choice – but we were packed and on the road by 7.20am. It was our usual way home through Northallerton except we road through Milby and Thornton Bridge instead of the climb into a head wind to Norton le Clay. Home by 1.45pm ane DS1 was really surprised to see us home so early.

So the weekend  trip amassed 205 miles plus 27 early in the week making  232 miles. YTD 1370.6 miles

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Still smiling when we got home.

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