Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 21, 2017

Ne’re cast a clout

Until May’s right out, as the saying goes.

I have never really been too sure about whether this means the month of May or the hawthorn flowers which locally are known as May flowers. Whatever it  means there is a lot of blooming going on . The weather has been a bit wetter and warmer , so I am seeing blossoming trees every where. Such beauty makes my heart sing but I also know that it will soon be gone. Already, the winds have taken away of lot of cherry blossom and the discarded petals lay in heaps on the pavements . People are complaining that they have to wash their cars more often because they look unsightly as they brown off.

We haven’t been riding much away from the town or along the river this week. DH has been fettling with my gears before we set off next week for the Cycle Touring Festival. I will be working until the last afternoon before we leave , so Saturday afternoon was spent getting our gear packed and ready. There wont be much time left on Monday , except for some last minute stuff. I do love to be off cycle camping  and we will be cycling through Yorkshire and in to Lancashire.

So I bought myself a new camera ( thanks for the recommendation Nick) and have started to try to get to grips with it. My old phone keeps telling me I don’t have enough memory. How right it is, I seem to forget stuff all the time now Heehee!

So, here are some photos from last week. A mixture of phone and camera photos of blossom and birds.


It’s lovely to see the birds and their young. I did see 2 tiny coots but couldn’t get a photo of them but I am really pleased with  this one of the geese.



We also went along the river early on Saturday morning and there was a rowing regatta on and I got these shots of one of the races and the rescue boat.


Finally some flowers on trees and the yellow flag irises that always make me think of my past kayaking trips off the west coast of Scotland. They always seemed to be blooming when we went up there in May. Being early meant we escaped most of the plaques of Midgies.


So the tally for this week is another 60 miles making 1257 miles YTD




Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 13, 2017

Not all my own write up

Today, is my wonderful DH’s 66 Birthday and here is a write up he did for his birthday treat ride earlier this week. He is my Superman.


Jozef’s 66th Birthday Ride

 On Thursday morning 11th May I woke up at 3.15 am and organized some things to take on what I am calling my Birthday ride. I was on my way by 3.55 am. While riding along  Acklam road I saw a fox run across the road. There was very little traffic.

 On towards Stokesley , and then up through Great Broughton but before climbing Clay Bank I took off my yellow jacket and had a drink of water then off I went. The wind up to now was a bit confusing  blowing from every direction but when I turned to the steeper part it suddenly swung round and I could feel it on my back. This allowed me to achieve between 3 and 5 miles an hour. (haha). When at  top , I turned into the car park  I stopped to to have a drink and a biscuit. It was quite misty while heading along  through Bilsdale  which was actually very attractive It would have been nice to have some pictures but they didn’t come out very well . On through Chop Gate it seems to me that these roads are longer and the hills steeper than last time. Loads of rabbits running around and I noticed a bit of road kill some quite fresh On through Helmsley, Sproxton, Oswaldkirk, Stillington, Sutton-on-the-Forest and then along a busy road to York.

I stopped near Roundtree park on a bench over looking the river and had some of my all day breakfast. I make this in a plastic tub with granola and yogurt which softens up as they day goes by. I find it very sustaining but only have a small amount at a time hence it lasts all day.

 This was not a long stop , 52 miles to this point I just started riding again when  Brenda rang so I stopped to talk but only  for a short conversation  as I was eager to get on.  Along the  river path and over the race course towards  the planet track down to  Riccall and  along to Selby. It was  66 Miles to  the bridge at Selby and now  now 10.15am this was  the turn around point .


Back in Riccall I called in to  see Rod and  Peggy at South Newlands Farm  and have a little talk and use their facilities.  In the village I bought  two ice lollies, sitting and eating one  and then eating the other as I rode up the Planet track. .  Back in  York , I again sat on  the bench near the river had some more to eat and drink. Along to Lendal bridge and over to the north side and along to Rawcliffe following the river path and then up towards Benningborough.  Instead of going thought the hall grounds,  I followed the cycle route around  the hall thinking it may have been repaired by now but unfortunately not. Its is still in need of repairing.  Passing through Newton on Ouse and along to Linton on Ouse I  saw my friend John’s van so called in to see if he was home. He was, and very kindly made me a drink.


Now heading for Aldwark village and remembering to turn left at Flawith, it was on through Helperby Brafferton  and up to  Cundall . By now it was  3.00pm and I  stopped  at Asenby for a drink and a brief call home. On through Topcliffe , Sandhutton, ,South Otterington and to Northallerton. I  stopped here for a drink and more of my all day breakfast while sitting on the bench just at the entrance to Tesco’s  now at  4.30pm. Another of our usual stopping places.

I must say I was  now feeling a little ache across my shoulders and  in my feet. So I pressed  on through Brompton, Deighton and down to Appleton Wiske and on to Yarm into Preston park. I decided, to get the miles in , I would ride  along to the path heading to Stockton . I saw another cyclist coming towards me and was surprised to see it was my friend Ben Willis on his  way home from work. Another brief stop to chat, and along the river crossing at the Tees Barrage  and into the town and through to Albert park, where  I did a figure of eight in the park so I could achieve my goal of 150 miles in the day and I did it.

Unfortunately , the app on my phone, Ride with GPS , had stopped working , so I don’t have full details mapped out but I did it. I was home by 6.45 pm and this was all on my Koga Randonneur. I don’t have a lightweight racing bike.

Yes this is almost the same as we rode over the Easter holiday with the exception of going to Tadcaster, for those of you who read regularly . However, he managed it in one day!!

The hawthorn trees are fully blooming now so hopefully summer will soon be here and we can ride in shorts and shirtsleeves.

For myself, I rode  56 miles this week, all local runs not going any further away than Middleton One Row. I did happen to see goslings in Albert Park though.


YTD 1197 miles





Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 7, 2017

A dry week

Well, so far May has been a rain free week, well almost, in this part of the world. Nothing that stopped cycling and I did get out most days. The usual river or park rides, early in the day, as the sun is well risen by 6.00am at this time of the year.

The trees are in full bloom and the smell from the hawthorn hedges with there white blossom, is  a delight. Its amazing how scent invokes memories. I can remember my dear old Great Grandfather Robert Pears taking me for long walks before I was the age to attend school. He would walk me for miles and I can recall how he used to call the hawthorn May Flowers.  Ahh, how I smile at those memories.

The fields are also full of bright lemon yellow rapeseed flowers which really brighten the landscape. My famers wife friend J, says that her house is surrounded by such fields. They allow beehives to be housed in the fields and in return they are given some honey. She tells me that the honey produced is very pale, almost white , which surprises me as I would expect something much more yellow. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago but you can see the yellow.

I have been sewing this week making leggings and 3/4 length for DH. Mine are multi coloured but DH will only have black.

  • On Friday evening, we went to the preview of the small art exhibition at the Python Gallery in Middlesbrough. I have 3 pieces in there and there has even been a postcard made of this one.

On Saturday, we were able to take a longer ride. We seem to have been in every direction lately, so decided a ride over to Cozy Coffee near Brafferton, to have some of Rosie’s delicious homemade cake.

It was our usual ride along through Stockton and up through Bishopton and Great Stainton to the lovely shepherd’s hut , housing this tiny little café. The weather has had a lot of northerly or north-easterly  winds and Saturday was no exception. Still, it was mainly on our backs going there and we got a lovely warm welcome. We haven’t been there too often but the ever cheerful Rosie remembered we drink hot chocolate and not coffee.  We also had fish finger butties ( haven’t had one in years)  and to finish  off very moist cherry cake. Yummy.

Cozy Coffee has become popular with cyclists, as word of mouth has spread the word. Rosie has now installed a tap so that water bottles can be filled without having to ask,  a well thought out addition.

When we left, the weather had become colder, so we wrapped up well against the wind and headed off through Coatham Mundeville and onto the cycle track alongside the road to Darlington. I have to say , I do wish cars and  vans would not park on the cycle track. We had to stop a number of times to negotiate open doors , completely blocking the way.

Returning home through Sadberge, I stopped to photograph this little addition to the village, next to the church, made by local school children. They are probably doing a project on the Anglo Saxons. The village has Viking origins apparently meaning flat topped hill and that’s just where the village sits, on the top of a hill.

So the mileage since Tuesday has been 59 miles making my YTD 1141 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 1, 2017

Spring into May

Sorry I haven’t posted  since the Easter write up. Life gets in the way sometimes and DH has been very thankful for our NHS which he has had to use twice in as many weeks. He had to be seen yesterday as he has an infection in his finger now and being a bank holiday weekend , didn’t want to wait until Tuesday. The NHS111 came up trumps and he was seen an hour after phoning and given antibiotics to prevent the infection getting into the bone,

I have kept up with almost daily riding but some days the weather hasn’t been brilliant and what with rain and hail, I kept the mileage down. We didn’t manage to get away cycle camping this  weekend but have managed two reasonable rides. On Saturday , we took a ride over through Ingleby Barwick calling on a friend who is recovering from a stroke and  then up through Hilton and over the bank into Stokesley. We took a route we followed earlier this year , up through Kirkby and Great Broughton and on to Ingleby Greenhow. This kept us skirting the bottom of the Cleveland hills, so it was an easy ride.

We picnicked here toasting our sandwiches on the little gas stove and hot chocolate with water from the Stanley steel flask. I have to say that we have had other steel flasks but none has been as good as this one in keeping boiling water , hot for hours. I have no affiliation with the company.

The wild flowers are looking abundant at present and cowslips seem to be popping up everywhere. Dandelions are also lining the grass verges too.

After eating we rode past Battersby junction and took the road to Great Ayton.  We were going to take the same route as on a previous occasion until DH reminded me that it was a busier road so we turned back and went on the B1292 and then crossed the A172 and on to Newby.  We turned towards home riding down through Stainton village and Hemlington  and back home.

We rode on our folding bikes for the trip as we have been talking about what we may do later in the summer and we wanted to try out various panniers to see how they fit. We think that we have enough with what we have but I may have to make a different handlebar bag as my Ortlieb one cant be used with the front panniers. So that was 43 miles and DH has got used to the gearing on the Bickerton.

Today, May day, we decided as it was reasonably fine, weak sunshine, we decided to head in the opposite direction ie north.  So it was off up the Castle Eden walkway and up through Station town. There were a lot of cyclists and walkers on the old railway line, but it was sheltered from a brisk Easterly wind blowing across the North Sea. So we turned off NCN 1 and down on NCN14 into Hartlepool. The closer we got to the coast , the colder it became .The visibility was poor as the haar(mist) had blown in and the sea was rough with waves crashing in.

Turning towards the old part of town, The Headland, we lunched in a small park that kept the wind off us.  These flowers were so bright against the grey day. They look like what I know as sea pinks or thrift. That at least is what my great grandfather called them.

We again had toasted sandwiches and hot chocolate and I was so glad as it was chilly and I forgot to bring the warm jackets.

There were more people along the promenade than I thought there would be, so we weaved through them. We didn’t stop in Seaton Carew but there were plenty of people waiting outside the fish and chip shops. We had the wind on our backs all the way back to RSPB Saltholme.  At the exit we usually use, they have been having problems with youths on off road motorcycles entering the reserve. It meant that we had to take the pannier off  and then lift the bikes over, as the handlebars wouldn’t go through the way they have made the exit. Cant say I blame them, but if I had been on my own , I wouldn’t have been able to get out.

Then it was off to the Boro . DH decided to go a bit further but wished he hadn’t , as he got a puncture and had to change the tube, so he had mucky hands when he got back. Good job he had the tools with him. So that was 45 miles.

So I am pleased to say that I have completed 1082 miles to date. woohoo!

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 19, 2017

Easter week – part 3

Easter Sunday  16th April 2017

The day started well with a dry tent and a bit of week sunshine. We packed up quickly and left our packs in the storage area at South Newlands Farm before setting off for church in Selby as we didn’t want to miss the Easter service. Christ is risen. Joy

Crossing the A19 was easy because it was early and we rode down through Barlby where there is a lot of new house building going on. We spotted a couple of young missionaries on bicycles headed towards us and they were going to ride with a new member. We got to the chapel at 9.00am but it wasn’t open but the missionaries soon arrived with the key. I enjoyed sitting in the sunshine while we waited and a good job I did.

We enjoyed the service and when we came out, it was raining. Still , we have rain gear so on it went and it was a wet ride up to Riccall and than to the planet track. This photo was taken the day before but I wanted to include it.

There wasn’t much a headwind, which was just as well as the rain came down steadily. That fine rain that wets through. We passed by the Treat Trike but didn’t stop , although we waved a cheery hello. The lady was just packing up to leave and I cant say I blame her. We again stopped in Rowntree park for 2nd breakfast which was actually lunchtime, but we weren’t bothered. It was food.

The rain eased a little as we rode through the water meadows, which were much easier to reach as there weren’t as many tourists about. I was really shocked to see young cattle – don’t ask if they were male or female, I couldn’t see well enough. I have ridden over cattle grids along here for years and this is the first time I have seen the need for them.

After this we were back on to minor roads that pass over 2 railway bridges  before riding through the grounds of Benningborough Hall. There was a wonderful sight as the woods were covered in bluebells. The trees in Newton on Ouse were full of pink and white blossom too. Up through Newton on Ouse and Linton before crossing the river on the Aldwark toll bridge ( still toll free for cycles) and on to Great Ouseburn. There is a choice of route up to Boroughbridge but we took the most direct one.

We got to the campsite at 5.30pm , just as the manager was cashing up. I think she would have preferred us to arrive earlier.  I was sad to see that the old tent pitches near the river have all been converted to hard standings . Shame. Willan Holding who satred the club would be saddened too I think as he was a cyclist and canoeist.

I got really cold as we pitched the tent and I couldn’t be bothered to have a shower as it would have meant walking back in the rain. So I cleaned off in the tent and put on dry clothes, cooked a meal and went to bed. I was tucked up by 8.00am and soon warmed up and dropped off to sleep.

Easter Monday 17th April 2017

I slept very soundly until 5.30am when the dawn chorus woke me.  The tent was still wet but we wiped it down with a cloth and it was almost dry by the time we finally took it down. We followed our usual route home, up towards Kirby Hill and through Norton le Clay  to Cundall. The wind steadily increased in strength  and unfortunately was in our faces all the way back home.

By the time we got to South Otterington, I was feeling really weary so I asked DH if he would pull the trailer, as I felt I was holding the others up.

DH was only too pleased and had it for the rest of the day.  He had offered a number of times but I always refused so he said that if I wanted him to take it, I had to ask on the flat and not at the bottom of the hill.  I was able to cycle much faster after that so I treated us all to hot chocolate when we got to Northallerton. We took our usual route back home and were delighted to see Davy Redlegs peddling down into Brompton. So it was home by 4.00pm , just time to get all the gear put away.

The total mileage for the trip was 196 miles and YTD is 928miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 19, 2017

Easter week Part 2

Yesterday , I kept loosing all the other stuff I had written , hence this being in parts.

Good Friday 14th April 2017

Sheriff Hutton to Riccall

As we awoke from a very comfy night’s sleep, a light rain/mizzle began to fall. We knew that we would only have a short ride today so were in no hurry to get packed and away.

We had brought part cooked rolls with us so I was experimenting with cooking them on a stove. I used the frying pan and a piece of heavy duty foil with our larger pan over the top of 2 rolls, turning them frequently . This worked reasonably well so I cooked turkey rashers and eggs to have with them. Its surprising just what you can cook on a single burner with a bit of knowledge from the past. Roman soldiers cooked bread in this way.

We left the site at 10.00am and turned south to ride through Strensall  under dark grey clouds.  There is a nice cycle bridge over the river , so avoiding slowing traffic on the old narrow road bridge. There are plenty of potholes to avoid in the road down through Earswick and there is a bit of a cycleway to get across the junction to go to Huntington.

Then the cycle track is a bit of a nightmare as it is hardly wide enough for a child’s cycle and the surface is awful so we were glad to get into the outskirts of York where we followed the river Foss into the town centre. I recognised where we were  as we passed the building that used to house the Quilters Guild museum , now sadly gone due to the financial situation.

We crossed the Ouse just upstream of Lendle bridge ad picked up the TransPennine route towards Selby. We stopped near Rowntree Park and I spotted Mr Moo , the ice cream boat chugging up river.

After 2nd breakfast, we continued on the TPT crossing the Knavesmire  race course , which had a new slippery plastic track to protect the grass track, and on to the planet track to Naburn.

We were saddened to see that the Trust Hut has closed down and apparently the house is being auctioned off. On the adjacent piece of land, Sustrans and other volunteers are trying to keep the area going with a Treats Trike, but there are no toilet facilities now.

Once in Riccall DH treated us to ice cream lollies even though there were showery periods, before getting to our campsite at South Newlands Farm. We were warmly welcomed by Peggy and Rod who put the kettle on while we got pitched up.   22 miles.

Saturday 15th April 2017  Riccall to Tadcaster and return

Overnight rain wasn’t a problem and we had another good breakfast. I tried another way of baking by using 2 frying pans on the stove covered with a pan. that worked better.

We rode through Riccall and then turned west through Kelfield and along to Cawood. The hedges have been removed from lots of the fields and so there was no shelter from the strong NW winds. Getting to Cawood reminded us of the 1st cycle trip DH and I made way back in the late 1970’s  when we rode this way to Lincoln and back. That was an Easter trip too and the weather wasn’t any better. So in the past 40 odd years , I still haven’t learned anything haha!

We turned NW on the B1223 through Ryther and on to Ulleskelf. This area was past of the Dane law about 1000 years ago and the names still persist from the Norsemen.

From here there was a bit of a climb up to the A162. We saw a lot of club racing cyclists whizzing along and a lot are riding the routes that will be ridden on the Tour de Yorkshire at the end of the month. After about a mile we turned off through Stutton and on to Tadcaster. We called in to Cyclesense, our favourite cycle shop (no affiliation) and they were buzzing because Dame Sarah Storey and her team had called in.


We called in at the Everything Good Goes cycle café /wine bar and enjoyed hot chocolate and I indulged in a piece of Easter egg cake.

The bridge that came down in the winter floods a couple of years ago has been repaired , so hopes are that the Tour will bring in a lot of needed trade. The knitting shop I used to go to, is no more  but its less temptation for me heehee!

So we were now on the return leg and what a difference with the wind on our backs, we were fair flying along SE to Bolton Percy. Then there was a change of direction to ENE to Appleton Roebuck with its lovely village green, and up to the river at Acaster Malbis. Turning more northerly, we crossed the river at Bishopthorpe and then had a good chat with the lady volunteers with the Treats trike. One of them had come across from Manchester and she made us very nice  Malteser drinks.

When we got back to the site, the wind became even stronger so we took down our tent extension and were glad we had. 33 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 18, 2017

Easter week Part 1

Well, I was lucky enough to get in my first camping trip of the year, setting off for a short tour on North Yorkshire. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as good as last week but we  made the most of it. So the early part of the week saw us getting out equipment, looking at weather forecasts and deciding just what we would take. As the night time temperatures were going to be low, I decided we would take our 3 season sleeping bags and the home made quilt to keep us warm, along with our Exped downmats. It was also decided that we would use the trailer and I would pack them all in. My Radical designs trailer took them all and my clothes and other extras.

So Maundy Thursday saw us ready for the off in the early hours after we had eaten a good breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast. I always find that I do better with a high protein breakfast. so didn’t stop for 2nd breakfast and we headed off on known routes across to Yarm and up to Kirklevington and on to Appleton Wiske.  DH had offered to take the trailer for the incline up to Deighton but I said I wanted to try and I did manage it. and then we were in  Northallerton.  We did buy some lunch supplies from the supermarket but  rode on another 10 miles in cool sunshine but with a wind on our backs. We 2nd breakfasted in Asenby having ridden about 36 miles. The temperature had risen from 7C to 14C so it was pleasant out of the wind.

We carry small boxes pre-filled with granola and yogurt and this becomes porridge like but is sustaining. After eating it was off again and I was delighted to get up the hill to Cundall School and then across the undulating countryside to Brafferton/Helperby and then across to Easingwold. Sitting under the old market shelter, we dined on delicious cheddar and red onion foccia with turkey.

Then it was back out onto the main road and turned off to Stillington and in the village turned off towards Sheriff Hutton.  The Camping and Caravanning club site is just outside the village in East Lilling.

The same site managers have been there for 4 years and recognised us so we got a warm welcome. We good a good pitch and  soon had the tent up and dinner cooked. 56 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 9, 2017

A week of Sunshine – gasp!!!

That’s right we have had a week without rain here in my part of the UK. Spring seems to be bursting all over. There are still plenty of daffodils but some are beginning to die off while there is an abundance of blossom on the trees. On that note I have also finished off a wall hanging showing blossoming trees for an upcoming art exhibition in May.


I was also glad to receive a new ruler from Craft-UK. Can you see Andy even put my name on it.

Cycling has been good on the early mornings , mainly along the river and  back before work .

The weather was so still one morning that I had to stop and take a photo of the cooling towers and reflections .

I did take a half day on Wednesday to meet with some old school friends that I haven’t seen in 50 years. Yes that’s right and I had a lovely evening up in Seaburn catching up with all the news. One thing I did note, we all had similar figures to what we had on leaving school, maybe a little larger but still the same shapes. They were surprised to hear that I still don’t drink alcohol and attend church each week. What a joy it was to hear about the families and where they had gone. At 18, M who seemed so quiet, had gone hitch-hiking to Greece to met her husband and now lives in Italy. She says her siblings think she has become very Italian but if loving your parents  and children wholeheartedly, is Italian, long may it last.

Saturday saw more beautiful weather. We had committed to help with a clean up  in an area of Hartlepool supporting the local community. We had attendees from the LDS church in the surrounding towns and missionaries helping to tidy and care for the local church cemetery and planter boxes where the local council had dumped top soil onto the flowers and weeds. That is what DH and I did after cycling there. We came back into Seaton Carew and picnicked at the bus shelter as there was a cold wind off the North Sea. We still had an ice cream each though standing in the sunshine.

We went back to Saltholme by a different route to the one we usually travel and this had much less traffic on it.

We called in to a supermarket on the way home, completing 30 miles for the day

So my total this week was 85 miles and YTD 709 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 2, 2017

Spring Clean


Plenty on workwise this week and a promise to help spring clean the river Tees paths has kept the mileage down this week. We did get out and about early in the mornings though and now we have gone to British Summer Time again, the mornings are dark again. So its back to having plenty of lights on to be seen by early traffic that doesn’t expect to see cyclists out  at 6.00am.

It was joyous to be out and hear the dawn chorus as we rode along either to go to the river or up to Ladgate lane , so nothing very adventurous I am afraid.

On Saturday morning we met up with a small group to clear up rubbish along the paths. I realised I wouldn’t be able to hold on to a rubbish bag as it grew heavier, so I took my trailer along so I could ride along and pick up sacks that others had retrieved.  In the bushes the remains of an old bike had been dumped  but N said he would take it , as he is planning to make a pedal powered boat and bits that he needed were still intact. Recycling, I love it. I am hoping he gets it made this year and on the water.

We also found a fire extinguisher that was actually retrieved from the river. There were also 16 sacks of rubbish mainly cans and bottles . In the Netherlands and Germany these would go back to the shops to be recycled and give tokens to be spent in the shop. It is noticeable that the number of plastic bags that were discarded is much less since the plastic bag charge started for supermarkets and larger businesses. I do hope that they will start a deposit scheme for cans and bottles and I cam sure we would see a drop in the detritus.

I recall going to kayak in Poland in 1989, just after the Berlin wall came down and Poland became free of communist control. There was very little in the way of rubbish in the streets and rivers 1. because they had so little 2. the Poles are very inventive when it comes to using everything. However, after the US companies came in, the amount of rubbish  – bottles , cans etc became so much more evident. It was very sad to see.

Anyway. I digress. Here are a couple of photos of our little group.

Miles this week 67    YTD 624miles



Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 26, 2017

English Weather

If you don’t like  it, wait a few hours and it will change. We have had it all this past week, rain, hail, snow in places and sunshine. Did I get out cycling – you bet I did except I didn’t go so far on the worst days.

Last Sunday, there was a football match that disrupted the depositing of church moneys into the bank , so in the early evening DH and I cycled in to town and back to use the night safe. Only a short ride but those miles add up.

Because of the lighter mornings , Monday dawned clear and not cold , so we had a ride in the sunshine along the river Tees. I love the early mornings in springtime, when the birds are up and about. Tuesday saw is doing much the same but the weather became much more windy and it was a bit of a push. Later in the day the weather deteriorated quite a bit with rain and hail and snow on the hills. By Wednesday, gale force winds kept me in  as I was afraid of the gusts as I don’t want to be blown off. I am still protective of that fracture site.

DH and sons have had a viral infection and so on Thursday, DH decided he wasn’t coming out to play in the rain. Spoil sport. Well I was going so off I went. I also had some early work so could   only fit in  9 miles but still it all adds up as I keep saying. Friday was  much the same except the weather had certainly made a vast improvement. I was a bit miffed as a women’s group that cycle were all going off together  but I had work. Mind you I love what I do.

I was so pleased that Saturday dawned very cold but sunny and the prospect of a great day ahead. Where would we go. DH asked how many miles I wanted to get in. Really I wanted 100 miles for the week so I had a look at old routes and we determined on a ride to Danby Wiske in North Yorkshire. DS1 said he would come part way with us. So we loaded up the slow cooker with ingredients to cook gently while we were out and got our picnic gear  ready. We waited until 9.00am to leave to give the frost time to lift and set off across to Thornaby and up through Yarm. It was heaving with traffic so we actually walked a short way to avoid the queuing cars  before we could ride again once past the old town hall. Riding up the bank we were past by a sporty young couple on lightweight racers. It was surprising to see them resting at the top, while we carried on. As I remarked to a passing walker, what I lack in speed, I make up for by stamina. A speed merchant I most definitely am not.

We turned along forest lane at Kirklevington and  along to Appleton Wiske. This is where DS1 turned off to ride down to one of his favourite cafes . We carried on to Hornby and Great Smeaton before turning for East Cowton. When we got there DH stopped opposite a post office and asked if there was anything I wanted? No, why? Turned out he fancied some sweeties to suck. So in I went and got some mint humbugs and butterscotch. The lady at the counter, asked where I had cycled from and when I said Middlesbrough, she was amazed. I said its only about 21 miles. She asked if I wanted a cup of tea. No thanks but a nice thought. We carried on and went into North Cowton and had a little sit near the primary school. I took a photo of some tiny blue flowers , almost over shadowed by the daffodils.   I have no idea what they are but I hope someone can enlighten me.

There was another couple about our age who also had a short stop on another convenient bench. On checking the map , I decided going on to Scorton would add a few too many miles, so we back tracked to the main road and climbed the hill before turning off to Streetlam. It was odd that only on Friday, and elderly patient had talked about being stationed there when he was doing his national service. Apparently, there were 5 army camps in the area just at the end of WW2. No signs of them now.
There was only a gentle breeze and we sat on a bench at the corner of the village green in Danby Wiske while I toasted out cheese sandwiches over out tiny gas stove and had a chocolate muffin with hot chocolate. Another couple on touring bikes past by and it was only as we were leaving , we saw them lunching. Turns out they too are avid cycle campers and live in Darlington. I told them about the cycle touring  festival in Clitheroe at the end of May and they asked if we knew that the York cycle festival has started again. Always nice to meet those with similar interests. We were on the road to Yafforth when we saw our first spring lambs in the fields on both side of the road.

We followed the minor road to Yafforth and Romanby before arriving in Northallerton where we had another brief stop. DH and I discussed which way to go home. The most direct route or a little longer one. Well, why not go to Deighton and then turn off to go through the Rountons and across the A19 bridge towards Hutton Rudby. There is a nasty bank there . Not so much the inclination, although it is a short steep one, but the road surface is awful. I opted to get off and walk the last bit. No shame in walking but it was the only one of the day. We stopped on the green and had another refuel.

Oranges and yogurt and a biscuit to munch on, washed down with plenty of water.

As you can see even by late afternoon, the views were stunning towards the Cleveland hills. We rode along to Hilton and then down through Ingleby Barwick to the river Tees. We rode along before crossing at the barrage . We picked up some bread rolls at the supermarket  to have with the soup. At home , the sons had already got some so they went in the freezer. Mileage for the day 61.6 miles made me feel good , if not tired.

So mileage for the week is 113.1 miles an YTD is 557 miles



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