Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 17, 2021

Snow and Ice

While we did get out a little more than last week, it still wasn’t too far due to poor weather and lockdown uncertainty. There was lots of press interest in Boris cycling 7 miles so didn’t want to go to far from home.

However, if I have to be honest it was mainly the poor weather that stopped me playing.

Monday , saw us riding with a purpose going across to our chapel on the other side of town for DH to do something on the church computer. He deals with records and finances. We look a longer way back along to Teesside Park and home.

It was still Ok to cycle on Tuesday, although the temperature was starting to drop and we rode through Thornaby and Stockton on Tees.

Wednesday saw a lot of snow for us and although it soon cleared it was cold. DS1 had arranged to take his cycle down to Tadcaster for servicing but when he got there , the weather was so much worse west of the town and the mechanic couldn’t get across as they were snowed in, That actually made the shop close as no staff could get in on Thursday .

On Friday, still very cold at about -2C, we decided to walk instead as it was a beautiful sunny day. We walked to the local cemetery which is very old and part is a nature reserve so its pleasant to be among the trees.

Sorry cannot get my photos to upload. I did see fungi on a fallen tree stump but think the frost and snow had killed them off and they had fallen to the ground. Leaving the cemetery , we saw a very poignant little grave for a girl called Dorothy who died in the 1890’s as a 14month old child. Someone had placed a small doll on the grave. Brought a lump in my throat.

It was very icy under foot and DH said he was glad I had asked him not to go cycling.

On Saturday, after lunch, the weather did warm up a bit with the wind coming from the south west so we got a quick ride in .

This week 36miles and YTD is 47miles. Looking back to this time last year, we had cycled 156 miles in the two weeks. Shows how different the weather has been.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 10, 2021

Starting 2021

Wish I could say that it was a fantastic start to the year but it hasn’t been. Winter weather has stopped play largely and I have only ridden once due to snow and ice. To be honest, as the country has gone into lockdown again, I have no wish to come off on the black ice, damage myself and have to add to the burden of the NHS.

We don’t have a static bike or one of those things you put your bike on and ride in your house or garage. We do have a walking machine that we were given by an old friend who sadly passed away this week. So I will walk on that while the weather is bad and go out when the weather is less inclement.

I have been sewing and made myself a trial pair of leggings out of stretch fabric that is about 20 years old. No photos though as its a bit see through.

I have also started a year long commitment (or more) to make another quilt. I do have photos of the first few blocks.

Small houses

This will be a circular quilt.

So first week of January a measly 11 miles. Hoping for better weather

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 31, 2020

Farewell 2020

So the weather this week hasnt been the best – snow and lots of ice.

We had a ride out on Monday and it was meant to be a longer ride. DH needed to pick some paperwork up at the chapel and then the intention was to take it across to a friend in Billingham. It was quite frosty and we went carefully across there. Part way to Billingham, DH realised that he had left the said papers on the desk!! Duh.

So he went back and DS1 and I continued on along the river but decided it was too cold for a longer ride and we returned home. DH did go to Billingham and then rang to check where we were and came home. So it was a short ride.

There was a snow fall overnight and it was too bad for us to ride but it has cleared by Wednesday. Our friend C , who has a lovely wood, said she would be over there. So that gave us a destination. The other side of Yarm. The snow might have cleared but it was more frost than we realised.

We went our usual route across to Thornaby and we were on main roads that had been gritted so riding was fine. Then there is a cycle path that goes down to the river . Now the fun started and we had to get off and walk down the hill. We chose not to go through Preston Park because of a hill there which we thought would be just as bad.

So it was through the industrial estate and up to near Yarm on the main roads. Then we turned off towards Aislaby and were pleased to find that the roads were passable here. C had the field gate open and we pushed our bikes up the perimeter where it wasn’t so boggy. C was waiting and had started a fire.

fire pit

C got chairs out and we sat and had a warm drink and a biscuit. C has also put up a working composting toilet so its great for when people can go up there.

smoke from the firepit blowing across the site.

the lovely C making our drinks

We changed our plans for the return journey and came back near Elton and on to Stockton. Teesside park was heaving with traffic and – people shopping maybe before we went into level 4 of the Covid restrictions.

We came back the way DS1 and I had done on Monday but both of us came off on black ice. Fortunately , no harm done apart from a small bruise on my knee and thumb. We found out later that DS1 also came off on black ice on his cycle courier job.

So today, when the day dawned with severe frost, we chose not to ride. DS1 was safe on his courier rounds too.

So for this part of the week we rode 33 miles. YTD 6231miles , 10,028kms

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 27, 2020

Where has the year gone?

Well, I am pleased to report that I am well enough to cycle again. On Tuesday, I reached the 70th birthday and am amazed that I can be that age. How did it happen? I still feel 17 in my head. Pity, I was so anxious as a “fat” teenager. Just goes to show that I was just a normal size but in the ’60’s , everyone wanted to be painfully thin.

Now , I feel happy and healthy and fit.

So Tuesday, saw me out for a birthday ride. It was actually just over 12 miles and we went to collect our meat order from a good butcher that we buy from regularly.

We even managed to ride on Christmas and Boxing days but all very local. The weather wasn’t brilliant but at least it didn’t rain but was very chilly and icy on Christmas day.

Sorry no photos as we didn’t stop to take any and WP is playing funny with photos I uploaded previously

31 miles this week and so YTD 6198 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 20, 2020


Its been a week when I have been really unwell. Cystitis returned with a vengeance requiring yet more antibiotics after I actually spoke with a doctor this time. I have spent the week being mollycoddled on the settee and now have a slight cough to boot!!

Although I am much better, I will not cycle until I feel up to it. We non-celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary but did have a special home cooked meal, so that was good. I did have a plan for the solstice but that is on hold now.

Anyhow, here’s to a very good Christmastide as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Good wishes to all who follow my blog and I hope I get some miles in before the New Year.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 13, 2020

Dark Days

The days have been so dark and gloomy here this past week but we have still managed some riding but only the same as last week.

We pretty much kept fairly close to home but did have a ride up to Seamer. It has a duck pond.

Seamer on NCN52

The ride also took us along to Hutton Rudby on NCN52 which if followed west would take you all the way across county to Walney I believe.

mist on the Cleveland Hills

It was very cloudy but we were so lucky as just after we got home it started to rain.

On Friday, we rode near home along the river to Stockton. As we passed the college I was taken by the light reflecting on the cladding. Usually, it just looks dull but the sun broke through and I got this photo.

Sunlight on Middlesbrough College

There has been some controversy in the past week as the landmark transporter bridge, known locally as the Tranny, has been closed for 16 months and the council are deciding whether to get on and repair it back into working condition or just use it as a tourist venue. In my opinion , it should be restored to working order. It was built on 1910 to provide a link across the river and is unique in this country (I believe) in that a gondola takes cars and passengers across .

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

I do remember seeing another similar bridge in Germany some years ago but don’t know if that one was in working order.

On the sewing front , I found a free pattern on Linda and Laura Kemshall’s site and made 20 of these little tree ornaments to give to friends.

tree ornaments

It was very useful in using up some of my small scraps. I am a bit of a hoarder and like to use things up.

Anyway, this week I cycled 60 miles in total so my YTD is 6167 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 6, 2020

Winter’s arrived

Brrrr. Its been cold and very wet for a lot of this week so not as much cycling as I would have really liked. Still that left time for sewing too.

Our longest ride this week was across to Darlington where I bought some acrylic paint as I have started to do a Sketchbook challenge with Laura Kemshall. Its a really good price and she has posted 8 videos. She is also a quilter. If you are interested look up There is quite a bit of free stuff too.

We took a familiar route back to Sadberg and then stopped off to take a couple of photos of my nephew’s outside tree on their balcony. Then it was down to Middleton St George and on to Middleton St George where we stopped as the sun had come out.

Middleton one Row.

After this , the sun started to drop and it became quite chilly but the climb up through Aislaby on to Yarm warmed us up. Even though we have the e-bikes, we still like to use as much leg power as possible up those steep hills.

Thursday and Friday were awfully wet and so no cycling although when our son came home from his bike courier stint on Friday, the water pooled around his ankles on the floor.

I stayed home and have made this small wall hanging for a friend.

This was a free pattern on quilter Pat Sloan’s website . Lovely to use up saved scraps too.

I discovered that the photos wouldn’t upload last week because the resolution was too high. I have got my son to set it at a lower resolution for future use. Somehow , I must have switched on the high resolution.

So this weeks total was 67 miles so YTD is 6107 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 29, 2020

Success – 6000+

I started the week with a trip to the dentist!! Have had a week of antibiotics and the possibility of a root canal filing but it seems to have settled down well.

So it wasn’t really until Thursday that I was able to get some miles under my wheels. Unlike usual, we didn’t really have a plan on our destination but decided to head north across Newport Bridge and through the industrial area of Teesside and up to Cowpen Bewley.

The road is still closed but cyclists are able to get through and the flooding has subsided so we didn’t get a soaking. We rode across through Greatham and along to Seaton Carew and along the coast to Hartlepool.

We usually ride down the Hart to Haswell route in a north to south direction, but Thursday was the opposite. It’s more uphill this way but with the e-bike its not a problem. We had a break near Heselden and ate a 2nd breakfast before continuing onward until we came to the turning for Hurworth Burn.

The geese were really raucous and making a lot of noise as we passed.

So as it was still only about 1pm we decided to take a slightly longer route home coming back down the Castle Eden walkway and across through Thorpe Thewles and on through Carlton to Redmarshall where we stopped and had cheese toasties.

We had a nice quiet spot near the church and were able to chat with a passing lady who was on her 2nd circuit having had a knee replacement 6 weeks ago.

We took it easier on Friday and went shopping on our Swytch equipped bicycles. Only a 14.5 miles trip.

Saturday saw us off to Saltburn as I had a face shield to take to a friend.

So my total for the week was 99 miles and that makes YTD 6040 miles. woohoo!

I have been unable for some reason to upload photos from my camera.

a fun quilt to celebrate me

Strangely, this photo of a small quilt I finished this week, will upload but it was taken on my phone. It celebrates the places I have been to using kayak and cycling. I had to make the flags using Fabrico fabric pens except for the USA flag and I bought that fabric about 20 years ago!! The feet hanging off the ears indicate my profession. Need to sew more I think to use up the fabric before I get too old to sew

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 22, 2020

#Give Thanks

Well on Friday, Russell M Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints challenged us to fill social media with gratitude for the blessings we enjoy despite the current difficulties. I am trying to follow his counsel. While I primarily write this blog for myself, I am thankful for those who makes comments and give me encouragement.

So , despite the sometimes inclement weather, I have been cycling most days during the past week. I am so grateful for my e-bike because without it , I would not be able to manage in some of the high winds , we have experienced this week.

Last week, as we were passing a bus stop , we saw a book stall set up and I wanted to donate a few books. We thought it was in Elton but when we arrived there , it was gone. Now maybe we had it wrong but it gave us a reason and we did come back through Yarm.

Tuesday was just a little local ride in the late afternoon and then on Wednesday we rode across to Cowpen Bewley and came back via Billingham and the river Tees. We are blessed with some pretty good tarmac paths for a lot of the way.

On Thursday, we went for what I call a bimble. We had no idea where we were going apart from buying a calendar, and we had seen an NCN1 sign down a track we haven’t been on . Lets explore!

notice the cogs and chain links

This is the entrance that we found down an alleyway and the sign said Great North Park. I looked it up and this is several green spaces across Stockton on Tees and there are some nice surfaced paths but some of the barriers are a bit difficult to negotiate. NCN1 runs across to eventually the Thorpe Thewles walkway that we use to cycle up to Sunderland when travelling north.

As we came back across Stockton Market place it was 1pm. Now I have never seen this before but knew about it. We heard a whistle and then this magnificent beast arose from its slumber.

arising from its slumber

There are bells and whistles and hoots to remind us that the first railway in the world ran from Stockton to Darlington and it moves as well. It was a joy to see.

On Friday, I took my Dahon out and we did a bit of shopping but still cycled almost 11 miles. This took us through Albert Park where I saw this bird. I know its a sea bird but not sure if its a shag or not. I am sure someone more knowledgeable than me can help.

The forecast for Saturday, was for one period of rain. We set off in the dry but a very dull and overcast sky. Heading up to Great Ayton , we were into a headwind but when we turned for Guisborough, we had it on our backs for a bit. At Newton Under Roseberry, there were again full carparks and cars parked along the road. This wasn’t so, pre-Covid, so it must be an indication of people getting out more. DH remarked that he wondered how far people had travelled to get there.

In Guisborough, we turned onto Wilton Lane. Its a while since we have ridden this way. Its a very steep decent on the north side but it was an enjoyable ride up and down with very little traffic.

Then we picked up the cycle path past Kirkleatham Hall. There are also some alms houses that I stopped to photograph.

Sir William Turner Alms Houses.

I was so pleased I had stopped , as I turned I was surprised to see these birds.

a turkey and some guinea fowl

Just as I set off three pea hens shot out in front of us from the hedge. We carried on along towards Marske but then the heavens opened and so we were able to turn down a short off road path that our friend Pip showed us some years ago. This took us onto the coast road path and into Redcar.

We finally found an empty shelter and were able to get in to put on our over trousers and have a warm drink and a bit to eat as it was now past noon. DH had brought a cloth to wipe down any benches but I used it to wipe down my wet leggings. Then I out on my over trousers and I could feel the moisture wicking through drying and warming me.

As we departed , the sun finally peeked out and we rode home along the Trunk road path. DH felt chilly but warmed up and suggested extending the ride part way along the river which we did.

So this week I have ridden 141 miles making YTD5941 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 15, 2020

November ramblings

Well, the week didn’t start too well as the medication I had been given for the cystitis worked but as it was only 3 days of treatment – it returned!!

So being in lockdown again, I was so grateful to have modern technology to be able to access the GP remotely. The upshot was , I have a full 7 day course and feel much better. So we have been able to get out riding.

Mostly just short rides but its amazing how they all add up. Along the river and under the bridges.

Tees Flyover
Newport Bridge river Tees

Our longest ride took us over to Brafferton. Unfortunately, the Cozy Coffee ‘shop’ is closed. I had noticed a bus shelter with a bench on previous rides but we had never stopped there. This was a good occasion as we rode the opposite way around to how we usually do and we stopped here.

view from the bus shelter at Brafferton

We then came back via Sadberg and it was lovely to see their memorial at the seating place we sometimes use. In the first lockdown, the benches on the village had all been blocked off but not this time.

garden benches open for use

The paths are often leaf filled and wet so we had to be careful so that we didn’t have any falls , thank goodness.

Most of the villages had war memorials of some sort and it was lovely to see how people are giving thanks to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Gt Ayton

So this week I rode 68 miles so YTD is 5800 miles.

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