Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 25, 2016

Autumn Equinox

Well, autumn is officially here and I haven’t done much cycling this week. I have only managed 16 miles but not because of my knee problem. That is still slowly getting better but because now we are having the dark mornings I don’t feel so motivated to ride in the dark. However , yesterday I added up just how many I have achieved so far this year and its 3415 miles and that doesn’t take into account the miles I have missed when the cycle computer stopped working. So I have about 600 miles to reach my goal of 4000 miles, still to go.

We will be down staying in Sandringham for a few days next week and hope to get some cycling in there. The weather forecast isn’t too promising with quite a lot of high winds predicted. Still. I hope its wrong.

I have managed to finish a pair of socks though as well as I had a very busy week working so I am not beating myself up.20160920_184404678_ios The eagle eyed among you will recognise that they are not exactly the same  but that is because I ran out of wool as this pair is just made from leftovers. Nonetheless they have been snapped up by DS1 as both he and DH love these hand knitted socks.

Well sorry its a short post but back during the week I hope

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 18, 2016

Nice September Weather

If you read last week’s post you will remember there were lost of different  cycles at the Town Meal event. I have some more photos to share.

We have had nice weather for the most part this week and so I have been cycling every day. Still keeping the distances low , but my knee is really improving – most days. I am also getting more fond of riding on Speedy and ” it ” has morphed into a “she” when I speak of her. How does that happen?

Yesterday, I was able to accomplish a longer ride and we kept it as flat as possible so I didn’t have to stress the knee riding uphill. So it was off along the Trunk Road to Redcar. It was interesting as there was a bit of a northerly wind and I didn’t expect to see sand yachts out. One had a conventional sail.


One had a kite.


I was really surprised that the kite was able to go much faster than the sail. Maybe it was a bit windier with a bit of altitude.

We rode along into Marske and then back via Kirkleatham. The Festival of Thrift has moved venue from last year in Darlington and we intended visiting but by the time we got there, the cycle path was blocked with stalls and children and people were everywhere, including on the road into the village. This is a dangerous situation as cars come along around a blind bend. Not a well thought out plan. We did venture into Kirkleatham hall site but it was so crowded and with my smell induced spasmodic dysphonia, it was too much to stay.  Shame .

Still I managed to ride 25.5 miles on Saturday.

I came home and finished off the 30″x 30″   quilt I have been working on for a few weeks. I am particularly pleased with the binding as it is a piped binding with the addition of some machine embroidery. I picked up that idea from and then Ricky Timms put his take on it on his FaceBook page.


and a close up of the binding.


Not perfect but considering its just been a play piece I am pleased to have achieved this. I am still knitting socks as well.

Anyway a good week with 63 miles accomplished so its getting better.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 11, 2016

More Sewing and Cycling

Well, I have to tell you my knee is still “niggling”  – not bad enough to stop me doing stuff but limiting just how much I do. I have had a short solo  ride nearly every day  and a longer 17 miles ride on Saturday . The town was having its annual Town meal and was getting set up as we rode past near the Town Hall and Mima. It wasn’t  due to start until noon and we came back that way and stopped to speak to a few people we knew and some who were new. One group even came up from York with a variety bikes/ trikes for people to try.

If you look closely at the photo on the right , near the left side you can see a bakfiets   which is a Dutch child carrying bike.  It has the large wooden box on the front. Someone else called it a great shopping bike. There was also a few tandems and a tandem trike. DS2 said he had tried it with his friend but couldn’t manage. I wonder if it was because they  were riding on grass?

The Bikehub from our town had also set up a cycle course with small sized recumbent bikes and the early children were having a great time. Unfortunately, I messed that photo up so can’t show it.

So in total this week I managed 47 miles. Not great but the knee feels better cycling than walking but I don’t want to push myself too hard and end up with a chronic injury.

On the sewing  scene, I was thrilled to be informed I have on a prize from The Quilt Show I subscribe to, on the internet. I entered a few competitions and struck lucky.

If you read last week , you know I went to the Great Northern Quilt show in Harrogate.  While there I spoke to Bruce Parr of Parrs Reel Rulers as I bought one of their sets 2 years ago and had never got on with it. After investigating, I realised it is because the  needle does not centre  in the middle of the foot. Side to side isn’t a problem because I can adjust the foot that way but not front to back. Bruce said to  get in touch when they got back from the show which I did on Wednesday. I sent him some photos to show the problem and by Friday they had sent me a replacement foot which I am pleased to say centres nicely . I am hoping to get to “play” with the set very soon.

In the meantime , I have been working on the quilt I was piecing last week. Its not finished yet but I have used a combination of ruler work and free machine quilting.


Ruler work and free machine quilting combined

The borders are still to finish but I hope to get it done in the next week.  Happy cycling and sewing friends.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 4, 2016

A Bit of Cycling, a Bit of Sewing

Well, my leg is still improving but still not 100% so I have been tandem riding for longer journeys and on Speedy, my Dahon for the short ones. Last weekend , was a holiday here in the UK but we didn’t get away on a camping trip .

Monday was beautiful day and a BBQ was planned at church but not due to begin until 11.00am which is a late start for us. We are not people who lie in bed, but we are up and about early. So it was decided we would have a longish ride to the chapel.

The above link should hopefully get you to the map. We left from home and rode up through Marton, the birthplace of Capt James Cook who sailed to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. We also rode through Great Ayton where he went to school before he was apprenticed .

From Great Ayton we rode along and through Guisborough and then up through Dinsdale before descending Yearby Bank and getting on to NCN1. We turned along through Eston and Normanby before reaching the chapel. This is me trying to do a selfie and also take a photo of DS1. Not too successful but I will use it anyway.

When we got to the BBQ , things were well underway with the fires lit and cooking just beginning. One of the other sisters has  trike and she had brought it long. I have to say that a lot of the older children and some of the adults enjoyed having a ride around the cark park. One couple also asked to try the tandem and enjoyed it.


Although, the BBQ was only supposed to be a couple of hours, as it was so unusually warm and sunny, we enjoyed each others company all afternoon.

From then on the weather hasn’t been too good but I have managed some solo cycling but only 6-7 miles at a time. Consequently, I have been sewing more. I bought a pattern from a Romanian quilter  Geta Grama and have enjoyed piecing this small quilt. I have no idea what it will make as yet but will quilt it before deciding.


I also went to the Great Northern Quilt show at Harrogate yesterday,   and had a lovely time. I was driven there by DS1 going via Tadcaster as we took his bike in to have the brakes adjusted. Cyclesense are such a thoroughly decent family firm. I have no affiliation with them but speak as I find. DS1 was hoping to ride on the cycleway near to the Great Yorkshire showground but by the time he had got his bike, the rain was pouring down so he waited somewhat patiently for me.

I was inside the new hall. I have to say the facilities are excellent with more space and great toilets but you cannot get a phone signal in there. Just as well as I ddnt receive DS1’s text messages asking if I was ready to leave. I fitted in 3 workshops. Well I had to rest my leg didn’t I?

There was a wonderful tutor called Kate Andre who lives in Tewksbury at the other end of the county. I learned about Thermofax printing using fabric paint and thickened dyes, Gelli plate printing with fabric paints or acrylics and also how to make up and thicken dyes and the various ways to use them. Here are a couple of bits that are worth showing.


I did manage to buy some  needed supplies and also to see the quilts. There were some really nice ones but I was a little disappointed to see that a lot of the winners were 2 person quilts in that they had been pieced and then sent out to be long arm quilted. However, that is what is happening now. I have realised I really love the quilting part.

If you have read this far, well done and thank you.

I couldn’t resist buying this ribbon but cyclists spot the mistake.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 28, 2016

Cycling again- sort of.

Well, its 2 weeks since I last posted and my leg/knee has improved but still isnt 100%. Strange but I forgot that I had hurt it cycling to the Cycle Touring Festival at Clitheroe in late May. It was only when a Facebook friend asked about a route that I remembered walking down a 25% hill to stop the trailer jack-knifing that it popped into my head.

Anyway, I have been icing it regularly and applying a non-steroidal gel and it is definitely not as painful as it was . Still , that has given me time to quilt and I got the baby quilt finished.

If you look closely  , you can see the quilting and I used a combination of ruler work and free machine quilting. As I didn’t have quite enough of the red fabric I inserted a plain red piece and then appliqued a circle of an owl to blend it in. You can see it on the extreme left of the whole quilt picture.

I did try a bit of cycling last weekend. DH took me on our old tandem for a short ride and then I decided to try on Speedy, my Dahon Speed TR. Mistake!! I spent a lot of Sunday with an ice pack on my knee. DH wasn’t too happy about how the tandem was going as we haven’t used it for a long time.

In the mean time , I thought about DS1 who has a birthday this weekend. He hasn’t cycled much as his bike had a frame repair, and he didn’t think it was going to last.

I made a decision to try to help him.  Although  he is at least 6″ taller than me , his inside leg measurement is 2″ shorter than mine. I phoned Dave at Cyclesense in Tadcaster and discussed what size frame would be suitable. In fact he had been to the Koga factory in the Netherlands and had brought back a model made for the German market. So I sent DS1 down to have a test ride and the upshot was , he came back with it. Dave has been very helpful so a big thank you to Cyclesense. The model is an F3 but DS1 took some of the components off his old frame and this is how it looks.

20160826_131729 [725515]

DH then decided to use the gear shifters and replace the twist grip shifters and put them on the tandem. So off we went for another short ride.

20160826_121902 [725511]

We were hoping to get away for the long weekend but it wasn’t going to be a possibility but on the whole I am quite pleased as there has been quite a lot of rain on some of the days. However, yesterday was beautiful so we had a ride to Redcar and Marske. An advantage of riding as stoker, is that I can take photos while riding. Here are a few of them.

The sea was very calm and it was beautiful riding along the promenade towards Saltburn. I did need to stop and rest a little .

It wasn’t really my knee that bothered me but an unfamiliar saddle!!



We could see cloud beginning to build and the forecast was for rain later in the day. We headed back along NCN route 1 and DH asked if I would mind calling in to the LDS chapel we attend. He did what he needed to do but as we were leaving discovered a front wheel puncture. Fortunately we had a spare tube and a repair kit so while he did the change over , I applied a patch to the old tube. Teamwork.

So then it was off home via an old friends to fill his bird feeders and @ldi to buy fruit and we arrived home just before it began to rain. We don’t have a working cycle computer but estimate with the short runs I have completed about 50 miles in the 2 weeks. Hopefully, I will be cycling on my own soon.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 14, 2016

Set back

Cycling took a bit of a back seat this week. First we had some unseasonably high winds, and when I did go out only managed about 25 miles in total for the week. Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t so much the winds , as a painful right leg. Fortunately though both DH and myself have had a lot of training in massage and manipulation , so have been able to realise it is a muscular problem in both the Sartorius and gastrocnemius muscles. I really think  i strained it while on my Northumbrian tour, but being the obstinate person I am, I just pushed myself. Then cycling in some of the winds , the muscles had had enough and started screaming at me. 

So on Thursday, I couldn’t cycle and decided to sew. Well that involved standing to cut out triangles and to be honest , my cutting table isnt the  correct height , so further strain. The upshot of this was I pushed myself to get the top pieced on Friday with the intention of quilting on Saturday. No such luck!

My leg was so painful by Friday night , that I couldn’t manage the stairs down from my sewing room. Anyway the top is pieced so here is a quick view.


 So I spent Saturday on the settee being ice packed every hour by my loving DH who made sure the ice pack was refrozen. No sewing so I knit instead. I finished off the blue and brown marled pair and now I have black ones on the needles . DH will get these.


Heard today that my friend N who I cycled to the Cycle Touring Festival has been knocked off his bike on a roundabout. Luckily, he was wearing a helmet so didn’t have head injury but has rib and clavicle injuries. Wishing him well for  a speedy recovery. Take care out there cycling friends.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 7, 2016


I don’t know if others are like me, but I can go on tour and not feel tired – until I come home and then I can sleep for England.

I had a lot of work last week and can honestly say I felt tired. I did still go cycling but kept the mileage down so I had only ridden about 20 miles until yesterday.

DH was up for a long ride – but not me- so he left the house about 5.00am. He wanted to go back up to Ryhope and avoid the section of NCN1 between Shotton Colliery and South Hetton. So he studied the map and made his way on the road. This adds about one and a half miles and a bit of climbing going north but it is worth it to avoid some unpleasant litter strewn muddy track. The road isnt too busy.

I had a sleep in until 7.00am and then did some cutting out of a child’s bridesmaids dress that is required for next weekend. Then I rode over to the butchers in Thornaby to buy the sausage I am able to eat (chicken) and returned home.

DH arrived home a little later and after a bit of tinkering with his bottom bracket asked if I wanted to ride. Well, I did so we determined to have a ride to Redcar by way of Marske. We called on Uncle R who we know from Sustrans and he was pleased to see us as he had to sell his bicycle. We had a lovely visit.

Then we rode along the coast road and stopped on the promenade. The sun was shining and there were even people swimming in the sea.


Looking towards Huntcliffe near Saltburn

After picnicking, we made out way into Redcar passing lots of families playing on the beach. The further we went , the more crowded it became. We could see people walking with numbers on and it became obvious that this was a race walk – The Redcar Blaze. I stopped to ask an official about it and it is a 100mile walking race expected to finish Sunday afternoon!! people think I am crazy but walking 100 miles in about 24 hours?????

Then it was home along the recently resurfaced cycle track but with a freshening headwind so it became a bit of a slog. DH finished up with 87 miles for the day and it was 27 miles for me. this is DH’s ride data.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 4, 2016

My Solo Northumbrian Tour Part 5

Monday 1st August 2016

I had a very restful night in a bed and arose at 6.30am. I didn’t disturb my hosts and left their house by 7.30am. I rode down through Tynemouth and onto the promenade and followed route 1  along to the Priory and then down a track to the sea wall. The tide was out and so could see the notorious Black Middens. I remember as a child being told of the many ships that were wrecked on these rocks.


across the Black Middens to South Shields

Then it was on along the fish quay and to the Shields ferry landing. The crossing costs £1.50 and only takes about 5 minutes.


on the Shieldsman Ferry

It was a glorious morning and because it was early, I was able to ride up King Street. it has been pedestrianised but all of the shops that were familiar to my have gone. It has many boarded up properties were the likes of M&S have vacated without any other company stepping in to keep open. It is so sad but many of our High Streets are like this in the north of England. However, I continued on along Ocean Road,  and past the old lifeboat, which has been there all my lifetime.



I continued along the coast road and climbed up to Marsden then along past Souter Lighthouse and into Whitburn. I continued along the main road into Seaburn and as it was such a nice morning made my decision to ride all the way home. I had been undecided  but the weather swung it.  So I phoned DH to say what I was going to do and he said he would set off to meet me.

So it was up through Sunderland and past Silksworth leisure centre and up to Ryhope where I noticed there has been a lot of new houses built. Then it was up through Murton and South Hetton.. As I rode down the main road I followed the route sign to Haswell but I think I made a mistake and somehow had a bit of a trek across a field to get into Haswell.

Then I phoned DH to ask where he was. Ryhope!!! We worked out we had missed each other at the South Hetton crossing places. This is because there are confusing signs.

However, we did meet up just before cycling to Hurworth Burn. So from here is a repeat of our trip up to this area when guiding cycle tourists a couple of weeks ago.

So to sum up I cycled approximately 171 miles with 9454ft of climbing in my 5 day tour. Am I pleased with that? VERY PLEASED.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 4, 2016

My Solo Northumbrian Tour 2016 part 4

Sunday  31st July 2016

We were camped next to a couple of young Swiss cyclists who asked about cycling to Newcastle as they were getting the ferry back to Holland from there. I told them it shouldn’t be a problem as I cycled to Jarrow from the site last year and it was about 65 miles. They didn’t know if they could make it that far so we looked up where they could get a train from. They got up early and were on the road by about 6.00am so I hope they made it.

I had telephoned my cousin in North Shields and asked if I could stay the night. Lovely P,  his wife, said they would look forward to seeing me, so I was able to offload gear that I wouldn’t need into DS1’s car for him to take home.

We had a plan for the day as I wouldn’t be cycling all the way. Being Sunday, we wanted to attend church but I also wanted to ride. So we set off about 8.30am and drove along to near Low Hauxley .  Druridge Bay is one of my favourite parts of this route.


Entering the route near Low Hauxley.

It was a beautiful morning and lovely and sunny. I was thrilled to see these beautiful wild flowers carpeting the area. You could almost be in France except they aren’t sunflowers.



a tractor for a fishing boat

As you can see ,the  sea reflected the blue of the sky and it was so peaceful.


The far end of the bay in the distance.

As I rode along, I was going through a gate , when a cyclist I had met on Saturday came through behind me. DS1 had met him up at Durness in the far north west of Scotland and he has been cycling around the coast. He was looking forward to getting back to his home having been on the road for 68 days.  He had only had 14 days when he hadn’t been rained on.

We said goodbye at Cresswell and I  folded Speedy and got into the car. We went off to church in Ashington and it was lovely to see old friends that we have known in different parts of the country.

My son then took me to Blythe and we had lunch before I set off by bicycle and he drove home. The weather stayed fine and I just love this part of the route as it undulates through the dunes.


Seaton Sluice Harbour

It is only about 10 miles along to Tynemouth   but because it was such a nice day, I had to avoid many pedestrians. I could not understand why so many were oblivious to their surroundings as they walked with heads down looking at smart phones. Such a shame as it is so beautiful.


St Mary’s Lighthouse

and then Tyemouth Priory could be seen in the distance.



So just as I neared my cousin’s house , the rain began to spot and as I was so relieved to get inside before there was deluge. Although I didn’t ride all the way from Beadnall , I had a lovely day.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 3, 2016

My Solo Northumbrian Tour part 3

Saturday  30th July 2016

Apparently, it rained heavily through the night according to my neighbouring campers but I never heard a thing. When you have cycled nearly 40 miles the previous day and have a comfortable Exped downmat and good sleeping bag, you sleep like a top.

It was a beautiful sunny morning and there was a fair wind blowing so any moisture very soon dried off perfectly.  I had a lazy start at 9.00am as I knew it wasn’t going to be such a long day. Unfortunately , when I got back into Wooler, I followed route 68 – THE WRONG WAY – up a 10% hill !! it somehow felt wrong so I got the compass app up on my phone and was heading south west. Duh!!

So, it was turn around time. Back into Wooler and onto the B6348 towards Belford. I didn’t want to go to Chatton but the road I needed appeared closed. So nothing for it – CLIMB THAT HILL. So singing to myself, I made my way up, looking at the beautiful views. It was a beautiful day.



the long and winding road


I was encouraged up the hill by cyclists coming downhill and then I had my own swooping ride down into Chatton.


Once in Chatton , I realised that I was going to end up on the A1. Well that wasn’t going to happen. I looked at the map and saw I had 2 choices, one with another climb and the other more gentle. I talked to a local lady and she said the horrendous climb had super views. SO WHAT WAS I THINKING? AM I STUPID OR WHAT? I chose the steep hill with good views.


As I slogged my way up Lyham Hill, my DH phoned asking where  I was  .  He said, ” you sound out of breath.”  Me – “get off the phone, I am going up hill.” I was so relieved to get to the top and onto the undulating Lyham moor and Belford moor with a wonderful run down into the village.


first view of the North Sea

Once in Belford I met up with my son who took my trailer off me to transport down to the campsite at Beadnall. He also told me he was cooking dinner for me later. I met a couple and their 2 children who are cycling from Morocco to Aberdeen, on 2 tandems. They write a blog called Popping the Bubble if you want more information. I also met up with a couple of lads who turned out to live local to me and we knew some of the same people. It turns out that they were cycling from a rugby club in Edinburgh to Hartlepool Rugby club. So when they met up with the bunch, I had a photo taken with them.


Hartlepool Rugby Lads

I set off but soon stopped at Warren Mill to chat to a chap , back packing who was interested in where I was going on my own. When I told him of my trip, he said he may try cycling.

I then went on down into Bamburgh .


Bamburgh Castle

I visited the Grace Darling Museum. When I was a child my great Grandfather used to tell me about her heroism in rowing out with her father to rescue people from a ship that had run aground and broken up on the rocks. She was awarded a silver medal for this and became a Victorian heroine but died aged 26.  She is buried in this churchyard.


St Aidan’s church, Bamburgh.


It was much lighter riding along to Beadnall and when I got to that first hill without the trailer I laughed out loud as I zoomed up the hill. OK I wasn’t long or very steep but I didn’t have to walk.


We got camped at the  Camping and Caravanning club site at Beadnall and true to his word DS1 made my evening meal. The wind got up through the night and I put on my home made pertex hat that is at least 25 years old.






Older Posts »