Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 18, 2020

Autumn Wandering followed by Disaster

So as the days continue to shorten , we are having early morning rides – when its not raining! Earlier in the week, we were able to see a thumbnail moon with Venus shining brightly to the right of it. I couldn’t get a photo though as I forgot the camera.

Thursday came with a reasonable forecast so we decided to head off to Richmond , one of the places we haven’t been to for a while. We headed across towards Long Newton and I recognised a cyclist in a Teesside CTC top.

Just into Elton, we had to stop and put on wet weather gear as the rain started to come down heavily and the sky looked like it would continue. Duncan passed us but I soon caught up to chat to him. He told me , he just couldn’t be bothered to go across to the usual meeting place in Gt Ayton so was having a solo ride, but didn’t know where to. Once in Long Newton, he turned off in the direction of Sadberg.

With the rain continuing to fall, we carried on through Barton and following the Komoot app came across a ford in full flow. It was too deep and running too fast to be safe to cross and a lady told us to use the bridge. She said that the edge is just too slimy to cross safely on a bicycle.

Ford in Barton

The Komoot app took us along to the A1 roundabout to get us up Melsonby where we cycle up to cross the A66 safely at the crossing point. I do wish they would put similar safe crossings more west of this one.

Then down the hill through Gilling West and the climb up and down into Richmond. All the while the rain came down in varying quantities. We popped into the Friary Gardens and discovered a lovely shelter complete with dry bench.

Friary Gardens Richmond

The shelter is near to the Greyfriars tower which is all that remains of the Friary that was established back in 1257/58 on land donated to the Franciscans by Ralph Fitz Randal , Lord of Middleham. The dissolution of the monasteries saw it fall into disrepair. This tower is at the north end of a large plot . It has been excavated and now there is a community hospital on part of the site. This is in keeping with what the Friars did so many centuries ago.

There was also a tree carving with animals and birds but nature is taking over with a bracket type fungus growing too.

We had second breakfast here , as it was almost noon and then set off back the way we had come . As we descended from Richmond back down to Gilling West , DH said to me “Did we climb up this way?” These e-bikes make life much easier. I remember times I had to get off and push.

Once back in Melsonby, we carried on through Aldborough St John and then down to Piecebridge, the site of an old Roman river crossing . We had to cycle a short distance on the A67 before turning off and having a gentler climb up to Walworth and Heighington village before using some very wet leafy cycle tracks to Aycliffe and then on to Cozy Coffee. Rosie had said she would open because of a good forecast but they lied.

Still , we were able to sit under a shelter and have our lunch at 2.00pm and some scones and hot Oxo from Rosie. The rain was almost stopped by the time we got home with a very respectable 65 miles.

Friday , saw us out again. It was dull, cloudy and chilly but at least it was dry. We decided to head into the NE wind and go to the coast. We cycled up through Eston and on to Marske were we turned for Redcar. I said we hadn’t been to North Gare for a long time so that is where we went , past the now defunct steel works.

There were lots of people about and I noticed they were all bird watching.

North Gare light house
Ship coming by
DH waiting patiently

Coming back down from taking photos, I was very careful not to fall but put the camera into my pocket so as to have both hands free. I just got down when disaster struck and the camera fell out of my pocket and hit the ground. Now all it will do is this.

ruined camera

So sad that my Lumix 70 is now so badly injured as to be dead. DS1 has given me an old camera so that will have to do until such time as I can afford another. Stupid me.

So this weeks mileage is 120miles and YTD is 5453 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 11, 2020

Autumn days

Autumn colours

It is very apparent now just how the days are shortening. The mornings are very dark until after 6.00am and its about 7ish when it goes dark. There are plenty of fallen leaves and these can cause falls when wet so I have been very careful.

Work was busy this week and so I didn’t get the opportunity to get out too much in the early part of the week. We ( that’s the royal we heehee) have also been busy as our Swytch kits arrived too. These have been on order since July 2019 but because of the pandemic , they were delayed.

So DH got his fitted to his Koga Randonneur without too much problem. He did have to use a different tyre as the old one had stretched. My kit came later , for my Dahon Speed TR. This has been more difficult as the spindle is too short to be safe to use regularly. The company are seeing what can be done. This will mean that our younger son will be able to accompany us , with assistance if necessary . He was put off cycling after being mugged and his bicycle stolen some years ago. He is also on the autistic spectrum so that sort of thing has had a bigger impact.

Anyway, we made a few short trips out trying the kit out but on Thursday used out usual e-bikes to do a longer ride. The weather was very wet first thing , so we delayed going out until 10.00am. We headed over to Bishopton , through Stockton and along Darlington Back Lane. This later start meant that , the road was relatively quite and before out turn off noticed a road called Sandy Lees Road and there was also one of those red triangle signs warning of cyclists. mmm we haven’t been that way before.

So we carried on up to Newton Aycliffe and took the cycleway near to the railway station.

Station car park

The trees were starting to look splendid in there yellow/red leaves. We rode along the quiet off road path to Shildon and noticed a Covid Test centre in the car park of the Locomation railway museum. We wondered if we could get through and were happily waved through.

I noticed that there were a couple of bikes parked outside and the cafe was open but we had our trusty stove and pan and I got on with the cheese toasties. DH remarked I should show just how inefficient I had been. His got , shall we say , a little too brown.

overdone toastie
nicely toasted.

The chaps came out of the cafe and one shouted across that he thought it was brilliant that I was doing them.

Then , we made out way back along and went to Cozy Coffee. Rosie told us that with any new restrictions and the colder weather , she may not be able to stay open too much longer. I do hope they get planning permission for an indoor area soon. She said its only the really hardy cyclist who are willing to sit outside. They have worked to hard to keep going after the fire and the kidney transplant that I do hope things will improve.

that day the hut was burned down by vandals
all that is left of the original hut.

Then on the way back , we rode through Bishopton and investigated Sandy Lees Lane. It took us down to the A66 and a crossing point. DH wasnt too sure where we were, but I knew it was near to Elton and I was right. I can remember the little bit of track through to the road that was put in years ago. So off to home.

Saturday, was very windy and our friend Jill was at a craft fare. we tried getting to another one she did earlier in the year but didnt get there as traffic was too busy.

So we had a ride up through Gt Ayton and Hutton Rudby to go to Inglby Barwick and I got some lovely baubles for our Christmas tree.

So this week I cycled 103 miles so YTD 5,333 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 4, 2020

5000 miles plus

Tuesday was a glorious Autumn day and I played hooky from work. Actually, I just had looked at the forecast and decided I would not book any appointments in the hope that it would be as good as forecast. It was even better!!

I had said to DH should I plan a longish route that could be shortened if necessary and so it was we set off early for Northallerton in the traffic through Yarm.

I planned using the Komoot app for after that and took the Yafforth Road and then after the village turned on to Moor Lane towards Great Langton.

The route took a turn through Little Langton and we came across this war memorial.

War memorial near Great Langton

I noticed a sign to St Wilfrid’s church , so I walked about 200 yards down to have a look. There was a commonwealth war graves sign in the cemetery.

St Wilfrid’s church

I was interested in the name and wondered if it was Anglo Saxon . It turns out he was born as a Northumbrian nobleman back in 633AD but went to become a priest and studied on Lindisfarne and Canterbury before going to Gaul and Rome. Apparently , he united the Anglo Saxon and Roman Catholic churches. He came back to Ripon after his time away and apparently is buried in the cathedral there. I must remember so I can look for his tomb next time I cycle that way.

From here, we made out way up to Bolton on Swale and stopped outside St Mary’s church for 2nd breakfast. The church is no longer letting people go in to make a drink but we had all we needed with us.

St Mary’s Bolton on Swale

We has a seat in the sunshine and then a couple of walker, doing the coast to coast walk came and took the less sunny bench. They had met on the walk, the older man staying in B&B’s and the younger New Zealander female camping but she was finding difficulty getting campsites. She knows wild camping is illegal but on occasions is having to resort to that.

So we set off again up through Scorton , Middleton Tyas and along to Eppleby.

Eppleby

The tea shop needs supporting so we stopped for fruit scones and jam as a dessert to out sandwich from home. Then it was back off through Darlington and our usual ride home. That was 72 miles.

Wednesday, wasn’t a good early morning and I was working so didn’t go cycling. I was a bit tired as well , if I admit it.

Thursday was looking another good day but I didn’t want to go quite as far so we set off for Gt Ayton but didn’t leave until 9.00am to avoid traffic going to work and school drop off’s.

The route was uneventful and the ride along to Guisborough wasn’t as busy as I expected except for one huge lorry that gave us a fright. DH said lorries of that size could surely use the main road.

We had a short stop in Guisborough so I could go to Leven Crafts. I wasn’t sure it would be open as so many small places are closing but it was so nice to be greeted by name. No I don’t shop there that often but I did teach 2 of the ladies to free machine quilt.

So we used the off road cycle route across to near Charltons and then crossed the Whitby road to go again off road to Boosbeck. It was pretty muddy in places.

Instead of taking the usual route up to Skelton, we turned right and road along to Lingdale and then up to Kilton Thorpe. This is somewhere we cannot remember ever riding. It is the site of a medieval village – just a lumpy field now and a couple of houses.

Kilton Thorpe

The history of the village goes a long way back and the name has Viking connections and it is recorded in the Doomsday book.

Pressing on , we came to Brotton where we spent the first couple of years of our married life. I must say the place has grown but I loved the badger sculptures at both side of the village.

Brotton Badgers

Then it was down to Saltburn and we used the off road donkey track instead of the road ascent on account of so much traffic.

Then it was off along to Redcar and the Trunk Road to home.

Friday wasn’t quite such a good day weatherwise but I had a couple of quilts to deliver to a lady who is distributing them to North Tees Hospital on behalf of Quilts4Carers. So we chose to go across that way and then off to see the lovely Rosie at Cozy Coffee. We were fortunate not to have any rain because a cycling friend who had headed into North Yorkshire did get wet.

All in all a lovely week cycling 170miles so YTD 5127miles .

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 27, 2020

Don’t count your chickens…..

I was so looking forward to getting in my 5000 miles this week but it didn’t happen. I have got some miles in though but just very locally.

The week started well with an early morning ride as the run was coming up.

sunrise on the river Tees

By Wednesday I was feeling decidedly uncomfortable in my tummy. No sickness or anything else just a dull discomfort but i still did a ride. It got worse on Thursday and I didn’t feel like a longish ride so again we stayed very local.

Then the weather deteriorated badly with rain and gale force winds. Still , not as bad as some parts of Yorkshire that actually had snow!!

Again by Saturday, it was still windy but at least dry so it was another short trip but this time I bought some thread for a quilt I am working on.

I still don’t feel tip top but will just take care of myself and not over do it.

So sadly, I can only report 52 miles for the week and YTD 4957 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 20, 2020

North , South and West

We didn’t go directly East this week because that’s the coast , although we were near the coast at one point. I had the week off work but due to possible Covid restrictions, which did start at the end of the week, we decided to take it a day at a time.

So Monday was a sunny , if a cool day and we decided to ride up to Hurworth Burn. We were expecting to see the old guys, we refer to as ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ but they weren’t there.

We carried on and turned off NCN1 onto NCN14 down towards Hartlepool but decided to second breakfast near Heselden where there is a picnic bench.

Hesleden picnic bench

I had a mosey around and found this piece of artwork chocked by grass and weeds.

neglected art piece

Then it was down into Hartlepool and along for an ice cream at Seaton Carew. So technically , we had gone East because we were at the seaside and all three of the fish and chip shops were doing a roaring trade. I was the only person at the ice cream shop and even then the lass serving didn’t understand what I actually asked for.

Tuesday saw us setting off early as DS1 wanted us to go and ride up the south side of the river Tyne, cross the river at Wylam and then back down to cross the Shields ferry as we did a couple of weeks back.

tow bar cycle carrier

This is the carrier we purchased a few weeks ago. It will take 3 bicycles but it is easier to load and unload it with only 2.

So we set off up through along the Keelman Way and through Jarrow.

River Tyne looking upstream.
more upstream
Kittiwake tower

This is the furthest inland that kittiwakes nest and this tower has been provided for them.

Tyne Bridge and Sage Centre
the Gateshead Millenium Bridge

So now we were in Newcastle and on to unknown territory for us. We have always used the north side of the river to get up to Wylam.

Dunston Staithes
Looking across to Dunston Staithes from the north side

Then it was on to the Blaydon Races – if you are a northerner , you probably know the song.

Blaydon art work

A bit further up the track near a rowing club , we spotted a couple resting and I spotted a North Sea Cycle Route rear pannier on one of the bikes. Well, being me I had to stop and ask if they had ridden it. I knew the pannier because our Norwegian pal had been awarded one after completing the route 3 times. DH and I still have our well worn NSCR buffs. Anyway, it turns out that this chap had been one of the original route planners. He hadn’t ridden the whole route but had done bits in each country. He was well impressed when we told him that we had ridden it in 9 weeks back in 2006.

Wylam car park and picnic area

So the route on the south side is narrower and a bit more MTB like terrain in places but our bikes coped well. We stopped here for a bite to eat and then rode down 3 miles to Newburn and had delicious ice cream. I was surprised to see the van there as the schoolchildren are all back in school now. There were also apple trees growing wild but too high to get at the apples.

apples too high to pick

The route is a bit convoluted into Newcastle with numerous crossings but soon we could see all the bridges.

Newcastle Bridges.

Then it was down along the quayside and river to the ferry and across to South Shields

Merchant Seaman Memorial

So it was a drive home which in the event didn’t turn out as bad as I expected due to all the roadworks being easy to get through.

Wednesday, wasn,t a good day, grey and cold so DH suggested a sewing day.

I finished piecing my quilt top and made a tee-shirt for DS1.

covid quilt

Thursday was another beautiful day. The previous evening we watched a couple of episodes of the new ‘All creatures Great and small’ TV series and so that gave us the idea to cycle to Thirsk were the original vet worked. They still have a Skeldale Veterinary surgery there , not that we went looking for it.

The route for this took us across to Nrothallerton and then out on the A168 but very shortly after turning left on the NCN71 up into the hills. I didn’t take a photo of the landscape as it was quite hazy but did take this unusual entrance. Its been referred to as a Hobbit house.

Upsall.

Its a climb most of the way to Upsall but then there’s a lovely descent down through South Kilvington and into Thirsk.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find a fabric/quilt shop just behind the public WC just near the bridge. I did have a little nosey in but didnt buy anything. DH suggested I might want to drive over next time heehee!

We had a picnic stop just outside Thirsk near Norby Park .

Norby
river sluice gates

So we rode back into Northallerton on the A168 which wasn’t too busy and then home again. It was lovely to see a friend from church as we crossed Stockton Market.

Friday saw us having a ride across to Cozy Coffee and delicious muffins were consumed in the sunshine.

I had been asked to do an alteration on some trousers for an asylum seeker and so did those early on Saturday and then we had a ride to deliver them.

verge flowers

This has given me a total of 204miles for the week and YTD 4905 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 13, 2020

A Few Days in Lincolnshire

One of our first cycle camping trips about 45 years ago took us along the Lincolnshire Wolds and to the city of Lincoln and return.

This year, as its a bit different to previous years, I managed on the third attempt to secure a pitch on a very small campsite in North East Lincolnshire. This is the Villa Farm campsite in South Somercotes run by Damian and Emma. It is full of sheep, pigs, hens, ducks, geese and turkeys.

camping near the sheep

Damian used to live in a housing estate in Rotherham and told me having animals started about 25 years ago when he and his wife went for a meal and were charged an huge amount for tiny lamb chops. He rented land and thus began his animal husbandry.

They moved here a few years ago and are now pretty much self- sufficient in meat and vegetables. However, because of Covid-19, he has more animals than he needs at present but hasn’t been to get them to the abattoir.

So we packed our kit in the car and drove down to the campsite. It isn’t really what we wanted to do, but it was better than nothing in the present situation. It did mean that we could take a slow cooker with us which was a good idea.

When we arrived it was windy , so we camped in the shelter of some trees but would you believe it, within hours the wind direction shifted!!. Still we weren’t about to take the tent down but I am pleased to report , it stood firm.

In the late afternoon, we had a little ride to stretch our legs and also to familiarise ourselves with the area. After leaving the village , we saw this church standing on its own surrounded by trees.

St Botolph’s church

At this time , we just rode past but I had plans for later in the week.

St. Botolph was one of the earliest and most revered of East Anglian saints, and became known as the patron saint of wayfarers.

Botolph and his brother Adolph were young Saxon nobles living in the 7th century, and were sent for their education to a Benedictine Abbey in France. Adolph rose to be a Dutch Bishop, whilst Botolph came back to his native East Anglia. He was given land by the king and built a monastery but the site is disputed. However, it was not this church.

On Wednesday, it was still pretty windy but we decided to have a longer ride. So, we decided to ride down the coast through Mablethorpe and down to Skegness.

Most of the trip , was along the promenade but it wasn’t the best idea I have had. The way in places had hundreds of yards of deep sand. It was impossible to ride on and so the answer was to get off and push. It was exhausting until I decided to try the walk assist mode on my lovely Koga World Traveller e-bike. This made it so much easier even though I still had to walk and push through deep sand.

deep sand

I did like all the beach huts along the way. Some were brightly coloured and well maintained while others were dropping to bits.

Mablethorpe Beach huts

Apparently, it was all cleared off in August but the recent storms have brought in so much sand and covered the promenade yet again.

We had a stop in Ingoldmells and by this time I was ready for 2nd breakfast even though it was nearly noon. There was still a bit more sand to negotiate after this but no where near as deep as the previous section.

We were soon passing Butlins Skegness and then got into the town but didn’t stop anywhere near the centre. We are keeping ourselves away from others not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others if we should inadvertently catch and pass on the disease.

The route back was much easier and we turned inland . The first part of the return journey was along a main road , the A158 but it did have a cycle track of sorts along it. The weather was lovely and the route was mainly flat. DH was surprised just how well I was riding into the wind .

We came into the village of Burgh Le Marsh and I stopped to photograph the church as I was attracted by the clocktower.

Watch and Pray for ye know not when the time is.
carved eagle
information board about the eagle lectern

The road then led to Orby and Welton le Marsh and the route wound across the area to Alford. I can remember cycling here with DS1 some years back.

From here, the route wiggled across East Lindsey and through Theddlethorpe St Helens and back to the campsite.

We could smell our dinner cooking – chicken casserole in the slow cooker. mmm how good was that.

One of the things, I miss is the long evenings at this time of year but it was good to see the sun going down in the west.

wind turbines, haybale “building” and the setting sun

So ended our second day of our short time away.

Thursday had a beautiful dawn.

Sun coming up – no cakes on the griddle though

The forecast was for dry but windy weather. One advantage to the e-bikes , is the advantage to be able to cycle into headwinds, as long as you have battery power. We decided to head for the Lincolnshire Wolds and go to Horncastle on the other side of them.

So after breakfast we cycled across to Louth but had forgotten to fill the water bottles. We stopped at a church – All Saints I think – and they very kindly refilled them for us but telling us “Only this once”.

The climbing starts here and we saw another cyclist struggling up the hill and into a headwind. As we passed , he told us he really was struggling as he zig zagged up the the road but he managed.

As I stopped to take photos he passed us and that was the last we saw of him.

Lincolnshire Wolds
the Wolds are chalk as in Yorkshire
Lincolnshire Wolds

We descended into Horncastle but the market was on so a bit busy. We had a stop near the river and had 2nd breakfast.

River Waring

As we rode back out of Horncastle , we saw a lot of lamas in the fields.

Lama Pens

So it was back through Hemingby and at Goulceby we took a slightly different route back through Market Stainton. I had to stop to photograph this church as it did remind on of churches I have seen in Norway.

Market Stainton Church

I also saw this fixer upper.

The shrieking shack from Harry Potter?

So we wound across the countryside through Donnington on Bain and just outside Louth stopped at Hubbard Hill and picnicked near the stream. This is another U shaped valley cut through the chalk after the last ice age had huge amounts of melt water gushing through.

Hubbard Hills
cool in the shade

So we rode through Louth and back to the campsite.

It blew chilly and hard throughout the night resulting in a dry tent on Friday morning. DH said he wanted to go home a bit early so we started the packing but then broke off and had a ride down to Donna Nook. We expected to see the sea but it is a nature reserve and the sea was miles away across a nature reserve.

near a Maize maze on the way to Donna Nook
Nature reserve

On the way back we rode to Saltfleet and I thought I had ruined my camera. It was only when I got home that DS1 was able to show me that I had touched a button that blanks off the screen. Duh!

So I took these photos with my phone. The first photos are inside St Botolph’s. I was saddened to see that it is now just a shell with no windows.

St Botolph’s interior

In South Somercotes, the church St Peter’s has been deconsecrated and is used as a community space. It has two large wood burning stoves needed to keep it warm.

wood burning stove
St Peters interior

So it was back to the tent and a pack up in the wind. We had to hang on tight to the tent while taking it down but did it safely and efficiently. What a team!!

When we got home, DH set about making HM pizza as requested by DS1.

Saturday, being The Big Bike ride, we had to go out and had a short ride. We really aren’t too sure about next week because of the Covid situation but I have the week off work. We will see.

Weekly mileage 163 miles YTD 4701 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 6, 2020

Here and there

Well, the weather has been slightly kinder this week so my mileage is thankfully up on last week.

Monday was a holiday and also the sun was shining for a change. Where to go. One of our friends who makes pottery was at a craft fayre at Raby Castle which is near Staindrop in County Durham. Well that gave us a destination – of sorts. So we rode across to Darlington and up through Cockerton to get onto the Staindrop road which was very quiet . However, when we got into Staindrop and encountered the main road up to the castle, the A688 was manic with motor traffic including large lorries. Sorry Jill but I wasnt risking life and limb on that road.

So we had a stop in a quiet cul-de-sac near St Mary’s church and ate second breakfast.

St Mary’s Staindrop

Continuing on the B6274 which was quiet , we had to cross the busy A67 and then into the village of Winston.

We descended a hill down to cross the river Tees and I stopped to take a couple of photos. I had rather an unpleasant encounter with a chap on a road bike. As I crossed the road , and he descended the hill he started screaming at me that ‘ he could have taken me out’. By that he meant crashed into me. There was never any danger of that , but I believe I had spoiled a Strava segment for him.

Nevertheless, after this this I still got my photos and hope he didn’t have any more tantrums that day.

River Tees looking upstream
downstream
model on the bridge.

This model must have some significance and looking it up some years ago , a Spitfire flew under the bridge here.

We carried on to Eppleby and of course had to support the local shop/cafe . Just 2 jammed scones for later but every little helps small businesses.

We returned home again via Darlington but this time through Manfield and Cleasby and then stopped in Sadberg for the scones. A beautiful day out.

Then there was a few days to work and I had ordered a towball attaching cycle carried which arrived on Wednesday. We wanted to give it a try with 3 e-bikes on so DS1 said he would come. I have been waiting to do the short ride under and over the river Tyne since the tunnel re-opened. So we headed off u to Jarrow and unloaded the bikes outside my brother’s house.

Then it was onto the nearby cycle track and down to the pedestrian cycle tunnel. This was opened in 1951 and we used it regularly as a child to visit grandparents and other relatives on the north side. It hadn’t changed in appearance.

Tyne pedestrian tunnel

I couldn’t believe how quickly we got through on the e-bikes as it was always a slog going back uphill to get out. We rode along past the DFDS port and I couldn’t help remembering last years trip to Norway .

At North Shields fish quay , we stopped and treated ourselves to a lunch time sandwich. I chose smoked mackerel and it reminded me of sitting in the Netherlands eating fish outside a cafe.

lunchtime ay the fish quay North Shields

Then it was back across on the Shields ferry and along the road I knew so well as a child.

lower light, Tynemouth Priory and the Collingwood Monument
Ferry Landing

We rode along to the beach and saw The Groyne.

The Groyne South Shields

It was on this beach I spent many happy hours. In the 1960’s I was also a volunteer lifeguard on this beach , so it holds so many happy memories for me.

Weebles

These figures , known locally as the Weebles, werent there back then.

Then it was off up towards Jarrow on NCN14 but called in at a fabric place where I saw this notice that made me smile.

Geordie notice.

So that was only a short ride but I did enjoy it and the rack carried the bicycles really well.

Friday saw us out again but it was cooler. This time we gave north Yorkshire its turn and road to Brompton through Great Ayton, East Rounton and West Harlsey.

Roseberry Topping from West Harlsey

I forgot the camera so didn’t take many photos. We returned via Deighton and Yarm.

So this past week I rode 175 miles and YTD is 4538 miles

We have a campsite booked in Lincolnshire for a few days next week but our town has also been warned it may go into lockdown so we will just have to hope for the best.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 30, 2020

Autumn’s Early Arrival

It’s the bank holiday weekend and in previous years we would have been away either kayaking or cycling and camping, but not this year. In a way , I am quite glad because the weather this week has been dreary. Rain on most days and very little sunshine to brighten out days. The wind has also been strong most of the time, so I haven’t got much cycling done.

Earlier in the week , I rode through the park and was so pleased to see the cygnets nearly fully grown.

Albert Park Cygnets

It’s sad that they only managed to rear the two from their brood.

Later going along the river, we came across this swan family.

River Tees Swans

These swans have managed to rear a brood of eight! So good to see them.

The rain poured down almost constantly on Thursday and Friday so It was good to get out on Saturday. My, the north wind was cold though. Apparently, last year , at this time, it was really hot but not so this. We decided to have a ride over to Cozy Coffee at Brafferton. We love to support Rosie and knew there wouldn’t be many other cyclist out there and we were correct. Sitting outside, the wind blew so hard that it knocked DH’s hot oxo over. Fortunately, he had supped most of it.

In Bishopton, I noticed the trees staring to turn and the conkers dropping

Horse Chestnut
Plenty of conkers

So lets hope, September brings some warmer and drier weather.

So only 67 miles this week but that brings YTD to 4363 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 23, 2020

Solo cycle-camping the Yorkshire Wolds

Sorry this is a long post with lots of photos.

As you all know its been a different year and cycle camping as I know it just hasn’t happened. No Easter trip, or Bank holiday escapes and then no month long visit to places near or far. Last Sunday, I was thinking about it and as I was only working 2 days thought well why not a 4 day trip.

I initially thought about the Yorkshire dales but the weather forecast didn’t look too good but it wasn’t so bad in the Wolds. This is an area to the east of the city of York so not too far from home. There was a chance of rain but I was willing to take it. On the other hand DH didn’t fancy it because of 1. his injured ankle and sore hip 2. we have done it before and 3. the weather forecast.

Well, I have soloed before , so why not. DS1 agreed to take me down to Malton and I phoned to try and make campsite bookings. Well, I managed to get a night in Market Weighton and then looked further north but where I wanted – no campsites open. Not to be put off, I booked 2 nights near Driffield at the Yorkshire Wolds campsite.

Essentially, this is a pop-up campsite on the showground that has had all its events cancelled for the year and they have to try to bring in some revenue. It only opened because the council wants to help keep it viable and so I was lucky to find it on the net.

Wednesday August 19th 2020

DS1 dropped me off in Malton about 10am and I had made the decision to ride the route anticlockwise so make it different. I had planned the route on Komoot and used the map to plot the places it route goes through. This was supposed to make it easier as I could hear the directions in my Vertix headset. So I set off through Norton and down towards Kirkham. I saw my fi first sign.

Signage for route

So I had confirmation I was on the route as expected but then at Westow I was turned onto a byway by the komoot app. I should have checked the map!! This took me to Burythorpe and though towards Birdall but turned to south with a stonking awful climb up to Leavening. This was made worse by a terrible road surface and I was surprised by an old lady driving down it. I couldn’t manage even in the highest assist mode so got off and used walk assist to get to the top. Phew!!

View from near Leavening

I was thankfully back on route and thoroughly enjoyed the ride down to Thixendale.

As I rode along , I noticed the U-shaped valley but no stream. This took me back to school geology lessons about the land formations. The Wolds are chalk made from the shells of tiny sea creatures eons ago. After the ice age, huge volumes of melt water would have come pelting down and scouring these valleys into the shape we see.

riding down to Thixendale

I didn’t stop in the tiny village , as there were a lot of people about but carried on. The climb up came to a chance meeting with someone who called out my name. I stopped and it was Martin one of the chaps who has been to my talks at the Cycle Touring Festival and he and his son were on the way to Bridlington, hoping to keep ahead of the rain.

Martin a fellow CTF participant

The route goes towards Huggate but stops and turns westerly just outside the village. The app tried to take me on an off road route but I just ignored it and got to Millington on the road and into Pocklington where I finally stopped at 1pm for 2nd breakfast.

view on the Wolds looking south
a resting place

Its about 5 miles to the campsite passing through Burnby and turning at Londesborough to Shiptonthorpe where the lovely little campsite is.

camping at The Hollies Shiptonthorpe.

I was very fortunate to get a hook up to charge the bike battery and get all set up before the rain set in for the evening. Madge the owner also gave me three fresh eggs from her hens.

Day 2 Thursday 20th August 2020

The birds woke me up at 5.30 am and it was still overcast but the weather forecast said it would brighten which it did half an hour later. I was in a sheltered position on the field so didn’t get the sun so it was a wet pack after my eggy breakfast. I was glad I was carrying the tent on the rear carrier.

Coming out of the site, I stayed on the pavement for 100 yds until it changed into a cycle/pedestrian shared route all the way into Market Weighton. I was expecting to get onto a quite road but ended up on the A1079 which was busy with people driving to work. I was so pleased when the route took me small roads. There were a couple of lads on road bikes who came up the hill and caught me up. They told me they should have been in Canada doing an iron man event but it wasn’t to be so they were keeping up with the training. Part way they went back down and then reappeared later passing me again.

Then I came down into Walkington to stop to take a phone call. It was from Barclaycard to tell me they had detected a fraud the previous day and checking which transactions were genuine. This pleased me as they did not let it go through. I now have a new card.

While waiting near the village pond , I talked to a few people . The pond has some huge goldfish and even terrapins that have been put in by people who no longer wanted them.

Walkington Pond
terrapin in the pond.

I did see another but couldn’t get a photo before it slipped back into the water.

There is a good surfaced cycleway that switches sides but goes all the way into Beverley

Black Mill

On the pastures outside the town, I was interested in this black tower. It turns out to be one of two surviving mills. Originally , there had been five.

Then I saw the minster.

Beverley Minster.
My rig outside the minister.

A service was just starting so I didnt go in. I told the lady I had seen an embroidery exhibition there some years ago and another lady came out wishing there was more time to chat.

So it was off up through Molescroft and into Cherry Burton to stop for 2nd breakfast.

The route took me up through Elton and South Dalton, turning right at St Mary’s church and up through Bracken to Hutton Cranswick. I thought my gears werent behaving well and out it down to a new chain stretching. mmmmmm!

Road to Hutton Cranswick

Suddenly , as I entered the village , I had a bang and the trailer shot off ahead of me EEEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!

The nut holding skewer on the back wheel had come loose and this meant the hitch came off too. I can tell you I panicked a bit but a lovely lady called Vicky Svensen came to my aid. She found the black nut in the grass. I took off the tent and panniers and between us we were able to get it back on. It has never happened before but then DH usually checks it before each ride. I hadn’t DUH!!

So panic over, I was back under way and rode on through Skerne and into the outskirts of Driffield. Another cyclist had recommended a cafe near Bradshaw’s big flour mill and as it was so hot, I had an ice cream treat.

Komoot didn’t take me to the site as expected and so I asked directions. People always think of car routes so I ended up on the A614 for a mile or so. A bit scary with lorries thundering past until I got to Kellythorpe where the campsite on the show ground is. I got such a lovely reception and they really have the safety of everyone in mind. They have toilets ad have brought in showers in these mobile units. Mandy and Glen the site managers usually organise festivals so this wasn’t exactly new to them and I was able to charge my bike battery in the office. No hook ups are available so it keeps the caravanners away.

Friday , 21 August 2020

There had been a weather warning for wind issued and so this scuppered my plans for riding to the coast. However, I didn’t want to have a completely wasted day and decided to have a ride to see the monolith at Rudston. So I decided to use the map and plan a route on Komoot.

So first it was down into Driffield, the market town of the Wolds with lots of little individual shops, and I notice a quilt shop as I passed by. Then it was out to Nafferton and along to a level crossing at Lowthorpe which has been shut to cars. The wind was strong but behind me and I switched off any assist and was easily going along at 20mph! Of course, it didnt last long as I turned right up to the pretty village of Burton Agnes.

pond at Burton Agnes
Burton Agnes War Memorial

The only difficulty here is crossing the A614 as the route to Rudston climbs up past Burton Agnes Hall. A cycle crossing would be a help but a slow moving tractor was a help to me.

In Rudston, I went to the churchyard to see this standing stone.

Rudston Monolith

It is estimated that the stone is about 4000 years old and is the largest in England. Made of gritstone, it must have been brought here from the coast. The top was broken but now has a lead cap to protect it.

lead cap on the Rudston Monolith

I sat in the church yard for a bit to eat and saw this interesting roof.

interesting roof

Now , it was into the wind along to Kilham on a byway and then on towards Ruston Parva. I rode half a mile or so on the A614 before heading into Nafferton again and on to Driffield. I couldn’t resist the lure of quilt shop so called to the door. They had only opened that day so not a lot of stock so I bought a fat quarter of blue batik to help them out. They must have thought “what a crazy cyclist”.

So back to the site which was filling up with many attempting to put up tents. The wind was about 45mph at this time and I spent some of the afternoon helping those who were in trouble.

Yorkshire Wolds campsite on the show ground

Saturday, 22 August 2020

I didnt have a very good nights sleep because of the wind howling and so got up at first light around 5am.

view from inside the tent

I had my strategy for getting the tarp and tent down safely but fortunately as the sun rose , the wind dropped a little. Still strong but manageable.

One good thing about wind and no rain, makes the packing drier. I was away just before 7am getting a wave as I passed the managers caravan. I headed down on the cycleway into Driffield and through the market place and I was able to pick up a byway through the Wolds. Again I noticed the U-shaped valley.

good arable land on the Wolds

It felt magically riding these high Wolds in the early sunshine alothough I was into the wind a lot of the time and it was a bit chilly. In Sledmere, I had thought of using the cafe but being so early it wasn’t open.

Waggoners memorial

I found this fascinating as it shows country life and soldiers as this company was raised from local men in WW1. I had also been listening to a BBC programme about Assyrian tablets that depict war just the night before.

From Sledmere , I turned north again to Kirby Grindaythe and along to Duggleby

Duggleby rest
the notice

it was lovely to come across this on my route and I had a nice little short break here. Not a full breakfast stop but a rest all the same. Then it was climbing what they call High Street which goes north and then turns west again.

I was surprised to see this beacon here.

Beacon on the hill

It made me think about how the Romans would have used such beacons to signal to each other but of course this has been used in much more recent times.

The ride down into Setterington was down the escarpment with a 17% sign, Glad I wasn’t coming up it although I must have done at some time in the past according to my map that I marked out years ago. This was all in brilliant sunshine although I could see clouds gathering fast. By the time I got down into Norton the sky was clouded over and DS1 had sent to say where to find him. He quickly loaded up while I went to the loo and just as we started to pull away, the rain came down. I was so grateful that I had taken notice of the forecast and got away early.

So this weeks total cycling was 140 miles and YTD 4296 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 16, 2020

Good Weather Envy

I have seen all sorts of media and blogs saying how good the weather is. Well , it hasn’t been here in the NE. There seems to have been a constant NE wind blowing which has brought mist, fret and rain . The leaves have started to fall off some trees and the horse chestnut trees are showing rusting leaves. Ooooh! how I wish the year wasn’t flying past.

So I don’t really have much to chat about. Its mostly been short rides before work and on Thursday I spent some time sewing as the rain came down.

On Friday, I was determined to get out so I donned my waterproofs and decided to go to Panico’s fabric shop in Stockton. DH told me he thought I was bonkers. Still I enjoyed the ride along the river.

Saturday dawned with not much hope of seeing the sun but it wasn’t exactly raining. There was that very fine fretty stuff that you can feel but it was warmish. The Irish would call it a soft day.

We made out way up to Great Ayton and then along to Stokesley where I took these photos.

The old packhorse bridge

Looking the other way.

keeping the bikes safe

Where we stopped for me to take the photos , is a cobbled area and you can see where there is a ford across the Leven

Old ford

As you can see , this has now been fenced off so people cannot use it to cross to the other side and have to use one of the bridges.

From here we rode along to Hutton Rudby and then turned for Crathorne. Here , we crossed over the A19 and rode into Picton. All the while , there was moisture in the air. Enough to show on spectacles but not to soak you through.

So we decided to head along to Kirklevington where we stopped in the disused bus stop. We had taken our Helinox chairs so had somewhere to sit. Hot oxo was very welcome but it doesn’t exactly go with chocolate biscuits. Then it was down through Yarm which for once didn’t have traffic backed up for miles. We still used the hilly back road to keep off the High Street and rode home through Preston Park. 37 miles. DH is finding his ankle is improving but he now has a bruised hip too.

So this week I completed 91 miles YTD 4156miles

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