Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 5, 2020

Quarantine ongoing

Well, we are continuing to stay home except on our once a day ride out. I realise that we are fairly self sufficient/ non-social most of the time so I am not going stir crazy. This is a product of my on-going chemical induced spasmodic dysphonia which means that all the stuff like going out to theatres, cinemas etc. is a no-no for me. I am going to miss my cycle camping trip though. Heehee ! I have been fantasising about putting up a tent and sleeping in it. We don’t have a garden so it would have to be indoors just like we did when my brother and I were children.

The days do tend to roll into one so I will show some photos of our latest rides which have all been fairly local.

In the local park the swans are nesting and we also saw another sitting a nest near the barrage.

I noticed when we rode through Albert Park  that they have erected a fence to keep her safe as a couple of years ago some despicable person smashed the eggs.

New life is popping up all around and the field we passed near Darlington was filled with new lambs. This mother was protective as I took this photo of these twins snuggled together but when she saw I was no threat she moved away.

One of the places we rode through was the hamlet of Girsby. The fields around have been ploughed and planted ready for spring growth. The village church is called All Saints.

Further along the road entering the village of Low Dinsdale we were greeted with the glorious sight of these banks of daffodils.


The river Tees is crossed just after here and there is another small church.


Continuing on we stopped at Neasham and had a drink and home made teacakes ( made by DH not me).


This is my DH . He is holding on to my bike. BTW he is wearing goggles over his glasses as the wind makes his eyes stream so much he cannot see where he is going. This is a good solution for him that doesn’t cost a fortune.

On the river, the Achimedes screws on the barrage have stopped turning as the kayaking course has had to close.


On Saturday, quite by chance I discovered that the odometer on my bike was nearing 7500 miles since I got it in July 2018. We had to stop and take a photo. Well it was near the Transporter Bridge so I had to ride in a circle a few times until it actually registered the exact number.

Unfortunately the bridge is closed for repair and we couldn’t get near to the statute in the background called ‘Waiting for me Da’.


I have been sewing away. I am enjoying  free machine quilting and learning new motifs.



I also made a top for a table runner .

IMG_0814 - Copy

This weeks total is 144 miles and that is 1225 miles YTD

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 29, 2020

Cycling in Quarantine Time

There has been a lot of online discussion on whether we are allowed to cycle and should we. Sometimes , it has been very unpleasant with swearing on the part of various people  defending their own point of view.

Listening to the Prime Minister he said we are allowed to go out once a day for exercise and to keep away from others unless they are people who live in the same household. So , we decided to cycle each day until such time as a more severe lockdown comes into play. I believe it will as the virus Covid-19 sweeps across the country just as it has ravaged parts of Europe. On a personal note , I know those on the very front line who are doing the best they can to care for patients .

Monday saw us out early in the morning – trying to keep to a routine. I am not able to work at present as personal protection equipment is in very short supply but I was able to help one lady who I asked to send a photo. I was able to say she needed antibiotics and her GP was willing to prescribe so she is sorted. I have to say, I did not charge for my service unlike some dentists who will talk to you and charge you for the consultation. Enough said.

I took these couple of photos down in the old part of the town. The round net like thing is a sculpture called the Temenos and the transporter bridge can be see as well as an old bell tower.

We then cycled along the river and home.

Tuesday we went out a bit later in the day and across through Preston park. The gates to the carpark were locked so no-one about  at all. We cold cycle through though.

Wednesday was a beautiful day with little wind and glorious sunshine. We decided to have a bit of a longer ride because of the weather but chose to go where we thought there would be few people. So it was off to Hurworth burn and around to Hartlepool. The route down has a few restricters  that are very awkward with our handlebars. I think the planners need to realise that not all cyclists have drop handlebars.


At the headland we sat in the memorial gardens and had a drink and a sandwich . We saw a couple of people walking dogs but no-one came into the gardens.


The ride along the promenade has a few more people but everyone kept their distance. The visibility was poor but I stopped to take a photo of this ship at anchor off the river mouth.P1030615

We had another stop at the Cowpen Bewley nature reserve and had homemade banana cake and another drink.


Then it was homeward bound still in glorious sunshine.

On Thursday, I had to send out some letters, so rather than the postal service , we used our exercise time to deliver them ourselves. This was to cancel patients I couldn’t contact by phone. People change suppliers and get a new number but don’t tell me.

Friday , the weather was a bit cooler but still not too bad so we again cycled though Preston park at Stockton and then home along the river.

Saturday was much colder and windier but we decided to ride up Ormesby Bank and across to Nunthorpe. We would have gone a bit further but the rain started  – only mizzle really – but in the bitter nor-easterly, it was most unpleasant so it was a quick bolt for home.

All the extra time , I have spend free machine quilting which I will share next week.

So 135 miles this week and YTD 1081 miles- on target for the year so far.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 22, 2020

Keeping Safe

This has been one fast moving week and we have kept on cycling together. I worked last week as well but in view of my age (not quite 70) and the vulnerability of one of my sons I have decided to suspend treating anyone’s feet for the next while. Who knows how long this will be.

We heard on Friday, that the Cycle Touring Festival at the end of May has been cancelled for this year. Today, we learned that the Camping and Caravanning Club has closed all the sites down so I doubt our planned trips will be possible. Maybe in September.

There are many scenes of irresponsible behaviour on social media and I do hope we can continue to cycle as the government wants us to stay home but exercise out doors. Cycling solo or with those you live with is fine but keep away from others.

This week we had early morning rides clocking up 30 miles and we cycled on Friday and Saturday.

I have wanted to ride to Eppleby to see the daffodils and so that is where we went. On the way between Cleasby and Manfield, the landscape  looked a picture with clouds bubbling up.


looking north



looking south


neat little whole in the hedge – properly cut but for what?

The village green looked a picture even though there are still flowers to burst out.I couldn’t resist taking photographs.

We sat in the largely redundant bus shelter and I was going to toast our sarnies until I realised I had forgotten the frying pan . Duh!! Still it was tasty cheese and was OK but cold. We did have a flask to have a warm Oxo though.

Then we headed out through Forcett and along to Melmerby and onward to go under the A66 and on to Barton.

Nearing East Layton I had to stop to admire  the wild primroses  and share them with you. We crossed the river Tees at Croft and along to Neasham where we had another stop in the sheltered old what I call a butter market.

There was a very cold east wind blowing and I was so grateful to have the e-bike to get home via Middleton One Row and then down through Yarm and home. That was a good ride of 56 miles.

On Saturday , we had a plan to go to Guisborough but a friend mentioned she needed some minced beef and as she is having to self isolate due to age and her husband’s infirmity we headed up to Coulny Newham.

I didn’t even go into the shopping centre. It was manic with people lined up waiting o get into a frozen food store. I just turned tail but we went to one of the German supermarkets and it was much quieter. I was able to purchase what we needed and we decided to head off to Picton near where they live.

We didn’t go into the house but passed the shopping through a window. Cycling back through Kirklevington we stopped in another cyclists dining room (bus stop) – we have our own seats to put in there.


Then it was head for home. Preston Park was crowded with people and children despite the appeal to keep distance from each other. That is what we will do but will get out cycling away from others.

Stay safe Everyone. We live in different era now.

Miles this week 123 miles YTD 946 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 15, 2020

Another 100+ miles week

What with everything that is going on in the world and talks of lock downs etc, I was glad to get out on the bike most days. The weather has been fair to middling but can anyone give an explanation as to why we are getting the strongest winds at the end of the week?

I saw something on Face Book that said ” when Walt shuts down Disney World and the Mormons don’t go to church – you know it must be bad.”

Well , being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , I can honestly say in my membership of nearly 53 years , I have never known a time when church was closed. We had an email to say that with immediate effect all meetings and gatherings for social events have been suspended. For the past 18 months, the church introduced a programme of home centred church supported learning.  There is no paid ministry and families who have priesthood bearers in there homes, are to administer the sacrament at home. We have enjoyed the day having another member with us to have our home centred worship and study time. This virus will pass and we just have to do all we can to help and support all our neighbours and friends. No going mad and buying all the toilet paper in sight.

Seriously though, in Spain and now Italy, you cannot go cycling for recreational purposes. My brother lives the winter in Tenerife  and so far they are stuck there.

So we will keep cycling as long as we are able.

Cozy Coffee was attacked by vandals last Monday and so we rode up there on Friday to give some support to a small business. It was windy yet again. I took a photo of the sheep statues in Sadberg as we passed. Presently , it is lovely to see so many daffodils.


There was still some glass in Cozy Coffee where the bus windows had been smashed. It isn’t near a town and the village is a good walk away , so it baffles me why anyone would do it.


As it was world kidney day on Thursday, Rosie was giving away jelly beans as they were the closest she could get to what looked like kidneys. For those who don’t know Rosie donated her kidney to her husband last year. He had gone off walking in Northumberland  with a couple of mates – just shows what a difference it makes.

Saturday was another windy day – the wind was supposed to come from the NW according to the forecast and it was blowing directly west as we rode along to Redcar and then on to Saltburn. We visited friends and then rode back to lunch in the grounds of Kirkleatham Hall. I got out the stove and toasted our sandwiches to have with a drink of oxo from the flask.



There is an exhibition advertised that I would have liked to see but it didn’t seem to be open. Hopefully, I will get to see it


Then it was home by 2.00 pm.

So for the week 106 miles and so  YTD 823miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 8, 2020

Springlike weather

It has been a much better week weather wise – cold frosty mornings with some sunshine during the day. Apparently, it wont last but at least, we were able to ride most days this week and that resulted in 104 miles for the week . woohoo!!

So most dawns saw us out riding between 7 and 12 miles before work. Then on Friday we had arranged to meet Zak at Cozy Coffee. Zak has a Swytch kit on his bike and I am hoping to get one to fit my Dahon Speed Tr so that I can have e-assist for when we want to take the bikes in the car. DH really does not like to have  our Kogas on the back of car when we travel.

So we set off from home about 9.30 am and cycled up through Stockton , Redmarshall and Bishopton. I called a halt in Redmarshall to take photos of the first lambs I have seen this season. I couldn’t get too close so had to take the shot through a fence. They are so cute.

Zak arrived not long after us and I had a good look. He has been very pleased with his kit and is ordering one for his Brompton to take in his motor home.


Here are the main components

The battery pack sits in the place you would normally carry a handle bar bag. They currently weigh 3Kg but the newer batteries are half that although you don’t get as far on one charge. The 3 Kg one gives about 50 miles on the low power setting


The motor is in the front wheel – probably not as good as a hub motor but will be better for me than no assistance .


This is also a photo of the electrical connection as there is also a sensor on the pedal cranks. Hopefully I can get one,


We cycled back choosing to do a longer route through Norton and then along the river to Stockton and back home

Saturday saw us up early as I wanted to reach 100 miles. It was grey and overcast and as I looked out of the window saw it starting to rain – but no frost. So we weren’t deterred and set off with the idea of riding about 20 miles. We had no idea where we were going so it was a bit of a hotch potch riding through Coulby Newham and then to Maltby and then Thornaby to the river Tees.  By the time we got near Teesside park I was registering 100 miles so we headed home out of the rain hence 104 miles for the week.

I havent been slacking off my sewing either, I managed to get the quilt finished for show and tell at my quilt group. Its massive.


I really enjoyed the quilting on the borders too.


I whipped up a bag out of left overs and scraps and gave it to a friend who had admired the one I made as a Christmas gift. She was delighted. Different on both sides.

Last week, I reported that I had had ridden 74 miles – no it was 78. So with this weeks 104 that is 717 miles. Lets hope the weather isn’t too bad in the coming week.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 1, 2020

Storm and Spring

The week was again full of wind ad rain but we were able to get out a few times and it is so good that the lengthening days are seeing lots of spring flowers popping up everywhere. One of our rides (never too far from home) saw us riding from Stockton across to Preston Park and it was delightful to see the trees in blossom. These are hawthorn I believe.

Another  day saw us down near the Newport interchange and I just had to stop and photograph all the spring flowers on the roundabout. However, It does seem strange to have snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils all blooming at the same time,

Yesterday , despite storm Jorge ( pronounce Hawhey apparently) named by the Spanish, we manged a sunshine ride but I will admit now that if it hadn’t been for my e-bike I wouldn’t have made much headway in the gale force headwinds. We had a brief stop in Stokesley and the planter box is blooming beautifully.


Some extensive bridge work is taking place near Tanton Bridge and as its closed there is a diversion up through Seamer. Traffic was very heavy so we carried on to Rudby and came home via Maltby and Stainton.

I have continued quilting in the evenings but the very large quilt should be finished this coming week.

Mileage this week is 74 miles and YTD 535 miles. I had hoed for more in the  2 first moths of the year.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 23, 2020

Continued BAD weather

It is so dreary to have continued wild wet and windy weather but here in my part of the world , we have to be thankful that we haven’t had the floods that have devastated large parts of the UK.

This has led to not much cycling of any distance and that was in the early morning hours. However, there is the good news that dawn is coming earlier and we see the days lengthening at both ends.

On Friday, DS1 drove me down to Harrogate to attend the Northern Quilt  Festival. It is not a huge affair but it was lovely to see the quilts and to buy a few items from the traders. While I was there DS1 used his camera to get some photos for a course he is doing and also took his bike across to Cyclesense in Tadcaster to get his gears sorted out after changing his handlebars.

I took a few photos of quilts I liked but I cannot pot them as I don’t have their permission. My favourite was by a lady who made a quilt showing 2 amply bottomed ladies sat on a beach.

I also enjoyed a 1 hr workshop with a lady called Gillian Abrams from Hull. She took 20 of us and we got the chance to try various types of fabric pencils and crayons. I have got a couple of samples that I want to try free machine quilting/embroidery on.

On Saturday, we did get a bit of a ride after the early morning rain stopped. The wind was awful gusting at about 45mph. I am so grateful to have the e-bike as there were times I almost came to a standstill. We road to Stockton and I was trying to find textile medium which I eventually found at Teesside Park. We looked at the sky and saw big, black clouds and DH said we would be lucky to get home in the dry. Well, we were lucky as just as we got to our front door, whoosh, down it came with a vengeance.

So I spent the rest of the day quilting and putting on the borders and quilting them. I used some of the things I bought at the quilt show. Here is a couple of photos.

So this week a measly 38 miles  and YTD 461 miles. Roll on better weather.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 16, 2020

Storms Ciara and Dennis

Well, after spending the weekend in bed, I was hoping I would be well enough to cycle. Storm Ciara rolled in across the whole of the UK and so we had heavy rains and high winds. We are very lucky to be sheltered buy the Cleveland hills and don’t suffer as badly as some areas do. Having said that, by Friday, I was somewhat recovered from a stonking head cold, so we had a short 18 miles ride. No where special just along the river to Stockton and then back along through Thornaby. Nothing special but the wind was blowing about 18-20 mph and it was decidedly chilly. Even when the temperature had risen , the wind had a real chill to it.

Saturday’s weather was atrocious as storm Dennis followed hot on the heels of Ciara. I am so sorry for those people who have lost so much due to flooding. Watching the news footage makes me realise just how blessed we are.

So I have been knitting and stitching. On the knitting front , I have knitted 2 sleeves at the same time on circular needles. This is another Norwegian pattern and I am using up left over 4 ply wool from various other projects hence the mix of colours.


I have also been stitching away on a larger quilt. It still isnt finished but though I would show progress.


I have been making this is 3 long strips and quilting each strip before joining them together. This hopefully will show the quilting which I have done using a special ruler foot and curved ruler – probably more than you need to know

Looking at the weather forecast for the coming week, it looks like cycling time will be limited. Here’s hoping the forecasters get it wrong

Anyway friends , my YTD miles are 423 .

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 9, 2020

Sunny ride out

My rides in the first part of the week were all pre-dawn rides with the birds starting to sing and I was really looking forward to the long weekend despite the forecast of severe weather.

Well Friday morning arrived and there was freezing fog!! Despite that it lifted by 9.00am and we headed out crossing Newport bridge and being surprised that there was no frost on it.

I have to admit that my right leg was hurting but the e-bike makes it easier and DH said we could cut it short. I am nothing , if not determined. Some think pig-headed. Never mind the exercise did ease it off and I used all the assistance I needed getting up to Norton village. We had decided to go up the Castle Eden walkway to Hurworth Burn and then see how things went.

It did look a bit cloudy and there is a steep descent before crossing the main road to the walkway entrance. We saw a cyclist with bike packing luggage, off and walking so asked where he was off to. He said it was getting more difficult to get up the hills, so we talked e-bikes with him and then a couple of his buddies arrived but just walking. They had been wild camping somewhere near Castle Eden.


As we stopped to use the facilities , which are open, I noticed these beautiful snowdrops.

The path wasn’t too muddy , as there had been no rain  all week and I stopped to take this photo of a bench. When it was first put in about 13or 14 years ado there was a cycle helmet and a lunch box carved into the wood. This is what the passage of time has resulted in with moss growing liberally over it.


Then it was off across the bridge and up to Hurworth Burn. It was colder here and on the lake on the east side , I could make out ice so we didn’t hang about.

iceonhurworth burn

My leg wasn’t too bad so we decided to carry on to Hartlepool. We were using NCN1 which takes you across a field on a very nice path after Station Town. Then we turned on to NCN14 which is part of the Hart to Haswell route. They have done some work to replace barriers along here but it hasn’t made it any easier for us as out handlebars are a bit higher and wider than the planners estimate. This requires a bit of shimmying with the bikes leaned over to get through.


Then we decided to go to the Headland where there is a nice memorial park which is well sheltered. This is just near the Heugh (pronounced ‘uff’) which has a museum with café which we didn’t use.  This is the only open air WW1 museum in the UK.



I believe Hartlepool took the first battering of the mainland during WW1 when a soldier was killed.

We also passed the statue of Andy Capp , a British cartoon strip character , whose creator Reg Smyth was born in Hartlepool.


We took a break and had out lunch sitting in the sunshine and then carried along through Hartlepool and along the prom where there were a lot of walkers. Here is a view across the Tees estuary  to the Headland.headland


Then it was off home again on NCN14 across to Greatham and then we turned and went through Cowpen Bewley. Part of the path has been renewed which is very nice but more work needs to be done into Billingham. Going to Cowpen ( pronounced coopen  locally) allowed us to keep on roads back across Newport bridge where we got onto the cycle track along the river – with a following wind – which was very nice.

I was so pleased that my leg was feeling much better. I was looking forward to another short ride on Saturday , but it wasn’t to be. Friday evening saw my nose start to stream and I am now in the throes of a heavy head cold. Such is life.

mileage for the week 74 and YTD  405 miles. I do hope I recover soon

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 2, 2020

February here already

How can that be? January seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye. They say as you get older time goes by more swiftly but I hear youngsters saying they cannot believe it is February.

Well, we have had a great variety of weather with temperatures hovering around zero and then as much as 10C on other days. Winds may have been gale force and then the next day a mild breeze. You have to dress and be ready for anything.

As usual for me, it was out at about 6.30am before I get ready for work. Luckily, I work at home most mornings so its not far to go. These rides vary from as short as 7 -10 miles and when Friday  arrived I was looking forward  to getting out. Only 7 miles as it was chilly and rainy.

I don’t know about you but if it’s raining while I am out, then I don’t mind but I hate going out into the rain. Stupid I know , but there it is.

Saturday we at least dry and sunny but very windy. We made a pact that if either of us felt it was too much, we would go home early. However, as we set off into the headwind, along the river, we both felt it would be OK.  Destination? just to Cozy Coffee as it was going to be into the headwind all the time. Good job we have the e-bikes as I could not have managed without it.

We had left at 8.30am and arrived not long after 10.00am  but Rosie wasn’t there . She was taking a well earned holiday but had left some friends to deal with her customers. We were very good and didn’t have cake but had egg and beans instead.

We had another variation of a route home, mainly with a following wind. When we were riding through Bishopton I noticed snowdrops and what I think are celandine ( TP correct me please) . So on the way back , we stopped for a few photos. So good to know that Spring is really getting going.


Mind you, I remember many times camping in snow at Easter so won’t be surprised if we get some.

This weeks total mileage 63 miles  so YTD 331 miles – just looked up last years stats and it was only about 258 miles so I am well ahead.

sorry I cannot get photos to upload tonight. will try later

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