We have had a week of warm sunny – for the most part – weather and I was able to make the most of it riding 142 miles over the course of the week. It was sad to see more fly tipping along near the river.
On Tuesday, I had booked the day off work to attend a lecture on Japanese textiles at the sister quilt group I attend. Well, instead of taking the car , I got in Speedy, my Dahon folder, and rode the 8 miles across to Yarm. I really enjoyed the morning learning about Japan the customs associated with kimono and other textiles. The Japanese didn’t waste anything in the past, but now with the influence of the Western throw away culture, things are changing. Old kimono, that at one time were precious and passed down from one generation to another, are being discarded.
Anyway, after the talk was finished , DH rode across to meet me. We had expected to ride further but the day had really heated up and the temperature was above 30C which is unheard of for this part of the world. So we headed back home along the river, glad to have a cool shower when we got in.
Early morning rides we fairly short , but again on Thursday, we took the opportunity to ride. It was marginally cooler and made for pleasant riding up to Hurworth Burn.
We then turned and ran down into Hartlepool. The visibility was good and we could see right across the bay to Saltburn and beyond.
We stopped to have a late lunch the bus shelters at Seaton Carew. It was more ro keep out of the sun , than our usual sheltering from rain or wind. Makes such a pleasant change.
Remember I told you about these two last week?
Well they made it to Guisborough but emailed to say they were probably going to take a train. I phoned them at their hotel to say they had done the hilliest parts and it was a shame not to cycle to Durham and we offered to guide them. So on Saturday, I took my car and we loaded their Bike Friday folding cycles into my car and brought them into the Boro to avoid the fast dual carriageway. it is such a shame that a perfectly good track cannot be used because British Rail have blocked people from crossing the line to come out in Nunthorpe , thus avoiding the fast roadway.
Watching them reassemble the Bike Fridays, I was glad to have chosen a Dahon Speed , as the folding is much simpler and more compact and does not require the chain to be put back into place.
So we acted as travel guides, taking them over the Newport Bridge, pointing out the Transporter Bridge and cycling along the track at the side of the A19. Once in Norton we cycled along Junction Road and then up to Thorpe Thewles and up the Castle Eden Walkway to Hurworth Burn. DH had brought a flask filled with ice cubes which we all used to cool our drinks with. R and H were a bit impressed and began to realise we had done a lot of cycle touring. DH said we had learned by our mistakes over the years and have acquired a lot of skills.
So off again, we cycled along to Shotton Colliery and then took them via the roads to Haswell where we picked up Route 14. This goes via a quite road to Haswell Plough and then follows mostly down hill into Durham.
Being our usual frugal selves , we had called to the supermarket and bought bread and cheese and chicken and oranges to have a picnic lunch alfresco. We stopped in a tiny place marked as Little Town on the maps and on the corner there is a beautifully kept seat surrounded by well kept flower beds. We stopped here 6 miles from Durham and ate lunch. R and H said they were sure they would be fine following the route into Durham and it would save us a long climb out , so we said our goodbyes. I do hope we can cycle together again at some point in the future. We turned for home retracing mostly the same way and arrived home just after 5.00pm . Awaiting us was an email to say they were safely at their hotel in the centre of Durham and thanking us for a mostly traffic free ride. A wonderful week
I am reminded of the scripture that says when we are in the service of our fellowmen, we are in the service of God. Glad to have been of service this week.