Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 22, 2016

A summer cold

Well Monday started as a lovely day and we had a morning ride along the river.

You can see by the long shadow that it was early and we got 16 miles in. Unfortunately by Tuesday I began with a sore throat and by Wednesday my nose was streaming too. Now because of the finer weather and rising pollen count I wasn’t sure if it was a summer cold or hayfever. Fortunately for me, its not another sensitivity I have to content with. So I didn’t cycle at all on Wednesday , as DH told me to look after myself as I want to cycle to the Cycle Touring Festival next week. So I saw sense and  then just did very short rides on both Thursday and Friday as the streaming mucus abated.

Saturday  wasn’t forecast to be too good but I wanted to buy buttons for another shirt I have been working on, So it was into town to get some and then as it was still dry we headed along the river.


There was a rowing regatta going on . We stopped to chat with a couple who were sitting waiting for their daughters  race and hoping that the rain would hold off but they were prepared with an umbrella.  We carried on along into Stockton and then kept on the top road to avoid  the crowds on the north side of the river.  By doing so , we missed that the rowing club were selling cake! Duh! MY friend C told me about this later, as she took shelter from the rain. We were lucky to arrive home just as the rain started.

So my cycling total for this week is only 55.56 miles. Still I did get in a very good mileage last week.

Today, at church we held a Munch and Mingle which was very well attended. We were welcoming home a young man who has just returned from his mission and we are saying farewell to a young student who is returning to his studies in Finland.

As you can see there was plenty of food as everyone who is able contributes whatever they can. It was a joyous occasion.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 15, 2016

65th Birthday


DH turned 65 this week, so we are the same age again.

The weather has been a bit more spring like and so it has been very pleasant to ride and listen to all the birds singing , wild flowers blooming in profusion and new life coming forth.HP15 - photo 1 - Copy (14)

We saw our first goslings this  week and the swan is still sitting her nest with her mate keeping her company. The early mornings gave me opportunity to rack up 62 miles by Thursday.

DH turned 65 on Friday and he decided last year, that this year he wouldn’t go off on his own, but we would have a ride out together. As you may be aware, this hasn’t been the best of years for camping so we decided that we would stay bed and breakfast and so we could still get a long ride in – long for me that is. We kept checking the weather forecast and I got agreement to drive down to Riccall , if the weather was bad. Well there was no forecast for rain although it was chilly at 10C and a northerly wind blowing at about 18mph. Well that wasn’t too bad travelling down with  mainly a tailwind. Unfortunately, most of  the day was cloudy but oilseed rape still blooming a brilliant yellow so as you ride by, its a bit brighter.

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So this ride followed our usual route down through Yarm, Appleton Wiske and Northallerton. Then we get onto the A167 and ride to Topcliffe. Although  this a main road, it is not too busy as it is a north/south route and the A1 offers an alternative not too far away for faster traffic. Topcliffe has had an addition to its name sign proclaiming it to be a Magna Carta village. We actually rode on into the little village of Asenby  where we stopped in the bus shelter ( out of the wind) and ate 2nd breakfast. On this sort of trip, we carry granola, fruit and yogurt premixed in clip locked boxes. It ends up as  sort of porridge and is very nourishing.

Sustained again, we passed over the A1 and had the gentle -ish  climb up to Cundall. From here, the route undulates down to Helperby Brafferton but we turned left instead of right and ended up at Easingwold making  a “detour” before riding through Alne and Aldwick to Linton on Ouse. I particularly wanted to call to see my friend M as her beloved dog  passed away a week ago. She is a professional dog walker , so was out  with her charges so we phoned and went down to Linton Locks to see if we could find her.

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We have kayaked down this area many times and were surprised to see an Archimedes screw has been installed on the far left of the photo. Sorry I didn’t get it all in.

Looking down river, cows were down at the water and the spire of the church in Newton on Ouse can be seen.

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After a short drink stop, thanks for the juice M, we carried on down through the grounds of Beningborough Hall and along the repaired path into York.  We sat in Rowntree park and had another meal before continuing on the path down towards Selby. There was a race meeting on the Knavemire but it didn’t stop us crossing. We didn’t see any horses running though.

Its about 10 miles from York down to Riccall so we arrived at South Newlands Farm just after 5.00 pm. Peggy was very surprised to see that we had actually cycled and it was 80 miles. I was tired but fine. This should be the track details.

After a shower and quick change , we cycled into the village and went for a lovely dinner at Per Bacco  an Italian restaurant . The fresh tuna was delicious.

There was a lovely Canadian couple staying at South Newlands Farm and we spent a delightful evening talking about places to visit in the UK. They are hoping to walk some of Hadrian’s Wall but are a bit concerned if the weather deteriorates .

Peggy was kind enough to provide an early breakfast – well 7.30am. That is early for a B and B but those who know us, realise that is late for DH heehee!

Fortunately the weather was much better although the wind was just as strong. Oh well, nothing for it but to set off. Basically we followed the same route up to Linton on Ouse and then through Aldwark and on through Flawith to Helperby. There have been numerous road closures for repair work. Each time , I asked very politely , if we could pass though and each time  my request was granted with the proviso that we walk if asked. No problem and we didn’t have to walk. Once in Helperby , we realised which way we need to turn next time and we sat on a  convenient seat and ate a late lunch. Then it was up to Topcliffe  and on to the A167I have to say that this was a slog into the wind and I was glad for another rest in Northallerton.  It did cross my mind to jump on a train but I very quickly dismissed that idea as I wanted to get more that 200 miles for the week and I was only on 195. Am I barmy? Very likely teehee!

The final 23 miles were peddled in brilliant sunshine without a cloud in the sky – that pesky wind didn’t abate though. We were welcomed home to a lovely lamb dinner prepared and cooked by DS1 and I was so glad to have completed  154 miles in 2 days so the total for the week was 218.56 miles woohoo.  And I can still walk!!!

Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 8, 2016

A little sunshine.

Well, the English  bank holiday was as expected – mostly wet. By Monday afternoon , the sun did make an appearance  so we headed into town. We discovered that there was still cycling racing going on around the town hall and so our usual way to the river was blocked. I tried taking photos but messed up and didn’t get any that I would post. Sorry.

Workwise, I have been busy and so the early morning rides were shorter than I would have liked. We got some cracking good days and I wasn’t able to take full advantage and get out there in the sunshine.  However on Friday afternoon when I finished work we cycled down into town. We saw a family cycling and I just knew they couldn’t be from the UK. We caught up  with them and found out that they are  cycling from Hull to  Newcastle over the course of a week. They were from Leiden.

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I also noticed this mural that has been out up on the side of the Library.

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Sorry , its not quite focused.  It is nice to see it though.

We decided that  on Saturday we would have long ride. What happened? more cloud and grey skies.

Still undeterred. Off we set. We had decided to go and check out the crossing of the A1 at Catterick so that when I cycle to the Cycle touring festival at Clitheroe I will find the way easily.

We followed our usual route through Yarm and up to Appleton Wiske before heading west though Hornby, Great Smeaton and on to Scorton.

This will give you an idea of the greyness of the sky but you can see the bright yellow contrast of the flowering oilseed rape.

It is a 26 miles ride to Scorton , and I have to say I was peddling well. DH said he thinks it was the best I have ever done. We stopped in the bus shelter there and had 2nd breakfast. We got talking to bus passengers , one of them a cyclist, and he told us that the route we intended to take across to Tunstall is blocked.  The extensive road works are playing havoc with safe cycle routes. We decided to head over to Richmond and we headed down into this lovely old town. We haven’t been this way for a while and discovered that the public toilets and tourist information place has been turned into a café. The only public toilets are in the indoor market at the far side of the market square. I don’t think I have ever seen so many cars queuing to get though the town. The road works  causing chaos? I don’t know but probable.

We actually walked back  up to the turning to  Gilling West as the traffic was so heavy. Once through the village , there is a climb up to the A66. Actually, I walked up it but was delighted to find that a proper cycle crossing has been installed to cross the dual carriageway. Once down in Melsonby , we turned left and headed on through Forcett to Eppleby. Here was had another bus stop meal break. Home made cheese topped bread  with chilli tuna – yummy.

Then we were off again , still peddling well, though Manfield and Cleasby and into Darlington. The route through the Whinnys nature reserve has dried out well and we called into A$da to buy a meal deal as I didn’t want to cook and DS1 wasn’t well so hadn’t made any for us .

We completed 67.5 miles on Saturday and that made 137.35 miles for the week.

I’m sharing my off road biking track with you. Total distance 67.85 miles



Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 1, 2016

Winter’s Revenge


Well after the small amount of sunshine last week, winter came back to bite us on the bum. It really scuppered our plans for a cycle camping trip with more snow forecast and gale force winds up in Northumberland. Now, I may be hardy but foolhardy I am not, so we decided to abort the trip. This decision was taken  as the snow fell in big wet flakes as I did my early morning ride on Tuesday. It didn’t stay for long but the rest of the week has been very cold and there have been a number of times when we have ridden in hailstones. Now they hurt as they ping down.

I had arranged time off from work so we did ride along the river on Thursday. On Friday, we took the opportunity to drive over to Chorley to spend some time at the Preston Temple. On the way there , we drove the route I hope to ride to the Cycle Touring festival in Clitheroe  at the end of May. On the return journey, we called in to Empress Mills so I could pick up some wadding for the charity quilts we are making at church. The business is run by a wonderful team who are very helpful.

The Tour de Yorkshire started in Beverley and ended in Settle. As a consequence , as we drove home we saw many cyclists  coming back to the Skipton area. They looked freezing. Sir Bradley Wiggins had a fall and retired from the race on this first day.

Saturday saw  some dry and bright , if cold weather and so we set off along the river to Newport Bridge.

From there we rode up through Billingham and then along into Stockton  with cloud building all the while. We then turned and rode up through Ingleby Barwick and on up into Hilton. The rain kept off so we decided to carry on to Seamer. The views of the Cleveland Hills were lovely and we had good views.

We continued down the hill and into Stokesley and  on into Great Ayton where even more decorations have gone up for the Tour de Yorkshire.  This was my favourite and someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make it.

TABLET - WIN_20160430_125859 We cycled 35 miles yesterday and the week’s total was 88 miles. Not as much as  last week but considering the weather , a respectable amount.

Just thought I would add a photo of Tour as it left Middlesbrough today and one of my cycling friends took a photo in Great Ayton.


As you can see it was cold and wet for the last stage 198kms.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 24, 2016

Summer- came and went

Well this has been a bit of a warmer week and indeed we thought summer had arrived – for one day- then that was that.

We have had a good week cycling as the weather was mild and   not rainy as a contrast to the previous week.  We mainly rode the usual river circuit and so by Thursday morning , my mileage was over 40.  I am pleased to report that the swans have built another nest , next to the old one, and there is an egg in there that the  pen is sitting with the cob being next to her most of the time.

Due to circumstances in my work changing on Thursday morning, I was able to take advantage of the warmest day of the year. By 11.00am , we were off. By chance I had asked a blogging friend if she would like an old magazine I was disposing of- after about 25 or more years. She said yes , so we knew the direction of travel – Darlington. The lack of precipitation during the week meant we could use the route through The Whinnys nature area. The water levels in the ponds were still very high, so it must have been impassable earlier in the year.

We also met a group who I know from the CTC sat under the trees in Long Newton having cycled over from Great Ayton.

It was a  delight to cycle in my sandals with bare arms and shorts as we entered Darlington. I couldn’t resist a trip to the fabric shop and bought a couple of meters of jersey fabric before finding my way to the address.

My phone has a sat nav facility but I can never hear it. DS1 got me a wrist worn speaker at Li*l for the princely sum of £4.99 and it works a treat. I can see me using it in future.

As we returned I stopped to take a couple of photos as the fields are now full of sheep and lambs – so lovely to see them bouncing around playing together.

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On our return journey , the cold north easterly wind started blowing and we had to stop and pull on our jerseys for warmth .

By Friday morning the temperature had dropped by 10C from 18Cto 8C and never got any warmer and there was a grass frost for the morning ride.

Saturday dawned sunny but chilly . Undeterred, off we set and cycled up around Hemlington lake following Sustrans route 65 at first then into Stokesley.

Next weekend will see the 2nd Tour de Yorkshire cycle race and on Sunday 1st May it will lave from our town and go up through Great Ayton and Stokesley, so everywhere is being decked out in blue and yellow for the occasion. I think every old bike that could be used has been painted  for decoration. Schools have been involved and I saw 5 being wheeled along into position.

Even private houses are getting into the spirit of the event.

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In Great Ayton, I took a wrong turn and ended up seeing a small weir I have not seen before, so it was a nice detour.

As was getting much colder, we decided to ride straight home , going down through old Nunthorpe and Marton and arrived home by noon. In total this week I have cycled 131.25miles but DH topped that riding 148 miles. I just hope bad weather doesn’t scupper plans for next week.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 23, 2016

I like to ride my bicycle shirt

Well, this past week, as well as getting the miles in , I have been sewing myself a shirt. When I was up at the Quilt Exhibition in Edinburgh a couple of months back, I got  a couple of fat quarters  (18″x20″) of fabric. Now that’s not enough to make a shirt but a couple of weeks back , I saw some sale fabric at Empress Mills website. It was a good match and I also bought a metre of their Klona cotton.

So I set to, with a pattern I have used before, I started by cutting the yoke and collar and cuffs. I didn’t have quite enough , so pieced bits together and this is the result.

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Now then, I had pieced the back and cut the pattern out. Then I discovered that there was a bit missing . Be creative girl. Its not the end of the world. So I came up with a solution with the small left over bits.

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I cut out some of the hills fabric and appliqued it over the missing upside down Vshaped bit.  I also cut out some of the complete bicycle circles and appliqued those for balance .

If you notice some of the fabric has tents on it. So using my Janome  8200, I programmed in some words.

I think this sums it up. Its a bit of fun to wear, especially at the Cycle touring Festival which will be held in Clitheroe  at the end of May.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 17, 2016

Sunshine and Showers

The week started with beautiful sunshine on Sunday and I didn’t have to cook a meal as we had a “munch and mingle” after church,  where everyone brings food to share. In fact our stake president who happened to turn up said it was more like a feast!! We were having a special one as a beloved senior missionary couple were finishing their mission and returning home after 18 months of service in our LDS ward. So that gave us time to have a ride.

So we just decided, as we rode , which way to turn and we cycled past Hemlington lake and up though Stainton, Thornton and up to Newby. From Newby we booled down the hill , crossing the main Stokesley road and took the little gated road, through the ford, emerging near old Nunthorpe village. I was talking to a farmer acquaintance and he told me that on his land  adjacent to the village, archaeologists had just found some Anglo-Saxon remains. This area has been settled for millennia.

From here we took the cycle path back down through Marton ( Capt James Cook’s birthplace ) and home. That started the week with a nice 15 miles ride.

Monday , while not as warm, was equally pleasant as we got in a 15 miles river ride, early in the morning. As so often happens here in the UK, we were disappointed that although flowers show it is Spring, the weather doesn’t.

In the local park , cowslips are blooming in perfusion despite the rain.

The weather then became much colder and wetter, so rides were shortened a little  and DH has begun to use the Berghaus ultralight Gortex overtrousers that I got for him. I did so because I have been pleased with the ones I bought a couple of years ago.

So by Saturday morning , my cycle computer registered 81 miles and we were hoping to get in a longer ride. The sun was shining in contradiction to the weather forecast supplied by the met office, and so off to set, all ready to ride across to Cozy Coffee in Brafferton. I have to say, we don’t drink coffee but Rosie makes very tempting cakes and scones and I do like to support one woman businesses. However, by the time we had ridden along the river to Newport bridge it was raining hard. Once on the bridge, sleet started blowing in our faces and DH said to me ” I won’t think you are a wooz (wimp) if you want to go home now.”  The weather reminded me of crossing the polders in the Netherlands last year, so on we ploughed up into Norton. However, by he time we reached our turning to Bishopton, I decided that I would have my goal 100 miles in for the week , so we made for home  .

The water table is very high and even today there is a lot of flooding on the cycle tracks.

This is to show one section of the track down into Stockton on Tees. When we actually got down to the river, I needed 7 miles  but DH  needed 13 miles  to complete our targets so DH told me to head for home while he did a few more miles.  So my total for the week  has actually ended up at 103 miles so not bad .


Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 10, 2016

Love the lengthening days


With the change to British summer time, we now have longer , lighter evenings but consequently we are back to the darker mornings. Still , I prefer to get my cycling in early so I have been going out lit up like a Christmas tree  with flashing lights on my helmet as well as the bike.

The days have mostly been grey and damp but it hasn’t deterred me and I have cycled every day. One morning, as we were crossing the bridge at the Tees  barrage  , we came across a raised bridge.

In about 10 years of riding over here , we have never seen the bridge raised to allow boats to pass through the lock. so it was a first for us to be stopped. It didn’t take long though but another cyclist was a bit miffed at having to wait.

On Saturday, I was invited to go on a Billy Flemming Memorial ride. She was a lady who in the 1930’s rode every day and rode nearly 30,000 miles in the year. She died aged 100 in 2014 and this is to commemorate her world record which hasn’t been broken as yet.  I went on a similar ride last year but as we had friends coming I wasn’t able to do the whole ride with the Cycle Sisters.

I can really tell that cycling every day is paying dividends and I cycled over to the meeting point in Yarm , 9 miles away , in less than an hour and  managed the climb up the bank in a higher gear than I usually do.

I was early having allowed myself nearly 1 1/2 hours but C was there. She bought some anti-inflammatory gel as her knees were a bit sore. The joys of getting older!!

We set off through the estate from the Aldi carpark and then rode up past the prison and along to Weary bank. The road surface is worse than ever here and I was getting on fairly well up the climb. C’s gears wouldn’t drop  so she got off to walk. Well, I couldn’t let her walk on her own , as she was riding back marker, so hopped off and pushed the bike up the hill. I always say, there is no shame  walking.

I wish I could say it was lovely weather – but it wasn’t . It rained intermittently and we regrouped at the top of the bank. Dilemma? put on the waterproof jacket and feel like a boil in the bag fish or just get wet in the rain?

I carried on without donning the jacket up through Seamer and then down to Tanton before climbing up from the beck to ride along to Great Ayton. We crossed the little foot bridge over the 3 - Copy (2)

C taking a photo as we cross the bridge  before splitting to 2 groups to go to a café for a break. However, this was where I was leaving them and it had begun to rain in earnest and I had about 8 miles to ride home , I did put on my jacket and over trousers. Doing that usually stops the rain but not today and it rained nearly all the way home.

On 1st May, the Tour de Yorkshire will depart from the Boro and pass through  Great Ayton so the whole village is decked out in blue and yellow bicycles in readiness for the influx of spectators.

On Friday I got in another 3 miles of riding on my Dahon Speed TR as I went to collect my car from having its  service and road worthiness test (MOT) . It meant that I could use  cycle paths to get there and thus avoid a lot of home time traffic. I wish it had been as easy to get home in the car. It took much longer and I had to detour because of an accident.

So in total this week I cycled another 99 miles. I know I should have done and extra mile to round it up  but I didn’t.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 3, 2016

1st Quarter Ends

How fast the first 3 months of this year has flown. Last weekend Storm Katie blew in and while it wasn’t so bad that it caused damage, it was still wild enough that cycling was curtailed a bit. Then I succumbed to a head cold so this weeks mileage was down at 76.26 miles but I can record that by the month end I was at 1,150 miles and the weekend was 1,176.26 miles.  Makes me feel good that I am slightly over target  for my goal of 4000 miles in 2016.

On my rides, it has mostly been along the river and around Albert Park.I was very surprised to see a swan nesting so close to the track.

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Sometimes I se it sitting on the nest and then other times it is gone, and I cannot see any eggs. I don’t know if there will be any cygnets or not but a fence with notice has been put up.

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I do hope it is safe here. I know swans can be aggressive when sitting a nest from earlier experiences kayaking on canals and rivers at this time of the year. The swans usually nest on the islands in the lake so why here I am not sure.

Anyway friends, sorry not much  to report this week.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 27, 2016

Easter Week

Well, Easter didn’t turn out as I hoped due to inclement weather but I still managed to cycle 165.5 ( don’t forget the .5) miles.

The beginning of the week was relatively mild and we mainly managed to get along the river each day so by Wednesday evening , we had cycled 53 miles.

We kept checking the weather forecast, flitting about from forecast to forecast to see if we could get a better one. Anyway, Wednesday evening found  us getting our gear out from under the eaves. The sleeping bags and mats are kept in my loft sewing room  eaves to be kept nice and dry and unfolded. So they were pushed into their respective stuff sacks ready to pack in the panniers. As we knew it was going to be cold, we took sleeping bags and our quilt as well.  A few years ago, we bought Exped down mats and I have to say they were a really good buy for us as the extra comfort is great.  We also use Exped pillows which roll up small enough to fit in he palm of my small hand.

Due to the forecast for strong winds , I wanted to take our small Vaude tent. I think it’s a Hogan but cant be sure. DH really wanted to take our home made much taller tent but went along with me. We did take a small home made tarp that has been in use for about 15 years and is still going strong.

We packed our other essentials of stove, pans, cutlery and food as well as warm clothes for off the bike. OK maybe a bit much for an overnight stay but its a bit of a “shaky down” for later trips this year.

Thursday dawned dry but it was 9.30am before we set off and typically it started to rain but undeterred off we went in waterproofs. Once through Yarm , it did ease off  but we had a head wind all day. We had a brief stop in Northallerton and set off again. Isn’t it strange , how we think we know a road and where things are. I know there are good bus shelters near Allenbrooke but had totally got mixed up and thought they were much closer to Northallerton. They are in fact not far from Topcliffe. Still , that is where we stopped for a lunch break  and glad we were of the shelter from wind and light rain. Its a good place to put on your small stove and make cheese toasties.

I was using my Radical design trailer and lost my flag between Cundall and Norton le Clay. I really didn’t want to go back for it but lovely DH cycled an extra 3 miles to retrieve it for me. Considering he would just as well have stayed at home, it shows his love and care for me, even after almost 45 years of marriage.

Boroughbridge campsite was flooded earlier this year and we discovered that the old manager has retired.  He was on TV  in January and it has happened a number of times. I am sad to see he has gone as he always found a pitch for us even when the site was busy. We did get our favourite place near the river and it was dry to get the tent and tarp up.

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It was a beautiful sunset over the river and the wind dropped 2 - Copy (5) We cooked pasta and chicken and as my friend H calls it “tarts tea” because it is all from tins and packets.   We were snuggled down by 8.30pm and slept warm and cosy .

DH woke about 3.30am and thought it must be later as it was just starting to get light. When he found out it was still early , he rested again until 6.30 am but then there was no stopping him. He is an early riser.

I got the stove on to heat water for a drink and to fill a flask and warmed home made teacakes ( a type of spiced bread bun)  to have with jam that my friend H made.

So by 8.30 am we were all packed and it was a beautiful morning, little wind and a bright blue sky. We decided to follow the Way of the Roses route up to Ripon through Bishop Monkton and Littlethorpe up to Ripon. We were there last year and I met a friend I hadn’t seen in years and was hoping she might be around. There was an open air ecumenical service last year but I think we might have been too early.

Small clouds were starting to bubble  , so instead of hanging about , we set off down the road past the clock tower and off up to Sharow and then along under the A1  and turning left to Rainton.  We soon passed through the village and along to Topcliffe and we had the rising wind on our backs as we rode in to Northallerton. A short stop to feed the inner woman and man and off home as cloud rolled in. We managed over 100 miles in the 2 days.

We were glad to be home before the storms hit but I still rode on Saturday morning in very blustery wind  arriving home from Stockton market just before the rain arrived. Another lovely week of cycling.


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