Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 18, 2019

Rain , rain go away.

Another very rainy week and I only got out cycling once  – a measly 15 miles . On the days when I could have got out to ride, there was heavy rain. I do feel so sorry for those further south who are still in flooded conditions, When the Prime Minister did turn up , some were so angry they turned him away . I thought it was a bit of a publicity stunt on his part.

My son went down to Whitby and took this photo that I thought I would share with you. Its looking through the whalebone arch across to the abbey. One of Whitby’s claim to fame is the whaling that went on here in the last century. You will also recall the original Dracula book was set here.

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Anyway, I got on  and finished up another cardigan or as the Norwegians call such garments kofte. . There that’s a word in another language for you. I haven’t photographed it yet as the light isnt good,

I have also finished another quilt as a Christmas gift but cannot share it at present. There is another under the sewing machine needle at present. I am also adding the borders on the block of the month I have also been working on since January. At this rate , if the rain persists , I will actually finish it  before January 2020.

So mileage for the year so far is 3813 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 10, 2019

Weather and memories

Its been an awful week here with torrential rainfall but further south in the it has been even worse with extensive flooding. When I was looking at the news coverage, I thought back to 2007 when the same area suffered from devastating floods and we were cycling.

Our Norwegian friend was on his second cycle of the North Sea Cycle Route and we had planned to meet him as he came up the country and then cycle with him for some of the way. The idea was  use the Transpennine route to cross to the west and then carry on north and then cross back on the Hadrian’s Wall route for him to continue on through Northumberland.

The departure day arrived and I had a phone call very early in the morning from a friend who was working for the RAF and she told me under no circumstance to set out because of atrocious weather that was coming in. We were just about to depart and so kept our cycling clothes on in the hope that the rain would stop bouncing off the ground, It didn’t , so at 5.00pm we admitted that we wouldn’t be leaving that day.

Meanwhile poor Kj was coming up the country from the south in better weather, Next day we rode down past York and when we got to Stamford Bridge where we hoped to camp , the fire brigade were pumping out the streets, We managed to get through and found another campsite on higher ground. Next day, we rode down to Barton on Humber and camped to await the arrival of our friend, He phoned to say he was battling his way through and would we wait for him. Of course we would, so we spent a day looking around Hull. I can remember being surprised to see so much furniture out in the roads not being aware that there had been extensive flooding on the Hull side but not on the opposite bank of the river.

Kj arrived that afternoon and next day we set off on the Transpennine trail – in rain on and off all day. We tried to get through from the village of Snaith but were cut off by flood waters. That night we got permission to camp in an orchard as all the B&B’s and small hotels were full of displaced people from the floods.

The rain stopped at 3.00am and so we headed south towards Doncaster and noted that the river was level with the road surface. In Doncaster , a lady in the public toilets looked after our bicycles while we had breakfast in a café as our onward road was closed. The lady knew as her daughter couldn’t get through. About 8.30am the road was opened and so we carried on across the Pennines with rain pouring down most of the time. We had to divert many times as there was such extensive flooding , as there is now.

Once on the west side of the country , we stayed with an old kayaking friend who took us in and on another occasion when we were turned away from a campsite because it was waterlogged, the three of us ended up taking a family room in a B&B.

In all , we cycled  in wet clothes for 10 consecutive days. It wasn’t worth putting on dry stuff , as it just got wet at some stage. Kj reminded me that I even ended up cooking in the toilets in one campsite. You know the old saying , what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

So I only cycled twice this past week and we had to go through a minor flooded road.

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So I cycled 41 miles this week making a YTD total 3798miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 3, 2019

Wet and Dry

It’s been a week where we didn’t really know what the weather was  going to do, although the Met office forecast was reasonably accurate  – most of the time.

I only got 2 rides in this week. The first   time was on a quiet work morning and the sun was out although there was still frost on the ground. We headed north through Billingham and then across to Cowpen Bewley  where the trees on the green looked splendid. We couldn’t hang about though because 1. it was cold and 2. I had to get back for work.

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We got a lovely view of the Transporter Bridge across the fields

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Friday was awful. I don’t think it stopped lashing down rain until about 4.00pm and as the sun goes down at 5.00pm , it doesn’t give me much time to ride in the light. Added to that there is all the school and work returning traffic making the roads busy and the paths are mudbaths.

On Friday night DS1 and I drove up to Gateshead to the Alpkit store who were hosting a talk by Rich and his son Tom who cycled the Tour divide in the US. This is a route that is predominantly off road  starting in Banff , Canada and riding along the watershed of the US to the Mexican border. Tom is 14 and so the ride had to be accomplished in his school summer holiday. While I wouldn’t want to ride it, what an achievement for this lad. When asked if they would do it again, Rich , the dad said NO!.  They were really pushed on time and couldn’t stop to see things – in fact they only once had a brief  stop to look at a natural arch and that was the extent of the sight seeing. Tom is already talking about the Scottish 500 in Northern Scotland for which he has gained an entry even though he is still very young. An inspiration.

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This is one of their photos . They carried the bare minimum of gear and no cooking gear at all.

Another inspiration was going over to Cozy Coffee to see Rosie who has re-opened to sell her delicious cakes and scones.  Last weekend was the first time she has been opened since about mid August. Her husband Stu was in need of a kidney transplant but a suitable donor hadn’t been available so Rosie asked if they would check her for compatibility. The medics were very sceptical but were blown away when she was a match and after much counselling they  agreed to do the op. Stu told us that as soon as he woke up , he could feel he was a different person and was soon able to do much more than he has been able to do. Rosie took longer to recover but looks good now.

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Over the winter opening hours will be on only Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 3pm ad they are not working in January or  February.

 

This week I rode 57 miles and YTD is 3757miles.

 

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 27, 2019

“Summertime “Over

Well today sees the first of  what my mother called the dark days before Christmas. Fortunately, the day has been bright and sunny which means in our part of the world, it will get dark about 5.00pm.

It has been one of those weeks, when you just have to take advantage of getting out when it wasn’t raining or due to rain. There has been a lot of heavy rain and the met office has yellow weather warnings out for our part of the world.

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I had a few free hours on Wednesday morning and as there was a bit of brightness in the sky , I took off solo along the river. I met an elderly couple on Bromptons which they have had for many years. They usually ride Dutch e-bikes  that are made by Gezelle  with the Bosch motors. Interestingly, they told me one had gone wrong and stuck in the highest mode and couldn’t get it off. In the end , they switched the controller from one bike to the other and that sorted it. Both bikes were then fine. I have stored that info away in case we ever need it. On that ride I also came across 2 older chaps on new Cube e-bikes and a couple who were riding from the caravan site to Redcar , also on e-bikes , so they are becoming more popular.

Friday morning was dry and so we rode across to Neasham and  called into the Mustard Tree  and I had a scone and we both had hot chocolate.  I also took some books for there bookshelves. We are trying to get rid of some stuff that we just hang on to.

Delightfully , we met out friend C near her field . She had been up to feed the birds and spotted us as she left so waited  in a layby to have a chat. She hasn’t been too well with this cold bug that is striking so many down. We got to Preston Park before the rain started and stopped under the road bridge to put on wet weather gear. DS1 was out with is group and by the time he got home the rain was hammering down , so he was a bit wet.

Saturday the rain persisted until about 3.00pm so we just took as short ride to pick up a few groceries and came home.  I have noticed that there are a lot of teasels about where we have been riding so I thought I would share this one.

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So this week I rode 64miles which isn’t too bad. YTD 3700miles

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 20, 2019

Shortening Days

The mornings are so dark now, that it puts me off going out very early and so I have only had 3 rides out this week amounting to 49 miles. It hasn’t only been the shortening days but fitting in the rides when it hasn’t been raining as well.

It has been lovely to see the changing colours though. These were in the local park and showed up well against the leaden sky.

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So this tree had beautiful lemon/ green leaves and hasn’t lost them yet.

When riding along the riverside, these shrubs also looked stunning.

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The red/orange flame colour looked in stark contrast to the industry across the river

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It was also interesting to see this long line of toadstools, one the size of a dinner plate although well nibbled by something.

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The darker evenings have given me the time and inclination to sew and knit. I showed you some last week and thought I would share one of my favourite new books.

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Christina has classes on Bluprint so you can also see her in action.

I have made 3 baskets from fabric to use up some scraps and also to provide a little bit of organisation instead of having stuff spread across my table.

I like the dense quilting on this one.P1030368

I have also been knitting  and working on sleeves , two at a time on a single circular needle. I am used to doing socks this way but not sleeves.

DH had a long ride on Thursday setting off in the dark at 4.00am. Yes he is mad!! He rode up through Helmsly and down to York. He told me it was dark and foggy and his eyes played tricks thinking the trees had eyes. He then rode home in lovely autumn weather. The trouble is he doesn’t like to stop to eat and drink or take photos so I cannot share anything from him. He rode 113miles and was home just after 2.00pm.

So this week for me 49miles and YTD 3606 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 13, 2019

Three reasonable rides

The weather has been so mixed this week  and some days you cannot believe the difference between morning and afternoon. So we managed to get out on three occasions and i have used some of the time to stitch away.

Thursday was a sunny morning and I found myself without any appointments for my work so I asked DH if he was free for a ride. He was and so we set off along the river and through Stockton to call at Panico’s were I did the workshop with Abbie Ann last Saturday. I had managed to get it finished – well I might add some beads ( when I find where I have put them). I wanted to show Carl who runs the shop. I am pleased to have learned a new technique.

There is a lot of road repair going on and so we had to make a diversion but got our way to Preston Park and home. Just as we got in, the rain started, so we were lucky.

Friday morning, the rain was belting down and we didn’t think it would stop but at noon, miraculously,  it stopped. So I suggested a ride to East Cowton. The Lovely Linda has her pop-up café on a Friday afternoon between 2-4 pm. It was into a headwind but the e-bikes are so helpful in this respect. I am making full use of the different assistance modes so as not to aggravate my legs and its helping.

I really should remember to photograph the cake but am always too anxious to eat them. We had a large slice of Chocolate Orange Cake and half a slice of Salted Caramel cake each.

Riding back through the heavy teatime traffic in Yarm, we turned off the High Street and rode passed our friend CJ’s house. Fortunately, she was out picking home-grown   veggies with her grandson, so we were able to stop and chat. She hadn’t gone out cycling with her ladies group as it was so wet in the morning.  The days are getting short now so we took the shortest way home.

Saturday, was a beautiful day – in the morning. We decided to ride across to Picton where one of my quilting friends lives. I had accidently printed off more instructions for a quilt I will be working on sometime, so decided to share.

As we rode across to Preston Park , I was able to photograph all these sculls and rowing boats heading up river. I stopped to ask and Tees Rowing club had a race back down river to the club house.

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J lives on a farm and as we rode up the track we noticed that the field was flooded  and there were swans and geese on the newly formed “lake”. J said she had been watching them through binoculars and there are 6 swans and 25 Canada geese.

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It doesn’t bode well for the crops. In well over 50 years,  M the farmer has never lost a crop until last year and next year’s crop of oilseed rape is starting to fail due to the weather and also a mite that is blighting the oilseed rape crops throughout the country. Apparently , the only chemical that works against them has had to be withdrawn.

We rode home via Hutton Rudby , Hilton and Coulby Newham and all the time we could see dark clouds building from the north.  Just as we got to our home, the first splashes started to fall and we got inside before the rain came down in earnest.

I have also been working on my free machining (FMQ)  skills with this little piece. Sorry the photos don’t show up too well, but I hope you can see the different patterns I have been playing with. For those who don’t know, FMQ is like drawing patterns by having a pen in a fixed position and moving the paper to draw a design.

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This is the rear side and the thread shows up better.

So this week I got in 97 miles in the 3 rides and so YTD 3557miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | October 6, 2019

Continuing poor weather

The weather has been very poor this week and I have only been able to get out once and rode only 14 miles. I was hoping for good weather on Friday when I wasn’t working , but it wasn’t to be. Saturday was dry , but I had arranged to attend a workshop on reverse applique technique but I still haven’t finished the piece so will show it, when finished .

I have some blood tests but no results as yet. Resting the legs may have been a good thing as they don’t feel quite so bad.

YTD 3460miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 29, 2019

It’s been wet.

I don’t know if you have been watching any of the World Road Cycling Championships but if you have , you will have seen the vary varied conditions from one day to the next.

I did go to see a GP about my painful legs and I have to go for blood tests but it wasn’t going to stop me doing some riding.

We also used Friday to take the bikes down to Cyclesense in Tadcaster and have them serviced. I have ridden more than 5600 miles since getting my Koga World Traveller e-bike so a new cassette and chain and new brake pads were needed.

The rain lashed down overnight on Friday until about 9.30am on Saturday morning but we decided, when the sun came out , we would risk a ride. I didn’t want to go too far and we were prepared to cut the route short at any time. I determined that Stokesley would be the destination. Ripping Yarns, a knitting wool  shop has relocated from Saltburn, so I wanted to find its new place in an industrial estate.

So we set off across to Thornaby and we were so surprised to see the car park of a local hotel had a pond where there wasn’t one previously.

thornaby CP

We carried on from there up through Ingleby Barwick and called on a friend briefly before heading up to Hilton . My legs were feeling reasonable , so I determined to turn and carry on to Hutton Rudby. A bit of lower leg pain in the area that I bruised badly back in June, but I wanted to carry on. I had looked on a map and saw we could go down Sexhow Lane and across to Carlton in Cleveland. We have never ridden down and up this road before and DS1 peeled off at this junction as he wanted to go to the Rusty Bike in Swainby.   This is what he found. Scarecrows.

We got down to the A172 and I was surprised we didn’t have far to the turn to cross the road. I thought it would be further looking at the map. So we road up into the village and were surprised to see lots of old steam vehicles, steam rollers etc. I asked the chaps with the vehicles who they were and they were from all over the north east. They were on a pub crawl from Swainby and back but at the speed these vehicles these travel , it would take all day.

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steam rollers

Then it was on to Stokesley and I found the new shop place but sadly they didn’t have the circular needle I wanted.  The weather was a bit blowy but there were some lovely views across to Roseberry Topping.

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Then we rode home the shortest way and clocked up 30 miles. I did have to rest up and have a bit of massage but feel reasonable.

Weekly total 37 miles YTD 3446miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 22, 2019

Not a lot doing

I thought you would like to see a couple of photos taken by DS1.

The first is Rogie Falls in Scotland which he took while cycling in Scotland while we were on the 10p tour. Apparently, this is a great place to see salmon leaping but not on that day.

Rogie falls

He got up well before dawn and went down to take a few photos down at the coast at Saltburn on Sea.

early mornign Saltburn

As for me, I didn’t do much cycling until Friday. I have been having a lot of trouble with muscle pain in my legs and I really should go and see a GP rather than delaying. However, on Friday I decided a ride to Newton Aycliffe was on the cards. I had received a £10 voucher for the Crafters Companion store and there was no minimum spend. So we cycled across and I did make more use of the electric assist than I usually do.  Still , I got there and got myself a very nice circle cutter ruler and a couple of fat quarters. No these aren’t fat backsides, but approx. 18″x22″ pieces of fabric.

DH made a small table when he was a lad in school. It was at his mam’s for years and when she died , it came to our shed. Anyway , he decided he needed a small table for next to his seat and so he rubbed it down and painted it dark grey. I asked if he would like a mat to cover up the very uneven top surface. I was surprised when he said he had been going to ask for one. This is the result and he is well pleased.

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So , we also had a short ride on Saturday, so I made the weekly mileage up to 42 and the YTD is 3409 miles

 

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 16, 2019

Ten Pence Train Ticket Tour

In August our son  got a flash sale come up on his phone that Northern Rail had thousands of  train tickets in the north for 10p. Well, who could resist? There were 2 available for the 12th September when we had the time to go off on another short tour.

We decided to head across to Carlisle on the 5.45am train arriving just after 8.30am , so giving us the full day to cycle. We did meet another cyclist who got on at Newcastle who also had a 10p ticket and he had intended going to Whitehaven to ride the C2C in one day. However, as we got further west the sky was becoming increasingly gloomy and he kept checking the weather forecast. When he saw it would be rain, he abandoned, the idea and alighted at Hexham for a dry ride home.

Not us though! Actually, I had the foresight to book a Travelodge in Cockermouth and they were brilliant.  More of that later.

Setting off from Carlisle it was dry but overcast and then when we had ridden about 4 miles, the rain started very lightly, but we soon had to don the waterproofs. The roads around the Solway area are  fairly flat so not too strenuous. Taking a direct line would have been too short a day, so we headed across to Abbeytown to have a look at the remains of the abbey there.

The dissolution of the monasteries saw Holme Cultrum  Abbey founded in 1150 by Cistercian monks , saw it fall into disrepair apart from part which was retained as the parish church. In 2006 , it was further damaged  when the church had an arson attack. It has since been repaired and has some nice stained glass windows.

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The front entrance is huge and we could get the bikes and trailers inside. There was atea rooms advertised but not on the day we were there. The toilet facilities were   open though.  So we sat and ate 2nd breakfast and had a look at the very good exhibition before braving the elements once again.

Once in Cockermouth, we found the hotel and I have to say they were really kind. WE washed the cycles and trailers off with an outside tap and small hose and dried them off with supplied towels. We were then able to take the bikes into our ground floor room. I had a line strung up and so we were able to get the wet clothes dry. They even supplied us with paper to stuff our wet shoes with.

 

 

Friday 13th September

The day dawned sunny and after an all you can eat breakfast, we set off following the Komoot app towards Low Abbey. All was well , as it wasn’t too steep and then we came to an off road section we werent expecting. We thought we had checked but we hadn’t done  carefully enough.  Still, it didn’t look too bad, as it was a bridle track .

It got worse though when we came to a downhill section. It might have been OK on a full suspension mountain bike but on a touring e-bike pulling a trailer, it wasn’t so easy. In fact, we had to start walking and then as we came down to a logging road , DH had to take the bikes down, as I was a bit scared.

Once down at the bottom, we were pleased to be on old roads and we soon got into Keswick but the cycle track is still not open and being repaired. So we had to find another way on the Penrith Road which was closed to motor vehicles. We weren’t the only ones though and we cycled up the very steep road to Castlerigg Stone circle. The e-bikes really were brilliant getting us up there.

We had decided to visit old kayaking friends as they are no longer able to get out as much as they once did. We expected to be there at the village of Helton between 1-2pm but knew that the way in Pooley Bridge was also under repair.

Komoot showed a route avoiding the village. It again showed a way over a very wobbly footbridge which wasn’t too bad and another bridleway. What a mistake that was. I didn’t even take any photos but it was across a cow filled field, through gorse bushes and almost bog like conditions.  It took us about 2 hours to take the cycles and trailers across. Yes, we were mental to not turn back!!!

Still, we got to see our friends and ate lunch at 3.45pm. It was pleasant to look at photos and remember other old friends who are no longer with us. Still we had to make Kendal so set off just before 5.30pm and cycled up to the village of Shap and then began the climb up and over the 1400ft Shap summit on the A6. There is a memorial to the lorry drivers who risked and lost their lives hauling goods over summit. Even in an English summer , it can be very cold and sleety up there. We were in luck and once over the climb , it was almost downhill all the way to the campsite, just before Kendal town.

We did notice the Shap Fell Bothy just before the summit and the views are stunning.

 

Even at 7.00pm, the site manager got us a pitch with a hook-up so we could recharge the bikes. We chatted to another couple of cycle tourists who were camping nearby and they came over to look at our rigs. A lady in a nearby motorhome boiled the kettle for us so I didn’t even have to break out the stove.

Saturday , 14th September 2019

It was a wet pack due to heavy dew but we got away about 8.30am and we called into a supermarket before heading off to climb up to Grayrigg on the A685 but there was very light traffic. It may have been something to do with frequent road closed – Monday to Friday signs.  After this there is another fast descent down towards the Lune Valley with the M6 in the bottom. We hardly had to pedal until the road crossed over to climb up to Tebay.

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It was 2nd breakfast time in the little play area.There was a cool wind blowing so we had to put on warm jackets.

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As we were leaving , I a spoke to a local chap who told us a way to take the tiny lane that ran parallel with the busy main road. I wasn’t about to be taken on another unknown route by Komoot.

We did have to go on the main road after a while but remembered that the local man had mentioned the village of Ravenstonedale so we called into a pub there for a lemonade. The barmaid gave us detailed instructions to get us to Kirkby Stephen that kept us largely off the A685 and instead after minor roads, onto the A683.  Then at the T junction we only had a short way into Kirkby Stephen.

Then , we had a few miles on to the main road up to Brough and another climb up towards Teesdale. We had a stop about half way up as I needed to change my battery and so had lunch sitting in a parking bay .

I have to say the Koga World Traveller e-bikes coped beautifully with the climbs even though at times I was in the sport mode a lot of the time. When we reached the summit , it was again another fast run down and then we saw a body of water which is Selset reservoir which we had cycled to some years ago on ordinary bikes.

Just outside Middleton in Teesdale we turned and cycled down through the villages of Mickleton, Romalkirk and Cotherstone before getting to the campsite at Lartington. We were really surprised to see it was only 3.45pm. There was no hook-up available but the site managers put our batteries on charge for us.  I didn’t even cook as the Fish and Chip can came and so that is what we had.

The wind was really strong, one of the reasons I didn’t want to cook in the tent and the tent a short way down from us had a pole snap. Our tent was OK, if a little noisy . The wind finally dropped about 4.00am

Sunday  15th September 2019

The one thing about wind is that it tends to make for a dry pack. So we got everything packed and were on the road by about 9.30am as we had a sleep in until 6.30am. Lots of people stopped us as we were packing to talk about our “unusual” way of camping. I think it’s probably the bikes and our age. Still we don’t mind encouraging others who might want to try.

We are on “home “territory here to headed along to Whorlton to find yet another road closed sign. The bridge cannot really take heavy traffic and they have put concrete barriers across but with room to get bikes and pedestrians through.  We did have to unhitch the trailers though.

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Once at Eppleby we called in to the café for a hot chocolate and a fruit scone, as it was quite chilly. We carried on through Piecebridge and on to the outskirts of Darlington. We decided to see how Komoot would take us through the town and I have to say this was a way we have never been. It made use of the extensive cycleways along the river Skerne before we came out near Great Burdon. So we were on our usual route alongside the A66 and through Sadberg and on to Elton, Stockton and home by 1.15pm.

I was elated that I had managed such a trip even though my legs are still stiff. Its the age you know.

So  DH and I have a discrepancy in mileage . My moniter says 187 miles – his 192 miles.

so my week is 196mls and YTD 3367miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

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