Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 26, 2017

English Weather

If you don’t like  it, wait a few hours and it will change. We have had it all this past week, rain, hail, snow in places and sunshine. Did I get out cycling – you bet I did except I didn’t go so far on the worst days.

Last Sunday, there was a football match that disrupted the depositing of church moneys into the bank , so in the early evening DH and I cycled in to town and back to use the night safe. Only a short ride but those miles add up.

Because of the lighter mornings , Monday dawned clear and not cold , so we had a ride in the sunshine along the river Tees. I love the early mornings in springtime, when the birds are up and about. Tuesday saw is doing much the same but the weather became much more windy and it was a bit of a push. Later in the day the weather deteriorated quite a bit with rain and hail and snow on the hills. By Wednesday, gale force winds kept me in  as I was afraid of the gusts as I don’t want to be blown off. I am still protective of that fracture site.

DH and sons have had a viral infection and so on Thursday, DH decided he wasn’t coming out to play in the rain. Spoil sport. Well I was going so off I went. I also had some early work so could   only fit in  9 miles but still it all adds up as I keep saying. Friday was  much the same except the weather had certainly made a vast improvement. I was a bit miffed as a women’s group that cycle were all going off together  but I had work. Mind you I love what I do.

I was so pleased that Saturday dawned very cold but sunny and the prospect of a great day ahead. Where would we go. DH asked how many miles I wanted to get in. Really I wanted 100 miles for the week so I had a look at old routes and we determined on a ride to Danby Wiske in North Yorkshire. DS1 said he would come part way with us. So we loaded up the slow cooker with ingredients to cook gently while we were out and got our picnic gear  ready. We waited until 9.00am to leave to give the frost time to lift and set off across to Thornaby and up through Yarm. It was heaving with traffic so we actually walked a short way to avoid the queuing cars  before we could ride again once past the old town hall. Riding up the bank we were past by a sporty young couple on lightweight racers. It was surprising to see them resting at the top, while we carried on. As I remarked to a passing walker, what I lack in speed, I make up for by stamina. A speed merchant I most definitely am not.

We turned along forest lane at Kirklevington and  along to Appleton Wiske. This is where DS1 turned off to ride down to one of his favourite cafes . We carried on to Hornby and Great Smeaton before turning for East Cowton. When we got there DH stopped opposite a post office and asked if there was anything I wanted? No, why? Turned out he fancied some sweeties to suck. So in I went and got some mint humbugs and butterscotch. The lady at the counter, asked where I had cycled from and when I said Middlesbrough, she was amazed. I said its only about 21 miles. She asked if I wanted a cup of tea. No thanks but a nice thought. We carried on and went into North Cowton and had a little sit near the primary school. I took a photo of some tiny blue flowers , almost over shadowed by the daffodils.   I have no idea what they are but I hope someone can enlighten me.

There was another couple about our age who also had a short stop on another convenient bench. On checking the map , I decided going on to Scorton would add a few too many miles, so we back tracked to the main road and climbed the hill before turning off to Streetlam. It was odd that only on Friday, and elderly patient had talked about being stationed there when he was doing his national service. Apparently, there were 5 army camps in the area just at the end of WW2. No signs of them now.
There was only a gentle breeze and we sat on a bench at the corner of the village green in Danby Wiske while I toasted out cheese sandwiches over out tiny gas stove and had a chocolate muffin with hot chocolate. Another couple on touring bikes past by and it was only as we were leaving , we saw them lunching. Turns out they too are avid cycle campers and live in Darlington. I told them about the cycle touring  festival in Clitheroe at the end of May and they asked if we knew that the York cycle festival has started again. Always nice to meet those with similar interests. We were on the road to Yafforth when we saw our first spring lambs in the fields on both side of the road.

We followed the minor road to Yafforth and Romanby before arriving in Northallerton where we had another brief stop. DH and I discussed which way to go home. The most direct route or a little longer one. Well, why not go to Deighton and then turn off to go through the Rountons and across the A19 bridge towards Hutton Rudby. There is a nasty bank there . Not so much the inclination, although it is a short steep one, but the road surface is awful. I opted to get off and walk the last bit. No shame in walking but it was the only one of the day. We stopped on the green and had another refuel.

Oranges and yogurt and a biscuit to munch on, washed down with plenty of water.

As you can see even by late afternoon, the views were stunning towards the Cleveland hills. We rode along to Hilton and then down through Ingleby Barwick to the river Tees. We rode along before crossing at the barrage . We picked up some bread rolls at the supermarket  to have with the soup. At home , the sons had already got some so they went in the freezer. Mileage for the day 61.6 miles made me feel good , if not tired.

So mileage for the week is 113.1 miles an YTD is 557 miles



Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 19, 2017

Windy Old Weather

Just as it says , it has been a windy old week but fortunately not to wet for us. There was a 16 year old lad killed last week as there were 4 in the car and it was being chased by the police and crashed. I feel so sad that if he hadn’t got into that car with a young driver who has been charged with many offenses, then he would still be alive.

There were a lot of floral tributes and balloons and the railings at Albert park and I couldn’t help but think that the money spent on them , would have been far better donated for his funeral expenses. Am I wrong?

Anyway, DH has felt under the weather this week , so I have been riding on my own a lot. Come Saturday, I asked him if he fancied a ride but didn’t want a long one. I suggested getting the bus through to Barnard Castle and cycling back , but he didn’t want that. I then suggested driving with the folders in the car to Eppleby, so that I could take photos of the daffodils.

So that is what we did. We unloaded the bikes and then went for a ride. It was a strong  WNW wind so it was in our faces as we rode along towards Winston. Instead of dropping down into the valley, we turned for Ovington and then down to Hutton Magna.   As we approached Ovington we could hear the Tees thundering in the valley below. We  saw a gap in the hedge and I was able to look down and see the noise was caused by rapids but they sounded much bigger.


We were hoping to get a track across to Caldwell but after following what we thought was the correct bridle path we could see it was a dead end. Oh well, back track and use another road.

When we got back to Eppleby, shock , horror, we actually ate in the café. heehee. A nice cheese toastie and salad.

So my mileage is down to 57 miles this week. YTD 444 mi


Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 12, 2017

Lengthening days

It is becoming apparent now that the days are stretching out at both ends. I laughed today when  a friend told me her husband had seen it on FB that the clocks needed to go back an hour. He had changed them , not realising that this was the US time change not the UK one which isnt until the 26th March 2017. I am really looking forward to the lighter evenings. 

Sorry not many photos this week but I took this at the community orchard that I am involved in  with an art project . We hope it will be saved from the developers.

Monday was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine. DS1 and I had the time to ride through to Saltburn as I wanted to go to the knitting shop there to buy a circular needle. Isn’t it always the same, you have every size but that size that you need. A prior phone call ensured we didn’t have a wasted journey. We cycled along the trunk road and along Redcar prom and then followed NCN1 up to Saltburn. DS1 hasn’t cycled that way in a while and was pleased with how good the path surface is on the trunk road now.   On the prom we saw another cyclist coming towards us. I thought , oh he’s got panniers on and then realised it was DH. He didn’t stop as he had already ridden the way we were going home.  After the needle buying, we called into Stonehouse bakery and bought a lovely hot panini and cake and a hot chocolate for £3.90 each . It was a lot  less expensive than going to a coffee shop. We sat in the sunshine in the square  and enjoyed the warmth.

On the return journey, the sun disappeared behind clouds but we were lucky to get home before the rain started in earnest .  So that was a good 30 miles ride.

The next 3 days were only short distances because of work commitments. One of the things we did on Wednesday, was to go to apply for DH’s OAP bus pass. We left our bikes at the Cycle Centre in the bus station and walked to the building. Unfortunately, DH couldn’t get sorted as thieves had stolen the equipment and although they had a  replacement, it wasn’t connected to the central system. So he had to go back later in the week . I did go with him but sat in sunshine once again while I waited for him and watched the bikes. Don’t want them stolen, do we?

We hoped for such weather on Friday, but it wasn’t to be. However, we weren’t put off. I wanted to get in a 50 miles ride. We got away from home at 9.00am and rode across through Stockton and along NCN14 until we got to near the Whinneys near Middleton St George. Because of all the rain we have had , mainly overnight, we knew that we had to avoid the nature reserve and the usual track to Darlington. Once through  the village, DS1 decided to leave us and we headed down through Neasham and Hurworth and then crossed the bridge at Croft.

From here we were on NCN165 for a while as we turned right up towards Barton. From pervious rides we knew not to go through the village but turned right again and came to the old roman road. I do like these old roads that have been modernised but still has the  same ancient route. I like the way they are straight but undulate across the country.

We turned left into Aldborough Saint John, another little North Yorkshire village and then crossed the bridge and again turned right up towards Forcett. Here we turned off for the village of Eppleby, our destination for the day. Don’t say me DH never takes me out to lunch. We sat in the bus shelter and toasted out cheese sandwiches and had hot chocolate. We did buy chocolate fudge cake in the village Post Office/shop/cafe . I was hoping the daffodils would be in bloom , but no so just yet. Next weekend should see this beautiful long village green awash with daffodils dancing in the breeze. Hopefully we will get back before they all die off.

We returned via Manfield and Cleasby before cycling through Darlington. I didn’t even stop to go to the fabric shop !!! We followed our usual route but once over the A66 bridge, we turned and road along the path alongside this busy road. We decided to return via Sadberg because of the boggy paths and this was the best decision. We had another brief hot chocolate stop  before riding home through Stockton and back home  51.8 miles

On Saturday, we only had a short ride because we needed to go food shopping and to visit my brother who is just back from his holiday home in Tenerife. When we got home, we decided to try one of the paths on a cycle map but it wasn’t very good so we turned back.

So this week I cycled 114 miles so the YTD total is 387miles


Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 5, 2017

Bickerton 1808

After my recent accident, it got us talking about using the folding bicycle on public transport to extent out touring range. We aren’t getting any younger and can see the time when getting in 70 mile days will no longer be viable, so the conversation turned to what to buy.

We did think about getting another Dahon Speed but unfortunately they are no longer produced. We looked on auction sites but had no luck so turned to C H White of Malmesbury who custom built my Speed TR for me.


I spoke with Tim and he said that he could customise a Bickerton 1808. This would give the same type of internal holding of the handle bars, giving a compact fold. DH knew that he wanted something that had a higher gear ration than my Speed TR and this was accomplished easily as the front chain ring had 55 teeth. He also installed a Sram Dual drive which replaces the normal triple chain ring with a front derailleur . I really like that on my Speed TR as when you stop suddenly in high gear , you can easily drop to a low gear on this dual drive system. Tim also installed a 9 speed derailleur which has a twist grip action. It wasn’t really what DH wanted but using the same  shifters as I have but it messed up the fold.

As we are used to having a hub dynamo to power lights and keep our phones topped up on tour, this was a must have. No problem and with a very bright Busch and Muller light , it is really good.

I have to say, the rear carrier sits much lower than the Speed TR so we cannot put the Ortlieb panniers on so we will need a rethink on that one.

DH just has to apply for his OAP bus pass now, so helpfully we will be able to get a short tour in at the end of April/ beginning of May.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 5, 2017

Good Going

Well, I have managed to ride 6 days of this week so I am well pleased.

Monday saw me riding just a short early morning ride because of work commitments and it was just up what we call the good cycle track that goes up to Ladgate lane and then along the pavement on this fairly fast road to come down through the  housing estate.

Tuesday , also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday, saw me having an early morning ride on my own as DH said his back was hurting. I rode along the river and then returned home – for a pancake breakfast. Later in the day I went out with DH again so that topped the day at just short on 19 miles. We went out then because he had received his new folding bicycle but more on that in another post.

On Wednesday, I had arranged my work schedule to attend a meeting about having a couple of my art quilts included in a local gallery exhibition. I duly rode down using Speedy my Dahon only to find I had the wrong day. Duh! Still that had me cycling along the river again and then on Thursday too. I was also at my quilt group early in the day and saw these lovely daffodils blooming near the church.

There was rain overnight but I got out early on Friday and only just got home before the deluge came. It rained and it rained. Consequently, when we awoke on Saturday morning , the roads were still wet and in places awash with standing water. Well, it wasn’t going to stop us so off we went across through Thornaby and then to a friends in Ingelby Barwick. He suffered a stroke and has only been home about a week. We didn’t stay long but it gave me time to fill my water bottles as I forgot before we left home.

We then rode up through Hilton and on to Seamer.  I stopped to take a photo of the standing water in the fields.

We saw a few cyclists coming down the hill which I am pleased to say I managed to ride up without getting off. I am pleased to say that I felt strong and remarked that I feel I am getting back to my normal ability.

From Seamer , there is a nice downhill and on to Stokesley. We took the back route so we could see the water levels at the ford. A man was wading in with his dogd to get them cleaned off. There was also a profusion of snowdrops and crocuses.


We took a road I don’t recall cycling before. It is signposted Kirkby and ascends past the industrial estate and then along to the base of the Cleveland Hills. We turned left and carried on towards Great Broughton. We saw a large group coming towards is and found it was Jim Williamson taking his Saturday group out. Nice to see them all.

We went straight over at the  cross roads and along to Ingelby Greenhow. Here we stopped as it was 1pm and I was ready for a break. We had out usual flask of hot water so made hot chocolate and had a sandwich too. There were a few people walking in the village and we carried on to Battersby and when we came to the main road turned towards Great Ayton and followed local route 165 towards home. The road was busy with traffic and one motorist stayed behind us for quite a time as he/she did not want to overtake us on the narrow road. Today, a chap at church said he saw us holding up the traffic!!!  All the way home DH was going on about chocolate brownies which of course need ice cream with them.

So I said I would make some if we rode across to Teesside Park and  got ice cream.  By now there was sunshine  so it made it an easy decision and it got a few more miles in .

So this week I have achieved 86 miles which I am pleased with. YTD 273 miles




Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 26, 2017

Busy Week

Well. I have had a busy week and combined with Storm Doris, there hasn’t been the time for as much cycling as last week. Still, I achieved 58 miles so not bad.

Here are a couple of photos of things that we saw, snowdrops and sheep that will be lambing in early April at Saltholme bird reserve. I was so pleased to see a flock, as most of the sheep were killed by uncontrolled dogs that got into the field a couple of years ago . There will be lambing live starting on the 8th April 2017 at the reserve.

I have continued to sock knit, this time for DS1  and decided to do a little 2 colour knitting on these ones.

I have also managed to finish this quilt which I will give as a gift to a friend who has just celebrated his 79th (I think) birthday. I was pleased to be able to get it done and quilted. It isnt perfect but he wont mind.

DS1 took me down to Harrogate on Friday to the Spring Quilt fair. This is the first time it has been held and it wasn’t as busy as I thought it might be. I know that some of the usual traders weren’t there because of a clash with a trade fair. I got some time for classes with Kate Andre who I enjoyed learning from in September.

I also talked with Andy and Jo from Crafty-UK who make all sorts of plastic rules and have started making rulers for free machine quilting. I got a lovely spiral and  a curve. Andy is also making me a 12″ long rule, straight on one side and curved on the other. It will be a couple of weeks before he can do it because he has another quilt show in Duxford next week.

I got a chance to have a little play and here is the result.

So my cycling mileage this week is 58.1 miles and my YTD is 186.9 miles. I hope the weather is better this week.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 19, 2017

An Amazing Week

Would you believe I have cycled 93.3 miles this week? well I have! Woohoodippidydoo!

Can you tell I feel GOOD!!

I started the week by cycling 3.2 miles on Monday. It was only in the local area and I used Speedy , my Dahon folder. Again, on Tuesday morning I was able to ride 7.7 miles . I chose to go and rearrange an appointment in person and used that as a reason to ride. Also , in the evening I rode to a local cycle action meeting. This is not the sort of lie down in the streets sort of thing but an effort to get the tracks in our area to be connected and have some sort of cohesive policy by the powers that be. That racked up another 0.8 miles.

Wednesday morning saw more good weather so we had a river ride. I had to be home by 10.30am but by the time we got back to the barrage I realised we would be pushing it for time and I was feeling a bit sore. So by the time we were home we had racked up another 12.1miles.

On Thursday, DH wasn’t able to accompany me so I just rode around the local park a few times. Its amazing how quickly you lap the dog walkers. So home with another 6.5 miles on the clock.

I wasn’t working on Friday and we had an idea to try for Cozy Coffee at Brafferton. My intention was to ride Speedy and then, if necessary I would fold her up and get the bus back to the Boro. However, just before we were to leave the phone rang. It was an elderly friend we help to look after as his son lives away. He was having problems with his water not draining away. I told DH to go and see to it as I knew he would just be worried all the time. Turns out it was his dish washer malfunctioning. DH got back at 11.30 am so I had packed a picnic and got the flask full of hot water.  He suggested riding my Koga Randonneur which I haven’t been on since the accident. It went fine and we seemed to have the wind on our backs as I was riding along the Trunk road to Redcar at 16mph. Yiphee! Riding NCN1 through South Bank we saw these pieces of public “art”.

It is just a shame people still dump rubbish near them.

The beach had a lot of people on it as it is half term and the weather was delightful – really spring like.  The water was very calm and we could see ships further out.

Part way along the Promenade we saw a small crowd, so me being the sort of inquisitive person I am stopped to ask, what they were looking at. Turns out there was a pair of snow buntings on one of the wooden groynes.

I very nice man lent me his binoculars to look. I couldn’t get a photo . We had a lovely chat and I exchanged telephone numbers with S his wife as they have an idea they would like to try cycling and touring. I will contact her but don’t want to appear too pushy.
We rode along to Marske but didn’t try for Saltburn – don’t push myself too hard. We stopped in the grounds of Kirkleatham Hall but the play area where we usually sit was very crowded. Around the front of the Hall, there were more seats and picnic benches , so that is where we sat and had our sandwich and hot chocolate.

Here are a coupe of photos.  This is DH saying he couldn’t see anything.

It shows that the hall was built in 1709 and is now used as a museum.

It was cold on the way home but went the longer way, along Ladgate lane, as I was feeling good. 28 miles

Then yesterday we did make Cozy Coffee. Rosie makes delicious cakes and her prices are very reasonable. We had lemon meringue cake and a piece of Rocky road and hot chocolate so it isnt just tea and coffee she sells.

Isnt it strange how memory plays tricks. I was thinking that the road down into Darlington is all down hill. It isnt but the general direction is downwards. I thought if I was too tired I would hop a Train as I rode the Koga but I didn’t need to. So we came back via Sadberg and Norton . We did stop and  picnic on Norton Green and I was surprised by the number of people who stopped to chat and ask where we were going. Only back home but we had ridden 30 miles. It got quite cold after that as the clouds blew in and the wind picked up  so we returned home over Newport bridge instead of riding along the river. Still a good 35 miles.

So in total for the week that is 93.3 miles.  It feels so good and I am now thinking about planning some cycle camping. At this time of year, as the days lengthen, I always feel the same. I seem to need to be out and camping.

YTD 128.8miles


Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 12, 2017

One Good Day

Last Monday was a glorious winter day, cold but sunny. As I had taken the day off work due to a hospital appointment, we headed off along the river. DH has renamed the path between Newport Bridge and the Transporter bridge,  ” Clavicle Way”.  heehee!


It was good to be out in the sunshine and no wind was I was able to capture the photo above. I love thst reflection and you can see why it is called the Infinity bridge.

At that I spotted some rowers.

So we rode along into Stockton before heading home.

Then it was time to go and see the consultant at the hospital. After and Xray (radiograph) it was back to the waiting room. How things have changed in 50 years.  Back then I was a student radiographer and I remarked to the student examining me, that it was nothing like back then. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the positioning. She asked me did it smell when radiographs were being wet developed? yes it did and for the first 3 months of training , we never saw the light of day being stuck in a dark room.

Well, after a short wait I saw the consultant. I remember when consultants all looked old. Well they don’t now, he was young but not at all stuffy. He showed me the comparison and I can see it is healing  but some of the bone ends are still very jagged. That explains why I still have some stinging occasionally.   He told me its OK to cycle but to be very careful as if I have another fall , I may crack it again. So I am being careful.

I have been out again but the weather has been awful with lots of rain and sleet. Still its better than snow. The winds have also been up so this week  I have only managed 14.5 miles. According to the weather forecast  for next week, there show be almost spring like weather so I hope to get more miles in.

I have had time to sew and knit but nothing  finished to show you yet.

Miles cycled YTD 35.5 miles



Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 5, 2017

Back on the Bike

Good news from my physio. She says she is discharging me. I told her I had cycled a mile last week and she gave me the go-ahead to do more, saying I would be up to 5 miles next week.

Well , I didn’t want to disappoint her so on Tuesday and Thursday I rode 2 miles each day and then on Friday I rode 3. The forecast for Saturday was good but we needed to go up to Gateshead for some shopping. We left early and got in and out with our required items in less than 1 hour and headed for home. We found that DS1 had waited for us and we all went off together.

We headed down to the river and along to Stockton. I bought eggs and then we parted company with DS1 who wanted to ride the longer way home. I didn’t want to push myself too hard so we returned back along the south side of the river and home via Teesside park.

So my total for the week is 17.5 miles. I know, nowhere near last years January total but I am so thankful to be almost pain free now and being able to ride. I hope to get back into my normal early morning riding especially as the days are lengthening. Forgot to mention. on the drive up to Gateshead , in the vicinity of Durham,  we saw out first spring lambs in a field just off the motorway. Spring is coming . Woohoo! soon ne checking our camping gear.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 29, 2017

Cycled 1 mile

Well hello friends, that is correct I have managed to cycle one mile solo.

I have been working hard doing my exercises and can now lift my arm above my head and get my hand up behind my back just below my shoulder blades. I am still not entirely pain free but making progress. On Tuesday, I persuaded DH to take me out on the tandem. I didn’t have to hold on tight, so we rode 5 miles in sunshine on one of our local routes. The only pain ensued if we went over potholes and I was thrilled to be out.

Yesterday, it was a dreary wet day but then about 2.00pm some weak sunshine unfolded as the clouds blew away. DH suggested a  very short solo ride , to try out how I would do. Well , I rode a mile without too much pain and had a good nights sleep. I think the physio will be very pleased when she sees me on Tuesday.

In the free time I have had, as well as a little bit of sewing, I have continued to knit socks. I was using up wool left over from the other socks I knitted earlier and with the addition of a ball of black yarn , I now have another 2 pairs and a teeny bit of wool left in case they need darning  before I wear them out.

The days are lengthening and signs of spring are coming. I love the lighter mornings we have so I hope that soon I will be out on my regular morning rides before work.

6 miles this week  yippee !




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