At the latitude where we live, the sun doesn’t rise until about 8.30am at this time of the year . So we got our kit for the day ready and hit the road a couple of minutes after 9.00am.
We headed over to Stockton on Tees and picked up route 14 crossing over this bridge.
You have to get off and walk over it because it is steps with a little bit to wheel the cycle on. It’s not easy if you have a pannier bag on but it’s better than negotiating the current roadworks. We walked across the market place and up to Dovecot street and under a tunnel . Some weeks ago this was flooded but the water has receded now so it was passable.
Up through Hartburn and then the tricky roundabout to negotiate to get on the route to Elton. This isn’t too well signposted but as locals we know the route well. We cycled along through Long Newton and continued on route 14 through Dinsdale to Neasham.
Here we turned left and climbed up the bank. There was a Mam and her son walking up the bank and he was complaining . I shouted that it was good for him and his mam laughed. The road is in terrible condition in this little road as it is probably not a priority mainly being used by farm vehicles . Here’s a photo of the church at Lower Dinsdale .
There’s a all climb up to Girsby and this is where we started to see lots of cyclists. It must be a Wiggins effect. There were about 25 cyclists, all roadies who passed us but it was good to see a mix of males and females probably from age 12 to fifty somethings. We also saw them later in the day as they returned the same way.
By just after noon we were in Appleton Wiske but there’s no bus shelter here. So it was picnic on a corner bench. Fortunately our kit contains self inflating sit mats so that protected us from the damp wood while we sat there making toasted sandwiches.
It doesn’t take long to do them in a titanium frying pan on a tiny Coleman gas stove and they do taste delicious. I make them up and put them into individual toaster bags at home.
We continued riding through Craythorne and saw a different large group of cyclists and the Darlington group again. There were also lots of 2’s and 3’s but I only saw one other woman older than me.
In Hutton Rudby, we sat on another bench to eat our cakes and a local man came to chat . When he was younger , he and his wife used to cycle tour in Europe and because of our touring bikes and panniers he felt very nostalgic.
There’s a steep climb out of the village and half way up I had to get off. I get a bit nervous when I can see 3 or 4 cars revving up behind me. So I stopped and DH passed me but waited at the top for me. There’s no shame in walking.
It’s pretty much all downhill after this and we called in to Lidl at Thornaby as they had a deal on Blueberries which I want to make muffins with. At 2.40 pm the sun broke through when it was about 20 degrees above the horizon and by 3.30pm as we arrived home it had disappeared.
A super day out especially for this time of year. 44 miles