Yesterday evening, we knew we had a free day and looking at the weather forecast , we thought it would be great to get out riding. With the much shorter days, and a couple of nasty head colds , I haven’t been able to get out much, so it was “where shall we ride?” By chance , Allyson from Blue Bell Riders had posted they were having a ride to Saltholme Bird reserve next Sunday. So that was it, our destination would be the bird reserve.
We’ve been there before and knew it wasn’t going to be a long ride which suited me and DS1 , so it was a 10am start down through Albert park and the town which was buzzing with graduates in cap and gown for their graduation ceremonies. When we got down to the river, we could here sirens blaring. I was a bit concerned there was a problem at the chemical works but we could hear a tanoy message to say it was a test . We thought we would have to ride to the barrage to cross the river but the ramp up to the Newport bridge has been reopened. However, it was very slippery with moss so we walked for safety.
It’s not the most beautiful ride , and passes a lot of industrial stuff until the village/ estate of Port Clarence . There’s a cycle track most of the way and then at Holly Terrace you can assess the reserve. There are often travellers camped here and we ran the gauntlet of a small barking , snarling dog, fortunately tied up on a longish lead. It’s very pleasant in the reserve and there were a number of people walking with binoculars watching the birds.
We stopped in the café/ visitor centre and had a warming hot chocolate while looking out of the panoramic windows overlooking the lake area. We decided to return the way we had come, to the large roundabout and then travel through to Stockton along the river. So this is just what we did , riding up Portrack lane and accessing the river further up.
We crossed the river at the Castlegate centre and then returned along on the south side. We turned off so we could check out the Marsh Road area which we’ve cleaned up a couple of times. Its become littered again!! What can I say?
The weather was pleasant but cold at 4C most of the day. There was high hazy cloud and you can see it in the photo which also shows the Transporter bridge and the little blip on the horizon is Roseberry Topping.. 23 miles ridden