8th August 2015
We really didn’t have any idea where to ride today but knew that we had to make the most of the sunny weather. Here in the north of England, we haven’t had a particularly good summer with a lot of wind , rain or cloudy skies most days.
So at about 8.30am we left home and headed over to the river, neither of us willing to be the leader for the ride. So it was along the river into Stockton and then following NCN14 we cycled along through Elton and Long Newton and then along the main road to continue to the Whinnys conservation area. Once through here, we rode down to Middleton St George and I stopped to talk to an old colleague I haven’t seen in about 15 years. It was so nice to see him and have a brief catch up. The road then took us through Neasham, Hurworth and into Croft. Again, a brief discussion and we continued on the Richmond Road for a short way before climbing up towards Cleasby. However, we turned and rode down the course of the old roman road and into Piercebridge.
We stopped in the ruins and had lunch sitting in the sun on a bench. It was so nice.
There is a lot of history in this area, and the old roman road is part of the ancient Dere street which was a supply line for Hadrian’s wall. We also called and had an ice cream in a local organic café before crossing the A67 and climbing up though Denton and Houghton le Side.
These were places we had never heard of , although we have cycled through this area many times. However, in this little village we found we either had to turn further north towards Shildon, or head back towards Darlington. It was no contest for me, as I wasn’t chasing miles , unlike DH who would have gone further. So we enjoyed a nice descent , reward for the climb but there were good views from here.
We passed a road known only as Back Lane and on to Burtree Road , crossing the A1M on a bridge and then came to some cycle signs and followed these around Darlington until we came to North Road which DH recognised. I didn’t at first but soon realised where I was. So we followed our usual route back until we crossed the A66 and then followed the cycle track on the main road up towards Great Burdon and then under the road which was being cleaned out of accumulated rubbish that some builder must have dumped.
Once in Sadberge, we followed the Norton road and came into Stockton cycling along the river . We could hear the steady beat of a drum and saw the Dragon boats racing up the river.
Todays tally was 53.5 miles.