Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 28, 2016

Lengthening days

This past week has been one of the driest so far this year and with lengthening days , I have been able to get out a little more. On 3 early mornings, I cycled along the river route resulting in 45 miles on the clock. On Thursday, I had a very early start with work, so I was out on my bike just after 5.45am in order to add a few more miles, but it was very cold and icy so I was careful.

On Friday, I had kept the day free of work and with a reasonable weather forecast, DH and I set off a longer ride. We weren’t too worried about wind direction, because it was only going to be 6-8 mph, which after the last few weeks is a very welcome change.

So we headed off northward through Norton and up to the Castle Eden walk way. It is a bit of a misnomer as it is also a cycle route NCN1 routed up that way. We saw a couple of very tame robins and I was able to get a couple of photos. Not great ones but I was happy to get them.IMG_2007 IMG_2008

We continued on and when we came to the junction with the Hart to Haswell  cycleway, we turned and cycled along towards  Hartlepool. Now , we had expected the paths to be relatively dry but it wasn’t so and there was a lot of muck thrown up. We had to stop a couple of  times to clear mud and gunk from DH’s rear wheel/ mudguard  area as it built up and made a noise that was irritating to me. His bike was filthy but mine was reasonably clean. Now can anyone tell me how that happens when we cycled the same route?

We turned up and rode around the Headland and stopped near the Battery. Here is a picture of DH near an old gun.IMG_2015

Hartlepool has the distinction of being the first, maybe only British town that was bombarded at the start of WWI. We stopped near the war memorial and I toasted cheese sandwiches and we had hot chocolate  as well. It was quite sheltered here but we still needed to don our warm jackets and I put on my windproof pertex pants as well.

IMG_2012 IMG_2013

This is the beach and an old coal stave in the distance and the scars ( rocks) on the beach.

Continuing on into Hartlepool, we visited Bobby Davison’s wool shop and I picked up some more sock wool which will keep me going through the summer. I often take my wool and needles on cycle camping trips, so I will have plenty to keep me going.

We continued down to the coast again and cycled down through Seaton Carew and through the Saltholme Bird reserve. This cuts off a corner but the coast road still needs vigilance to ride. So back home we added another 47 miles. I had to take this sign.IMG_2017  It leaves you in no doubt about your route. If only we always had signs telling us when we go the wrong way  – ie. make a “detour”

Saturday wasn’t supposed to be a great day, so we decided not to do too much. DH spent some time cleaning his bike and had to use and implement to remove compacted mud. I would have said ” houk it out”  but many of you wouldn’t have understood north county language. teehee.

A cycling friend had contacted me about a book she had read and wanted to pass on – Life in Tandem by Jackie Winter- which I have started to read. Its quite good but a little inaccurate in places. Let me assure you Captain James Cook was born in Marton, now a suburb of the Boro, not Whitby.

We continued along to Stockton and back home along the river. I saw this bird , I think a cormorant but and probably wrong.

IMG_2019  It was spreading it’s wings to dry in the sun. There are also lots of back headed gulls and maturing juvenile swans on the river at present.IMG_2022 IMG_2021

Back along the river between the barrage and Newport bridge, there are many overgrown willows which are putting out there furry buds which we call pussy willow.

So this week I have managed to ride a total of 115 miles. I am so pleased with this but know because of work commitments I am highly unlikely to manage that distance next week.

I was hoping we would get our first  cycle camping trip in at Easter but the forecasters are predicting snow – Nooooo!!


  1. I too would have taken a pic of that sign! I love signs and that’s brilliant one!

  2. I love the sign. You are getting in some useful winter miles.

    • they have some other funny signs too. at least it gets people to read them.

  3. Sounds like a great week of cycling – a few miles under the wheels! I hope Easter turns on some good weather for you Brenda.

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