Well, Easter didn’t turn out as I hoped due to inclement weather but I still managed to cycle 165.5 ( don’t forget the .5) miles.
The beginning of the week was relatively mild and we mainly managed to get along the river each day so by Wednesday evening , we had cycled 53 miles.
We kept checking the weather forecast, flitting about from forecast to forecast to see if we could get a better one. Anyway, Wednesday evening found us getting our gear out from under the eaves. The sleeping bags and mats are kept in my loft sewing room eaves to be kept nice and dry and unfolded. So they were pushed into their respective stuff sacks ready to pack in the panniers. As we knew it was going to be cold, we took sleeping bags and our quilt as well. A few years ago, we bought Exped down mats and I have to say they were a really good buy for us as the extra comfort is great. We also use Exped pillows which roll up small enough to fit in he palm of my small hand.
Due to the forecast for strong winds , I wanted to take our small Vaude tent. I think it’s a Hogan but cant be sure. DH really wanted to take our home made much taller tent but went along with me. We did take a small home made tarp that has been in use for about 15 years and is still going strong.
We packed our other essentials of stove, pans, cutlery and food as well as warm clothes for off the bike. OK maybe a bit much for an overnight stay but its a bit of a “shaky down” for later trips this year.
Thursday dawned dry but it was 9.30am before we set off and typically it started to rain but undeterred off we went in waterproofs. Once through Yarm , it did ease off but we had a head wind all day. We had a brief stop in Northallerton and set off again. Isn’t it strange , how we think we know a road and where things are. I know there are good bus shelters near Allenbrooke but had totally got mixed up and thought they were much closer to Northallerton. They are in fact not far from Topcliffe. Still , that is where we stopped for a lunch break and glad we were of the shelter from wind and light rain. Its a good place to put on your small stove and make cheese toasties.
I was using my Radical design trailer and lost my flag between Cundall and Norton le Clay. I really didn’t want to go back for it but lovely DH cycled an extra 3 miles to retrieve it for me. Considering he would just as well have stayed at home, it shows his love and care for me, even after almost 45 years of marriage.
Boroughbridge campsite was flooded earlier this year and we discovered that the old manager has retired. He was on TV in January and it has happened a number of times. I am sad to see he has gone as he always found a pitch for us even when the site was busy. We did get our favourite place near the river and it was dry to get the tent and tarp up.
It was a beautiful sunset over the river and the wind dropped too. We cooked pasta and chicken and as my friend H calls it “tarts tea” because it is all from tins and packets. We were snuggled down by 8.30pm and slept warm and cosy .
DH woke about 3.30am and thought it must be later as it was just starting to get light. When he found out it was still early , he rested again until 6.30 am but then there was no stopping him. He is an early riser.
I got the stove on to heat water for a drink and to fill a flask and warmed home made teacakes ( a type of spiced bread bun) to have with jam that my friend H made.
So by 8.30 am we were all packed and it was a beautiful morning, little wind and a bright blue sky. We decided to follow the Way of the Roses route up to Ripon through Bishop Monkton and Littlethorpe up to Ripon. We were there last year and I met a friend I hadn’t seen in years and was hoping she might be around. There was an open air ecumenical service last year but I think we might have been too early.
Small clouds were starting to bubble , so instead of hanging about , we set off down the road past the clock tower and off up to Sharow and then along under the A1 and turning left to Rainton. We soon passed through the village and along to Topcliffe and we had the rising wind on our backs as we rode in to Northallerton. A short stop to feed the inner woman and man and off home as cloud rolled in. We managed over 100 miles in the 2 days.
We were glad to be home before the storms hit but I still rode on Saturday morning in very blustery wind arriving home from Stockton market just before the rain arrived. Another lovely week of cycling.