Posted by: brendaintheboro | March 27, 2016

Easter Week

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.

photo 1 - Copy (5)

photo 3 - Copy

It was a beautiful sunset over the river and the wind dropped 2 - Copy (5) 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.




  1. You are very enterprising. Camping is not on my menu at all. I might be able to lie down at night but I would never be able to get up the next day. Congratulations on the rides.

    • I have always loved camping and we have camped at Easter almost every year for the past 25+ years so I didn’t want to miss this one. However with increasing age , I seem to have got a small amount of sense and decided against battling storms!!

  2. I used to think that I overloaded my bike, but you take the biscuit! How civilized your gear sounds… That tent looks ideal for windy weather.

    • it is a low tent and is good but DH much prefers my HM efforts as he can stand up to put his pants on. we are always prepared for everything hence the gear

      • As my tent camping days were mainly in the NW of Scotland, wind resistance took priority over headroom!

      • we have kayaked the west coast of Scotland as well as cycle it , so I know what you mean. the single pole tent I made has stood up to what the weather has thrown at it

  3. All I can say is I am inspired – and feel quite pathetic in comparison!

    • well don’t feel pathetic – get inspired. if I can do it anyone can.

      • I promise to act on the inspiration rather than wallowing in feeling pathetic!!

      • good. I am stitching while awaiting the rain and wind to abate a bit before I get in todays cycling, This might be a small mileage week.

  4. It’s great to see your kit Brenda. It’s really helpful to see what other people use for their bike tours. The Exped down mat sounds superb. We each have a Thermarest mat, bought about 16 years ago and they’re due for updating. Also we’d both like a little extra comfort compared to what our younger selves were prepared to put up with 🙂
    Have you always used a trailer? And what do you pack on it?

  5. We still have our old Thermarests that are about 25 years old but just too thin as we got older. to be honest we have used them under the Expeds but it is just not necessary.
    The trailer is a new addition that I bought as a 65th birthday present to myself last year. I chose this Radical design trailer and had it sent from the Netherlands. It is superb. When the wheels are taken off it looks just like a travel bag. I like the ease of packing all the bulky stuff. I find stuffing panniers is getting more difficult with my wrists hurting sometimes so I prefer this ease.
    This trailer tracks excellently behind and actually doesn’t cause any difficulties even over rougher trails.

  6. The trailer sounds like a good choice Brenda. I’m impressed with your 100 miles over the two days. Do you know what average speed you pedal with the trailer in tow?

  7. I am not too sure but about 8 miles an hour, it is certainly fast enough to keep my phone charged and lights on using the dynamo attached to the e-werk.

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