Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 10, 2016

Love the lengthening days


With the change to British summer time, we now have longer , lighter evenings but consequently we are back to the darker mornings. Still , I prefer to get my cycling in early so I have been going out lit up like a Christmas tree  with flashing lights on my helmet as well as the bike.

The days have mostly been grey and damp but it hasn’t deterred me and I have cycled every day. One morning, as we were crossing the bridge at the Tees  barrage  , we came across a raised bridge.

In about 10 years of riding over here , we have never seen the bridge raised to allow boats to pass through the lock. so it was a first for us to be stopped. It didn’t take long though but another cyclist was a bit miffed at having to wait.

On Saturday, I was invited to go on a Billy Flemming Memorial ride. She was a lady who in the 1930’s rode every day and rode nearly 30,000 miles in the year. She died aged 100 in 2014 and this is to commemorate her world record which hasn’t been broken as yet.  I went on a similar ride last year but as we had friends coming I wasn’t able to do the whole ride with the Cycle Sisters.

I can really tell that cycling every day is paying dividends and I cycled over to the meeting point in Yarm , 9 miles away , in less than an hour and  managed the climb up the bank in a higher gear than I usually do.

I was early having allowed myself nearly 1 1/2 hours but C was there. She bought some anti-inflammatory gel as her knees were a bit sore. The joys of getting older!!

We set off through the estate from the Aldi carpark and then rode up past the prison and along to Weary bank. The road surface is worse than ever here and I was getting on fairly well up the climb. C’s gears wouldn’t drop  so she got off to walk. Well, I couldn’t let her walk on her own , as she was riding back marker, so hopped off and pushed the bike up the hill. I always say, there is no shame  walking.

I wish I could say it was lovely weather – but it wasn’t . It rained intermittently and we regrouped at the top of the bank. Dilemma? put on the waterproof jacket and feel like a boil in the bag fish or just get wet in the rain?

I carried on without donning the jacket up through Seamer and then down to Tanton before climbing up from the beck to ride along to Great Ayton. We crossed the little foot bridge over the 3 - Copy (2)

C taking a photo as we cross the bridge  before splitting to 2 groups to go to a café for a break. However, this was where I was leaving them and it had begun to rain in earnest and I had about 8 miles to ride home , I did put on my jacket and over trousers. Doing that usually stops the rain but not today and it rained nearly all the way home.

On 1st May, the Tour de Yorkshire will depart from the Boro and pass through  Great Ayton so the whole village is decked out in blue and yellow bicycles in readiness for the influx of spectators.

On Friday I got in another 3 miles of riding on my Dahon Speed TR as I went to collect my car from having its  service and road worthiness test (MOT) . It meant that I could use  cycle paths to get there and thus avoid a lot of home time traffic. I wish it had been as easy to get home in the car. It took much longer and I had to detour because of an accident.

So in total this week I cycled another 99 miles. I know I should have done and extra mile to round it up  but I didn’t.





  1. Sounds like a lovely ride Brenda. I love the name: Weary Bank.

    • and it is a weary bank – a steep downhill, to rise as steeply uphill with an “unfortunate” road surface now. The British roads are in a terrible state of repair, especially the very minor roads, which weary bank is.

  2. Ah, that extra mile!

    • I know and the sun came out after I had showered but I couldn’t be bothered to go out to do the mile. lazy or what

      • Sensible.

      • thank you, its nice of you to say I have sense teeheee

  3. Wonderful. Do you ever get lost? In my cycling days I was always getting lost, due to my reluctance to lose height once gained. Consequently I cycled much further than I had intended!

  4. never get lost Viv – we just make detours heehee! I know just what you mean about not loosing height , unfortunately where there is an up , there is always a down in my experience. It is so nice when its a long down.

  5. Great ride, Brenda! And yes the roads are in a terrible state. I’m just going into the kitchen to mend my second puncture in a fortnight, although to be fair I probably got it on a bridle path.

    • sorry about your punctures. I ride bridle paths too but my “secret” is Schwalbe Marathon plus tyres. I know they are bit pricey but worth EVERY penny I have spent on them. In 2006, we did a 3 day shakey down trip and between us had 3 punctures in about 150 miles. WE changed to Marathon plus and rode the North Sea cycle route nearly 3000 miles puncture free. In 10 years between us we have had 2 punctures and one of those was caused by a side wall problem and the other was because the tyre was almost bald and the blue lining was showing. as I say worth their weight in gold.

      • Oh thanks for this helpful comment Brenda – I had actually looked these tyres up the other day and wondered about getting them. I’ve put a new inner tube in the tyre I was doing earlier, thinking I’d repair the old tube later. The “puncture” was actually a long split and looked as if it might have started at one end with a hole. Sounds like the money spent on the Schwalbes was money well spent. I shall bear that in mind!

  6. What an inspiration Billy Fleming is! Riding every day and living to 100. It just makes me want to keep turning those pedals over.

    I know what you mean about the rain jackets Brenda. I have this dilemma because our rain is mostly in the summer and coupled with humidity, so it can get very sticky under a raincoat. I have one with ventilation zips under the arms, which lets air in, but sometimes I simply choose to get wet and stay cool.

    Despite the rain, it sounds like you had a pretty good week out pedalling.

  7. there is a young Swedish girl who works in the UK who is currently trying for the record. She has cycled over 8000 miles this year so far and has been averaging 80 miles a day.
    when it comes to rain jackets I have tried most of them – gortex, paramo with pit zips etc. nothing seems to work for me. I am just one of those people who sweats a lot. The trouble is , I can get quite cold easily being so damp. I really don’t know what the answer is – I just keep going.
    Hope you are still able to get out.

    • That mileage by the Swedish girl is quite amazing. I’ve just searched and found her blog, which you might already know of but, in case not, here’s the link:
      I’m interested to follow her so thanks for mentioning it, Brenda.

  8. thanks for the blog connection. I haven’t had time to look at it but I will. wish I was so young again. \still I am grateful I can cycle as well as I can

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