Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 5, 2018

Solo Mini Cycle tour

The way my week was panning out, I decided I would take Bluebell off for a short cycle camping trip. So I packed my trailer with everything but the kitchen sink – I wasn’t intending to go lightweight as I wanted to see how well it would pull and get me up the hills on a known route.



So on Wednesday morning  , I set off to ride to Riccall, just short of 75 miles south of here. The morning was bright and sunny but with a brisk wind blowing from the south. I followed the usual route across through Yarm and up the bank to turn off at Kirklevington along Forrest lane. By now I had been out of the eco mode and into the tour mode for a couple of short blasts and was watching the battery levels.  On previous rides across to Northallerton I got there on using one cell of charge but on this day after about 15 miles I had used one cell. I had phoned the village shop / café in Helperby  and knew that the whole village had no electricity all day due to works on the overhead power cables. So when I got to Northallerton, I asked at a well known coffee chain, if I could plug in my battery. I enjoyed a hot chocolate and a cheese toastie while the electricity flowed in. While waiting , another couple in cycling gear came in. It turns out that they had driven over from Scarborough to go for a ride with Swaledale Outdoor club. I could see my battery was full again and so off I went. By now it was about 9.45am.

Then it was along the A168 to Topcliffe and what a pleasure it was to be able to up the assist just a little and climb the bank without straining every muscle. A brief stop to have a good drink and I was off away up through Cundall, Thornton Bridge and down through Helperby where every business seemed to be closed. No electricity, no work but I did see a man house painting.

I called at my friends in Linton on Ouse before carrying on through Newton on Ouse and the grounds of Benningbrough Hall. There are a couple of bridges over the railway lines and I have usually found these climbs tiring but not on this day. So down along to York and a very kind driver of a city maintenance van, stopped the traffic so I could get Bluebell plus trailer off Lendel bridge and off along the river. I stopped in our usual place just outside Rowntree park and watched the boats go by while I ate lunch.

I rode down the Planet track and rewarded myself with an ice lolly at the post office in Riccall before heading off to South Newlands Farm for camping. I was greeted warmly by Peggy and Rod who , as I was solo expected me to have a room, but I said I prefer to camp. I got my tent set up with a “garage” for Bluebell that I made from an old tarp. DS1 had sorted me with a proper piece of equipment so I can use the hookup to charge my battery. I did have one and a bit cells left so could have made it all the way.  74.4 miles


See, I even had my table and chair . I didn’t take the inner tent as it has been so warm so it was more like sleeping under a tarp.

Thursday  2nd August 2018.  The tour of the power stations. Heehee this wasn’t intended. I left the tent on site and  set off following the NCN 1 route down through Selby and I knew I should be along the canal but I was following the signage and it just wasn’t there. I did see a cycle/walking path so followed that and eventually got to the outskirts of town and was then on the A1041 but it just stopped. So I took off on a side road and then as I rode over a bridge, I knew where I was . This was where the canal path would have brought me to, so I about turned and took the path across the old Burn airfield. I have to say it is so sad to see just how much it has deteriorated over the years. Some parts where so bad that I got off to walk. If I was on a fat bike it would have been safer as the gravel was so deep in places .


It was here that I spotted the first of the power stations.


Then it was down through Carlton and on to Snaith. This is a fascinating little town which goes back to before 1066 and the invasion by the Normans. It was interesting to see that near St Lawrence church there were the penny lock ups.


Apparently there must much drunkenness in the late 19th century and so these cells were used to allow drunks to sober up but then they had to pay a penny to be let out.


From Snaith , I rode back up to the village of Carlton and then across near Drax and the second power station.


I never realised there was a village there too. I then headed across to Newland village and when looking at the map I should have had my glasses on. I though there was a small stream with a bridge so that I could get across but that wasn’t so. I ended up back in Carlton so my visit to Goole was curtailed. I didn’t want to ride the main road as there  wasn’t a cycle way and there were lots of lorries.

So I rode along to Temple Hirst and on across the A19 to West Haddlesey where I spotted under a tree and ate my lunch. Then I set off for Gatesforth and a chap on a racing cycle called out that I should catch him with my battery power. I didn’t even try . I was out to enjoy my day, not go chasing. As I got further north, I decided instead of going to Selby, I would head for Thorpe Willowby but did end up on the A63 but it wasn’t too bad for the short distance needed. Then it was up to Cawood to cross the river and then along to Kellfield and back into Riccall. I could see all three power stations as I climbed up to Thorpe Willowby but I couldn’t get them all in one photo. Silly me, I never thought to use the panoramic photo part on the camera.

In Riccall , I stopped at the  Dairyman Café and enjoyed some lemonade and tiffin just after 2.00pm. He was closing up after me , so I was glad I got in there. Back at the site , I enjoyed sitting in the shade of the hedge and getting on with my knitting. 47.7 miles.

Looking them up , I think the power stations would have been Drax, Ferrybridge and Eggborough but I could be wrong.

Friday 3rd August 2018

I woke up just after 5.00am styed reading until 5.30am when I decided to get up and get packed up. The sky was clear and it was pleasant as I sat having cheese toastie for breakfast. I retraced my way and was surprised to get across both the A19 up through Naburn.



Again I got cross  Lendel bridge in York with ease. I sat on the outskirts of York , having 2nd breakfast .


A chap called Paul came along. He was interested to see my rig and we had a chat . I was ready to leave and so he rode along with me , chatting as we went as he is interested in getting an e-assist bike. I was able to recommend Cyclesense  as a source of information and a place to purchase.

A little later, I cam across a young chap who was putting his chain back on. I went long the A19 as I had been shown a few months back when the chap needed to be airlifted out. So I came across the lad again and he was riding to Benningbrough . I told him I was going there too , so we chatted as we went along. He was new to the area and was out doing a bit of exploring. If Imran , reads this I would love the photo he took of me.

After Linton on Ouse, there were a few spots of rain but as I crossed the river at Aldwark, it came down in torrents. I got soaked and it wasn’t cold but I knew if I stopped I would be chilled through. I followed the route through Great Ouseburn and the Dunsforths before getting into Boroughbridge. I knew my groundsheet wouldn’t be adequate in the rain , so I asked permission to dumpster dive and got a large sheet of plastic  that I could use. Arriving at the campsite, I was a bit early at 12.45am but there were already campervans and caravans waiting for the 1.00pm opening. They opened early and so I managed to get pitched and all my stuff inside before a massive thunder storm. I was able to strip off all my wet clothes and get warmed through making myself a hot drink and cheese toastie.

I couldn’t get a hookup and so the campsite put my battery on charge in the garage so I was glad to have a full battery once again.


Saturday 4th August  2018

I got up early, but not as early as DH. He decided to ride out to meet me and left home at 4.15am. We met up about 7.30 am  just outside Boroughridge and we cycled home together, me getting up the hills first. heehee. Home by 12.30pm  45.3 miles.

I can really say that this should keep me cycle camping for a good while yet.

total mileage for the week was 226.7 miles and YTD 2895.5 miles.







  1. Bluebell looks like a really good purchase if it can get you and all that stuff over these big distances. I wish that I could get myself up as early as you and DH get up.

    • Early rising has been something we have always done. Sometimes I wish we could sleep longer but its not something you can change easily

  2. Absolutely amazing. I loved this, as I have been to a lot of the places you mention. Your zest for cycling is gathering momentum, long may it continue.

    On getting up early, I find I only need six hours sleep a night. I always seem to wake up automatically six hours after I went to bed. I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and I sleep soundly. I love early mornings.

  3. thanks Ilona – its the likes of you who have given me the confidence to go off without DH when I need to. Three of us in our family are early risers, the 4th isnt. I wonder why. must be in the genes I think. Love the early mornings,

  4. Life after money blog sent me here, lovely to hear about Bluebell and your trip, what a lot of ‘stuff’ you can carry with you. I can’t find how to follow you though

    • thank you Christine. Sorry you should be able to find a follow button somewhere.

    • If you go down to the bottom right hand corner of your screen a “follow” box should come up. If it doesn’t try scrolling up and down slightly to see if it does.

  5. Fantastic micro adventure…..enjoy the power beneath your saddle!

  6. Interesting account of your trip, Brenda, and you make me think I’ve just got to go cycle camping again. I’m going to start preparing now so that next year I can! This year’s hot weather would have been perfect for it.

    • there is still time this year Lizzie. give it a go having a short trip

      • I no longer have a tent though….. I sold the one I bought a couple of years ago as I felt so claustrophobic in it. Need to save for another one now.

      • LIzzie have you thought about making your own? I have made a few. The one I used recently was made about 12 years ago and we used it to cycle the NSCR. We have a larger one that I made too.

      • Not seriously. Is it cheaper?

      • it was when I bought the fabric- not sure of the present costs but you can design and make exactly what you need. Some of the campsites are charging ridiculous prices so you have to be careful. The Camping and Caravanning club prices are reasonable

  7. Could someone tell me what DH stands for thankyou 🤔

    • haha – Dear Husband most times but can be another word beginning with D on occasion

  8. Hi Brenda, that looks like it was a really canny trip 🙂 Hopefully you can get my email address from this comment, if you can I can, drop me a line and I will get the picture to you. Thanks.

    • I shall send it through 🙂

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