Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 12, 2019

Unexpected Mileage

Bank Holiday Monday was awful. It rained heavily all day so we ended up driving across to Darlington for me to get some needed sewing supplies and support a local shop in the indoor market.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were all wet or when I could have got out on the bicycle because it wasn’t too bad, I was working. So we kept watching the weather forecast in the hope of a break in the weather and we were rewarded.

The forecast was for cool weather about 8C but light winds and no rain. So it was an earlyish  start at about 8.30am and we decided to head south. We hot the school traffic in Yarm bit it wasn’t too bad and headed along to Appleton Wiske. Isnt it strange but we often do not really see what is in a place There was weak sunshine so we stopped to take off a layer of clothing and I noticed this pump for the first time. I must have ridden past it thousands of times. I spoke to a lady who told me that it had been rescued from a barn and installed to celebrate the millennium but it no longer works.P1020799

Then we rode along to Northallerton and on in the direction of Thirsk but sticking to a minor road and turned off to ride through Thornton-le-Beans.


Apparently, in the 15th century Thornton meant a farm with thorns and it grew beans hence the name. Its a nice little village with a caravan and campsite.

We continued along to South Otterington , a place we have passed through many times but we turned onto another minor road and I had planned to go through East Cowton. Those who read this blog , know a Friday afternoon café sells delicious cakes to raise money to rebuild the village hall. Well you have to help out , don’t you? So it was up towards Yafforth and Streetlam before having a sit in the now warming sunshine in North Cowton.

We had only just got our cake and  hot chocolate when  DS1 turned up.  He had been cycling with a group across to Bedale and came back this way and we returned home together . We cycled 70 miles on Friday  and all on one battery charge for me so I was very pleased.

On Saturday morning we checked the forecast again and it showed better weather on the coast than inland so off we set up through Great Ayton and along to Guisborough where we managed to find the off road route across towards Slape Wath. Just before here, we got back onto the path at the side of the road and crossed it to cycle through the woods to Boosbeck. There is a climb up to North Skelton before a steep descent into Skelton. You need good brakes for this twisting bank.

Then it was on towards Saltburn , passing Rushpool Hall  and down onto the sea front. We paused at the facilities and while there a young man came to speak with us. He had a loaded bike and was on his way home to Scotland having been cycling for 18months across the globe.

As we happened to be going the way he was we offered to guide him through the Teesside paths. Local knowledge is always useful.

The promenade was very busy , as it is 150 years since Saltburn pier was built and there was a special event  going to be on a little later. C saw the cliff lift in action and a man told us about the hydropower that makes this Victorian lift still work.


So instead of tackling  the notorious bank, fully loaded , we got through the crowds on the pier and up the donkey track. They were just setting up a music venue and found out later that our friend Pip was playing there with Marske Brass band. Shame to have missed it.

I have never ridden the donkey track but the e-bike gives me the ability to get up . The joy in cycling is restored with this bike. Once at the top , C wanted to buy some cake so we went along and the market was in full swing with some dressed in Victorian costume. I talked to a couple of the ladies who had made there own outfits and beautiful they were too. I also had a chat with “Captain Mainwairing” with his stick on moustache.


We also took C along to see the Transporter Bridge and the chaps working there were amazed that someone could ride a bike around the world, and explained how the bridge works and we saw it in action. Then we rode along the river, passing under Newport bridge and along for him to see the Barrage with its Archimedes screws pumping water back up to power the watercourse that had a number of kayakers on it.

From here we decided to go up to Thorpe Thewles  with him to get him onto NCN 1 but gave him some advice about the bits to avoid. The weather got very overcast and started to rain a bit and  he offered to buy us a drink but we wanted to get home.


One of the things we talked about as we rode along , on the off road paths, was why he had decided to take 18 months off. He was interested in what makes for happiness as part of his research work and wanted to go to Bhutan, where they have a very different philosophy. Instead of most countries working for economic growth, their government works for making people happy.


So he set off and says one of the things he has learned is that we all need to feel connected. He was offered amazing support and hospitality , even in countries that he thought , would not. His favourite places were Mexico and India which looking at the media, you would not think so. He has been pleasantly surprised that even here , in the UK, as he has cycled up he has found people to be caring and helpful. We shared some of the wonderful experiences we too have had on our travels.

So, if you want to read about his adventures you can  here on

For us it was really a pleasure to have been able to “pay it forward” but helping another cycle tourists.


this week we cycled 126miles in 2 days  and  YTD 1643miles.




  1. A good day all round.

  2. There’s always something interesting in your posts Brenda! I looked up that young man’s blog and have signed up to it. He’s right about the need to feel connected, and interestingly I have just read a book with the title Lost Connections, by Johann Hari, about the causes of depression and how anti- depressant pills are often not the answer.

  3. Hello Brenda, how lovely it was to meet you both. Yes, connections, and on this occasion it was the connection between one cyclist back from Bhutan and two still doing in the 6th…7th…decade. Wow, inspiring, thank you for showing the way. I look forward to reading your blog!

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