Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 19, 2018

More sewing and cycling

The weather this week has been much more normal for the north east of England. That is to say we are having wind and rain on and off. I was thinking back to my teenage years which was spent patrolling the beaches as a volunteer lifeguard. Early September would see the weather change to bright blue skies but a fierce wind from the north. It would whip the sand onto out legs causing them to sting while we continued our training for the national championships which were held at the end of September or beginning of October complete with a sea swim – no wet suits in those days.  Sorry. Nostalgia creeping in.

So with dodging the weather I only managed 66.5 miles over most of the days not really going anywhere exciting, just the usual river riding. We did try for a little further yesterday but came home after 23 miles  as both of us were nearly blown into traffic by blustery side winds.


Last weekend, I found out that a friend was very unwell. She had cancer a decade ago but now has a brain problem . I felt impressed that I needed to give her a fabric hug. So in my other free time, when I wasn’t working , I decided to make an easy quilt. Another internet friend  had sent me instructions for an easy tessellating quilt block. I pulled fabrics from my stash and made 10 inch blocks, stitched them together and added a border. One of the things I did on yesterday’s cycle ride, was to buy some fabric to make the binding.


The eagle -eyed  among you will realise that some of this fabric is more of what I made in last week’s quilt.

I got the idea for the binding from Amy – a Craftsy class tutor – and used a curly stitch to hold it in place. it seemed simpler than a blanket stitch and more secure. This is to be used and  not given pride of place.


My friends who write FamilyBycycle, are at present cycling the end to end  LEJOG with their two little ones. They are currently in Cheshire after setting off from Land’s End last weekend. The girls ate on tagalongs  so if you see them, please be patient and give them room.

So YTD 3068.5 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 12, 2018

Some cycling , some sewing

It was a fairly quiet week for me workwise, so I made the most of the time. On Monday, we headed across to Redcar and Saltburn as we haven’t been that way for a while. We called in to see Pip as I wanted him to see Bluebell. Pip has an e-bike that he has had for 8 years but he was telling me  that it is on its 3rd motor and it’s not one he would recommend. Maybe in 8 years they have improved. It is a German manufacturer not the Dutch one I have.

We then rode along to Saltburn and I called into Ripping Yarns, a very nice woolshop where I like to buy the sock yarns I use. I have a little stockpile but didn’t buy anymore .

We also called in to see some friends and I took this photo of her beautiful garden.


We rode up on to higher ground – it is so much easier for me on Bluebell.


It was a lovely day but during this week, the hot summer weather has given way to much more normal weather for this part of the UK, with cooler temperatures and more rain. Mind you, there have been some more torrential downpours so the reservoirs should be filling up a bit. The grass is certainly greening up again and DH has had to cut the hedge too.

When we got home DS2, said could I make a quilt for his friends whose baby was being christened today. Nothing like a deadline to get me going. So on Monday evening , we chose the fabrics from my stash and I got going. Very simple but looks nice.

We had the usual morning rides and then yesterday  we had a ride over to Cozy Coffee and indulged in some of Rosie’s delicious home made cakes. We chose ginger and lemon cake. I should have taken a photo but didn’t take any at all. Sorry.

I use a bit surprised when DH asked if I wanted to return more or less the same we way had come but then go back via Billingham. We thought we might have gone across to Saltholme but the skies looked threatening so we didn’t but did ride along the river . The tide was coming in but the wind was blowing hard downstream. We had ridden all the was to Rosie’s into a headwind and it helped us back.

Here is the quilt that was handed over today. I did get it finished.


Here is a close up of the simple quilting.


I used the left over blocks and some strips to make up the backing.


Last weeks ride miles 106.5 which brings my YTD total 3002miles. That makes me happy.

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.






Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 29, 2018

Unpredictable Weather

The week started out hot and continued to get hotter and hotter. We enjoyed the early morning rides usually along the river or around the nearby park where I was able to spot the cygnets. One swan has 2 remaining and the other has a single cygnet. The fall out rate has really been a shame as this means one pair of swans has lost at least 6 babies. Such a shame.


The singleton is growing well and both its parents were close by. Initially , as it was snuggled down, I hoped it was 2 but as I approached and it became aware, i could see it was just the one.

I am also preparing for a solo camping trip next week and DH suggested I get my stuff together and  we could see how far I could manage in hillier country. Then on Friday night this happened.


This wasn’t on my road, but I could see the water thundering along our road and it contributed to the flooding that occurred at the bottom of the road. I remember seeing it like this about 40 years ago but not since. The thunder and lightening were amazing and went on for about an hour and a half and the rain pelted down.

Saturday dawned and although it was dry, it was much cooler and we dithered about as I got the trailer packed. By the time we left the house the wind was really blowing hard. The weather forecast said gusting at 40 mph and we decided that although I would pull the trailer, we wouldn’t go so far. Unfortunately, as we passed over Newport bridge, we both were nearly blown off as the gusts were so bad.

So, it wasn’t such a good mileage for the week but 67 miles is better than nothing.

YTD 2678.8 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 22, 2018

Picton Show

We have been getting out a bot most early mornings but it is become evident that the daylight hours are shortening. Still, I have been able to get out most mornings during the week cycling between 6.5 miles and 12 miles  when I had more time. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you look at it a different way, I have been extremely busy caring for peoples feet – a job I love.

The weather has been good with only the odd light shower but none yesterday. My friend Farmer Joan , had asked me if I could put something into the handicraft section of the Picton Agricultural show to make sure there was a good assortment of entries. I passed on my quilt before we left for holiday, as I didn’t think I would be able to get it over there. Well my entry ” Never Again” won 1st prize. Its the quilt based on the convict quilt   and its a play on words. Never again will I make such a fussy quilt with tiny little pieces and I suppose those ladies who were sent to Australia as convicts probably thought never again would they commit crimes.


The poppy quilt was made by another  friend.

I was riding Bluebell, and so we could take hillier roads than we have been doing for a while. We left the show field and road along to the bridge over the A19 that leads to Crathorne.  A couple od lads on road bikes passed us and DH said he thought I would put it into turbo mode to give chase. Not me , steady away lass.

We turned and rode along through Hutton Rudby, whose 17% hill , I have never managed to get up for a good few years. This time in a low gear and battery on Eco, sailed up despite the poor road surface. We then road along the track road to Seamer and I stopped to photograph the Cleveland Hills.


From Seamer, it was on towards Hilton but we turned and rode along to Maltby before going on through Hemlington and home. DH left me to go on ahead saying “You will soon catch me up”. He was right, I did on the next hill.

P1020134 (2)

This week 78.5 miles and YTD 2611.8 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 15, 2018

Meet Bluebell

As some of you will know , I really struggled in some of the headwinds on our last long tour. DH said to me , he thought I should consider getting an e-bike. In the Netherlands and Germany, they are an everyday site. I have always said , not until I am seventy.

When away we met a Dutch couple and the wife had an e-bike so I could talk to them and discuss what it is like really touring. I also looked in a few cycle shops in the Netherlands, so I could get some ideas.

When we got home , I messaged a lady I now who has an e-bike and asked where she got hers and she recommended going to talk to the chap in a local shop. He was very helpful and I got further ideas but realised that the brands he sold while good were not quite the same thing as a touring bicycle.

I was in a bit of a dilemma as I do like Koga but last time I looked they had carbon forks. Not ideal in my opinion but I phoned Cyclesense   to talk to Dave in this family business. It was funny really because he said he had been going to ring me but thought it was cheeky.

So I said I needed advice on an e-bike and he told me that he had just had a delivery and one of them was a Koga World Tourer in my size and an e-bike. I told him of my reservations but he said the new model doesn’t have the carbon forks. So we chatted a bit more until I asked the question “What colour is it? ” Blue . Well that was it. It was meant to be.

In my childhood , I always had blue bikes  from my very first trike made up from bits but painted blue. So now in my second childhood, I have a blue bike.


I got Dave to change the saddle as I do like the one I purchased a couple of months ago and brought he home.


Even the battery has been colour co-ordinated.

During the week, being back to work, I was only able to manage short rides of 10-15 miles and so yesterday , we decided to do a long ride.

So we set off to Northallerton, 23 miles and then decided we would ride back through Darlington and up to Cozy Coffee near Coatham Munderville. I had no idea of the distance but felt good. For the first time ever, I have seen DH with a sweaty face as he rode up the hills behind me. On the flat , mostly I turned off the assist  and just rode  and was doing well. In total by the time we returned home, we had ridden 66 miles and I still had 3 bars of battery charge left. I was so delighted I phoned Dave to tell him.

I have to say that I used the gears in the same way as I usually do and only had it in eco mode except for once turning it up higher accidently when I was approaching a roundabout.

In the park the cygnets seem to have diminished on number and I was only able to take a photo of this one. I do hope the others are just hiding in the rushes.



weekly total 123.4 miles YTD 2533.3

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 12, 2018

Making a sort of pizza on tour.

While we were away, we thought we would have a go at making a sort of pizza. We had seen a video on “Travelling Two” blog  about making a sort of Calzone but not using a bread dough base.

DH doesn’t like that sort of base so we started by buying a small box of plain flour ( I had to get someone to check for me it was suitable). and we carry a couple of sachets of  instant easy mix yeast.

As it was a lovely warm day, DH mixed up the dough of plain flour, salt, instant yeast and warm water and then kneaded .


While he did that, I sliced onion, red pepper and some mushrooms and then cooked them in the frying pan.


The dough was left to double in size and then knocked down and divided into two pieces and made into two thin circles that would fit in the panP1020107.

I carry a number of different herbs and spices so we spread tomato puree on one side of both pieces and sprinkle mixed herbs and garlic granules onto it.

Then the vegetables were placed on one piece and cheese sprinkle generously over.


The second circle of dough was placed on top   and the edges were crimpled together.

The frying pan was lightly  heated oiled and then the “pizza pie” was slid into the pan with the gas on fairly low. One side was cooked and then slid out and turned over. Sorry I didn’t get too many photos of this manoeuvre .


This is the result.



Absolutely yummy.

total mileage YTD 2409.9 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 11, 2018

An Unexpected Tour 2018 – part 5

Sunday  1st July 2018

On Saturday, we had used that well known mapping system to find our way into Haarlem and on the south side we found our church. We did this so that we know where we were going. We then wanted to find the Corrie Ten Boom museum in the city centre. We did find it but unfortunately, we weren’t able to book and even though we went back later we couldn’t get in. This was a shame as I remember  hearing about how she and her family protected Jewish people and members of the resistance during WW2. They were then captured and she was sent to a concentration camp where she thanked God for the lice as it kept the guards out of their barracks so they could have a Bible study class each evening. An inspirational woman who fortunately survived her  ordeal going back to  the family watch makers in Haarlem. I will hopefully be able to visit on another occasion.

The was a young couple with a couple of young children who were cycle touring and the older of the little boys , was a delight and very polite.  He came and chatted to us – in Dutch , we seemed to managed and he seemed to understand us well. What a delight to have this interaction.


Anyway, on a beautiful Sunday morning, we rode to church and had a pleasant surprise as we were issued with a headphone system and a lady translated everything that was said.


When we returned from church, another couple Kym and Kevin from the south of England  were also there. They had tried to go to Amsterdam but the wind was too strong and they couldn’t even get a train in. So we suggested having lunch together and Jozef and I made Pizza Pie on our camp stove. I will share this in a separate post.


Later in the afternoon , they cycled off as the wind started to drop and they let us know they were safe in Leiden.

Another Dutch couple arrived a little later and I noticed that the lady had an e-bike that she was touring with. We chatted with them as I had been finding the wind a real problem and was holding DH back, I felt. Food for thought.

Monday 2nd July 2018

We decided to have a ride into Imjuiden  and chose to go along to the coast and ride along that way. It was  beautiful but again the winds were really strong.  We found a camp shop but it was shut on Monday. In the Netherlands,  businesses are often closed on Monday especially if they open on Saturday.

We went into the town centre and  I bought a bell as a gift for my son as he likes the one I have. We returned the same way making note that we had to turn off near the Shell garage as the cycle sign to the port is missing.

Just before we  left , I put my Kindle on to charge in the facilities block. I should have known better  but it vanished and at first I thought the farmer had taken it for safe keeping but it wasn’t to be. I wont be so trusting in future.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018


So our last day in the Netherlands. We had a very leisurely pack up and  rode to the port a slightly different way.  We  bought some more gas canisters to take home and  then rode to the port. We thought we would have a long time to wait to board but it wasn’t so and we were soon settled in our cabin and a welcome dinner and then we sat outside watching the ferry leaving a wake as it navigated the North Sea.  We stayed outside until we started to get chilly in the   wind. So to bed

Wednesday, 4th July 2018

We enjoyed a hearty breakfast and then waited to dock and start for home. The sky was grey and overcast and would you believe it, the wind swung around so that it came from the SE and we were again faced with a headwind. DS1 had texted us to say he would arrive and pick up our luggage  in the car which heartened us. So it was with unloaded bikes , we rode all the way home. The track has really deteriorated south of Sunderland as DH had said but we managed,

All in all, we had a fabulous time despite the pesky headwinds and it has probably been the driest cycle tour we have ever made.

110.7 miles so that completed 1029.3 miles in the tour.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 10, 2018

An Unexpected Tour 2018 – part 4

I had severe leg cramps during the night after yesterday’s exertion and I had left my salt in a bag outside the tent . Dh went and got it and a pinch under my tongue soon had me right again. I probably hadn’t drunk enough or taken any minerals  so was very careful not to repeat the mistake. I had been doing so well and got complacent. It seems that riding over 50 miles will bring it on.

I had been contacted by a Polish friend M to say that H was at home and so I called and asked if she would like us to visit. It was only about 20 miles away but she  was at her mother’s and wouldn’t be back until 3.00pm.

We couldn’t ride to a nearby church of our own denomination and so decided we would visit Oudenbosch as we had been told of a Catholic church that was a smaller version of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. There were services going on so we didn’t like to go in but it was amazing to see another enormous church in a small village. if you want to view some of the interior,   here is a link . This part of North Brabant a southern province seems to have a large number of very large churches.

We had to retrace our route back to Staandaabuiten  and we did go a bit too far. I remember riding past a guy with a Tshirt that said the Best Polish Lorry Driver so I greeted him in Polish – one of a few Polish phrases I know   and he and his friend were so surprised that they answered me in Polish. Its the little things that you remember sometimes.

There were a variety of paths from superb to downright awful. Indeed, DH remarked that one was worse than the Planet Track at York which has become very rutted with tree roots. Still, it wasn’t far and we arrived in Steenbergen  at 2.30pm. What were we to do? Ice Cream – yummy.

So at 3.00pm we made a call and H responded immediately and cycled down to meet us. She is a remarkable woman who started going to Poland in the 1980’s when things were not good . We went kayaking there with her  in the 1990’s which is how we met. It is all due to her that I can speak German .

So we rode home with her and met M her partner and S her daughter who I haven’t seen since she was a toddler. It was a lovely afternoon and we went out to dinner nearby. H had a late night , as she was contacting another person on the other side of the world who was recently widowed and so was up skyping most of the night.

Monday 25th June 2018

Although we were up early we couldn’t leave without seeing H,  so we could chat again. Later in the morning DH helped M with a tree that had fallen but lodged on a branch and that gave us more time together bouncing ideas from each other which energised both of us.

We rode the pretty way back to Bergen Op Zoom and as H is a member of SVR she had shown me how to get the app working. So we found a campsite at Woensdrecht but we had only ridden 20 miles.

Tuesday 26th June 2018

It was a wet pack because of heavy dew  and condensation. It was foggy but soon cleared as the sun rose bt we were shielded by high trees and didn’t get any direct sunlight. We were wearing long sleeved tops but soon had to stop as it was so warm.

The route took us down to the coast and we saw lots of shipping in a canal. There are actually 2 canals parallel to each other at this point, the Rijnverbinding and Bathse Spuinkanaal.


We rode along many bays at the coast  in superb warm sunshine with only a bit of a headwind. We could see lots of industry  with cooling towers in the distance. We stopped at a point near Hansweet but not  before missing a turning due to lack of signage and a sign for a non-existing cycle ferry.

After another short coastal ride, the route turns inland across Beverland and through fields of grain. Rustling leaves in the trees helped to drown out the noise from a  motoway. Interestingly, as we rode along we came across a young woman in a horse and cart with her dog. She was camping as she went along and apparently does this every summer. She spoke excellent English and the dog responded to both Dutch and English commands. Smart dog.

I didn’t mention but we were on and island and the route twists and turns  but the docks at Vlissingen are ever present. Eventually, we got to Middleburg and then rode across  the city to an SVR campsite that is a real working farm.

Wednesday 27th June 2018

What a tiring day. We cycled over 61 miles and most of it into strong headwinds nearly all day.


We left Middleburg in sunshine so that was a bonus and found our way to Serooskerke where by chance we came across a camping shop in this small village. We bought a canister of camping  gas as we weren’t sure how long the one we were using would last.

The we travelled along tree lined roads, the leaves constantly rustling , to Vrouwenpolder and Breezand where we crossed our first dam of the day and across to North Beverland and then across another dame to Schouwen. We had a brief stop for 2nd breakfast and then we followed LF1b through forest and duneland. If anyone says that the Netherlands are flat, they have never ridden the dunes. The paths went up and down into the wind,  Trying to get off the island wasn’t easy as another music festival had shut the cycle path across the bridge.


Fortunately, we saw an Australian couple emerging from some bushes  with their bikes. They had come the other way and  then couldn’t get off the bridge unless they went through a large hedge.  They told us that we would be able to get across a bit further ahead and we did. We bought some food in Ouddorp  before slogging into the wind across the next dam.

We were headed for Brielle but the signs were not good and we cycled 2 miles with the wind on our backs – the wrong way so had to slog back. Duh!  So we eventually made it but not to the campsite we have stayed on in previous years . However , we were just glad to get into the first campsite we saw.

Thursday 28th June 2018

We had a much more restful day but again that pesky NE wind kept on blowing making the cycling hard work.  We had to wait  until 9.00am to pay reception but it was actually 9.20am when we left because of computer glitches.

I asked about the passenger ferry across to the Hook of Holland but the receptionist said to use the Rozenburb to Maasluis ferry as it was a much nicer route.   She was correct. The other route is in the petrol  harbour but doesn’t run too often.

We followed signs to Rozenburg, well almost but there had been a car accident so we had to find another way. We got to the ferry landing just to see the ferry leave but there are 3 every hour so it gave us time to work out the ticket machine use.

There was a couple on mountain bikes from Switzerland but they were touring in a motorhome and doing day rides. So once in Maasluis, we set off downriver and  passed a very interesting set of white gates. They are part of the tidal protection barrier. In 1953, the North Sea had exceptionally high tides resulting in sever flooding in both the Netherlands and the UK resulting in many deaths. The Netherlands have done a great job to protect their citizens.

We stopped in the Hook of Holland and bought food before continuing on LF1 northwards now on the west coast. The change in direction was soon felt as we rode through the dunes . The Dutch go to the seaside on bicycles and there are huge cycle parks along the dunes. The path keeps you away from major urban conurbations but its simple to find your way into cities like the Hague.

When we reached  the outskirts Scheveningen, we could see a large number of yachts and wind surfers. It turns out that the Volvo Ocean Racing event was on causing traffic chaos  without any diversion signs.

This made me very stressed as the signage just wasn’t visible.  Eventually ,w e saw signs to Katwijk and we made for the campsite there. We came across a water pump for cyclists which had welcome cold water.


There were a number of cycle campers and one chap who was back packing and we had an enjoyable chatting to each other.

Friday 29th June 2018

We had picked out a campsite up near Haarlem as it wasn’t too far from the port  and it we could also get to church. It wasn’t going to be a long day  but as we rode through the dunes to Nordwijk aan Zee, we realised how difficult it was going to be. That awful headwind once again. Anyway, we decided to turn inland for a bit and this afforded much more protection from the headwind.

We stopped near Noordwijkerhout for 2nd breakfast and there was another water pump and an electric charging point for bicycles – all free of charge.

We continued north and parallel to a railway line through Bennebroek and Heenstede  into Haarlem.

Its a very nice city but too crowded for my liking. We had an ice cream and then started to find to try to find our way out.  Eventually, we used a good old compass to find a way until we came to signs for Spaanwoude where another road angel cycled with us to the road to the campsite. By chance, it belonged to the parents of his daughters football team mate. Even though it was only 27 miles , I was shattered and fell asleep making my notes for the blog. Normally, because we hadn’t booked, they would only allow us to stay 1 night but I explained we need to stay in the area  and so they agreed we could have 4 nights.

217.4 miles


Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 9, 2018

An Unexpected Tour 2018 -part 3

Sunday 17th June 2018

We had a lovely rest day – I didn’t get out of bed until 8.00am – it was comfortably warm and sunny. We wanted to get a bit of washing of clothes done but the man with the key was missing so we had to wait. We spent the morning reading and listening to some talks and then in the afternoon rode the 4 miles back into Hattingen.

The old town  is really quaint  and a bit like a German York but on a smaller scale, We wandered about and then sat at a little café in a square and eat rhubarb cake and cream.  The lady who runs this café from her home was about my age and we chatted about the weather, knitting and how she has a friend living in Cornwall and thinks she will go for a visit. I told her she would love it near the sea.

Then we strolled into the shopping area, so different to the UK. All the shops apart from cafés were closed but you could see in the windows – no shutters to be seen . An ice cream was now almost inhaled , I ate it that fast before we headed back down river.

After tea , we had a walk and found another way to the river but it wasn’t suitable to take the loaded bikes along. Stupidly , I lost the adapter for the phone charger.

A chap had warned us that Germany would be playing in the world cup and it could be a bit rowdy. When all was quiet, we realised that they had lost.

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Being well organised, we got away early on Monday morning and had a dry pack. The weather was overcast but warm and we followed the Ruhr downstream. Getting down to Duisburg wasn’t too bad but there was a nagging headwind all day that was very tiring for me.

We managed to get another adapter in a marine shop in Duisburg  before heading across  the main bridge.  This is where the Ruhr and the Rheine come together  but we got a bit lost. When we found the route again, it was only to be told by a young cyclist that the way ahead was closed. He had a few letters to deliver and then he showed us the way as he was going that way to a swimming class. Again , we were on very busy main roads but it wasn’t a problem with the fast traffic well away from us until we reached the river path again.


We slogged along into the headwind until Rheineberg hoping for a campsite  but not was to be found. We asked about a B&B and an elderly lady told us of one in Ossenburg, a few miles away. When we got there I spoke to a chap in his garden and he directed us to a place called the Pepper Pot. It must have been like the jungle telegraph because when we got there , a young man asked if we were looking for accommodation. Yes please. A very simple but nice room – on the top floor. Still we were able to lock the bikes away in a basement. Mind getting in and out was a bit tricky as it was so steep.

We enjoyed chicken and chips for dinner in an attached restaurant  and had a wander around the village.

After a restful night’s sleep, we enjoyed breakfast with a group who were staying there for a few days and then found the way easily. The weather was dull with fretty rain but not too cold although the headwind was still there most of the way.


We set off for Xanten , with its huge church with beautiful stained glass windows and then outside of the town we saw a replica of a Roma fort that stood there anciently. W carried on  alongside lakes and connecting rivers and eventually stopped on a  bench situated conveniently golf course for 2nd breakfast. Then it was off to Milligan An Rhein where we found a very nice campsite.


I met up with Florence a young French girl cycle touring on her own, She was knitting so we sent some time knitting and chatting together. It turned out she was a care worker so it was interesting to discuss the similarity and differences of the various systems. She had cycled up from Lille and then was going to ride down the ride to Dusseldorf before getting the train home.

Wednesday 20th June 2018

We awoke to low lying fog up to tree height and so went back to bed for an hour and then I got up and made pancakes with jam for 1st breakfast. Now it was time to weave across the border back into Germany to Kranenburg where we spoke to a lady who look us along a beautiful disused railway path to Groesbeck (NL) . British Telecom nearly went into melt down , pinging off each   time we changed sides.  Once in Groesbeck , we rode up a hill , through town and through a beautiful woodland to Mook. Here we picked up LF3a – one of the Dutch long distance routes- and stopped for second breakfast  after 15 miles near Millsbeek. We were then following the Meuse until we got to Gennep and were again in woodland. We crossed on a pedestrian ferry near Alferden  and continued south to a SVR campsite  – Camping de Brunk . The temperature was 30C so we decided tp call it a day after 26 miles.

In the evening , we were invited to pick and eat cherries from the trees on the site – the ladder courtesy of the site owners. Yolanda and Titus who have given up farming the land.

Thursday 21st June 2018

It rained during the night  and the forecast was for rain between 7 -12 so we made a start in getting away early.  The rain came in bouts so we packed everything away inside the tent and then during a break got the tent down before the wind started.

We did a 2 mile “detour” in the wrong direction as the campsite had been off route. We crossed the Meuse again by ferry near Bergen and rode down though Aijen and well before recrossing at Blitterswijk and on to Broekhuizen where we stopped and had 2nd breakfast near a small shrine.  Wevthen rode in to Arden and choose to stick to the main road rather than go through the longer woodland way. The wind at this point was was behind us for a change at this point.

We stopped for food in Velden and then rejoined LF3a down to Venlo.


This is a lovely city  but I am not too good in cities so we didn’t hang about and crossed the bridge and continued south and picked up LF13b through Maasbree with the last 15 miles a slog into  strong headwinds. We were so glad to find a VeKabo site at Spiesberg  which was run by an Autralian lady Kym who married a Dutch guy. She pressed half a dozen eggs on me as they have so many from their hens.

Friday 22nd June 2018

This was the only cold start of the tour. It was cold and windy  but it got worse as the day went on.  It was impossible to think that 2 days previously we had been sweltering in 30C heat.

We had lovely cheese omelettes for breakfast and then got away just after 8.00am and I wore long cycling tights and 3 cycling tops plus long fingered gloves just to be comfortable.

The LF13a route zigzags across the countryside which was fortunate as it meant we weren’t continuously into the cold , strong wind. We welcomed the forested paths as that afforded relief from the winds too. The route snaked NW up to Asten and then Lieron where we had 2nd breakfast after riding 20 miles. There is an enormous church in such a small town and we met an old man whose wife will no longer go camping. He has bought himself an electric mountain bike  and is cycle touring. The weigh of it was 60 kilo and I couldn’t lift it.. He had permission to be away for 6 weeks and intended to ride into Germany too.

The route looped around to Mierlo  and we shopped again before going on to Eindhoven. It is well signed apart from a small part in the centre but a chap, Dirk, who is a university lecturer  showed us the way.


After another 10-12 miles we came to Oirschot and stayed at a large impersonal campsite but the facilities were nice. We could hear music from another music festival.




Saturday 23rd June 2018

Fortunately, the forecast for cold and wind was wrong, as at least the sun did come out. We were away early and  we could see where the music festival was going on in Oirschot.  We cycled along the canal and then on to forested tracks which in places were quite sandy.

Again the route zigzagged across country and then we came came across a family of six on a special family cycle that they had hired. It was interesting talking to them.


Then we kept south of Tilburh and Breda  and met up with LF13b as we had been on LF7. We rode east of Etten-Leur  and then on towards Zevenbergen. We turned in to LF2 and rode to Standdabuiten getting to the town centre just after 5.00pm. It was a small village really but the shop stayed open for us to get some food and then we rode to Camping Markdal which was a lovely little site that had a hut for sitting and cooking in. We also bought cherries and there was a shepherds hut that reminded us of Cozy Coffee , as it used to be.

278.1 miles cycled  this week

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