Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 20, 2019

Not much cycling

Sorry folks , not much cycling in this week. Unfortunately. a combination of poor weather with early morning frosts and work  led to me only cycling 13 miles this week.

If you just want cycle details , go to the end and miss my ramblings.

I haven’t been idle though. Let me show you the cardigan I finished knitting from one of my Norwegian language pattern books. It is lovely and warm and knit in an alpaca/ wool mix. I am so pleased to get it done , having mot knitted a circular yoke from a language I don’t actually speak. My Norwegian friend e-mailed me to tell me that it is -15C over there and they have lots of snow , so he is getting out ski-ing now. We think -5C is very cold!!


I have also been doing a bit of sewing. I decided to follow along and make a quilt using the instructions for a Block of the Month with . This will take t least a year but I thought I would show my completed first block.


This is approximately  20″ square  and for those of you who want to know it was made using foundation piecing.

I have also had a go at a quick 15 minute sketch and colour experiment as I want to try something different, so here is the transporter bridge from the Saltholme marsh area.


Not brilliant but its a start.

I have used a walking machine every day this week though so don’t feel too guilty about not riding so far. BTW we also attended a wedding on Saturday so no cycling then.

Just a note to say that DS1’s photo of Saltburn cliff lift was voted first place in out local CTC photo competition. You can see it in last weeks post.

So this weeks total 13 miles and YTD 189 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 13, 2019

Back to Work

Well, the holidays were soon past and it was back to work for me. So at 6.00am on Monday morning , DH said did I want to go for a cycle ride. I looked outside and there was no rain or frost so agreed to go. It was only a short ride – 10 miles – and I quite enjoyed waking up the birds. In the park, the sleeping ducks launched themselves into the lake , as our cycle lights disturbed them.

Tuesday was pretty much a repeat but DH went off after breakfast to do some cleaning at the chapel and then he and DS1 met in Saltburn. DS1 was out with the CTC riders and it was a beautiful , mild sunny day so I couldn’t blame them. DS1 took this photo of the Victorian Cliff Lift that has had a lot of restoration work.



I didn’t get out on Wednesday or Thursday but had another early morning waking up the birds ride on Friday morning. By the time we arrive home at this time of the year, the sun is just breaking the horizon. Its a lovely time of the day and our E-bikes have good lighting built in. However, always cautious , I have extra blinking lights too as you cant be too careful.

DH was given this T-shirt by a very dear friend of ours. I think it looks rather fetching.


Saturday, saw a slightly later start. DH suggested a ride to Durham but when he looked up the route and his mileage it was going to be too far at 60+ miles. So he suggested Cozy Coffee again but going a different way. How many ways can there be? It was one of those grey, miserable days and I felt a bit Blah! Still, I got on Bluebell, and we cycled across Newport Bridge and along to Billingham. We were into a headwind but it wasn’t too bad, Striking off through Wolviston, we headed along Wynyard Road to Thorpe Thewles. By now , I was enjoying myself and the blah mood had lifted. So it was up the bank to Calton and on through Redmire to Bishopton. Then it was another climb and along to Great Stainton where I stopped and photographed the church of All Saints through a hedge as its not easily accessible .


Apparently this is a Victorian church built on the site of an ancient one.

The road to Cozy Coffee was into a full on gale at times. There were a couple of lads behind us and I expected them to overtake us but we never saw them again. Rosie was serving 3 other cyclists and it was lovely and warm in the bus. We have chosen the same chocolate cake 3 weeks running she reminded me. The other cyclist were on the bacon buns but had the chocolate cake too after seeing ours. It was lovely to be in the warmth discussing cycle touring as these 3 have talked about trying a tour but never have. The lass does not like the idea of camping but you don’t have to camp unless like me you love the freedom it gives you. She said her daughter would love to .

We returned home almost  the same way as last week clocking up just short of 40 miles. So that is 3 times in as many weeks I have been on Sadberge. I hope we can have reasonable weather again next week but as most of Europe is blanketed in snow , it wont be a surprise if we get some as well.

mileage this week 70 miles YTD 176 miles.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 6, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

New year’s day was Tuesday and we had arranged to go for lunch at my brother’s up in Jarrow about a 50 minute drive away. So we had a short ride , only 15 miles but it was good to get out around and through Thornaby.  We made it to lunch on time too and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves .

DH wore his Mariusganser – his typical Norwegian sweater that I finished for his Christmas gift. I love this photo of him as this is him laughing all the time.p1020530

I  am so pleased that GoogleTranslate helps to at least give me an idea of what is needed. If I didn’t know how to knit, it would be a different matter.

We managed to get out on short rides each day as the weather was unseasonably mild even if there wasn’t too much sun.


But fortunately, there hasn’t been too much wind either.

On Friday, DH asked how far I wanted to ride. I thought about 20 miles so he said he would accompany me  but maybe go off on his own to get in more miles. We set off across to Thornaby and then up towards Yarm. We turned off on the outskirts of the town to climb up past my friend’s field and on through Aislaby and along to Middleton St George. From here we rode up to Sadberge where I took photos of the Sadberge Gaurdians. They were carved from 3 Sycamore trees that had come to the end of their lives and become unsafe.


They are showing signs of weathering now but have been there since 2009 when the carving took place.

Then I was still unsure which way to go back but chose the Norton signed way. DH continued on with me until we got on the outskirts of Stockton. I came to one of the roads into town and turned off while DH continued along to Norton. When I was part way down the road I recognised where a familiar cycle path crosses the road and turned onto it. As I was riding down , I spotted a young man laden with panniers and shouted a greeting. He as a young Belgian lad who was touring as far north as he could get with Edinburg  being his final destination. We talked about bicycles on trains as he is hoping to get one back down. It was really nice to talk to another of the cycle touring clan.

That reminds me. I have bought tickets for the Cycle Touring Festival which will take place on May 27-29th at Waddow Hall , Clitheroe. Its fantastic to meet other cycle tourists of all shapes and sizes both young and old. Tickets are on sale now if you want to go. There are all sorts of talks on all aspects from simple weekend tours to those who choose to go away for years. I have made some lovely friends through this festival which is non-commercial and at very reasonable price. Did I say that all meals on Saturday and Sunday are included.

Cycling author Andrew Sykes has recently written about it on his blog Cycling in Europe, also a WordPress blog site, if you want to go and have a look there too.

On Saturday, DS1 had suggested riding over to Cozy Coffee to see the lovely Rosie for her cake. Unfortunately, he became ill during the night so didn’t accompany us. I suggested going to Newton   Aycliffe to a fabric/crafting store that someone had mentioned. DS1 programmed the route into Komoot ( an app) and it was really easy to follow. Basically it was our normal route across but then the app took us up through Aycliffe village  and onto the business park . Spot on.

I only bought a small amount of fabric – well you have too , don’t you. You do if you are a fabricaholic!!

So, it was back to Rosie’s for hot chocolate and cake and then deciding which way to return home. We went down to Darlington and then along to Sadberge for a 2nd time in 2 days. A surprise for me. Then we rode along the cycleway alongside the A66 and on through Long Newton and Elton . We then chose to ride along to Preston Park and back though Thornaby.


Yes , its been all local riding but for me its added up to 106 miles since Tuesday so I feel very satisfied. Next week won’t be as much because it will be back to work as usual.

YTD 106miles


Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 1, 2019

Success in 2018

Just a brief report to record that in the Christmas week , we did get out and cycle and amassed another 86.95 miles. Nothing special just local  rides of various short lengths but it adds up.

In 2017 I had a revised target of 3250 miles and so set myself a target to get 4000 miles ridden during 2018 and I am pleased to report that ,my actual total ended at 4253.6 miles. I have a big smile on my face. Hopefully I can achieve the same in 2019,

Happy Cycling Everyone


Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 23, 2018

Birthday Ride 2018

This week sees us enjoying both our wedding anniversary and my birthday. The weather hasn’t been wonderful and Tuesday was marred by bad weather – rain and strong winds. Instead, of a trip to the LDS Temple in Chorley, we didn’t want to risk crossing the Pennines in bad weather, we did Christmas shopping.  Unfortunately, during  the night I awoke with a strange feeling  – an abnormal heart rhythm,  I called 111 only to be told to go to hospital, I am  proud of our NHS and was seen quickly to be assessed. No abnormality showed up  but I have to have follow ups which will be in a while from now, I was told I could drive and cycle with care.

Saturday dawned bright and with only a light breeze. We decided  to try a short birthday ride across to my favourite café, Cozy Coffee.  We chose the shortest way there going across to Stockton and up the track and on to Bishopton. There is a bit of a climb out and I didn’t want to risk creating a problem so used my e-bike in Tour mode up that bank.

Rosie had no customers  when we arrived so enjoyed hot chocolate and chocolate cake and a nice chat. Just as we were getting ready to depart , there was an influx pf customers and she had been busy during the morning,

As I was feeling OK, we rode down into Darlington and DS1 went hairing off down North Road. I phoned him to tell him we were heading to Sadburgh a shorter way and we really surprised when we saw him further down the road. He knows lots of other routes .

Once we got to Sadburgh , he suggested riding a cycle track along the side of the A66 that I didn’t know existed . Then we crossed a bridge to Long Newton  and along back through Elton, then Stockton  and back along the river  and home. It was a 39 miles ride but with a very short ride to the shops the weekly total was 41.65 miles.

birthday ride

YTD  4166.65 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 16, 2018

The run up to Christmas

Before Christmas time, work gets busier for me and so if I can get out, just lately it is later in the day. We had a short ride on Monday late afternoon and rode along the river. We had noticed that Newport Bridge had been lit up in rainbow colours. The bridge looked so pretty  in the fading dusk light.



I was also able to stand for a few minutes and watch  a mumeration of starlings  swooping back and forth  as they came in to roost. I did try to get some photos but wasn’t really successful. All I ended up with were blurred images. It is fascinating to see but I couldn’t hand about too long as it was very chilly, just above freezing.

I am continuing to knit but ran out of wool. Fortunately, I have found a company SKD Yarns over in Chester, who stock the Norwegian yarn I needed. It wasn’t the same  dye lot but it doesn’t make too much of a problem as it is used above a white band. I hope to show it next week.

DH was very busy all week. He and his sister spent many hours setting up the church cultural hall for a “Night in Bethlehem” event for our ward Christmas party. We had a lovely time and  the hall looked wonderful with a “well”  and “palm trees” made out of cardboard

well. There were also stalls made from tables with canopies erected over them. Both adults and children took part in various crafting activities, a nativity acted out  and there was lovely food as well.


There was a tax collector and we were requested to donate hats, scarves, gloves and toiletries to be given to  homeless charity. A super time and no Santa in sight. The true meaning of Christmas. Thanks to my son for taking these photos


We did get a short ride on Saturday but it was freezing with a strong wind that had a very chilling effect so after 10 miles we headed for home.

So the week 25 miles so YTD is 4125 miles.




Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 9, 2018

A Varied Week

Weather and what I have been up to has been different every day, We have had wind, rain and frosts. We did go out riding one frosty day and it was only near home but I learned that when there is frost even at mid day, I cannot leave my phone on my bike frame. It just went dead even though I had it plugged into a battery. It had just got too cold. I will have to try to remember that in future. Of course for most of my life I haven’t ridden with a phone tracking my progress.

On Thursday, we had our Christmas lunch at my quilt group. There were a lot of people missing due to illness or other commitments and one lady was going to do a small teaching segment but had to cancel. So I started a new quilting project. I wasn’t going to but the sewing room is back to it’s usual dishevelled state.

On Friday evening I had the opportunity to going to Beamish open air museum for a special Christmas event. I went with ladies from the Releif Society, the women’s organisation at church. The first thing I spotted was an old quilt and an old , broken  sewing machine.



We walked along to the reconstructed village and after mince pies and cordial we went into the Wesleyan chapel and listened to the volunteer choir singing carols. There was a roaring fire in the corner.P1020489

This was the sole heating for the large room. It was quite smokey as the wind was blowing  against the chimney. I asked the chap about the coal but sadly it all comes form Poland these days. The smell did back memories of childhood days.


We also joined in with the choir, some of us even providing harmony. All the volunteers were dressed as they were living in the 1920’s or 30’s.

We carried on along passed the sort of street organ I have seen in the Netherlands . It was belting out carols too. I managed to  loose most of the group and there are buses and trams to the “town”. They were very full and so I told my SIL I would walk. It was about 10 minutes and I passed an outdoor ice rink.   I am not sure how they keep it cold but there were lots of people enjoying themselves and I must admit I was tempted but thought better of it.


I did manage to find most of my friends  in the town. There were lots of musicians about.


The authentic room settings remind me of just how it was in my early years. The fireplace with side oven was how my mother still cooked  in the 1950’s. How times have changed.

Then it was time to make our way back and we did manage to get on a bus back to the entrance.

Saturday saw 40+mph winds in the morning. So I spent time sewing until noon when the winds began to abate. With the very short days , we didn’t have time for a long ride and it was another 18 miles ride.

In the evening I finished up the little wall hanging I started at quilt group. This was based on something I saw by the Missouri Star Quilt company and is about 30×24 inches. I got the idea but added the candles myself. I like how it brightens the dark greens which was just scraps I had kicking about. I was particularly pleased how I didn’t get any thread breakages while quilting the tree


So I  managed 45 miles this week in short bursts making  4100 miles. Seeing this has made me smile.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 2, 2018

Meteorological winter begins

Weather-wise it has been a rotten week with high winds and heavy rains which I have to say has been somewhat off-putting in getting out cycling. I think having passed  the 4000 miles has also  made me think ” Well you achieved your goal.” mmmm Must do better.

Friday was better and I have a morning free of work so we did get out and have a short ride. Over near Preston park we saw birds wheeling in the sky. I wondered if they were starlings the way they were flying but we think that they were seagulls who had come inland.


Yesterday was a complete washout so I spent time working on tidying my sewing room which is a complete shambles but it still needs more work. I have spent evenings knitting and have finished the sleeves on a sweater for DH.  In my childhood my dad would say ” put ya ganzie on” meaning get your sweater on. I was delighted to realise that old word from the banks of the river Tyne – don’t know if its Geordie dialect or not – but its like the Norwegian word genser,  for the same clothing.


So my mileage this week is 18 miles meaning this year so far I am on 4,055 miles .

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 25, 2018

Norway Visit

Norway with embedded flag. 3D illustration.
In 2006 we were fortunate enough to cycle the whole of the North Sea Cycle Route (NSCR) . The ferries used to sail from Bergen to the Shetland Isles but are no more.
As part of that route through Norway, we arrived on 1st June in Hagasund and met a man who has become a dear friend. He couldn’t meet us this summer to cycle together, and invited us to go and stay with he and his wife.  So , we flew from our local airport to Amsterdam and then onward to Oslo airport.
Kj and G were there to meet us having driven down from Gjovik on the western side of Lake Mijosa . I cannot type the correct letter o that has a line through it if you wish to find it on a map.
We weren’t cycling while there so my mileage isnt up by much but we did a lot of walking up and down the hills. Everywhere is either up or down from their house!
There was a steep walk up to the museum where a Christmas market of lovely craft items were on sale.
On Sunday evening , we went into town for the annual switch on of the Christmas tree lights as there granddaughter was singing   a choir. What really surprised us was the crowd having burning torches. No health and safety there with even children having the torches. Here in the UK they don’t even want children to have sparklers!!P1020407
The children’s choir was lovely and one little girl was so enthusiastic which made me smile.


There were 2 trees lit up and the mayor of the town made the usual type of speech along with a lady from the Salvation Army.

During the week, we visited various locations and I admit to buying yarn to bring home which will keep me busy knitting over the winter. Even with patterns written in Norweigan, I can manage to follow them.  Kj’s son wondered how I can do this as he cannot read them himself, I told him I don’t read Norwegian but I can read knitting patterns – well I have to use my knitting common sense sometimes.P1020436


On Thursday , we had a drive up to Raufoss and bought some trousers for DH. Then in the afternoon we had another walk up to the top of the hill above their house , where if there is snow , you can ski.


The views are stunning.

We also saw this strange piece of kit in front of the huge water tanks for the town.



It is used to make artificial snow , now that weather is becoming more unpredictable.

Some people even use different land skis to keep their fitness up to scratch.


Friday came all too soon and we had to return home.  We hope to cycle together again but as KJ is 9 years older than us, it may be that we have to find a way to take our e-bikes to Norway without flying.

YTD 4037 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | November 11, 2018

Did It – woohoo!

Well a couple of rides during the week and a lovely ride out to Cozy Coffee has seen me exceed my 4000 miles target.

DS1suggested  a ride to Cozy Coffee but going a little longer way to get there so I would achieve my goal early.

The three of us headed out through Thornaby and across towards Preston Park. The autumn colours of the trees looked stunning in the early sunshine.


Once in Preston Park , DH went off another route that he had thought about and wanted to see if it was shorter.

DS1 and I rode along to Yarm and then turned off to go over the railway line and climb up past my friends field and along to Aislaby. There was a fresh wind blowing but with the e-bike it was relatively easy to climb up out of the village and along the winding road to Middleton One Row and Middleton St George. From here we passed by our usual track into Darlington and rode along under the A66 and in to Sadberge. There had been a motor vehicle crash at the junction involving 2 or 3 cars and there were 2 police cars present so we quickly got through the crash site so as not to be in the way. I don’t think anyone was seriously hurt though.

The road descends a steep hill and then undulates across until there is a climb back up to Great Stainton. I don’t think I have ever been on that particular road before so its nice to do something different. Then we were on familiar territory and I knew the turn off to go to Cozy Coffee. We met DH just near and he had called in to see if we had arrived and set off homeward. Well hot chocolate and melty chocolate cake were too hard to resist. I should have taken a photo but just whoomphed it down.

The sun had disappeared behind thick cloud , so it became quite chilly. I thought we would have the wind on our backs on the return but it wasn’t to be. DH even remarked how cool he felt. However, once we got near Bishopton, the sun smiles on us again and it warmed us up a bit.

So yesterday’s ride was 39.8 miles.

I have been stitching away this week including some hand work which I don’t usually do. Here are the 2 pieces for you to compare. The longer piece has half Dresden plates  and the  smaller piece has a full circle of the orange/yellow 15degree wedges. I can feel more of them will be made as the next year goes by.


I will be quite busy next week working so wont get much cycling or sewing done and then we are off for a week next Saturday.


So this week I completed 62.7 miles making my YTD 4019.7 miles woohoo!

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »