Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 28, 2021

Springlike Weather

The mornings early in the week were grey and chilly but the afternoons got out brighter.

Encouraged by Timmy Mallett, younger son (DS2) decided he would come cycling. He is on the autistic spectrum and gets very anxious. Some years ago he was mugged while out cycling with a friend , and his bike was stolen and he hasn’t cycled since. Encouraged by what he heard last week, he decided to give it a go. In fact he did 2 rides with us during the week and was very pleased with himself.

Smiling all the way

He did have to borrow his brothers helmet , as over the years , the lining of his has distorted.

On Friday, DH and I did our longest ride of the year in full, wall to wall sunshine. It is glorious to see the catkins and Pussy willow budding as we pass along the river. We took a different route across to Northallerton going via Hutton Rudby and Deighton . Once at Northallerton after the facilities stop , we headed on to Romanby village.

Romanby Village

On the opposite side of the square, were swathes of crocuses.

insects on the crocuses

If you zoom in you can see a bee on the bottom left flower.

We stopped and ate second breakfast here. As I am loosing weight (on purpose) I didn’t have our usual cereal fruit and yogurt but chose to bring chicken slices and cottage cheese .Just as sustaining but far fewer calories

We cycled on to Yafforth and looked to see if there were any spring lambs in the fields on the way to Danby Wiske, but none so far. With less foliage on the trees, I was able to take a photo of the church.

Danby Wiske church

From here it was a fairly usual route to Streetlam and Pepper Arden to descend into East Cowton. Hopefully, it wont be too long until the pop up cake and drinks cafe will reopen.

On Saturday, we were hoping for a bit of a longer ride with DS2 but he wasnt up for it. DH and I went off cycling to Saltburn – again in wall to wall sunshine. We know it wont last so we are making the most of it. I have to say that both Redcar and Saltburn were packed with cars and people walking on the beaches.

Hazy headlands

We didn’t hang about and rode back to Kirkleatham stopping outside of the old hall now a museum unfortunately closed.

Kirkleathm Hall

While there, a couple of people working on the nearby Covid testing station came and socially distanced ate their lunches. Apparently, they were sent up from York while a group was sent from Newcastle down to near York. They said , it just doesnt make sense. I understand though because the people who do the organising often have little to no idea of the geography of our country. Its like cycle tracks can be put in by local authorities and the planners have never cycled or they would not make such obvious blunders.

So on that cheery note , I will give the stats for the week 135 miles and YTD 481miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 21, 2021

Brighter Days

I shouldn’t be surprised by British weather but the thaw came so suddenly and we went from -5C over night to +5C and then later in the week to 11C during the day. It was almost spring like today.

The day light hours are lengthening too so giving more hours to get out and cycle after work. Somedays, were just short rides along the river or up to Hemlington lake but we did get out to Middleton one Row on Friday. The wind was very strong though with gusts in excess of 40 mph. Passing open spaces in hedgerows was a bit unnerving.6

We did find that one of the cycle tracks we use occasionally has been blocked off.

cycle track blocked.

We went another way . on a separate ride and went to where the other end of it is. As I thought , it is marked as NCN1

this route is no more.
in the upper right near the stone wall a similar fence has been erected

On one of the rides, we came across a new sculpture

Sammy the seal

The week has also been busy with talks every day from the Cycle Touring Festival. There was a fascinating one by Paul Cheese who rode 5000 miles around the UK recording sounds. He is a musician and music producer so look him up on You Tube. After listening to his talk, we were riding across Stockton Market and there is a fountain there. It was the first time I have every been aware of the musicality of the water splashing. Fascinating.

Tonight at 8.00pm Timmy Mallet is talking about riding his e-bike on the Santiago de Compostella and painting. He has published a book so I am looking forward to that.

So this week, those small mileages have amounted to 83 miles. 346miles YTD

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 15, 2021

Proper Winter Weather

In my childhood, we would have very cold snowy winters and this is just wat has happened in the past couple of weeks.

The wind blew in from the NE bringing with it more snow than I have seen in about 10 years. So I only cycled 5 miles during the week. I have been busy stitching away and one of the things is a part for a block of the month. This is called a Mariner’s Compass.

Mariner’s compass clock

Please ignore the manky ironing board cover.

Here are a couple of photos to show how bad the rain was prior to the snow.

normally virtually empty outlet into the Tees
flooding across the bird reserve

So only 5 miles this week and YTD 263 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 7, 2021

Two days only for cycling

Its been another grotty week weatherwise. Unlike us, we even got togged up in our wet weather gear and cycled in the rain , we had become so desperate for a few miles.

I have to say that my Showerspass jacket and pants kept me bone dry so I am well pleased with them.

Sorry its a short post but no photos and just local travel but I did get my Covid 19 vaccine and DH goes tomorrow for his. That should help with cycle camping this year when we are allowed.

Cycling will probably be curtailed next week also due to the forecast for ice and snow.

Next weekend we look forward to the virtual Cycle Touring festival organised by Laura and Tim Moss. Cycle tourists of all shapes, sizes and ages will be giving talks from 12th -21st February. Look it up as its free.

Miles cycled this week 44 and YTD258 miles

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 31, 2021

Cycling despite flooding

Before I start, we did not have any flooding at home but there is plenty about in our area.

We managed to fit in 4 rides this week and stayed dry most of the time. There were the odd few light showers but nothing needing full wet weather kit. After work on Monday afternoon, now that we are seeing signs of lengthening days , we managed a short ride through Stockton and Thornaby. Only 15.7 miles but it all adds up. The river was high over the barrage.

We hadn’t expected to get out on Wednesday as the forecast was for rain but as it turned out, looking again in the early morning it looked better. We packed the flask and a sandwich before heading out with no real idea where we were off to. We did go across to Ingleby Barwick and changed a tyre and tube for a friend. Looking up at the sky , we decided to head up through Maltby and along Roger Lane and into Hutton near Rudby. From here, it was along to Stokesley, all the while just taking it as came. From there we determined to head up on quiet roads to Kirby in Cleveland before turning to Great Broughton . Still feeling good, we went straight across the cross road and on to Ingelby Greenhow.

There is a seat here and so we stopped for lunch.

I haven’t noticed this date previously as it has been covered in foliage but its now been cleared off. We didn’t bother to toast the sandwiches but determined we would do again as warm food is such a comfort on a cold day.

Then it was back home through Great Ayton .

Thursday saw another day of stotting down rain and snow melt which has led to flooding like I have never seen around here. We took a ride over to Bishopton and deposited some books in the defunct bus stop now used as a book exchange. Again we were a bit unsure of the way to go but determined to go up to Sadberg and along back home through Long Newton. We stopped in a bus stop there, out of the wind and actually in the sun, so it was lovely.

Friday saw us going out in a similar direction but up past the now closed Cozy Coffee and down into Darlington. The beck at Coatham Munderville was so very full and the water was bombing through.

We carried on along and up to Sadberg but in a different direction from the previous day. We sat and had our cheese toastie here and could see the flooding in the fields below. Again home but going up towards Yarm so it would make it a bit different. I was so pleased we did as a familiar voice shouted out and it was our lovely friend C who owns the field we should have been camping on. We had a bit of a distanced chat before heading home.

Saturday, was windier and chillier with the wind now coming from the NE off the sea. We rode across through Cowpen Bewley and down to Seaton Carew. Again , making our cheese toasties in the shelter of the bus terminus. There were plenty of people about – some even with ice cream!! . We rode the main road along to Saltholme and tried to go back that way. Alas, the way was blocked by flood water so we had to backtrack into the cold headwind.

As we rode further along we could see just how our way was blocked. DH remarked, ” shouldn’t that be fields.” Actually a huge area was underwater, so no wonder we couldn’t get through.

So a good week. Unfortunately, I can’t upload the photos again.

miles this week 118 making YTD214 miles.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 24, 2021

Snow, floods and Sun

The week didn’t start out too badly with me being able to get out for a ride after work on Monday. It was quite a sunny afternoon and about 6C but we just had time to ride along the river to the infinity bridge and back. We came back a slightly different way because of road works near Albert Park. We cut back through the park but it was very wet on the grass. However, more was to come.

Living here in the Tees Valley, we are protected from the worst that the weather brings ,sheltered by the Cleveland hills. Tuesday brought torrential rain and then snow and after that the big freeze began. Seeing news coverage of further afield, I was sad to see that Yorkshire has been flooded again. I remember riding through similar floods back in June of 2007 riding the TransPennine Trail with our dear Norwegian friend.

When we rode out on Friday, it was a bit icy but we stuck mainly to roads we thought would be gritted and mostly they were.

Down near the river, the water was bombing down ,across the barrage. This is as a result of flooding and snow melt west of us

barrage at the river Tees

From here we rode up through Stockton and then up onto Darlington back lane. We had lots of flashing lights to be visible to cars that drive often very fast along here. The cold weather has been very damaging to the poor road surfaces and many large potholes are appearing, most often already patched bits. Passing through Whinney Hill , we turned right on the road up to Bishopton where we deposited some books at the unused bus stop that has become a book exchange.

From here, it was a question of where to go. We were going by how cold we felt, but neither of us felt too cold. In pre-Covid lockdown, we would have headed for Cozy Coffee but its sadly shut. So we turned left at the bottom of the hill and turned onto the Folly Bank. This undulated along though little Stainton to join up with Bishopton Lane, where we turned to go to Sadberg. Its such a blessing to have an e-bike to get up the bank into the village.

We decided not to extend the route here and turned down and rode along the track on the A66 and climbed up over the 4 lanes on a bridge before entering the village. By now , I was hungry so finding a convenient bus shelter with a seat , we stopped. It was sheltered from the wind and was in full sunshine so we had a nice hot Oxo and a cheese sandwich. We didn’t take the stove , as we thought it might take too long in the cold.

This part of our route often has a flood on the grass to the left, but as you can see, it extended across the path. We have never never seen it this bad in the 40+ years we have ridden this way.

Saturday was bitterly cold, so I opted to stay home and sew , while DH took himself off to Marske and back on his bicycle so he has clocked up 36 miles more than me. However, this week at 49 miles it is more than the previous two weeks of the year YTD96 miles.

PS I have finally found out how to reduce the size of my photos. woohoo!!

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 17, 2021

Snow and Ice

While we did get out a little more than last week, it still wasn’t too far due to poor weather and lockdown uncertainty. There was lots of press interest in Boris cycling 7 miles so didn’t want to go to far from home.

However, if I have to be honest it was mainly the poor weather that stopped me playing.

Monday , saw us riding with a purpose going across to our chapel on the other side of town for DH to do something on the church computer. He deals with records and finances. We look a longer way back along to Teesside Park and home.

It was still Ok to cycle on Tuesday, although the temperature was starting to drop and we rode through Thornaby and Stockton on Tees.

Wednesday saw a lot of snow for us and although it soon cleared it was cold. DS1 had arranged to take his cycle down to Tadcaster for servicing but when he got there , the weather was so much worse west of the town and the mechanic couldn’t get across as they were snowed in, That actually made the shop close as no staff could get in on Thursday .

On Friday, still very cold at about -2C, we decided to walk instead as it was a beautiful sunny day. We walked to the local cemetery which is very old and part is a nature reserve so its pleasant to be among the trees.

Sorry cannot get my photos to upload. I did see fungi on a fallen tree stump but think the frost and snow had killed them off and they had fallen to the ground. Leaving the cemetery , we saw a very poignant little grave for a girl called Dorothy who died in the 1890’s as a 14month old child. Someone had placed a small doll on the grave. Brought a lump in my throat.

It was very icy under foot and DH said he was glad I had asked him not to go cycling.

On Saturday, after lunch, the weather did warm up a bit with the wind coming from the south west so we got a quick ride in .

This week 36miles and YTD is 47miles. Looking back to this time last year, we had cycled 156 miles in the two weeks. Shows how different the weather has been.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | January 10, 2021

Starting 2021

Wish I could say that it was a fantastic start to the year but it hasn’t been. Winter weather has stopped play largely and I have only ridden once due to snow and ice. To be honest, as the country has gone into lockdown again, I have no wish to come off on the black ice, damage myself and have to add to the burden of the NHS.

We don’t have a static bike or one of those things you put your bike on and ride in your house or garage. We do have a walking machine that we were given by an old friend who sadly passed away this week. So I will walk on that while the weather is bad and go out when the weather is less inclement.

I have been sewing and made myself a trial pair of leggings out of stretch fabric that is about 20 years old. No photos though as its a bit see through.

I have also started a year long commitment (or more) to make another quilt. I do have photos of the first few blocks.

Small houses

This will be a circular quilt.

So first week of January a measly 11 miles. Hoping for better weather

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 31, 2020

Farewell 2020

So the weather this week hasnt been the best – snow and lots of ice.

We had a ride out on Monday and it was meant to be a longer ride. DH needed to pick some paperwork up at the chapel and then the intention was to take it across to a friend in Billingham. It was quite frosty and we went carefully across there. Part way to Billingham, DH realised that he had left the said papers on the desk!! Duh.

So he went back and DS1 and I continued on along the river but decided it was too cold for a longer ride and we returned home. DH did go to Billingham and then rang to check where we were and came home. So it was a short ride.

There was a snow fall overnight and it was too bad for us to ride but it has cleared by Wednesday. Our friend C , who has a lovely wood, said she would be over there. So that gave us a destination. The other side of Yarm. The snow might have cleared but it was more frost than we realised.

We went our usual route across to Thornaby and we were on main roads that had been gritted so riding was fine. Then there is a cycle path that goes down to the river . Now the fun started and we had to get off and walk down the hill. We chose not to go through Preston Park because of a hill there which we thought would be just as bad.

So it was through the industrial estate and up to near Yarm on the main roads. Then we turned off towards Aislaby and were pleased to find that the roads were passable here. C had the field gate open and we pushed our bikes up the perimeter where it wasn’t so boggy. C was waiting and had started a fire.

fire pit

C got chairs out and we sat and had a warm drink and a biscuit. C has also put up a working composting toilet so its great for when people can go up there.

smoke from the firepit blowing across the site.

the lovely C making our drinks

We changed our plans for the return journey and came back near Elton and on to Stockton. Teesside park was heaving with traffic and – people shopping maybe before we went into level 4 of the Covid restrictions.

We came back the way DS1 and I had done on Monday but both of us came off on black ice. Fortunately , no harm done apart from a small bruise on my knee and thumb. We found out later that DS1 also came off on black ice on his cycle courier job.

So today, when the day dawned with severe frost, we chose not to ride. DS1 was safe on his courier rounds too.

So for this part of the week we rode 33 miles. YTD 6231miles , 10,028kms

Posted by: brendaintheboro | December 27, 2020

Where has the year gone?

Well, I am pleased to report that I am well enough to cycle again. On Tuesday, I reached the 70th birthday and am amazed that I can be that age. How did it happen? I still feel 17 in my head. Pity, I was so anxious as a “fat” teenager. Just goes to show that I was just a normal size but in the ’60’s , everyone wanted to be painfully thin.

Now , I feel happy and healthy and fit.

So Tuesday, saw me out for a birthday ride. It was actually just over 12 miles and we went to collect our meat order from a good butcher that we buy from regularly.

We even managed to ride on Christmas and Boxing days but all very local. The weather wasn’t brilliant but at least it didn’t rain but was very chilly and icy on Christmas day.

Sorry no photos as we didn’t stop to take any and WP is playing funny with photos I uploaded previously

31 miles this week and so YTD 6198 miles.

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