A couple of weeks ago, three members of Seaton Sluice Backpedalers decided to set off on a bike ride to visit the Angel of the North. Previously it would be possible to cycle through the Tyne Cyclist Tunnel, but at the moment it is closed for refurbishment. Fortunately there is a free bus replacement to carry cyclists and their bikes from Howdon to Jarrow.
The three Backpedalers arrived at Howdon to board the bus but things didn't go to plan.
They had indeed missed the bus so the search for the Angel was abandoned and an alternative route was chosen.
Undaunted, the same three Backpedalers set off on the 24th March to find the Angel. This time the bus arrived.
Once in Jarrow the route headed west on the Keelman's Way before turning south onto the Bowes Railway Path. As the name sugeests, the route follows the trackbed of the old Bowes railway which was used to transport coal from the Durham coalfields to the River Tyne.An uneven surface up a steady incline with frequent barriers contributed to a hard ride up to the site of the Bowes Railway Museum.
At that point the route headed towards Wrekenton and the Wrekenton Waggonway which turned out to be a gentle decline towards the Angel of the North.
A short trip through an underpass led to the site of the iconic sculpture.
To avoid cycling along the A167 into Gateshead, the chosen route headed through Team Valley and on to Dunston before rejoining the Keelman's Way on the banks of the Tyne.
A short trip across the Millennium Bridge and along Newcastle Quayside led to the Cycle Hub, the first coffee stop of the day.
After appropriate refreshment, the familiar route of NCN 72 and NCN 10 led back to home.