With the arrival of some glorious spring weather, the rapidly approaching Cycle Challenge 2015 and the ongoing 30 Days Of Biking event, the weekend of 11th and 12th of April seemed like an ideal time for a two day biking weekend. The planned ride for Saturday was a 50 mile route out to Ponteland, on to Heddon on the Wall, down towards Wylam then along the south side of the River Tyne to rendezvous with a cycling group from Cullercoats Bike & Kayak at the Cycle Hub. After that the trip home was to be via Route 72, turning off at Wallsend Dene before re-joining Route 72 at Silverlink and heading back through Shiremoor and Holywell.
Saturday morning was bright, sunny and cool – good for cycling – but there was a strong westerly wind – not good for cycling. Consequently the ride out to Ponteland and Heddon on the Wall was an energy sapping 30 mile grind. Heading east to the Cycle Hub and beyond was easy by comparison and welcome relief for tired legs.
Sunday's weather forecast was for cold, wet and windy conditions and to our disappointment, was completely accurate. The rain started shortly after we set off and got steadily worse as we battled our way to the Rising Sun Country Park.
The café there was a welcome refuge for half an hour but the time came to leave and once more confront the elements. The elements were winning. The temperature dropped to 3C, the rain came down heavier and cycle paths became streams. No-one in the group had the foresight to bring an underwater camera so only a few photographs recorded the event.
Despite the atrocious conditions, everyone survived intact and even had a sense of satisfaction at having completed a very challenging day's cycling.