Monday, 5 October 2015

Backpedalers On Tour

Four Backpedalers were fortunate enough to spend three days in North Northumberland to hone their cycling skills by exploring some of the local cycle routes.

Day One
The day started with a frost but the sky was clear and the sun was shining and later on the temperature reached a maximum of 22 C – perfect for a bike ride.

The chosen destination was Coldstream so the route took us across to Kimmerston and Ford before crossing the A697 and heading towards Branxton and Flodden.

From Flodden the group made their way to Cornhill then on to Coldstream. After a break for refreshments at The Hirsel, it was back to Corhill, down to Howtel and Millfield and a brief stop at The Anchor Inn, Wooler before cycling home to Doddington.

The total distance cycled was 45 miles.

Day Two
The weather on the second day was a stark contrast to the day before. Thick fog reduced the visibility to about 100 metres so it was necessary to fit lights to the bikes.

The plan was to cycle east to Beal, cross over to Holy Island then return to Wooler along a section of the Sandstone Way. The route coincided with the Wooler Wheel, a local cycle event, so the group had to contend with cyclists emerging from the mist in front of them.

Fortunately conditions improved by the time the group reached the Holy Island causeway so a safe crossing was possible.
The return journey along the Sandstone Way proved to be a challenge. The terrain varies from minor roads to rocky forest trails and grassy moorland bridleways with a fair sprinkling of steep ascents thrown in for good measure. The group arrived back at Doddington and were too tired to go to the pub – an indication of how tough a day it had been. The total distance cycled was 48 miles with 1 774 feet of ascent.

Day Three
An easier day was on the agenda with a ride across to Hethpool, up College Valley as far as Goldscleugh and then back home. The route profile shows the nature of the route with the return being mostly downhill.

The weather was cool and cloudy but cycling through one of Northumberland’s most beautiful locations completed the weekend nicely. The total distance cycled was 25 miles giving a total of about 113 miles over three days.