Sunday, 30 March 2014

We Went Out In The Fog And Mist

The forecast didn't look good.

The track through Holywell didn't look good.

Recent heavy rain had left its mark. 

The Delaval Arms was shrouded in mist..................
.............. but seven Backpedalers assembled for a Sunday morning training ride.

One member of the group must have looked at the wrong forecast.

The route started with a warm up loop around the Avenue, the old railway line, Monkseaton Drive and back along the coast to the Delaval Arms.

Monday, 24 March 2014

In Search Of The Angel

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.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday Training Ride - 23.03.2014

Nine of us met outside the Delaval Arms on a bright, cool morning for our regular Sunday ride. There was a brisk, northerly wind as we set off along the coast.

At the Rendezvous Cafe we took a left and headed up Monkseaton Drive to South Wellfield and then on to Earsdon and Shiremoor.The familiar route through Silverlink followed but instead of dropping down to Percy Main we skirted the Retail Park and rode through a housing estate which took us into the Rising Sun Country Park.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunday Training Ride - 16.03.14

The Delaval Arms was looking good in the morning sunshine but the photograph is deceptive. What it doesn't show is the 25 mph wind sweeping over from the west. However, we cyclists know that if you wait for a perfect day the bike would never get out of the garage. 
Five of us met up and at 9.30 am set off down the track towards St Mary's Lighthouse. One of the benefits of windy conditions is that the paths are drying out so with the wind behind us it was easy going until we turned to head west up to the cycle way leading along to Tynemouth. The route along the coast was tricky, particularly in the exposed parts where we felt the full force of the wind. Nevertheless, we survived and made it safely to the Spanish Battery. 
We paused to catch our breath and it was at this point that one of the group decided to fall off his bike.
The ride along the promenade to the fish quay wasn't too bad but Borough Bank, tough at the best of times, proved quite a challenge. Similarly, the ride through Coble Dene to the Royal Quays was hard work. Once at the Royal Quays we were joined by the sixth member of the group for the journey on to the Cycle Hub.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Sunday Training Ride - 9.3.14

Seven of us met at the Delaval Arms at 9.30 am on a pleasantly warm morning. We headed north down Beresford Road towards Blyth, pausing briefly at South Beach to meet up with the eighth member of our group.
The route follows the south end of the Coast and Castles cycleway and winds its way through Ridley Park, onto Blyth Quayside, skirting the town centre and along Morpeth Road before following the course of the River Blyth towards Bedlington. There follows a fairly tedious road section through Bedlington Station, East and West Sleekburn before joining the cycle path which runs alongside the A189 Spine Road towards Ashington. Just outside Ashington it is necessary to cross roads at several points and we were pleasantly surprised to find on two occasions that motorists stopped and held up the traffic to allow us to pass unhindered.
 We took a slight diversion which allowed us to go into the QEII Country Park before heading towards Newbiggin. 
Once in Newbiggin we made a bee line for Caffe Bertorelli, one of our favourite coffee stops. Here we met up with another two members of our group to bring our number up to ten.

Frank, the cafe owner is an excellent host and always keen to make us feel welcome.

Bizarrely, the conversation centred around the colour of one of the group's socks!
Leaving the cafe, we cycled along the promenade, through Sandy Bay Caravan Park, along the River Wansbeck then back onto the track alongside the A189. As a variation on our outward journey we went through Cambois before picking up the route through East Sleekburn, Bedlington Station and back along the river to Blyth.
Arriving back in Seaton Sluice, we had completed 32 miles and, I think, a good time was had by all.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Training Ride - 2.3.14

With the countdown clock ticking away we decided to start a Sunday training session.

The weather forecast wasn't great but eight hardy souls showed up outside the Delaval Arms at 9.30 am.

We set off down the track to St Mary's lighthouse and along the coast to Tynemouth. As expected on a bright, sunny Sunday morning there were plenty of dogwalkers, joggers and fellow cyclists en route. At Tynemouth we picked up NCN 72 heading west along the River Tyne. Two of our number left us at the Royal Quays and the remaining six cyclists pushed on towards Newcastle.