Heavy rain came and went overnight so the day dawned fair for Seaton Sluice Backpedalers sixth consecutive Sunday training ride. A record turn out was expected and twelve riders made up the group which headed north from the Delaval Arms. A slight change in the usual route was required to avoid becoming entangled with the participants in Blyth Running Club's 10K event so the path alongside the road was preferred to the track through the dunes on the way to South Beach. From there it was on to Morpeth Road and the path alongside the River Blyth towards Bedlington.
The ride had been advertised as an opportunity to visit a new cafe. That was true but wasn't mentioned was it was also an opportunity to visit a new hill. Starting at Furnace Bridge a path leading through the Free Wood to Bedlington main street rises 115 feet over a distance of 1 mile, a gradient of 3%. In simple terms, it's a tough climb and it's a relief to reach the top.
A short ride into Bedlington took the group to our new found coffee stop.
Our new venue had an unexpected bonus - a bacon sandwich comes with a free coffee. Coffee and a bacon sandwich for the bargain price of £2.20.
The return route took the group down the hill through the free wood, north up Furnace Bank, a loop through the woods then up the south side of Furnace Bank.
Next, Bebside, Low Horton, New Delaval and down to South Beach before the return to Seaton Sluice.
Twenty miles completed with seven weeks to go before the big event.