Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Step Into The Unknown

Sometimes Backpedalers become a little adventurous and venture away from the familiar waggonways and bridlepaths. This adds a little spice to what could become another routine cycle ride.
The start of the route was straightforward - along the old railway line to Monkseaton Drive and on to Earsdon, Backworth and Killingworth. Instead of following Reiver's, a deviation towards Camperdown was taken. The roundabout at Annitsford had to be negotiated before cycling down the footpath into Seghill. From here, the Backpedalers went off piste. The track round Seghill Hall was the first challenge when it became obvious that long trousers would have been a better option than shorts given the abundance of brambles and stinging nettles. 
A brief stop to reinflate a softening tyre was needed before the rest of the route could be attempted.
The track towards Mares Close was next but instead of crossing the railway line, the group turned left to visit one of the areas less well known examples of public art.

The Shroud gave the group an opportunity to indulge their rather strange sense of humour.

Once their ghoulish appetites had been satisfied the group were able to press on pausing only to replace a punctured inner tube.
At this stage, one member of the group pointed out that it was forty minutes since he had left Seghill and that he had travelled about two miles.
The next section presented a different sort of challenge.
It was more like taking your bike for a walk than going out for a cycle ride.
A mercifully short track, complete with the obligatory nettles and brambles, led to the Keel Row at Seaton Delaval which enabled the group to cycle along Plantation Row towards Laverock Hall Road and on to Bebside.
The tree roots and mud filled sumps seemed billiard table flat compared to what had gone before.
The route home, via Furnace Bank and Blyth riverside, was uneventful.