Thursday, 31 December 2015

Highlights 2015

It’s traditional at this time of year to look over the preceding twelve months and pick out the best moments. 2015 has been a good year for Seaton Sluice Backpedalers but what was the high spot? A picture is worth a thousand words.
A selection of photographs from 2015 can be viewed here  and a slide show of the photographs is also available.


2016 promises to be another interesting year, but more of that later.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Xmas Ride 2015

Following the success of last year's event, it was decided to have another Xmas Ride up to the Drift Cafe, Cresswell (one of our favourite venues) for a celebration meal.
The weather was far from seasonal, with a temperature of 15oC and a 21 mph wind from the south west. Cycling with a brisk following wind makes life easy but there's always the worry about the return jouney into a head wind at the back of the mind.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A View From The Seatpost

When I bought a GoPro Hero3 camera some while ago, it came with a bundle of mounts which I have been experimenting with when out cycling.
I started with the GoPro handlebar mount.


After a few outings with this set up I became increasingly concerned with the stability (and security) of this arrangement. It seemed to do little to dampen the vibration transmitted through the front fork when travelling over rough ground. I looked around for an alternative and settled on the k edge.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Cycle Challenge 2016

On 29th October 2015 Seaton Sluice Backpedalers had the pleasure of meeting with Brian Burnie and some of his team at Daft As A Brush Headquarters for a fish and chip supper.


It was their way of thanking us for our efforts in Cycle Challenge 2015 when we raised over £10 000 for Daft As A Brush, the biggest single donation they have ever received.  Brian told us what the money would be used for and gave us an insight into some of his plans for the future. He also expressed the hope that we might consider raising money for Daft As A Brush in the future.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Kielder Kaper

Planning for the Kielder Kaper, aka Cycle Challenge 2016, is now at an advanced stage. Riders have been recruited and accommodation booked so details of the route can now be revealed.

A major change is that next year’s route will start and finish at the Delaval Arms making organisation much easier. The event will take place over the weekend of May 28-30 2016 and involve cycling approximately 155 miles in the Northumbrian countryside. 

Day 1 – Delaval Arms to Bellingham.


Starting at the Delaval Arms, the route heads south on NCN 1 towards Tynemouth before joining the Reivers Route (NCN 10) at North Shields. We will stay on the Reivers all the way to Bellingham, a distance of 55 miles and climbing 2 355 feet along the way.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Friday Ride

Some of us are in the fortunate position of being able to go out on a bike ride at a moments notice. After three days of rain the weather cleared and the sun shone. A quick exchange of text messages was all that was needed to organise an impromptu ride for three Backpedalers. The weather was glorious.

There is a GoPro video of the ride:



Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Backpedalers On Tour–The Videos

Videos from cycling weekend in North Northumberland have been uploaded to Facebook but for those who prefer a different medium, they are being made available here.

Day 1
A 45 mile circular ride to Coldstream and back.

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.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Coming Soon!

Coming soon - Cycle Challenge 2016. 

After the tremendous success of Cycle Challenge 2015 which saw Seaton Sluice Backpedalers raise over £10 000 for Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient Care, we are delighted to reveal that planning for Cycle Challenge is well under way. It will take place over the weekend of 28th-30th May 2016, our usual weekend incorporating Spring Bank Holiday Monday.

There are a few changes to our usual arrangements. The route will begin and end at the Delaval Arms. This means we will not need to transport bikes to the starting point. This reduces costs for the riders and has the added bonus of increasing the size of our cycling team. We're so popular that we have a waiting list of potential participants! It also allows us to ride a route which is entirely in Northumberland. Details of the route will be published on this website soon.

We still have a few details to work out. Will we raise money money for charity and if so which charity? We'll be having a meeting soon when those questions will be answered. The decisions may not be too difficult.

Check back for updates.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Sand Dancers & Mackems

We've reached the stage where the countdown to Cycle Challenge 2015 is measured in days rather than weeks (20 days to go when this blog post was written). Realistically that gives us a little over two weeks to get some serious miles into our legs and some time in the saddle.
This weekend saw a change in our routine with a switch from a Sunday ride to a Saturday ride. This was dictated by the weather forecast which was awful for Sunday.


It's reassuring to know that all the nasty stuff is getting out of our way before we set off on May 23rd.
The chosen route was a trip across the Tyne to South Shields then down the coastal path to Roker with a visit to Fausto Coffee, a newly opened, cycle friendly, coffee stop.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Double Header

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.

Monday, 30 March 2015

In The Summertime

The title is a little bit misleading – Sunday was the beginning of British Summer Time but the weather gods chose to ignore that. The previous day had featured winds of 30 mph so a relatively gentle 9 mph from the west seemed benign by comparison.



The 6C temperature and frequent showers of heavy rain were a reminder that summer hadn't quite arrived.


The chosen route was north to Newbiggin, coffee and cake at Bertorellis, then return via Cambois, a round trip of about 40 miles.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Spring Into Cycling

A few days ago it was the vernal equinox, the first day of Spring, and next weekend the clocks go forward one hour to signal the beginning of British Summer Time.

 It's official – winter is over, the days are getting longer and cycling is back on the agenda. More importantly, there are less than nine weeks to go before we do our Cycle Challenge 2015. It's time to get some time in the saddle and miles into our legs.
Sunday morning had a very wintery feel to it with temperatures below zero and frost on the ground. On the plus side the sky was clear and the sun was shining as a small group of Backpedalers set off for a ride to the Cycle Hub. The temperature rose to a comfortable 12C and conditions became ideal for cycling.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Sunday 15th March 2015

The weather forecast earlier in the week promised rain for Sunday but as the days passed, the forecast changed for the better. When the day arrived, the sun was shining and the sky was clear and it seemed like spring was in the air. Cresswell was the chosen destination, a round trip of about 40 miles.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Return To The Hub

A trip to the Cycle Hub and back has been a regular Sunday favourite for quite a while but, for various reasons, hasn't featured recently. That was put right on Sunday morning when the weather forecast said the temperature would be 10C (reasonable), wind from the West at 14 mph (not bad) gusting to 30 mph (not good). When the wind is westerly the toughest part of the route is the section along the river from Tynemouth to North Shields and can be compared to cycling into a wind tunnel. The rest of the route provides some shelter apart from the occasional exposed section and there is always the expectation that the return journey will be wind-assisted. The total distance is about 32 miles.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Some Recent Rides

Cycling can be a challenge in the winter months. Although the 2014-15 hasn't been particularly bad (so far) there have been some difficult conditions. These always seem to arrive on Sundays which is our regular cycling day. As everyone knows, windy conditions are hated by cyclists and we seem to have had a succession of windy weekends. Nevertheless, a small but determined group of Backpedalers have been meeting outside the Delaval Arms (usually at 9.30 am) to get a few miles into their legs. The last two Sundays they have followed a route which takes them down to Tynemouth, along to North Shields and past Wallsend into the Rising Sun Country Park. The café there (famous for its homemade scones) is an excellent coffee stop. After that, the route goes on to Holystone, up to Killingworth and Backworth then back to Seaton Sluice via Seghill. For those who can't access our Facebook page, here is a selection of photographs from two recent rides.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

How To Sponsor Us

The success of Cycle Challenge 2015 will depend on a number of factors. Everyone completing the ride and having fun along the way is guaranteed but of course, our aim is to raise as much money as we can for our chosen charity, Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient Care.

All Backpedalers will have sponsor forms for collecting donations. There is also be a large version on display in the Delaval Arms.

In order to collect Gift Aid, which adds 25% to the value of the donation, it is important that donors provide their name, their house number (or house name), the first line of their address and their post code.

An alternative to a sponsor form is the Virgin Money Giving online system used by Daft As A Brush. Seaton Sluice Backpedalers have their own page up and running and ready to receive donations.

Ponteland 8th Feb 2015

After an overnight frost, the morning was cool and clear as a small group of Backpedalers set off towards Ponteland along the Reivers Route. The track was an interesting mix of ice and mud (and thorns) but not a problem for experienced cyclists. Weetslade Country Park was reached in good time.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Runners and Riders

Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient Care have eighteen people carriers which they use to transport patients to and from their hospital appointments.

Each people carrier is sponsored by a local school and has a name chosen by the children.We thought it would be a good idea to assign a people carrier name to each Backpedaler so that we can identify more closely with the work of Daft As A Brush. Names were drawn out of a hat in an open and transparent manner (honestly!).

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Raring To Go

Last night Backpedalers met in the Delaval Arms to get an update on Cycle Challenge 2015. Everything is going to plan with transport, accommodation and restaurants all booked. We have a sponsor for our cycling shirts and t-shirts have been supplied by Daft As A Brush.
Jean Ross and Brian Burnie of Daft As A Brush were present to meet the team and Brian took the opportunity to tell us a little more about the work and future plans of the charity he founded.

One Backpedaler posted on their Facebook page:
"Had a very inspirational meeting with the founder of daft as a brush ... Can safely say what a deserving charity to be doing the ride for."
It's fair to say that's how everyone at the meeting felt.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday 25th January 2015

After a frustrating start to 2015, with cycling plans being affected by strong winds, snow and ice, a warm, still day arrived which enabled five Backpedalers to get on their bikes and ride. Early morning rain cleared so a trip to The Cycle Hub, via Tynemouth and North Shields, was a must.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Fish Quay Round

This route takes in parts of the North Sea Cycle Route, Hadrian's Cycleway and the Reivers Regional Cycle Route 10. Most of the route is on cycle paths and bridleways but there are two short sections on road. There is one short but fairly steep ascent and the route is suitable for mountain bikes and hybrids. It begins and ends at the Delaval Arms. The total distance is about 18 miles.

1. Leave the Delaval Arms and head down the hill past the caravan site.

2. Follow the track which runs south past St Mary's Lighthouse, turn right onto the road and carry on up to the cycle path which runs along side The Links. Proceed along the cycle path.
3. Turn left off the cycle path and take the path down to the promenade. This turn is easy to miss. It is after the car park and just before the Briar Dene. It is signed.
4. Proceed along the promenade as far as the Rendezvous Cafe.
5. Just past the cafe turn right and take the uphill path past the skate park and turn left at the top.
6. Head towards the Spanish City and join the cycle path which takes you along Whitley Bay promenade.


2015 has arrived and it promises to be an interesting year for the Backpedalers. Top of the agenda is Cycle Challenge 2015. On 23rd May we will be leaving Edinburgh on the Coast and Castles cycle route and cycling 186 miles to the Delaval Arms over three days. As well as meeting a formidable physical challenge (and having fun), Backpedalers will be raising funds for local charity Daft As A Brush.

Fund raising is already underway with collection boxes in place on the bar in the Delaval Arms.
Other fund raising activities are in the pipe line and details will be announced in due course.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Holywell Dene

This is a ten mile route beginning and ending at the Delaval Arms. It is mostly on cycle paths and bridleways but there is a short on-road section. There are no uphill or downhill sections and it is suitable for mountain bikes and hybrid bikes.
1. Leave the Delaval Arms and head down the hill past the caravan site. 

2. Follow the track which runs south past St Mary's Lighthouse, turn right onto the road and carry on up to the cycle path which runs along side The Links. Proceed along the cycle path.
3. Turn left off the cycle path and take the path down to the promenade. This turn is easy to miss. It is after the car park and just before the Briar Dene. It is signed.