Sunday 7th May 2000
Once again the day dawns on another ride. This year was to be the fill inride. The gap left between the Tyne and the Humber.
Car loaded bike loaded and Jane and myself
drove to Swalwell for the agreed 11.00am start time. We arrived at
Swalwell following Colin*s directions up past the Blaydon Rugby
club. Problem the lane was coned off due to a car boot sale at the Rugby Club.
Frantic phone calls to Colin and Graeme who were just passing the metro centre at the time. Change of plan and we all met in Derwenthaugh Car park. Which turned out to be just across the road from the Route. (The C2C) loaded up Graeme with his new bike, Colin with his poser Nike cycling gear Mapei Shorts new cycle helmet..
Me with my new Bandana. We loaded our panniers quick check of the bikes and in beautiful Sunshine we set off on the ride accompanied by the usual Video and Photo shoot.
11 45 am en route.
We started on the right of the river looking and checking the map for a bridge. We found one and unfortunately it had a push up some steps but we eventually made the CTC cycle route.
The track was popular that Sunday morning with lots of cyclist and walkers. The track was in good condition it was easy riding steadily climbing uphill. Colin cracked a joke if we didn't have to do this as a holiday, you would do it for fun.
We passed lots of bicycles and walkers Graeme said with Colin's new gear everyone would think it was the team Bishop Auckland Cycle Team. Colin replied it couldn't be because we weren't nicking handbags as we passed people.
We had a steady ride towards Consett through Rowland's Gill and up the Derwent
valley. It was very picturesque the sun was shining - brilliant. As
we cycled up to the Road bridge at Ebchester I noted a pub .Colin said it
closed. I said" Cant be it's Sunday Lunch
time in County Durham." We cycled up to the pub and sat and enjoyed the
first pint of the ride sat outside in
the sun drinking Jennings, We only sat inside once over the whole
of the ride (made a welcome change).
First Drink of the Ride
Second Drink of the Ride
We then cycled steadily up to Lydgetts Junction where the Cycle paths all converge. We stopped for the sandwiches that our Mother had packed for us, Colin went off the deep end, Egg sandwiches'. She has known for over 40 years I don't like egg!.
After the Food stop we cycled downhill towards Lanchester. To Lanchester and another Pint stop. The Lanchester Arms we sat outside and enjoyed a pint, despite being invited in to watch the exotic dancer. Which was quiet amusing because as we sat there she pulled up in her car, She chatted to us for a couple of minutes before making her grand entry. Anyway after the pint we cycled steadily downhill toward Broom Park and Durham.
The sun was shining the countryside was very pretty. We
had one slight mishap as we cycled out of Lanchester onto the cycle route
there was a girl in front waving a bucket oblivious to our presence. I went
one way when she changed direction at the same time Graeme was passing
me. It was nearly disaster.!!!!
Down to Broom Park and a pit stop. There was a guy puffing and panting uphill with his family and when we got round the comer and saw the size of the hill I had some sympathy. First push of the ride.
Anyway up onto the top and round Meadow field cricket ground. And Brandon. Another Pub stop. We stopped outside and sat in the Sunshine again enjoying a pint and some nibbles provided by the landlord. Much to the annoyance of some local drunks who stepped in to finish them off, when we got up to leave, Anyway down the cycle path to Brancepath. We could see Merrington church on the Tops Funny being on Holiday in County Durham.
|Kirk Merrington on the hill behind us|
Passed trough Willington nuff said. Through Willington Colin was now lead man and we went left uphill towards Hunwick. As we cycled uphill a young lad came along side on his bike he'd just cycled from Sherburn. "We^re going to Hull", Took the wind out of his sails. Hunwick bank went on for ever. Eventually we skirted the rise and dropped down via High Grange in the sunshine to Witton Park. Here we came across another comedian who shot past us on his mountain bike and tried to do an impressive corner at speed got it wrong and collided with the kerb. He then limped off behind some houses.
Through Witton Park and all of a sudden a left turn down a lane and lo and behold we were at Colin's with Video camera whirring we finished day one .In sunshine from start to finish.
I couldn't believe it was possible to travel from north to south of County Durham traffic free. Good ride.
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