Saints and Sinners

Day 2

Seahouses to Tyne

 

Woke up early watched the news and weather. Looks like it will be windy but we may just miss the rain.

Down for breakfast at 8am as arranged, we had ordered on the room menu and it was all ready and very nice as well.

Mary stayed in the kitchen doing the cooking while Ray did the waiter service. Having a chat between courses.

He asked what route we were taking out of Seahouses. we said we were taking the coast road to Beadnell. Ray said that was the most sensible as the sustrans route went  well inland  before returning to the coast. 

After breakfast we collected our kit from the rooms and paid for the excellent stay before collecting our bikes from the garage. Colin gives Christopher his Gel Cover for his saddle as he is suffering a little.

Said goodbye to Mary and Ray before heading out towards Beadnell. Past the golf course. Christopher is a keen golfer so was watching the early morning golfers with interest.

The road skirts Beadnell before rising to a junction where a left turn keeps you on track along the coast. The only downside is the wind was getting up and it was blowing straight into our faces. This kept a few miles an hour off our speed but we were still averaging over the 8mph target.

We cycled into  Embleton, the church bells were ringing we debated if we should go to church were St Stephen could give the sermon from the pulpit, when he said he would cast out the sinners, Colin and Lee, we decided to cycle on. The route went left uphill naturally, signed for Craster. we followed the signs they ambled along narrow roads falling and rising, then at a junction the signs took us left, down a long steep hill. At the bottom the road levelled out then a sign showing Craster castle straight on and route 1 right up a steep hill.

Christopher decided to check the map.  Craster was a dead end, just a detour for a tourist visit to the castle. So it was right and back up a steep hill. At the top we realised we were just a few hundred yards along from where the signs had took us left, a few hundred yards along a flat minor road. Sustrans have struck again. After that Christopher decided to keep the map handy.

The route now gets more sensible along bridle and farm paths and relatively flat. We stop for  quick photo call.

 

Lovely cycling along flat farm road with wonderful views over North Sea

 

Not sunset just Colins poor photography

 

Leaving Alnmouth behind

 

The route follows on into Boulmer where Colin notices a straw stuck to his front tyre, stops to pull it off. Unfortunately it was attached to a thorn that came away and we could hear the sound of escaping air 

 

Yes lee confirms the tyre has a puncture, get out the new tube

 

Lee quickly put in another tube and we were on our way again. Still only 11.30 so ahead of schedule. Then  followed road to outskirts of Alnmouth. As we leave Alnmouth there is a cycle track built between the field and the road, we gain some shelter from the wind so our speed picks up. The down side is all the bushes have been cut so the wind is blowing thorns onto the track. We decide to keep going and hope to get to a place away from the thorns before checking for damage. 

 

The route leads into Warkworth over the river and up to the castle. What a beautiful spot. We stop to admire the castle. Three lads in red jackets  go past on cycles, day riders, we say hello as they cycle past and head on down towards Amble. They are out of sight as we set off again down the same road towards Amble, were we intend to have a lunch stop. The route is great following along the waterside towards Amble harbour. We catch up to the lads in red jackets they turn left into the car park, we check the map and its the route so we follow. The red jackets have stopped at the Yacht club gates we pass them and have a choice, down the side of the yacht club or into the town. We take the town route as we need a shop for food. It takes us past a Tesco, so a good choice we buy food and drink and then drop down to the bottom of the street where its a nice town square with toilets and seats and shelter from the wind. We use the facilities and Lee checks the tyres. He has Thorns in his tyres so decides to do a repair. Its only 12.40 so well ahead of schedule. 

 

 

Colin does the tourist photograph

Lee has the punctures fixed and the wheels back on the bike, We are in a right angle corner of a wall to shelter from the wind. Lee is blowing up the front tyre as a woman is walking past I guess on her way to the toilet, there is an almighty BANG as the tube splits. We all jump. If the poor woman wasn't on her way to the toilet she would be now. Lee strips the tube back out so much for quality Continental German rubbish. 

Lee counting how many holes in the tube

Even Lee cant this puncture wont fix with a patch

Tube removed from wheel, no wonder it was such a load bang splitting wide open like that

All fixed up and Christopher picks our route back down to the waterside and follow the coast out of Amble. The road leads into a track that hugs the coast all the way to Druridge Bay, this should be the easiest part of the ride along a flat smooth surface. Didn't allow for the wind, it was that strong that our speed which should have been an easy 15mph was down to a hard 7mph into the wind.

The magnificent Northumberland coast

The magnificent Northumberland coast

The route follows the coast for miles before heading out towards Lynemouth and Woodhorn. We come across the Red jacket cyclists again we pass them and say hello. How did they get in front of us?

Around Woodhorn and into top of Ashington. Stop for a map check. Christopher puts his bag on the ground to refold the map Stephen puts his drinks bottle on the ground to leave his hands free to adjust his kit. As we are consulting map a couple come riding towards us the rather large lass was a bit wobbly in herself and on her bike, she managed to run into the bag and smash the drinks bottle, before wobbling on her way. Route decided we are on our way down the side of the A189 on a cycle path. We catch up to the lads in the red jackets and pass them again.

Then the route tries to  take us off the cycle path heading a long way around towards the coast to bring us back up to the A189. We check the map and find a more direct route that still has a cycle path alongside a road. we take this option and come back to the route in a much shorter easier direction. We then follow the route towards Bedlington before it takes us left along a track towards the river Blyth.

Lee notices Colin carries his mars bars in a pouch on the side of his bag, so rides alongside helping himself to mars bars from the bag.

We stop for a map check. sensible route would be left back onto path beside A189 and over the river The signs take us right and along the river bank. We decide on the signed route. It takes along the riverbank through a park, over a bridge and back along the other side of the river, As we cycle along we look up to see the road passing overhead with people walking, pushing prams and three red jacket cyclists on the path beside the road. good old sustrans. we stop to put jackets on as its getting a little cooler,  the route now links into a newly made path  that leads into Blyth along the riverside, and its sheltered from the wind. Our speed picks up to 15 mph again and we have a lovely ride into Blyth, then the usual through the rough area and industrial wastelands before coming into the town, We keep left and the route again follows the coast. Through a park, picking the winding rather than the direct route, and out on the south side heading towards  Seaton Sluice. Stephen is getting warm so tries to unzip his jacket while riding, his handlebars catch the wall, this throws him across to the right  into the path of on oncoming cyclist. luckily the cyclist has his wits about him and manages to swerve onto the grass and around Stephen, who just manages to stay on his bike. Time check we are falling behind schedule and tiring a little as the wind is relentless into our faces. The good thing is the route is flat with  pleasant views over the coast and beaches. We follow down into Whitley bay it was a popular seaside resort in our youth, but now is need of regeneration. Glad to see as we get further in the regeneration has started. We stop for a refreshments break, time check, realise we will probably not make last ferry to South Shields. Ring the girls who agree to meet us at the Priory in North Shields, which is the finishing point for a few cycle routes. We ride on noting how wet  the pavements are we have been lucky and stayed dry. As we enter North Shields two lads on racing bikes are in the distance, Colin and Lee have to give chase, Unfortunately the wind has taken its toll and although we are gaining Colin's legs are burning up so call a halt to the chase. 

We roll up to the Priory just before 6pm planned mileage 59, actual mileage 59. Spot on again and only 30 min behind schedule.   Pretty good considering the strength of the wind. The girls turn up and we have the usual photo shoot, Charlotte is happy to see her dad and Grandad. We notice Christopher has a red mark on his backside, he says its the dye that has come out of his seat cover, we wonder if its his red raw backside shining through. Have a look at the picture and decide.

 

Red Backside

Priory End for Coast and Castles

 

Bikes loaded on the back of the cars Stephen and Amanda take Lee home, Suzanne and Christopher take Colin and Karen. Another great cycle ride, only a weekend but we all had a great time and are looking forward to the next one already. I think the new cyclists  have quickly been converted into Multidaymen.

 

Addendum

Couple days after the ride Karen answered the phone at home, Hello said the voice its Mary from the B&B. Karen thought what have they done, ready for apology mode, but no. Turns out the girl who had stayed the same night as the Multida men had left a bad review on Trip Advisor, Mary was concerned we had had a bad stay. Karen assured her we had had a good stay and would recommend it to anyone.
We went on Trip Advisor that night and put on a positive review, which is what she deserves.

We then had a postcard from Seahouses thanking us for the nice review. What a lovely people, feel like doing the ride again just to see if the weather is better and to stay again at the Leeholme B&B

 

 

 

 

Route

Day 1 Day2

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