Monday, December 12, 2016

Coast to Coast in a Day.

Back in 2012 Tom did his first Coast to Coast ride aged 7. Over 4 days we rode to Tynemouth from Bowness on Solway, and then back again via Hadrian's Cycleway.

This is us when we set off back in 2012.

We'd had a plan for awhile to repeat this trip, though this time in 2 days.

We arrived at Bowness on Solway a bit later than was ideal in spite of getting up at 5am.

No messing about we were soon heading East. At Carlisle we stopped for a quick bite to eat.

This finger post is as far as we managed last year before ice and snow forced us to turn back.

This time though the weather was being kind.

We stopped for lunch at a rather nice cafe. Tom does like a good hot chocolate sometimes instead of his usual Coca Cola.

Though the route follows the line of Hadrian's wall, there are only a few sections where the wall is obvious. Some more archeology below, a Lime Kiln.

There was next to no traffic on this section.

Below is Tom at the high point on the route. From here, it is mostly downhill to the sea.

Not long after this was taken light was fading, and we were grateful that we'd bought our Exposure lights.

We arrived at Tynemouth at 9pm.

Some chips to celebrate.

All we had to do then, was get to our hotel in Sunderland which should have been around 8 miles away.

I say should have been, as the tunnel under the Tyne that we'd planned on using was closed.

This meant, that to cross the river we rode back to the Millenium bridge.

The theoretical 8 miles by 11pm had turned into 24. A total of 124 miles for the day.

It took minutes to get to sleep.

Next morning we were up at 6am.

We were on the road by 7, and after a few miles, we stopped for some warm food.

Once over the river, two things became clear. One that we were going to be riding into a stiff headwind for the day, and secondly one of my knees was becoming very painful. My knee pain was such that we riding a bit slower than we should be, and we hadn't even got to the hilly bits yet.

Whilst I knew that we would eventually get back to the car, the prospect of another long day was not appealing.

At Corbridge, we elected to get the train back to Carlisle which would cut out 50 miles, and leave just 15 more to do.

My knee was grateful of our decision. My "new" bike set up obviously needs looking at.

We were back at the car just after 2pm, and home in time for supper with the girls.

Another great weekend riding bikes.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Snowdon by Tandem

It's that time of year when the hours of daylight after school are short, and now that Tom is at high school he has homework to do in the evenings too, so it's good to have a go at something big at the weekend.

Our plan as the picture above suggests was to ride up to the top of Snowdon. The forecast was good, but the weather when we arrived at Llanberis was not quite so good.

No worries, we would head up the hill with the hope of the weather improving. If you wait for ideal conditions this time of year, then nothing will get done.

We managed to ride a lot of the track, with only short bits of pushing.

As we get level with clogwyn du'r arddu we see the first bits of snow above us.

We also meet a number of people who say that it is very icy, and that they'd thought better of going to the top.

We kept on going though to see what it was like higher up.

Icy sums it up. We were about a mile from the summit in the above picture, and that would have to do. It was too sketchy without crampons, never mind with a tandem to push.

The ride back down was great, we didn't rush though, and took in the views.

We had a good ride, even though we didn't make it all the way to the top. It was good to be just out doing something on two wheels.

The next day we did a short ride from home on our mountain bikes. Though there was no snow and ice as above, it felt a good deal colder in a bitter northerly wind.