Sunday 17 February

Two groups left the market place – one long ride and the other a bit shorter and flatter!


First long ride of year, to Alston via Weardale and back via Teesdale. A total of about 78 miles. Do I need say anything more? Well, perhaps I will.

We met on a cold misty morning, temperatures hovering around freezing and visibility pretty limited. Not all went to Alston but 12 or so of us did. Well, some had punctures before arriving at the Market Square so set out to join us en route.

As we cycled into Weardale, the mist began to lift and the sun shone. It did then for the rest of the day. At Frosterley, we took the back road to Stanhope then up the dale on the A689 and a steady climb to Killhope.

The climb from Killhope to the Durham Cumbria boundary was, at this stage of the ride, challenging but then so was the downhill section to Nenthead. The cross wind, although not strong, combined with a road surface that was not the best and a hill of 18% meant a degree of caution was required!

Then into Alston and most of us took a well earned break to top up the fuel tanks in one of the local cafes. The cobbles in Alston, which are on a steep slope, are interesting and quite a few of us walked this bit on the road towards Teesdale. A steady climb up past the Golf Club, then along the road above Garrigill and the long, steady climb back to the Durham boundary was followed by, in the main, the downhill section towards Middleton. This stretch was not without incident with a couple of punctures in the wilds around Harwood having to be dealt with. A short break in Middleton, then the climb out, along to Eggleston followed by the seemingly cruel climb up to the Woodland Road. The undulations over Folly Top seemed quite tame in comparison but it was still a relief to finish the last one in Woodland itself. Then largely downhill and back to Bishop.

An excellent day in good weather, even if it did start and end freezing!


Club members with guest ‘The Invisible Man’

For the other ride – 4 became 5 as a late coming  Paul “hung over” the back of the culture group. Preston Park, via Walworth Gate, Archdeacon Newton, Cockerton, Eastbourne, Middleton-One-Row and Aislaby, was reached for lunch. Good value served in seconds microwave cooked sandwiches all round with Eddie having chocolate cake and ice cream desert as a starter, stout fellow!
  Returned via Hartburn, Redmarshall Aerodrome and Great Stainton with Eddie on fixed and Les on fire as he neared home, approx 50-55 miles covered by all.
Richard posted at 2013-2-18 Category: Sunday Rides