Saturday 19th May – A day of contrasts
As I headed towards Middlesbrough I was cycling through heavy industry, chimneys either side of the road bellowed out smoke and steam into the clear blue sky. Amongst the industry is an RSPB nature reserve on the wetlands. It was very peaceful being a Saturday morning, the roads were clear.
I could see the bright blue of the transporter bridge quite a way in the distance and I knew that’s where I was headed. Unfortunately I hadn’t done my research and turned up 90 minutes before it opened. At least I got some photos with no one else in!
I followed a bike path inland and crossed a bridge instead, I was spat out on a bike path that I can only describe as covered in rubble, it was part of national cycle route 1 and was just awful! It lead me towards the Riverside Stadium and I vowed not to go on a cycle path for the rest of the day! But I did have a fantastic view of the transporter bridge from the other side!
This morning’s 30 miles was completely flat which meant the afternoon would be backloaded with hills. As I rejoined the coastal roads the industry disappeared and I was cycling through farmland. I passed cafes in most of the villages but after descending the hairpins down into Saltburn I decided I would need some energy to climb back up.
I sat watching a large amount of people surf the small waves and had a good rest before conquering the rest of the hills in and out of the small fishing villages. Staithes reminded me of the quaintness more akin to Cornwall and the steep gradient hill out of it you would also expect from the South West.
I knew I was heading towards the North York Moors, I was starting to recognise areas and cycling climbs from the Tour De Yorkshire. The field a patchwork of green and yellow set between a deep blue sea and bright blue sky. I was struggling a little with the sun, the antibiotics I am taking make skin more vulnerable to the sun’s rays and despite putting on cream every hour I could feel my skin burning. I could cover up everything but had nothing for my face, so decided I would cycle with a very white nose!
As I neared Whitby my route took me along the Camel trail. I know I had vowed this morning not to go on anymore, but i had cycled this part before and didn’t remember it being as bad as it was. I knew my tyres needed some more air so I stopped at the fantastic bike shop in old train carriages at the side of the trail.
As I was pumping them up, I noticed a broken spoke on the back wheel. Never mind at least I was in the right place to fix it. When we took off the wheel I noticed a very large spot of wear where the tyre had shredded. I was aware I needed to change the front tyres when I could but I needed a new rear too, we patched it up with some tape inside and I will hope it holds for another day. Luckily I am staying with my mother-in-law, Glyn, tomorrow night and she is currently with Danny so can bring me some spare tyres up.
I continued on towards Robin Hood’s Bay and found my campsite at the end of a farm track, I don’t even know how to describe this track, it felt like I was cycling along a cattle grid for half a mile! But there is a nice view.
I had to find somewhere for food once I had set up my tent which meant cycling the awful track again. I headed down towards the bay. There were a couple of pubs half way down but of course when I saw the 30% gradient sign I was intrigued and had to go to the bottom. It was worth it, well so I thought before I contemplated that I would have to cycle up after eating!
I had chicken and chips in the local hotel/pub and then attempted to make my way back up. It was tough but I had left the majority of my belongings in my tent, there was a lady trying to push a pushchair up the hill which looked much more difficult. I stopped for a drink before I attempted the last hill to the campsite. I tried to cycle up the track I had come down but about halfway up on a 20 percent stretch I couldn’t get any traction, so I had to cycle back down and go the long way.
Another fantastic day’s cycling. Tomorrow I will cycle through Scarborough and towards Bridlington where I will head inland for a few miles to Kilham. I can’t wait to see family and friendly faces tomorrow!