Archive for December, 2011

Berwick to Edinburgh

Managed to start at 8am only to find the roads were just ice. Not even patches, but completely ice over. Nihtmare as I had three 200meter climbs. If you stop, you will not start again as the back wheel will just spin on the spot. Averaged just 16kmph as even the down hill parts needed to be done incredibly slowly. The hills do have a bit of snow on them. There were sections where hail embedded itself into the ice, so that gave me a little grip. Constantly having your hands on the brakes in -2 degree weather makes your hands go numb very quickly. I needed to stop three times to warm them up as they stopped being able to squease the brakes. There was a bit of passing sleet but nothing as bad as yesterday but having a puncture in these conditions is really horrid. First step to changing an inner tube is the cup of tea. After the last hill, there was nice dip into “Peas Bay” where there are crazy people kite surfing.

Back out nd along a horrid dirt path next to the A1 and rail line. Here I was incredibly worried that I would get another puncture and I ran out of inner tubes. I would have to get to smewhere warm and dry to patch the tues I have up. So once I got to Dunbar I thought I should just call it a day. It was nearly 1pm and I would only have an 2.5 hours left before sunset to do a stretch that took nearly 5 hours in the morning. There were no more hills, but it was damn cold, weather report was predicting more sleet and I was getting worried about getting a puncture on the next sectin which looked like more dirt roads.Caught the train to Edinburgh. So, just 60km today. With the total distance sitting at 790km I am annoyed at not breaking the 805km mark needed to get the “Mini Proclaimer” (500 miles). Tomorrow I have a couple hours in the morning before I go to Manchester so I will have a little ride around.

Newcastle to Berwick

The day started pretty icy. Leaving at 7:30, way before the sun rose, I managed to get quite a way out of Newcastle. It is good to start in the city in the morning as you have street lights to help you. I was hoping the ice would clear up as it took a lot of concentration to not die and stuff. The wind was horribly northerly and icy. Was getting very cold around by 10am, and then the sleet started. I was aiming to get to sea houses by 12 and infact I got there early as, even though I really wanted a tea, I couldn’t really stand in the rain drinking one.

Went to a great friendly pub called the old ship. Then back on the road. I decided to go on the A1 for a sectin as I was keen to get there before more downpours. Had slight drzzle on the way but then just before I got into Berwick there was a trumendous shower of hail and rain. I was just 20 minutes from my destination, but I found a little pub on to shelter in before it stopped and I could finish the trip. By this point, I was completely soaked. Wearing two pairs of socks did not do much good for the cold as I just has more water on my feet then. I could’t even leave the hostel easily as my shoes were soaked. Luckily Berwick hostel was pretty much empty, served nice food and had washing machines.

Robin Hood’s bay to newcastle

Started before 8am with some lighs on because today was gonna be a very l9ng day. First whitby along thhe cinder trail and another puncture. Whitby was nice and allowed me to restock. Then the stupidly steep hills of yorkshire. Hovis adverts do not do them justice. Three 250meter climbs at 25% slopes. Murder. Getting through M’brgh was hell. Put me in a bad mood and behind schedul. After that iwent onto main roads to catch up some time. Got to newcaßtle very late but the last hour was through cities so there were lights. Went out with some people i met to bigg market.

York to Robin Hood’s Bay

The day started well with a nice tail wind. Was very easy to mentain 35kmph right to scarborough. The weather was just as reported with westerly winds but a constant low hanging sun keeping me warm. Thenthe clouds came out just as I got to the beach, so I got inside a pub for a fish lunchen. When I got out it was’t much better with a couple rain drops hitting me. The trip to the bay goes along tops of hills with steep winding slopes to tacle. Up here it started to snow sideways. Not nice. Got to my destination very cold. Took 5 minutes to be able to unclip my helmet.

Barnetby to York

First of all there was the ride to the Humber. The moon was out and the sun was only just rising at 8am. The bridge is massive. Then it was a long  long route along the side of the Humber. This was directly against the wind and with nothing shielding me from the horrid gusts.At Selby I got to see the swinging bridge. and the route to york has planet monuments along it placed to scale with their distance from the sun. The sun is in ofcause shining out of York. Short trip today at 100km but against the wind most of the way.

I did take a video over the humber and lots of pictuers, especially as I saw the bridge being swung, but there is a screwup abut this. I was just about to use the computers available at the hostel to upload them by putting the SD cards into the mini camera and use it as a usb drive. The damn thing realises it is not a card it has seen before and then formats it. So not only have I lost my camera photos, but also the stuff on my android SD drive. I just re-downloaded the maps onto the android card, but I lost a couple movies I wanted to watch. Grrr, and the day was going so well with no screwups.

My knee is starting to ache a bit. Will do some stretches tonight. Tomorrow is a long 140km day btu going east.

Boston to Barnetby

A much less stressful day today. Got a taxi to Boston to get some more inner tubes. Then the day started with a nice ride by the riverside towards Lincoln. The original plan was to take a look at the cathedral but after yesterday I was keen to get to my destination before it got dark. So I turned north just before Lincoln and headed to Market Rasen. A bit of lunch and then it was time for some hills. The climb was pretty steep but it all levelled out at just over 100 meters. Got to Barnetby by 3pm and even then it was starting to get dark. I demand more sunlight hours. Tomorrow York directly againsr a 20mph head wind.

Cambride to Boston

Stage one and it started with a hungover in Cambridge. First of al I overslept by an hour. Then I realised I forgot my bank cards once I was already 12km out on Cambridge. So that was 2 hours lost at the start of the day. The wind was very favourable and I was doing whole sections at over 35kmph. Then just after Wisbech everything started going wrong. First I started going the wrong way. Then the sun set and the rain started. I got a puncture in the pitch dark. Managed to change the inner tube with the rainpouring only to get another puncture a few minutes later. Inthe middle of nowhere lI spotted a house and made it there to ask if I could patch up my inner tubes in the dry. The patches don’t work in the rain. Both tubeshad more than three holes. Probably because I didnt realise I had a flat straight away. Qt that point I Ijust had to get a taxi for thelast 30km.

Mammoth ride preparations

Handlebar bag:

Trousers, t-shirt, jumper, pants, socks, balaclava, microfibre towel, tablet PC.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, shower-gel, ear-plugs, lip balm, baby powder (don’t ask), carbohydrate/protein drink powder, dextrose tablets, vitamin C tablets, electrolyte tablets, Creatine, head torch, cleat spares, shoe sole covers, two mini action cameras, batteries, USB battery charger, tablet charger, usb charger, mini-USB cable, maps, passport, bag strap, spare lock key.

Saddle bag:

Tyre levers, inner tube, multitool, patch kit, oil, back light, front light.

I have now figured out how to pack everything into the bags but it is very tight. About half the times I pack the handle bar bag and I cant close the zip, in which case, I empty it and start again.


Tights, two base layers, arm top, underwear, two pairs of socks, glovers, cycling gloves, SPD shoes, overshoes, foldable waterproof.

Back pockets:

Energy gels, grain bars, waterproof (folded), phone, money and camera (not pictured).


Raleigh Airlite 100, changed saddle, pedals and tyres, tiny pump, 750ml drinks bottle, thermos flask and a little map holder.


Day 1 Sunday: March, Wisbech, Boston, Stickney.

Day 2 Monday: Loncoln, Market Rasen, Barnetby.

Day 3 Tuesday: Hull, Selby, York.

Day 4 Wednesday: Bridlington, Scarborough, Robin Hood’s Bay.

Day 5 Thursday: Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle

Day 6 Friday: Amble, Seahouses, Berwick-on-Tweed

Day 7 Saturday: Eyemouth, Dunbar, Edinburgh.

There is a google map but it is pretty innacurate.