Got off to an early start, breakfast at Easingwold and meet two Wheelers for the ride to Gt Ayton. First obsticle was the bank under the White Horse, much huffing and puffing to the top then a drop down to Bilsdsle and collect three more Wheelers along the way. Then onto Gt Ayton to meet more Wheelers especially Dave Kirton and a spare break lever for Roy’s bike.
All fed and watered and bikes fixed it was off to the Borough and a photo op at the Transporter, which was not running.
We headed out to Hartlepool in a strong head or side wind accompanied by Scott, another Wheeler who was coming with us to Rothbury to share the pain.
Peterlee, Sunderland and Roker were all negotiated as we pushed on at a good pace to our rendezvous with the ferry at South Shields. We followed the Wagon ways cycle paths and soon escaped the metropolis of Newcastle’s suburbs. A change to route as the cycle path was unridable and then disaster, John punctured !
Puncture fixed with a bit of teamwork and we arrived at our next stop for some food, which was going to be from the chippy but that was closed, so it was to the shop for cold food or to a little take away for hot food. It turned out that the takeaway was unable to process more than one order at a time and time was lost as we waited.
Clive, one of Mick’s friends, had met us along the way and also would ride to Rothbury, which was now a case of, how do we get there after the route had changed. Onto Morpeth was the answer, taking a parallel road to the A1 and the cycle path alongside to stay off the A1. Derek got local knowledge by knocking on a door and got directions for Morpeth.
Headed for Morpeth and directions for Rothbury. The route turned out to be hilly with some very hilly hills ! Rothbury never seemed to get any closer but the scenery was very nice.
We were losing light and eventually came to a signpost that actually said Rothbury then a bigger disaster, Roy broke a spoke on the back wheel and buckled it so bad that it was rubbing against the brakes. A temp repair was made and Roy pushed on without rear brakes.
Met the rest of the group and set off in a beautiful backdrop of a sun going down. On and on, climb after climb with bike lights twinkling in the dark, the hills kept coming but eventually we could see the town at the bottom of the hill in the dark.
Over the bridge and there was the bunkhouse, showers, food and more importantly, sleep.