Tuesday 15th October 2013

Yesterday’s wind and rain ruled out a cycle ride but today was much improved. The rain had stopped and the wind calmed down to a moderate 14 mph from the north-east.

At 10.15 I set off to do 35 miles on a course similar to Friday’s route. As expected, the path into Holywell Dene was wet as was the old railway line along to the Avenue. There were a few puddles around but these, for the most part, could be avoided. The ride through Seaton Sluice and New Hartley was uneventful and the only problems I encountered involved negotiating my way around the groups of walkers on the path towards St Mary’s Lighthouse.

St Mary's Lighthouse

St Mary’s Lighthouse

From there on through Whitley Bay, Cullercoats, and Tynemouth en route to North Shields.

There is a section of the route which crosses over the A19 near the Tyne Tunnel which is currently being repaired although there was no sign of any work being done on Friday or today. Sustrans advice is,

Following damage to the cycle track by heavy plant repairing a main sewer the track is to be fully re-constructed. Two diversions are possible and will be signed.

B/B1 to A: across a grassy mound which is OK if weather is dry OR

B2 to A2 via roads and cycle paths to and from Tunnel.

As usual I opted for B1 to A1. The grassy mound is now bereft of grass and has become a slippery mess of mud. On more than one occasion I came close to parting company with the bike, but my luck held out and I completed the diversion successfully, albeit with a very muddy bike.

The journey onwards to the Cycle Hub was straightforward and a cappuccino and a piece of chocolate cake was the reward. Similarly, the return to North Shields was uneventful.

At the Royal Quays I turned north on the Reivers’ Route and as usual it was into a strongish head wind. Once through Shiremoor I turned east towards Earsdon and South Wellfield before cycling down Monkseaton Drive to join the old railway line back to Holywell. Tired legs mad the last mile or so hard work as did the head wind.