Tuesday 29th October 2013

The St Jude Storm, which affected southern regions of England so badly, didn’t reach the part of the UK where I live and do my cycling. This morning was bright and sunny, slightly cool (< 10°C) with a brisk 17 mph wind from the west.

Ian, Dave and I met up in Holywell to head north, possibly through Druridge Bay and on to Amble. We set off to Seaton Sluice and along the dune pathway towards Blyth. The path is popular with cyclists, walkers and walkers with their dogs. The latter can be a problem to cyclists as we were to find out. We approached two women, each with a dog, on the path ahead of us. Neither dog was on a leash but their owners attempted to get them under control. One dog, a West Highland Terrier, was reluctant to obey and stood in the middle of the path. Dave and I had to carefully negotiate our way around it. The other dog, black and of unknown provenance, stood at the side of the path. When Ian came along the black dog darted in front of him. He had to brake sharply then unfortunately had a clipless moment. It cost him a loss of dignity and some skin from his knee.

We pressed on regardless, through Blyth towards Bedlington Station and Cambois where we joined NCN Route 1 as it runs northwards alongside the A189 Spine Road. Despite its proximity to a busy road the cycle path is quiet and sheltered and a pleasant ride.

When we reached Woodhorn it became apparent that we could not reach Druridge and Amble in the time available to us. We decided to head for Newbiggin after a diversion into Woodhorn Colliery Museum and Queen Elizabeth II Country Park. In the Country Park we cycled around the lake a couple of times.

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From there we followed a cycle path into Newbiggin arriving near the Heritage Centre. A short ride along the pier got us to Caffe Bertorelli for coffee and cake. Caffe Bertorelli is a  great place to stop should you ever be in the area.

Suitably refreshed, we headed for home via Sandy Bay Caravan Site and Cambois.

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The journey home, including a return trip along the dunes cycle path, was straightforward and the round trip of 41 miles was completed without any more alarms.

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