Friday 25th October 2013

This hasn’t been a good week for cycling. The local weather has changed quite suddenly and we’ve had a days of strong winds and rain. Yesterday was an exception with blue skies and sunshine but unfortunately I had commitments which prevented me getting out on the bike.

Ian, Chris and I had planned to go out today but the weather is truly awful.


The next few days look a little more promising so hopefully I’ll see some cycling action on Sunday.


At 1 pm the rain stopped. the sky cleared and the sun shone so I got and headed off on the bike towards the Cycle Hub. It was such a nice autumnal afternoon I took my camera with me.


Even Percy Main looks good on a sunny afternoon.


In a previous post I wrote about the detour over the A19. It has degenerated into a muddy slide but the good news is that the original path is almost fully restored and should be open soon


The viaduct that carries the Tyne-Wear Metro line over the valley.


A view of the River Tyne looking east towards the Cycle Hub.


Gateshead Millennium Bridge.


A view of the Tyne Bridges looking west.

After a cappuccino in the Cycle Hub I headed for home with the sun setting behind me. As I reached Hadrian’s Road I became aware that my front tyre was punctured. I always carry a spare inner tube so I pulled onto the grass verge. Whilst fitting the new tube I became aware that the sky was darkening, I could see flashes of lightning and hear thunder. Once the repair was completed I set off hoping to get home before the storm broke. A mile down the road disaster struck – another puncture in the same wheel. I’d committed the cardinal error of not checking the inside of the tyre for bits of glass etc.

With my spare inner tube already on the bike I had no choice but to try a locate the puncture and repair it. By now it was getting dark and the storm was overhead. It took me a while but I found the hole in the tube, applied a patch, inflated the tyre and set off to complete the remaining eight miles home. Fortunately I had good lights with me as by now it was dark and the last part of my route was on an unlit cycle path.

Apart from a close encounter with a rabbit, the journey home was straightforward and I didn’t get the soaking I’d been dreading.

Sunday 20th October 2013

First the good news – the weather was much better than anticipated, good news despite me being dressed for a cold, wet, rainy day. Second, the bad news – I picked up a puncture four miles from home.

I set off this morning to do my familiar route through Holywell Dene to Monkseaton Drive, west towards Earsdon and Shiremoor, south to North Shields, then west along Route 72 to Newcastle Quayside.

The sixteen mile journey outwards was pleasant and straightforward and culminated in a coffee stop at the Cycle Hub.


During my stay the cloud cleared and sun broke through to give a beautiful autumnal afternoon. Heading east, I caught up with a group of twelve cyclists from London who were within five miles of completing the Coast To Coast Cycle Ride. I accompanied them for a mile or so until I reached the turn for the Reivers Route which takes my northwards and home.

Shortly after joining that cycleway I became aware that all was not well with my front tyre. I stopped to inspect it and discovered that it was soft. I had a puncture but the tyre was soft rather than flat. I was within four miles of home so decided, rather than fit a new inner tube, I would pump and ride. Despite having to stop a further three times I managed to limp home successfully.

Today’s ride of 32 miles brought my total for the week to 114.51 miles, comfortably achieving my target of 100 miles per week.