It’s been an amazing week for Ride2Recovery. From Norfolk to North Yorkshire with amazing people and places everywhere. The Rohloffs beautiful. Simply get on, ride and forget it’s there.
I’ve travelled through the fens, battled headwinds and thunderstorms but enjoyed almost every moment. I say almost because I don’t like Cities and Hull was a big one! Well signed almost all the way through, I couldn’t find my way out the way I Wanted to. No kicks on route 66 for me then!0 In the end, in a rising panic, I followed NCN 1 up the Hornsea rail trail. I’m so glad I did as it was lovely, especially after Hull.
82 miles that day and 52 the day after sees me at Scarborough. I’ve had a rest today and are off to Redcar tomorrow, via Robin Hoods Bay and Whitby. After that, it’s time to pass through the North East. Middlesborough, Stockton on Tees, sunderland and Newcastle, before breaking out onto Northumberland.
Trying to find camping there is a pain, with many sites going over to caravans only. Despite my efforts it seems it’s more than their jobs are worth to let me pitch for one night. So, plan B includes (hopefully) a B&B in South Shields before my run to freedom on Saturday.
People are stopping to talk all the time when I park up and I’ve made a few pounds for Sustrans too. Some of their trails and routes deserve much more recognition. Always pleasant, often rambling, they soothe the soul, especially so in towns and cities where progress is so much easier and more relaxing than it otherwise would be.
The Humber Bridge was a highlight, gateway to the North. The mighty Humber thrashed underneath the day I crossed, red and angry, tearing at the bridges piers.
Leaving this behind, I am led out to the Nature Reserve at Flamborough Head before heading to Scarborough. Flamborough is peaceful, relaxing and a great place to watch birdlife from.
On the route from here, I stumbled over the old airbase that was where squadron 158 flew from in WW2. The memorial is a beautiful cast iron sculpture of one of the crews. Silhouettes are created by cutting through the iron leaving a 3d negative covered in engraved names of men who gave their lives.
As night approaches, a storm is brewing. Wind is tearing over the campsite and rain Is threatening. Hopefully it’ll pass by the morning.
A roadie, who passed me whilst I sat at the roadside drinking and having a rollie, turned and came back to chat. He reckoned the railway route to Whitby could be one of the highlights of the whole trip!! A Yorkshireman through and through, I wondered why we couldn’t all be so proud of our home areas?
Arriving in the campsite last night, I straight away saw two more Santos Travelmaster bikes. Three together, that’s probably the most I’ll ever see. The two young Dutch riders were heading to Whitby today before setting off across the pennines.
One of them had toured The USA for nine months and was feeling restricted by work etc. I tried to assure him that he would do something similar at some point in the future. He told me how he thought about that ride every day for two years and now it’s still almost every day.
This ride is like that. Living and breathing it, getting more relaxed as my ability to deal with changes is confirmed. I have no ties on destination and mileage. I’m lucky in that I don’t need to rush. It’s taken time to ride each day without worrying about where to go or stop, how long for and whether I should or not. Some days are higher mileage but more often now I’m seeing things that halt me, make me look and think about the world, my place in it, and what’s it like for other people, sometimes much less fortunate than I am, stuck somewhere with no way out.
Camping brings the best out of people. Many talk and are inquisitive, none more so than the group of kids gathered around my bike and trailer when I exited a shop in Hornsea. “where are you from”, “where’s that” And 4000 miles, said in disbelief.
Maybe, for one of them it will set a small spark. Maybe when I’m too old myself, a young man in one of these towns will climb on a bike and ride off somewhere because they remembered some old guy they saw riding the coast. I hope so, it was stuff like that that caught my imagination as I grew up. I thought I’d lost it forever, but it’s still there, as strong as ever and growing 🙂 Ride2Recovery