Hitting the 1/2 Century.

I was rudely woken this morning by my 3rd hayfever attack in 24 hours.

Rubbing my eyes I staggered down stairs, took a tablet, eye drops and nasal spray, looked at the clock 4:45am it said.

Urgh… so early… wide awake….. ah! 50 mile ride could be done before work!

Clothes on, breakfast wolfed down, off we go!

My latest TriathlonPlus magazine had an interesting article about the benefits of caffine prior to exercise, so I gulped down a mug of hot Kenco [fair trade i must add] I’m sure this got me spinning at the high rate that set the pace for the ride.

It was beautifully quiet and traffic free for most of the ride see the pics:

I was on the road by 5:15am feeling good spinning nicely [i’ve still got the lovely carbon Kuota Ksano thank the Lord or this would have been horrible]

Down to Edlington and out to Doncaster felt good, Skirting through Doncaster I kept on the northern roads heading to Hatfield,feeling strong and fast I was really enjoying this.

From Hatfield I turned south onto the A614 and suffered for the next 12 miles, running low on energy running out of drink and not a single shop insight… where do these people get their stuff from?

By the time I hit Bawtry I was starting to feel quite low, my thoughts which wandered far and wide had definitely taken a turn down the dark side.

A quick stop at the Spar for Mars bars, sweets and water gave me a real mental boost and just having food in my stomach improved how I was feeling on the bike. I span on down to Blyth suffering a chain deraillment at the worst possible moment going up hill approaching a roundabout!

Having recovered I munched some more sweets and powered on to Oldcotes, then Dinnington and finally into the office.

I’m pleased i’ve done it but absolutely gutted at the recorded distance.

My GPS says:

Distance: 79km

Time: 3:05’21

Avg Speed: 25.1 km/hr

Max Speed 56.7 km/hr

Calories Burned: 2479  – [no wonder i’m tired and starving!]

Do you know what 79km in miles is??

49.088 miles!



May Weekend Miander

This weekend me and my good lady were house sitting for her sister up in Gateshead We had a lovely drive out Saturday afternoon with a stop to Aydon Castle, but as it was 10 minutes to closing time we didn’t get much of a look around in fact the only view of it that we got was this :

So after our none event visit to the castle which when you get inside looks more like this:

So hungry after lots of driving we set off in search of dinner and found it at the Robin Hood pub on the way back to Gateshead.

Anyway the bike ride.

We set off eventually after some running about trying to find somewhere to park on the Derwent valley railway path, both desperate for the toilet (which we didn’t find for 3 hours).

This we followed via the villages of Hamsterley Mill, Ebchester and eventually to Consett, this disused railway path is clearly very popular due to dozens and dozens of cyclist we saw going the other way usually at high speed as we happily trundled along the gradual climb to Waskerley way. This route is part of the north of Englands Coast to Coast ride.

Onwards and upwards we pedalled for the first three hours from 85ft above sea level to our highest point at 1200 feet, the last 5 miles of the climb was really hard going due to a serious 15mph+ headwind and gusts up to 30mph crosswinds, sapping our strength and motivation. As we neared Waskerley  picnic are  we missed the turn off due to misreading  the map and carried on climbing for another mile and a half uphill into the horrible head wind until we stopped for a breather, re-read….. oh bugger! Realised our mistake and discovered why everyone going the other way was having such a good time. 25mph without even pedalling!

Waskerley picnic area was soon upon us again and we stopped for a bite of lunch. Then pushing on (tarmac roads now) out of Waskerley and heading for the village of Muggleswick, then on quiet country roads to Edmundbyers where we stopped for a water refill and chocolate break before pushing on up the hill to Carterway Heads. On this route we picked up some fellow cyclists for a while a father and sons out for a ride, I felt sorry for little lad on a Kona Stinky climbing all these hills!

At this point we decided that we’d been going for ages (riding and stopped for about 4.5 hours) and had nearly had enough so we’d take a more direct route back to Consett and thenback along the DVRP. The Descent from Carterway Heads to Shortley Bridge was basically 3 miles of “Pin your ass over the back wheel and hang on fun!” with an average speed of 30mph+ topping out at 36mph! not bad for a MTB.

Once at Shortley Bridge the map said we follow the A691 uphill and we’d interesect the DVRP again. Some hill! we walked for about a mile and and gained about 700 ft!

Needless to say once we found the flat / downhill DVRP once again we were much relieved and getting tired!

From here we retraced our earlier steps enjoying the down hill gradient and the last 7 miles were lovely fun riding and we were much relieved to arrive back at the car load up and head for warm showers.


  • Time Riding: 5:14’36
  • Time Stopped 1:35’18
  • Distance 36 miles
  • Av moving speed 6.5
  • Top Speed 36mph

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

Hamsterley 50K

Well I did it!! nearly….. near as damn it!

Having fuelled up at a BBQ saturday night I was all set…. except for the small matter of the big painful grazes on my knee.

In order to protect said knee I decided and was encouraged to wear my knee pads. Which I duely did and did not fall over all day! didn’t need them at all! bugger!

But they did manage to rub all the hair off my knees and all the scabs off my grazes and a fait amount of infection into my leg that has had me laid up at home for 2 days…. watching 24.

The Ride! It was not technical, it was long and hard and hilly, in fact it felt like I was basically climbing for 4 hours!


  • Time moving: 3 hours 35 mins
  • Time Stopped: 1 hour 10 mins
  • max speed : 57.7 km/h / 35.9 mph
  • moving average : 14.32 km/h / 8.9 mph
  • total distance : 48.11 km / 29.9 miles

Most of the stopped time was for checking directions on my map and taking photos. If you ever get chance to ride round Hamsterley forest you should it is gorgeous, quiet and really quite peaceful.

I didn’t quite do the full 50k due to a navigational error which I don’t feel too bad about, and wasn’t going to be so anal as to ride round in circles for a few km just for the numbers!

I saw a couple of deer although not as close as last time when one jumped on the bonnet of my car!

The riding was mostly on fire roads, wide tracks used by vehicles and the occasional bit of singletrack.

Photo’s of the day are here:LINK

Early Morning Epic

Sunday Morning came and I was up with the sparrows and off out the door for some quality early morning dirt and climbing. I looked out of the window & instead of my garage All i could see was white! Serious fog. “Mmmm this could be interesting”

Bike & gear in the car and we’re off to derwent and the quick lady bower loop.

After some shenanigans on the way there (mainly me getting lost due to being a prat & not paying attention) I arrived and the scene from my car park was this:

Bit foggy still. Anyway off we go via the dam:

The Fog starts to clear abit:

Then we meet the stairway to heaven (or is it hell? not sure) Long bloody climb mostly walking is what it is!


And the view from the top

At the top of the initial climb is a small barn & a shelter that’s been there for a while.


And from the shelter we go up some more!

Looking back the way I came:

Is it rideable? yes but it’s probably just as quick to walk!

Are we there yet?

Nearly there and above the fog now.

Top of the hill (well the walking section anyway a mile of so along and up and then it’s all down hill and the fun begin’s.

& Here is where the bloody camera phone dies…. rubbish!

Anyway the rest of the ride was great and I was done & back in time for church! Ladybower / Derwent is a great place to ride especially so early in a morning!