Newcastle, Tynemouth to Bardon Mill
- From: Newcastle
- To: BardonMill (via Tynemouth)
- LEJOG miles cycled: 0
- Miles cycled: 64
- Map of the journey
A day in which one cyclist tries to sabotage the other, negotiate the rubbish in Wallsend and we remember to carry some latex.
Today (Thursday 2st March) we were doing day 2 of our Hadrian's Cycleway. As we are going East to West with the weather we set off on the 0908 to Newcastle from where we would cycle to Tynemouth first before the return journey to Bardon Mill. We had done most of this route before so were using different banks of the Tyne today for some variety of scenery. We also had the pleasure of a pre-arranged meet up with our first online and very generous sponsor Gary Nicol with whom Steve used to work before 'retirement'.
If you have not done this before the ride from Newcastle central station to Tynemouth on the north bank of the Tyne is a spectacular journey through history - industrial and domestic, of new and old housing side by side, of industrial regeneration and of decay in parts. The only thing that mars this part of the ride is the incredible amounts and variety of litter in the Wallsend area, of whch the image to the left is a small example. Either the Council are not doing their job or the locals are dumping continuously. It is a nightmare few miles of dog turds, discarded plastic and takeaways, glass all across the path in large quantities, discarded matresses and a dumped toilet and cistern! We thought the litter was actually different to the lot we saw last time so perhaps the Council have cleaned up in between and the locals just keep on using it indiscriminately or does the pile just keep growing? Either way it is unpleasant and reflects poorly on an otherwise great community.
The wind picked up in force and dropped in temperature as we approached Tynemouth to meet Gary. Gary is one the the nicest and kindest people I have had the pleasure of working with and nothing had changed since I last met him a few years ago. Despite this being my invitation by way of thanks for his generous donation, he insisted on paying for tea/coffee and cakes for the three of us and couldn't take no for an answer.
Gary is part of a 2 man business (doing well) providing GPS tracking services for vehicles and lately also working with the NHS to help track straying Alzheimer's patients. You will hear more of this in the coming weeks as Gary has kindly volunteered to provide tracking services for our ride - which means you will all be able to see on a map exactly where we are minute by minute and just how long we stopped at those lovely country pubs. A very kind offer received with thanks.
Sadly we had to tear ourselves away from good company and chat to get on with the ride - wind behind us now though. Next stop the coffee shop in Wylam, a frequent haunt. We crossed the Millenium Bridge - the sight of all the bridges in Newcastle which never fails to inspire me - to use the south bank to Wylam Bridge which would be new to us.
(Aside: I have go to this point in the article 3 times now, finished it once, and Microsoft Windows has crashed causing me to nearly throw the PC out of the window. 4th time lucky?)
A few weeks ago Robert had an encounter with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier which caused a dismount whilst clipped in to the pedals and resulting in some minor injuries plus a broken helmet requiring replacement at £70. We did not need the dog this week. In the vicinity of Derwenthaugh the signage for the path became elusive and we had slowed to a crawl. Seeing a blue sign out of the corner of his eye Steve made a sharp right turn. Unbeknown to Steve (no excuse) Robert was in his blind spot a yeard behind. Robert made a sharp left turn to avoid Steve and fell to ground still clipped in to the pedals. No anount of apology can undo this and how Robert refrained from use of expletives I do not know but understandably he was a little angry. Luckily only minor injuries and no breakages, but the next 15 minutes were quite subdues and I suspect we were both wondering how we would get on in the Summer now.
Back on path towards Blaydon where we came across a Sustrans volunteer clearing the paths of litter, weeds and brambles (in stark contrast to Wallsend) and doing a fantastic job which is much appreciated.
A little further along by Blaydon station there is a wonderful sculpture in Steel of the Blaydon Races which is worth a visit. Sadly nearby a diversion of the path is required due to the building of a new housing estate adding a little to the journey but all way from the riverside.
The journey to Wylam was uneventful and we stopped at a much frequented coffee shop for tea/coffee and cake. Since Christmas, getting fitter, I have found myself eating less cake but today I felt ravenous so had two pieces - warm banana cake with chocolate and lemon drizzle. Yummee!
Then heads down to Corbridge, Hexham, Haydon Bridge and home. The journey had stated in Newcastle with some snow flurries and ended likewise, temperatures dropping.
Keep a look out for the next entry, some updates to the website functionality and the ability to track us live. See you soon.