Sunday, 31 March 2013

It's so cool to catch up with old friends

       A few weeks back whilst out for a ride I thought I'd pop in and see one of my old school chums. I used to ride regularly with Carl, however we kind of lost touch. You know how it happens your busy, they are busy and before you know it you haven't seen them for months.

I was filthy,cold and wet when I turned up at Carl's so didn't spend to long with him, however I did say on leaving "hey if your up for a ride out just get in touch". Well on Thursday I got a pleasant surprise when Carl sent me a txt asking if I was fancying a look out on Friday. I replied back "Sure". So on Friday I headed over to Carl's on my Fatty and we set off agreeing to just ride some local trails.

Really enjoyed our venture out it was great to catch up. I was telling Carl all about my new job and he was letting me know about how his job wasn't going so well and he had been only working 3 days or so per week. Not good and a sign of the times I guess. The good thing about getting out on the bikes is you can put all or most of the crap that's going on in your life behind you for a few hours and just have some fun.

WoW the weather was kind of weird on Friday, there was a freezing cold wind, followed by a snow shower, then more wind and then it broke out sunny, eventually turning real cold on our return back towards home.

I didn't get too many pics, Carl's a bit camera shy lol...

As we where on our way back home Carl asked if I was busy Sunday and if not was I up for another blast out. "Why not" after all nothing planned. 

I hooked up with Carl opposite what we call the "Pines" a small group of trees near South Moor and we set off, riding through South Moor Park and up towards the "Drift", from there along to Chapman's Well coming out on the road to Burnhope. We then headed past Burnhope and took a trail that Carl had seen on one of his maps and wanted to checkout. Really enjoyed the ride down the pretty steep bank, got up quite a bit of speed and could feel the adrenaline kicking in as the trail was sketchy in places.

At the end of this trail we crossed a main road and went up another trail until we came to a farmers field,complete with gate and style. So it was into the field which was thick with clarts, it was then I spotted the Errrr!!!! "is that a Bull" I asked Carl to which he replied "Nor it's got no bits"... Phew!!! The cow approached us but to be honest it was good as gold as all it wanted to do was get a drink from the trough and never bothered us as we went past. Of course me being polite thanked the old dear for being such a good cow. Small tough ride through the muddy field and found ourselves at another main road.

Again across the road and onto another trail which eventually came out at Diggerland and onto the Dearness Valley Cycle route which passes Lanchester and leads up towards Consett and then connects to the C2C.

Stopped near Lanchester to try some of Carl's baking, he had built some biscuits and flapjack...Mmmm very tasty.

The Bartlett Tendon isn't afraid of a bit muck

My legs all clarty
A nice leisurely ride up the Valley and as we went up I asked Carl if he had seen what they have done to the "Gill Bridge" (Hownsgill Viaduct) Now for a little bit of history lol. The Hownsgill Viaduct formerly carried the Stanhope & Tyne Railway 175 feet above the Hownsgill gorge. The viaduct is 700 feet long and follows a 12 arch design constructed in brick. It was designed by Thomas Bouch, a British railway design engineer in the 19th Century.

Anyhoo they have put Anti-Bad Day fencing up  as I call it. The proper term being anti-suicide fencing. Now I know they are trying to stop people from jumping over the bridge, but to me it ruins the appearance of the bridge it looks dreadful a real eye sore. Not only that if people are that set on killing themselves I'm sure they will find somewhere else to leap from, or stick there head in an oven, or 1 of a million other ways to do it.

Actually dropped my camera and caught this shot. Carl eyeing up fencing making sure it's straight I think
 After paying a visit to the Gill Bridge we headed for home. It was getting a little chilly by this point and as we passed some kids they warned us it was slippy further up the route. It sure was too I couldn't believe just how much snow was still left, in places the whole of the path being covered. Carl really struggled with his skinny tyres and stopped a couple of times as he was slip sliding all over. I didn't have that problem and was able to ride pretty much easily over the slushy snow and ice.

Eventually got to Oxhill traffic lights and this is where I said my goodbyes to Carl. I Invited him over tonight to checkout some bike porn and watch a couple of cool movies I have downloaded. One is called Life Cycles and the other  The End Of The Trail.

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