Friday, 11 April 2014

OMG! I think I've broke my bot...

    John had asked me earlier in the week did I fancy a look out and did I know of anywhere to ride that maybe interesting. I told him yeah I wouldn't mind having a ride out, however I was really running out of places to go locally that quirked my curiosity. Although I get out and about it's generally only a radius of around between 20 to 30 miles away from home, so in the years I've been cycling I've just about gone everywhere I can think of as interesting.

Anyhoo I had a think about it and suggested we maybe ride to Newcastle and we could always have a look around Leazes Park which is opposite where I work. John was up for this as he's a Newcastle United fan and St Jame's Park is right beside the Park.
Leazes Park, band stand, looking onto back of St Jame's Park
So after finishing work on Thursday I sent John a message, telling him to come down to mine and we could head off from there. I got in, had a quick change into my bikey gear and as I was doing so John turned up right on time. I decided to take my Sandman, my dad had changed my tyres from the Surly Nates, which I have been using over the winter to the Larry's and wor Kyle had been a star and washed both my Fat Bike and Ibis...good stuff I mean that's why you have kids right?

During  the week John and I had been out for a ride. A local loop that took in Tanfield Railway and I had used my Ibis Mojo, which is just a standard 26'er and running 2.10 width tyres, "bloody hell" I thought "hey I'm not as unfit as I thought I was". Just goes to show when you use a Fatty on almost every ride, running Nate's just what a difference it is to then go back on a regular mountain bike. Dear me I was all over the shop at first  on my Ibis and almost decided to come back home, fit some stabilisers then have another bash at riding my anorexic bike. Oh and another difficult issue. I don't have a dropper seat post on this bike and it makes for some pretty hairy moments when I have to start or stop. If I try to get on my bike and just tip over a certain point, and then go over onto my dodgy side, well it all goes tits up as I can't stop myself from falling. It's quite funny to see me I suppose as I get on one side then proceed to fall off the other.

Off we go, down to the bottom of my street and turn left along towards the farmers trail. I love going this way for a number of reasons. One because I know I can wind John up as he hates the climb as we first set off, oh and as well as when it's thick with clarts and he has just washed his bike. And B it's a canny little warm up to start with. The trail is a good gradient, it's pretty quiet and you can kind of judge your fitness by how quick you can get up it if your riding it regularly.

As we head up the trail at a steady pace (for us) there is a call from behind and we both turn to see our new buddy Lee who is on his bike and heading to work. We went for a ride with Lee the other week and haven't seen him since as he works shifts. Lee asks where we are heading and we explain our general route. "Oh I'm going more or less that way" he says, so we decide to follow him on one of his daily routes into Newcastle.

So off we go, Lee at warp factor 9, John at an intermediate pace and me well I'm bringing up the rear along with Brian the snail. I'm pleased we met Lee as he actually showed both John and I a new route into Newcastle.

Lee asked both John and I did we fancy heading out on some future rides when he is off and has a bit of time and we are both up for this, maybe even looking at doing some bike packing, which I have fancied having a go at for sometime.

We say "bye" to Lee, just before the Swing bridge at Newcastle and he heads off to work. John and I then go along by the Sage and the Baltic, crossing the Millennium Bridge and have a little wander around the Quayside. I was hoping to get a shot of the Tyne bridge and the building with a domed type window which I think is an apartment. It was featured in a tv show yonks ago with Jimmy Nail in it, a show called Spender. Anyhoo I  couldn't find a good camera angle so we just go up through the Toon towards Leazes Park.

Once in Leazes Park we have a little scout about and eventually find ourselves up at the band Stand in the park. John heads off in one direction and me another to get some shots with our camera's. When we finally meet up again John is fuming! "diven't gan owa there n kneel on the grass like" he says. I look down and there is a brown stain on the knee of his shorts "ewwwwww"... To which John says words to the effect off "fecking dog shite all owa". He then plods off in search of something to clean his pants as I call after him saying "your riding behind me on the way back mind". John looks back in a serious kind of manner as he keeps repeating "it doesn't stink man, ahh fecking hell".

Leazes Park, both the eagles beaks are missing
A Statue in Leazes Park
Another Statue in the Park


We leave Leazes Park and the doggy doo doo and head down beside St Jame's Park. I'm not exactly sure of the route I want to take us home. I know we need to get to Swallwell Rugby Club, so I get my phone out and have a go at using Google maps. Omg that bloody app is so frustrating...eventually I get it to find where we want to go and we set off once again finding route 72 and following it along Scotswood Road. Now at this point for some reason I'm starting to get saddle sore, not to mention my good left knee is killing me. I had decided to put on a pair of cycling shoes I don't usually wear and I think the cleat maybe in the wrong position (that's the only thing I can think of). I think we are something like roughly 20 miles from home I would say. John  mentions his butt is feeling a tad tender too. 

We could have stopped at Swallwell and my dad would have come and picked us up no probs, however we both decide we are going to plod on and get home under our own steam. And so we ride along the cycle route following the signs for Rowlands Gill and Consett.  I think John is totally lost so just keep telling him "not far now" or my usual "have you been along here". Some way along the trail and OMG I stand up to relieve my ass and I get a huge pain in my knee. "Jeez that hurt" a little futher on and we stop for a photo opportunity. This goes on from being a photo opportunity to John being creased up. I'm talking away and he releases a cheeky little fart and then just can't stop laughing...who'd of though a little fart could create such joy huh? 

No John it's not big and it's not clever lol
A random farming scene
Sandman having a rest
Cheeky Chappie

  We are both really hurting now and smelling, well John is, he's farting and has dog shit on his pants lol. The trail we are on appears to go on and on and on in a never ending straight'ish line. To try and take our minds off the pain I get out my small digital camera and we try riding along taking pictures of one another, this is fun if a little dangerous lol. I'm quite pleased with the shots, yeah they aren't brilliant, however they capture that memory and I know I will be able to look back and remember that exact time in my life.

I haven't a clue why I'm smiling as I had a broken bot
John in serious Mode
John in Happy Mode
John riding on my shoulder
Bopping a bit of a wheelie
Almost at Blackhill and Consett..."not far now John" I say. As we climb up towards Berry Edge. From there it's past McDonald's  and we are almost back onto the C2C and well on our way home.

Isn't it weird how you have a sudden burst of energy when you know your nearing home and you also know there aren't too many more hills to climb.

And so we arrive back at home I say "bye"  to John and head down Durham Road. Tonight it's a quick shower and straight to bed, loaded up on medication.

My alarm goes off for work and I awake thinking hold on I've just gone to bed, what day is it, am I at work. Boy just goes to show what a canny tiring ride can do. Well worth it though. Knee's still a bit sore, but I'll nurse it better before my big adventure on Sunday with another friend of mine Mick. We are off hiking and hopefully I'll get some nice scenic shots of my adventures with him to share right here on my blog.

Could still manage a smile for the camera :)


  1. Hilarious ! (apart from the painful bits) hope you recover for your weekend adventure.

  2. Hey Michelle pleased you enjoyed it. Yeah I'm fine thanks just a bit sore. Had a spot of ultrasound on my knee today and took some meds feels a lot better...