Saturday, 17 May 2014

A ride to St Mary's, only a few Scumbags along the way,Lighting issues on the way back

I almost didn't even write this blog, not because it wasn't interesting, well at least to those of you who enjoy my stories, No more because for the first time in what seems like centuries I am just way too busy.

I haven't eaten in 2 days, stress is not good and I need to find ways of controlling my OCD'ish tendencies. It's now 3:11am and I can't go to bed until I've completed my blog, edited my photo's and presented you with what's going on. Ok concentrate Glenn...

St Mary's Lighthouse

 Ok so on the one hand I'm trying to do my NVQ through work (something I'm stressed to hell with, as I'm just not very academic, add this to the fact that Microsoft Word keeps deleting stuff or not saving what has taken me ages to find, read and then write) I have been on since picking wor Kyle up after I finished work and got in around 1:30pm'ish until about 10 minutes ago, so say 12:40 am. Well at least that's one module done, just need it marking and as I'm not feeling particularly confident will wait for it to no doubt come back as not being fit for purpose. Hey I'm trying my best lol.

Huge thanks to Kyle for trying to sort out Word for me as I thought I had deleted a vast majority of my work...Phewww!!!

Oh yeah and then there is the other stuff, trying to get in shape for my upcoming duathlon at Hawridge on the 10th of June and my first ever triathlon at Dorney Lake on the 23rd of August. On behalf of Arctic One, my charity of choice. Why? well because it's a joint partnership. I want a running blade and Arctic One are going to try and help me achieve that goal, whilst in return I do everything I possibly can to plug their charity,fund raise and create as much disability awareness as possible. Not only that but I really like the founding members of the charity, Matt and Bex and their passion and commitment. They have both like so many other people in my life been very supportive and this is what essentially keeps me going.

You can find my Virgin Money Giving page here if your feeling generous and would like to donate towards helping me get a running limb.

Glenn's Giving Page, thanks for your support

All this exercise has meant I've lost quite a bit of weight. This has led to socket issues, both in my everyday NHS prosthesis and my Pace riding/cycling socket. So at the moment it doesn't matter which one I wear I'm getting skinned quite a bit. WoW so far this blog sounds like all doom and gloom on my part, however it's my blog and I will CRY! if I want too so there.

Actually it's not meant to sound like I'm whining. I just have a lot of things on the go all of which are great opportunities to grow and experience new things. I always count my blessings and realise just how lucky I am especially after dealing with people who are so sick.

So any-ways about this ride out huh! Well it was both John and mines furthest ride out to date. Covering roughly 48.1 miles I think Strava said. I'm a bit tired tonight and need to chillax so I'm going to keep this blog relatively short and just tell you we all rode from Lee's house up the Farmers Trail (Come on you have to know where that is by now!) and from there once down past No Place we crossed through into Shield Row, onto Tanfield Railway (No cocks to be found) and from there the usual route of Sunnyside,Watergate Park, Dunston, out at the Staithes and along the riverside on the Gateshead side. We stopped near the Staithes and I cracked open my treat for the day a couple of scones, which were well buttered and smothered in raspberry jam...Lush. I shared one around with the boys and we headed off again.

Dunston Staithes
The Staithes at Dunston
Closed gates at the Staithes
Johnny Boy and Lee "I hate scumbags"
Lee rode down to where we had done some geocaching, down by the Baltic, to see if our dvd had gone. Apparently it had been taken the same day or next I can't remember. I do remember Lee saying something about it looked like "Scumbags" had taken it as they has left a rather bizarre and offensive message in the log book. The word Scumbag is now part of our regular vocabulary, oh that and Cock, hey if it's good enough for James May.

Once over the Millennium bridge we just followed the Hadrian's way route 72. It was canny riding this way as both John and I hadn't ben this way before, so new territory. Lee showed us the bike cafe, called The Hub, or Cycle Hub. I will have to go back and investigate. Following the Hadrian's way route was pretty straight forward, though saying that there were a few occasions John and I did lose Lee, well actually the other way around Lee effortlessly just rode off into the distance and left us lol.

John is getting a lot fitter which is good to see, me well I'm just as slow as ever, concentrating more on just getting there at all,rather than how quick I can get there. I always feel guilty as I hold everyone up.

After a while we came out at North Shields, time to share and scoff my remaining scone,oh and 2 bananas. Time was getting on and we had a little debate about whether we should just go to the Priory grab some shots, or continue on the extra 5 or so miles to St Mary's Lighthouse. Lee was a bit concerned about the time and how dark it would be on the way back as he hadn't expected to be out for quite as long so had no lights. Me i had a couple of blinkers on my pack and John had the PDW rear light I had given him and a small front (which actually ran out of life). I knew John really wanted to grab some photo's of St Mary's so pretty much left it up to both him and Lee to decide what we were going to do. I was quite happy going with the flow, even though I knew the ride home was going to be hard and very painful as I was already ore and skinned.

Sandman up near the Priory
Sandman in colour
Looking over at the ruins
 After reaching the Priory and grabbing some shots, we made the joint decision to push on along to St Mary's. it was a cold, however pleasant ride, which for me seemed to take forever.

Once near St Mary's we rode along this trail and decided we would take some more pics. This is when Lee fell off in the long grass and both John and  had a jolly good laugh, more so me, it's canny funny to see someone other than me fall over. We al rode down towards the Lighthouse, me deciding to take the steps and then head on to the beach for a bit play around on my bike, riding over rocks and generally just acting like a big kid. John and Lee went straight for the Lighthouse and I joined them after a short while.

Lee having a go at upside down cycling and getting no where
Lee looking for a good bivi spot by the looks of it lol
John, St Mary's Lighthouse in the Background
Lee and John
 We all walked, well I limped to the back of the lighthouse, as this couple had told me there were some seals on the rocks. I was on taking some photo's when John and Lee spotted one of them. I came around and said rather loudly "It's deed innit" (yes I know common as muck) and just as I said this the seal turned to look our way giving us either a curious look or a one saying "Feck you pal I'm not deed at all". Well this got us all laughing, especially when I said it again and got the same response and then again and again, each time this seal looking over. I didn't realise until later when exploring that actually you were supposed to keep quite so must apologise to the poor seal community, as I was quite loud.

A few more fun pics and we were off, now travelling back home to catch the ferry and planning to ride back via South Shields.

"It's Deed Innit"
"Feck Off"

Arctic One Beanies
A bit of man  Love

Our best Catalogue Poses
Once back at North Shields imagine our surprise when we realised that the ferry only runs half day on a Wednesday. Aww crap! Oh well we can always get the bus that has been put on as the pedestrian tunnel is closed for maintenance work.. A very nice gentleman who lived by the ferry terminal gave us directions and we headed off looking for this bus stop.

Yay! we get to where the bus is supposed to pick us up, then Boo! as this guy in his little hut tells us we have missed the last bus. Ahh well looks like we will have to ride back the way we came.

On the way back as we were coming through this particularly rough looking area (I won't say where, mainly because I haven't got a clue, but also because I don't want to offend the inhabitants) anyhoo as we passed these youths, this one lad who was dressed in what I can only describe as typical Charva Fashion decided to wait until I got past then shout some undecipherable comment or it may even have been his attempt to scare me... I looked back and thought "Yeah what a scumbag", of course this also came out verbally.

By now it was getting very dark, John's front light had failed, Lee had none at all and me well my ickle blinkers were blinking. As we approached the Quayside both John and I took some more pics and when we got over the Millennium Bridge we had a little discussion about how dark it would be on the routes home. It was at this point we came to the conclusion it may be a bit dodgy riding home in the pitch black.

Time to call for back up and THE Ern. My dad is a real star and without complaint always comes to pick either me or my friends up. So in ending, just like to say a huge thank you to my dad. Love you pops x


  1. Hi mate,class blog as always,and awsome photo's your getting better.try not to over do it mate dont want me main man bad lol,see you soon SCUMBAG lol.....,

  2. Great blog and photos are superb. You really are like 10 year olds playing out too late way past your bedtime - but Lee tells me it creates a fantastic feeling of child like excitement and adventure and takes away all your worries and gives Lee loads of memories to laugh at whilst describing it all to me. Xxxx

  3. Aww cheers guys, your support and friendship means the world to me. Yeah I suppose when I'm out with my friends I kind of forget I'm 46 and act like a big kid...Hold on a bit I do that even when I'm by myself x