Sunday, 3 August 2014

Our adventure to take part in the Skyride at Newcastle and Gateshead

During the week I got a message off my friend John, "I've entered us for the Skyride, down at the Toon, it's free and you don't have to go if you don't want to" he said. "Ahh why not I thought, nothing really planned for Saturday and it may take my mind off of worrying about Mr Hink's for a while. For those of you who don't know Mr Hink's hasn't been well for a few weeks and had a blood test on Thursday, so waiting for the results this coming Tuesday. Fingers crossed it comes back negative.

Our other friend Lee was supposed to be joining us on the ride, however during the week he informed us he wasn't able to go as he was having probs with his forks. This was a real shame and we missed Lee on the day. It's been a really strange year riding wise for me when I look back, why? well because I had become so used to riding all alone, then all of a sudden I get these great riding buddies and now when we aren't all together it's just not the same.

As this was a free event and not that far really I decided to ask Kyle if he fancied tagging along, offering him the loan of my Ibis. Kyle wasn't to sure saying "I'll see what the weather is like on Saturday morning". Well Saturday morning arrived and I poked my head around Kyle's door, "you coming or what". "Aye gan on then" he said, even before he looked out of the window. We both got ready and went downstairs to grab the rest of our gear. Just then John arrived. "It's spitting on a bit" he says. I replaced my everyday limb for my Bartlett Tendon,complete with my check socket which Pace have been working on and we all headed out to get the bikes. Just then it started going from spitting down to absolutely lashing down. As we stood in our shed, the rain belting off the roof we all agreed "yep we are pretty mad for wanting to go out in weather like this". That said when a ride is planned what's a little rain huh? Plus we had arranged to meet our new buddy Al down at the Skyride.

Lee, John and myself met Al whilst out on one of our other adventures, he was ever so kind to us as we had gotten lost from one another and he provided us with water and introduced us to his lovely wife Sarah. It' weird how you meet people in life and then how you can go on to become part of their lives and they can share in yours. One of the most enjoyable parts of riding for me is actually meeting friendly people.

So off John, Kyle and myself go, heading up...Come on guess? What you give in? That's right the Farmers Trail. If this weather keeps up I'm going to have to pop my Nate's back on as I was squirming up the trail as it was so slick, Phew! it was hard work, kind of like 1 pedal stroke forward and then 3 stationary lol The ride down into No Place was fun, all downhill. As I got into No Place I had to stop, for some reason my stump was really hurting and it felt knackered. John was a bit concerned and asked did I just want to go home, as I was in a canny bit pain. But I said no, lets carry on and see if it wears off.

By the time we crossed the main new road, or the Chester bypass and got onto the bit single track it was feeling a tad better. The trail was water logged and both Kyle and I blasted down through the large puddles getting filthy and if we could have gotten much wetter we probably did so there. As John finally caught up I said "where you been?" John had taken ages to get down the trail. "I didn't want to get me arse wet" he says. Omg John it's persistently raining your going to get wet lol.

A quick ride along to the Tanfield Railway path and we are scooting along the trail, it's a bit more sheltered by the trees here, however the trail is a bit deceiving as all the undergrowth  is hampering the path. At one point I almost crashed headlong into a bench that was hiding around a corner, hidden by long weeds. Over the Causey Arch Bridge and back onto the Causey road. Before long we are back out at Tanfield Railway and head along that section of trail. This is where John tried to have me killed. As we came to the main road, John rode over to head down the back of Sunnyside. I shouts over to him as he crossed the road, "Clear" to which he said "Aye". I was just about to head over when this geet big mini bus comes around the bend and had to hop off my bike. I'm going to have to watch that mister Chambers, sure he thinks I've left him something in my will.

John still isn't keen on going to fast, because of the splashes, so i go tearing off past him and shoot down the back of Watergate, coming out at the traffic lights, press the button wait a few seconds then I'm over and straight down the bank into Watergate Park.

As I cross the small bridge where the water from the pond/lake flows towards the waterfall I see all the tributes to the young lad who was killed in the Park just the other week. Kind of reminds you  when you're out having fun how precious life is.

I wait for Kyle and John at the end of the Park and we follow the Tanfield Railway signs down, crossing over the foot bridge which goes over the A1. From here it's down through the housing estate and before you know it we are out at Dunston. A little further on and we come out at the Dunston Staithes and from here it's a ride along the riverside, a quick blast over the swing bridge and yay we are on the Quayside and at the Skyride.

John's login doesn't work, you know those dft things you get on your phone with little square type thiny's. That's technology for you huh? We all have to register again. We the  receive a lanyard with our entery details, a free bottle and a loomy Skyride bib, awww great it will cover my filthy jacket as honest I looked like I had been on some commando mission.

After I had a very nice chat with one of the security guards as I admired Froome and Wiggins bikes we met up with my dad and my other friend Ade who had decided to come down to try and catch a few shots.

It was then time to head to the start. Al was no where to be seen, however just as we got to the start John had a call and he told Al where we were and he showed up to join us just before we set off. Everyone started ringing their bells which was a terrific sound, made me feel a boit left out as i don't have a bell, well I'm hard core aren't I lol. Never mind "ding ding" and we are off. Kyle was a way, thinking he was in the Tour De Newcastle, "it's a ride you plonker not a bloody sprint around the Toon". Al and myself soon lost John, this was because John had decided to ride around the whole course one handed as he had his camera in the other hand. When Al and I had completed one lap we saw wor Kyle waiting. We couldn't figure out where the finish line was so went for another lap.

On one section there was the opportunity to do a 200m sprint race against a friend. I could tell wor Kyle wanted to race me. I had about a 10 foot head start as I was trying to keep my balance and track stand, then we were off. Yeah he beat me, but it was real funny to hear him say as we rode along together "bloody hell I'm knackered" as I left him in my wake. Kids these days no endurance lol.

So after completing two laps we all hooked up just over from the Millennium Bridge and the Baltic. We shared a bit of craic then said our goodbye's. I've arranged for Al to come over to my neck of the woods Thursday to head out for a ride, hopefully Lee can join us as John can't as he is at some stupid waste of time Job Centre training.

When we got to Watergate Park, we were supposed to meet Ade and my dad, just to grab some more pics, however they took ages top arrive. In the end my dad came and I phoned Ade saying we were cold and just going to head straight back. Kyle was sore so he decided to get a lift home with his grandad. Again no stamina these young'uns lol. Both John and I gave him a bit stick, fair do's he had done well really as he hasn't been riding regularly. A nice ride home, my bloddy Strava not recording as usual , though John said we did 30.4 miles, so not a bad Saturday at all. The weather was more or less the same as when we left Mordor in the morning...raining and miserable. Sometimes Stanley is like the town that time forgot.

I didn't get any photo's all day, however John gave me permission to use his so here they are...



  1. Great bog and pics. Did Ade manage to get any pics ? LOL at John not wanting to get his arse wet ! xxxx

  2. Yeah Ade got a few images I think. It was tough for him to know where to stand as the course was quite small. I will post them when I get them off him.

    Hopefully get out soon with Ade to get some more biking pics as it's been sometime. checkout here