Our cycling trip to Edinburgh

Our Great North ride ended in Edinburgh a full 444 miles from Sally’s back door. places we stayed at and distances travelled are:-

  The whole trip was very enjoyable with reasonably kind weather a bit blowy in Yorkshire where I’m sorry to say the Esk Valley 30% hills, after the first couple, rather defeated us so we detoured onto the main A171 into Guisborough a surprisingly lovely market town with a good choice of eateries, unfortunately, the Gisborough Hall Hotel was very disappointing for Sally’s birthday. Another market town of note was Horncastle and the delightful refurbished Admiral Rodney Hotel.

Our stay on Holy Island was excellent too, so quiet when all the day trippers leave 🙂 another highlight was remeeting John & Charlotte over a lovely home cooked meal in Newcastle ( I first met them when I was biking around Cuba). Standing in front of the Angel of the North was inspiring too.

After a very cross-country ride from Holy Island we bumped into Sally friends  Cheryl & Ash whilst we were watching the live action of Netflix making the Outlaw King film in  Berwick. Amazing to see all the detail to convert the quayside back a few centuries, fortunately, we found the last remaining b&b room in the town, winners of the TripAdvisor awards last year too! The final days ride to Edinburgh saw our first punctures of the trip, one each.

Edinburgh was excellent once the rain stopped and we managed a good walk up Arthurs Seat and a visit to the cornucopia of middle Eastern rugs etc in the aptly named Nomads Tent shop. My nephew’s recommendation of Mothers India Cafe was excellent perhaps the best-organised restaurant I’ve ever been too.

The trains home worked well and I think Sally is now sold on the idea of multi-day biking carrying your own stuff!

Some pictures are here, please note more will be added later.

Up The North We Go

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Poached Blue Eggs on Lifeday 25,577

Todays little ride was to visit the Blue Egg Cafe which is South of Great Bardfield in Essex. Someone at my party recommended it to us last weekend.

cycle.travel created a lovely 60 mile return route. For Sally and I It was a late start – after 11am delayed by a visit to the new Decathlon store followed by a rain shower. Unfortunately by the time we were climbing up to Balsham the heavens opened up with torrential rain making the road into a river 🙁 we sheltered under the eaves of a barn until the worse was over. We arrived in Balsham as the proverbial drowned rats and pretty cold 🙁 fortunately two of our CRC walking buddies were at home and took us in for a cuppa 🙂 sheltering in their conservatory, well away from any soft furnishings,  as the next cloudburst passed over. After this the rain stopped and we decided to continue on the planned route 🙂 through lovely villages and quiet roads except for 3 builder nutters in a pickup truck trying to give us a shave 🙁

The Blue Egg Cafe is superb with fresh home made bread and cakes in very large portions 🙂 A decent cafe stop and a reasonable 30 miles from Cambridge.

The way back was sunny but with a coldish headwind 🙁 The worst bits were crossing and recrossing the A1307 to get into Linton plus a footbridge and rough tracks either side over the A11 butthis was followed by a lovely surprise, a real cycle track towards Sawston!

Todays Strava worked from the Apple Watch perfectly and my new cordless charger for it works too 🙂

A few photos are on Flickr
Blue Egg Ride With Sally

End of Morocco bike trip. Lifeday 25,324

Cambridge to Morocco with a trip to Ibiza

Cambridge to Morocco with a trip to Ibiza

I’m returning home from Rabat today 76 days after leaving Cambridge. Although I’ve returned back to the UK  a couple of times. Once from La Rochelle and once from Zaragoza both times with Ryanair. Total days in the saddle including the time when I was biking around Ibiza with Sally was 39 days and distance covered 2,218 miles (3549km) and ascended 92,287 feet (28,129 metres) or 2,300 feet per day 🙂

It’s been a very pleasurable ride and I really enjoyed Spain, apart from the dreaded section from Malaga to Sabinillas. Which interestingly I met at breakfast this morning a guy from Munich who is cycling from Malaga to Agadir and he agreed 🙂 I don’t envy his rde today in thunderstorms and the dreaded headwind! I wonder if he will hop on a bus again.

All the hotels have been OK with the most expensive at well over £100, of course at to be a  pub in the UK. The cheapest were a couple of places in Spain charging £21 per night. Overall I’ve spent  about £2,500 on accommodation for the 58 nights I’ve slept away so about £44 per night mainly with breakfasts.

The reason for returning earlier than anticipated is that the weather in Morocco is now atrocious, heavy rain & high head winds. So really it’s gone from a very pleasant ride to a bit of an ordeal.

The boxed up bike

The boxed up bike

Ryanair insist the bike is in a box, so the very friendly owner of Hotel Lutece in Rabat took me around to the local courier in the next street who gave me free run of their empty used cardboard boxes. I at to dismantle the bike a lot more than I normally do to get the bike in a box that would fit in Nick’s car back at Stansted.

I’ve blogged every moving day and the text of all the posts is in a pdf here or you can view them all in this link

Kenitra to Rabat. Lifeday 25,320

Which way around the puddle?

Which way around the puddle?

I woke up to the rain and finished my ride in the rain, in between I saw blue sky for perhaps 5 minutes.

Thank goodness today was only a short ride of 24 miles and 559 feet of ascent as it just hammered down. The worse problem was the gigantic puddles everywhere, as my son Nick will tell you, cycling through puddles is very fraught, as you cannot see the potholes! but going around is equally fraught with the oncoming traffic. So not very pleasant. The road was also very busy since the motorway is a toll road everyone seeks to avoid it 🙁

Lovely rain in sunny Morocco

Lovely rain in sunny Morocco

Coming into Rabat over the bridge was equally a problem as cyclists aren’t allowed so I had to navigate over to the footpath on the other side of the bridge.

I was soaked, but was very pleased to arrive at the previously booked Hotel Lutece. The hotel is very pleasant so I’m here until I go home on Saturday.

Yep, I’ve decided to go  home on Saturday via Ryanair, after 2,000 miles of biking. I’m leaving mainly because of the weather as rain is forecast at least for the next week. Cycling on wet, busy roads in Morocco is not the most relaxing. Also the bike is in need of TLC, the saddle bag mount has broken and the gears are not at their best after 6,000 miles of wear plus the rear wheel is slightly buckled.

Free market at work!

Free market at work!

Now the problem is to locate a cardboard box for the bike or do I go to the souk and get a carpet bag made…….

The pictures of the day are here