With Middlesbrough and Newcastle in front of me (and sadly they’re COVID hotspots) I have some thinking, and hard peddling to do on Sunday and Monday. I reckon I’ve got 130-150miles to cover to get onto fresh air again. Tonight I’m staying with another cyclist Martin, just below Middlesbrough, and being local I hope he’ll help me plan my Sunday leg and perhaps join me to pull me up those bloody hills….
As it’s only a short ride today it’s given me some time to explore Whitby. I’m sat in the harbour after another rainy start to the day but the sun is shining now. Children (well actually competitive parents) are happily wasting the morning away crabbing and the small seaside town is alive with dogs and day trippers. For £4 you can take a trip in the Black Pearl, a pirate ship that will take you round the bay with the promise of seeing Seals, Dolphins, Porpoises and even Whales. Not bad for £4. The man to talk to is Barry, I mean BlackBeard.
I’m still intrigued by my YCA accommodation and to find out how such a prominent building has ended up as a youth hostel. The Chomley family lived here between the 16th and 19th century and it and the abbey was bought during the suppression on Henry VIII. Not sure what that means exactly but in short and over the years / centuries it fell into disrepair and English heritage took it on and refurbishment it in 2000. The photo below with the infamous abbey in the background I think is just amazing.
Anyway I packed up, paid by £29 board and lodgings and set off for a short 25mile ride.
Just outside Whitby is Sandsend Beach. Although early into my ride I decided to stop to see if I could find some Whitby Jet. Whitby what? Jet. A semi-precious organic gemstone formed from fossilised trees which grew in the Jurassic period 150million years ago…Zzzzz It’s a black stone that when polished looks quite nice. I found a black stone in a puddle on the beach and banked it.
The road out of Sandsend is not recommended on bike, particularly if you are carrying most of your weight in your back panniers. Evil Kaneval comes to mind. It’s 600ft gain over a mile. Push, Push, Push…
This was the first time of 3 I got off today and Pushed. My legs weren’t working, fatigue. Oh well, it’s not a race, no prizes and I’ve got a fair way to go….
To be honest I can’t really remember the rest of the ride to Saltburn on sea apart from the mile down hill into the bay. I’d never heard of Saltburn but what a nice place and within minutes I was chatting away to a nice chap called Peter.
The beach was hemmed in by daunting giants of black cliff. There’s a Lowery type pier that looked barely able to take any weight of people or the power from the waves that whacked it every day. Surfers were out. Dog walkers too and the ice cream parlour I homed in on that looked great, decided to close 5 minutes early.
I met my host Martin and his pacemaker Anna whilst having a quick fag on the beech, talk about great first impressions! And we headed off up and out of the bay to cross back into the North Yorkshire Moors.
After a quick tour of Martin’s house, a bike check where some urgent repairs were carried out and hearing some stories from Martin (social and sporting) I began to feel very insignificant so i showered. Always a good cure you know.
By the time I got back downstairs Martin had made dinner, taken his dog for a walk, made a fire and put some crisps out for me. It was too much for me. When Martin told me he was planning to cycle round the world next year, I decided to leave and slept in a bus shelter.
I didn’t really.
My host is a great man and we shared a lot of stories, enjoyed good food and I certainly enjoyed the good company… of his dog. A lovely old beagle. Thanks mate 😉 no doubt we’ll see each other again.
Anyway big ride tomorrow. Over and Out.