After a great nights sleep I was up early relishing a day on the flat. The plan was to head to Middlesbrough and then right out on the east coast through Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, Blackhall Rocks to just past Peterlee (circa 45miles)
My new touring mentor, Martin accompanied me to the Middlesbrough crossing. Martin thanks again for your company, grounded nature (an example to anyone) and generosity. I’m looking forward to hearing from Anna (f) as she follows my blog 😉
So the Middlesbrough bridge was…industrial. Middlesbrough was…industrial, I saw no Ferraris, Pinarello’s or Harleys out. I suspect covid was keeping those millionaire football players tucked up in their palaces whereas there were so many families out appreciating the free life and a Sunday walk. Wonderful to see.
Coming into Hartlepool on the coast was surreal. Abandoned industry on my right and thriving wildlife on my right. In the 60’s and 70’s there were no seals in this area due to the chemicals. But in the 80’s industry and tighter regulations actually helped the seals rejuvenate. The land was protected by the industry from excess development and with help from wildlife conservation Seals (as you can see through the round window, seals are thriving today.
Then a sight I’ll never forget. An oil rig on land. It was the Brent alpha weighing 17000 tonnes (total weight was 32000 tonnes) and installed in 1976 before being dragged back to land in 2020 by a tug boat called the pioneering spirit. This tug is 382m long and 124m wide. Anyway, I’m going off on one again aren’t I.
I had to ask the man at the gate didn’t I…
“I’m cycling round the UK to raise awareness for mental health issues, any chance I could just pop in and touch the oil rig”. The guard just stared at me in disbelief, “sorry lad” fair enough i thought but tried a different tact. “That mountain of scrap near the road, is that from the Oil rig?”. He laughed and told be to bugger off. I was out of the gate over the wooden fence and touched a bit of oil rig. That will do i though.
Right where am I… anyone still with me?
I met fletcher a very happy Staffordshire Bull Terrier who bounded into the sea to bark at the waves while passing though the lovely seaside town of Seaton Carew. What is it with dogs and waves? I didn’t see a dog that wasn’t ecstatic with their tails wagging furiously in the North Sea Gale. Even their owners looked happy.
I couldn’t resist the smell of wood fired pizza for lunch. http://www.napoliwoodfiredpizza.co.uk and the kind team who didn’t disappoint with a very tasty pizza and a donation to my cause. If you are nearby or post covid having a party I really recommend calling these guys. Thank you guys. Right fast forward…up the coast to my campsite for tonight just outside of the old mining village of Easington. Lovely to meet George who’s at Durham University and locals John and Denise who told me about the old pit. God how our lives are changing and it’s too quick with too much carnage left behind…. I slowly walked to my campsite, fed myself a ginormous amount of rice, tomatoes and tuna. Fixed my flip flop whilst talking to some friends and my parents.
A week done ✅ since I started my journey to get fit, get well and raise awareness for mental health issues.
This week I have cycled 288miles that’s double the total number of miles I’d cycled this year…I have spent 26 hours in the saddleMy gain is 9777ft and I’ve passed through 5 counties
Next week I’m heading up to Berwick or Edinburgh past the coastal castles of the east, before crossing across to the west coast.
Thanks for all your support. But more importantly I hope the changes I’m making to my life, influence you that anything is possible if we just try, one day at a time.Our country is beautiful and apart from the chap that spat at me is so clearly full of beautiful people. Yes we all have out struggles (and I mean all of us) but we have the ability to change things. We are in control and we are ALL loved.
Go for it, why not….