As the North Yorks Moors hit the coast high above the sea, the road makes no allowance for poor cyclists like me, loaded down with two air brakes, otherwise known as panniers. Not ordinary panniers but damn great huge ones, the largest on the market. Yes, I've been forced to walk!. On some occasions yesterday, the gradient was far too steep. Lythe Bank, Boulby Bank, Skinningrove all defeated me. I've had to develop a technique for pushing the bike. It's so heavy and awkward that I push it for 50 steps, rest for 15 seconds, then repeat (at infinitum on some long hills).
Nearly lost my sleeping bag! Whizzing down a hill near Peterlee I heard something drop on the road behind me. The bag had somehow escaped its bungee straps. Thank goodness I heard it. On some noisier stretches, on rough ground, I may not have noticed. My pump has also lost an end - one part has disappeared. I'm planning to buy a new one in Sunderland today, hopefully before I need to use it...
The industrial conglomeration around Teesside is not a pretty sight. But as the main road crosses marshland at Greatham Creek (NZ508254) seals could be seen hauling out across the mud. A great sight, nature being restored amongst the oil terminals.
A big problem has been either the lack or absence of signage. Road and cycleway signs are often missing, rotated, or hidden behind bushes. Many unforced stops to check the map, or on a number of occassions, to ask passers-by.
Satnav ran out of power at Middlesbrough (it had been on for most of two days), so had to rely on memory for the last 20 miles or so. Decided to cross the river on the Transporter Bridge,which was an interesting experience (cost 70p).
Now staying above a Thai restuarant in Seaham. Guess what I had to eat last night! An excellent green curry, washed down by two pints of Worthingtons. Downloaded photos using the camera connector which was awaiting my arrival here. Putting photos on Facebook takes time, which I don't seem to have much of. All I want to do when I arrive anywhere is crash out and sleep!
So a tough first week comes to an end. Over 500 miles under my belt. I'll work out the exact mileage when I get a chance.