Author Topic: 3 day tandem ride with my grandson  (Read 227 times)

3 day tandem ride with my grandson
« on: August 29, 2019, 07:15:44 pm »
A short account of a tandem ride with my grandson ( Bertie ), to raise some money for Sunderland royal hospital Neonatal unit who cared for his younger brother ( Bowie ), during the first few weeks of his life after his birth last August .
We decided to ride from his home in Dalston S.W. of Carlisle to the hospital in Sunderland.
We had previously ridden the the Hadrians cycleway from Tynemouth to Silloth a couple of summers ago when he was 7, carrying all our camping gear .
He thought the idea of a B&B and an overnight stay at Nanny and Grandads was more to his liking this time .
I looked at several routes, including NCN 7 which actually links them both, but ruled them out as it was just too much climbing.
STAGE 1
Sunday 24th August
Dalston to Hallbankgate
via Ivegill , Southwaite , Armathwaite and Castle Carrock

A later than anticipated departure at 3pm meant we were riding in a scorcher of an afternoon , by the time we had reached Armathwaite after going under the M6 and across the A6 , we were running out of drink so I was encouraged to stop for a pint ( coke!) at the pub .
A steep climb after crossing the river Eden , found the chain not engaging into the small chainring , so a bit of pushing ensued. ( not for the last time either )
After passing through Castle Carrock and Talkin we came across a road closed ahead sign . knowing that the alternative route entailed a double chevron hill , I took the chance that we could get through the blockage, fortunately being a Sunday no one was working and we easily passed and 15 minutes later we were at my home to be greeted by Nanny and the dogs who get very excited when little people come to stay
A dinner of steak pie , new potatoes and peas, followed by ice cream soon revitalised my stoker . a bit of fifa on the playstation and the first match on match of the day 2 and he was ready to turn in for the night.

RIDE STATS
Distance : 39.33 km
Elev gain : 551m
Actual riding time : 2 hours 30 mins.


"If I hadn't seen such riches I could live with being poor."

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: 3 day tandem ride with my grandson
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 08:51:33 pm »
Perfect!

Re: 3 day tandem ride with my grandson
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 09:13:50 pm »
STAGE 2
Hallbankgate to Hexham
via Haltwhistle , Bardon Mill and Vindolanda fort

I woke to a very misty morning and left Bertie asleep . As I had not planned on leaving too early as Nanny was at work today and I did not want to leave the dogs on their own for too long. Bertie woke shortly before his Nanny had to leave for work , he had a breakfast of toast and strawberries and two cups of tea ( he has inherited his love for tea off his Nanny  :)
We had a game of FIFA which he won as usual and I walked the dogs before packing the bike up.
Although expecting to be in Haltwhistle for lunch . he requested baby bells and haribos to "give him power "
It was noon by the time we set off along the A689 to Lambley ,crossing the South Tyne and pushing up to the old railway line now the South Tyne trail  ( still no inner ring despite some fettling ).
The sun had by now burnt the mist off and another hot day was forecast. we reached Haltwhistle shortly after 2pm , with only one mishap Bertie breaking his bell ( what a shame ) ;)
At Haltwhistle we made use of the facilities and went proper Audax at the COOP meal deals and magnum ice creams and extra water to make up more bottles of squash for the rest of the afternoon.
The next leg was very hot and hilly , we eventually worked out a strategy for attacking the hills we would give it full gas for 10 pedal turns and get off if we thought we couldn't get to the top, he now realises that I can tell if he is really trying or not.
The roads on this stretch were particularly quiet and even the Roman sites didn't appear to have that many visitors, Vindolanda was a steep descent followed by the inevitable push up afterwards . Shortly the going became easier and once along the river it was a very pleasant afternoon to be out .
Reaching Hexham in good time just after 5pm .Bertie spied an ice cream van at the park so we queued behind a couple of Police officers,
 who to Berties amazement didn't have to pay for them ( guess what he thinks might be a good job now )
We had a room at the Station Inn so booked in . took the panniers off and left the tandem inside downstairs.
I was informed that they were expecting a group of 12 cyclists that night .
A cup of tea ,shower ,change of clothes and a text to let Nanny know we had made it safely and we were off back to the park.
There was a cross- fit type course that he had four timed runs at before deciding he was hungry enough to walk into town.
The town centre was quiet at around 8 pm
A 14 " pizza and chips between us defeated us so we took 2 slices back for supper.
The other cyclists had arrived by now and an array of cycles were stacked in the Inn.
The riders told us that we had passed them earlier in the day whilst they were in a pub garden, they had stayed in Brampton the previous night and were going to Tynemouth the following day .
Despite being tired and finishing the pizza off we both struggled to get to sleep as we both live very rurally and are not used to traffic noise .

RIDE STATS

distance 53.54 km
elev gain 514 m
actual riding time 3h 22 min
"If I hadn't seen such riches I could live with being poor."

Re: 3 day tandem ride with my grandson
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 11:22:47 pm »
STAGE 3
Hexham to Sunderland royal hospital.
via Newcastle , Tyne ferry ( TUNNEL ) South Shields.
Breakfast was from 7:30 till 9:00,
So we were 1st down at 7:30
A very friendly member of staff took our orders
OJ ,cereal TEA sausages bacon and eggs for Bertie
OJ ,TEA eggs beans and fried bread for me.
we had all but finished when the first of the group came down so knew we would be away before them expecting them to pass us at some point later in the day ( they never did ).
08.30 we were away on the last leg longest for distance but flattest in  profile.
Pushing the tandem over the bridge at Hexham using the pavement to get on to the route again we mounted up and headed towards Corbridge. A few lorries passed us in a small industrial estate as it was the start of the working week after the bank holiday and it was a relief to be out into the countryside again.
We made good progress on this stretch fortified by our breakfast and the thought of a dip in the sea to come . Soon we were on the outskirts of Newcastle and the landscape had changed , reaching the Quayside we chatted to a man fishing who had caught a flounder, he said for his dogs dinner .
We reached the Cycle Hub café at 11:10 and both had a can of pop and Bertie had a Magnum as you do.
I text my wife to let her know we were on schedule for a 3pm finish as we were going to have lunch at the seaside and let Bertie go in.
My original plan had been to cross the Tyne on the passenger ferry from North Shields . But with the news that the tunnel was at last open I changed ( in hindsight this was a mistake ) although it was good fun riding under the river and lovely and cool ,it made navigation from Jesmond to South Shields difficult as I had never been along this stretch of road before. fortunately there were plenty of cyclist out who helped out and route 14 although not pretty eventually got us to route 1 and then the coast .
At  1:40 I found myself pushing the tandem across a packed beach and photographing Bertie showing of his cyclist sun tan in just his spare football shorts ( forgot to bring trunks )
After drying off and waiting in line for some time we managed to get a sandwich and a large iced Pepsi each and Bertie had an ice cream with sprinkles and sauce .
The sign said 7 miles to Sunderland although I was sure it would be a little further than that to the hospital.
Some further direction enquiries found us just 100yds from our goal .
I phoned my wife who was now waiting outside with my son in law and Berties 2 sisters
We were met by a well done banner and a congratulatory dance from the girls .
after hugs and kisses I put the tandem and bags in our car and we all went for tea at the pub just up the road from the hospital .
Bertie had a double burger and curly fries and an ice cream sundae ( which he did share with Nanny )

On the drive back West we went through a violent rainstorm and the 3 days of Augusts good weather was over
Nanny and I home for 7:30
Bertie and the rest back for 8 ish .

RIDE STATS
Distance 75.39 km
elevation gain 444m
actual riding time 5hrs 15min
"If I hadn't seen such riches I could live with being poor."