Cestria CC Sunday Spin, 6 March 2016 (Capheaton)

IMG_0251Sunday 6 March 2016 was a lovely, sunny morning at Chester-le-Street, and the club had three groups ready to depart at 0915. Vin and Ian headed north along the A167, while Peter Sturman’s-led Steady Ride were planning to cycle to South Shields and then take the ferry to North Shields. There were about 12-13 riders opting for the main group and Mal Grey had suggested Capheaton. WE set off into a light northerly wind and reached Throckley without incident. We turned right to Medburn and the glorious lanes that spread north, meeting a couple of other cycling bunches along the way. At Wallridge crossroads we split, with the non-cafe stoppers headingback via Ingoe while the main bunch continued north.

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We got to Capheaton at about 1115 and it was heaving with cyclists! However, after 5 minutes a large bunch departed and we got a table. Capheaton is the village hall and famous for good-value food and drink, particularly their home-made cakes. After refuelling we departed and almost immediately had the advantage of a brisk tailwind. Having partly traced our route back, we then turned west and dropped past Ingoe quarry and onto the road between the Ryals and Maften. After Maften we briefly joined the Military road before turning south again and dropping to Corbridge. This road was quite hazardous, having several large potholes after the winter. At Corbridge we took the usual route via the north bank of the Tyne, but at Bywell the road is closed due to a landslip and we had to take the valley road on the south side via Prudhoe. The pace was brisk on this section and it is quite a bit harder than the Ovingham route. However, we all regrouped and went through Crawcrook together. Traffic was relatively light through Blaydon and we made it back to CLS at about 2.45pm. Average speed was 16mph; we kept a sensible pace going northwards but turned up the gas a bit on the way back. All in all it was a most enjoyable spin and many thanks again to Mal for plotting the route. Peter Scott