Days 13-17: Hedges, windmills, and falling in love with the moors all over again…

It’s been a few days since our last post, so I’ll try to catch you up  a bit.

Day 13 & 14: Holbeach to Lincoln and a Day Off

The ride to Lincoln was easy because we were able to follow a rail trail along a canal. This saves time lost to navigation, but also becomes monotonous, especially when fighting a steady headwind. But we got there in the end. The countryside had changed from rolling hills to “Dutch flat”. About 20 km from Lincoln we could see the hill that houses Lincoln and its cathedral on top. A beautiful but daunting sight. Eventually we reach the city of Lincoln. Once downtown we walked the pedestrian High street and found our way to a nice hotel/B&B we’d booked. The route seemed long, but it turned out there was shortcut if you walked, so it was conveniently located. Downtown was an easy walk, albeit down a street called “Steep Hill”, which, as our landlady put it: “does what it says on the tin”. We had a nice day off in Lincoln, visited the (amazing) cathedral and castle and explored down town.

Day 15: Hull

Not much to report. More flat country riding. We did not find Hull attractive and our accommodation was ok, but nothing to write home about, so I won’t. It started to rain and we went for dinner in a mall. Fortunately not at a food court; they actually had proper resturants, but nevertheless. Hull is very bike friendly though, with many bike routes through the city, probably due to the fact that it’s so flat.

Day 16: Scarborough

A wonderful day of riding with great weather, a slight tail wind and a nice entrance in to Scarborough. We did’t know anything about Scarborough. Roy and I, both having lived in Toronto, don’t immediately associated the name Scarborough with positive images. However, Scarborough turned out be be a nice seaside town. We entered along a waterfront road, lined with lovely town homes, and eventually reached a more commercial, tacky, tourist type waterfront stretch, close to our hotel. It had been a sunny day and I believe it’s May break for school kids, so the arcades were packed. It was an absolute zoo! But fun.

Day 17: Middlesbrough 

Today was our hardest day yet. About 90 km, but difficult terrain and bad weather.  We followed another rail trail out of Scarborough, which was supposed to take us to Robin Hood’s Bay. It did, but the trail was bad and not suited for touring, more trail/mountain biking. After a few kilometers of bone jarring track, we decided to take the road instead, but quickly faced heavy traffic and steep inclines, which we had to walk up. So a few kilometers later we decided to get back to the rail trail. In the meantime, a steady rain had been falling as well. The rail track had improved a bit and around noon we rolled  into Robin Hood’s Bay, having done only 26 km in close to 3 hours. By this time the sun had come out and the coast line and Robin Hood’s Bay looked stunning. We stooped for lunch and enjoyed being back in this town where we had ended our Coast-to-Coast walk a few years ago. Warmed up, dried out, fed and full of optimism we tackled the next stretch, which turned out to be more of the same: tough track, bad signage, and rain. We feared we’d never get to our destination. By mid-afternoon things started to look up. By that time we reached the highway, inclines weren’t too bad, and we could start making time. We reached the hotel just before 6 p.m. Very tired. Fortunately our room came with an amazing shower that turned us into humans again.

So what’s with the title of this post? A few things we’ve learned:

  • The famous hedges that line many of the English roads and spoil the view for motorist, are a cyclist best friend: they block the wind. Without them some stretches would have been much harder.
  • Modern windmills may be a happy sight to many because of the green power they represent; as a cyclist I don’t like them because they inevitably mean: WIND, and lots of it (and usually from the wrong direction).

Finally, as hard, exhausting and challenging as today was, the Yorkshire moors are still as magical as they were a three years ago a when we were here. They have quiet beauty about them–not unlike the Canadian prairies do–are stunning and made the whole trip worthwhile.

Some photos:

16 thoughts on “Days 13-17: Hedges, windmills, and falling in love with the moors all over again…”

  1. Ook ik doe het in mijn moers taal!! Dit is heel herkenbaar voor mij waar jullie nu zijn. Gaan jullie ook door Goatland? Ik heb ooit met Melle op een narrow boot een tocht van 10 dagen gedaan. Wat een mooie foto’s!
    Ik ben ook door het lake district geweest tot aan de grens met Schotland. Fantastisch. Ik kan mij voorstellen dat jullie genieten and by the way ik ben jaloers op jullie. Nog veel plezier en misschien tot ziens in Holland?

    • Prima hoor, in het Nederlands. Je bent niet de enige en het is leuk om van je te horen. Ja, het landschap is schitterend. Leuk van die boottoacht–we hebben hier ook af en toe van die boten gezien. Houden je opde hoogte van onze plannen. Na afloop zijn we nog een paar weken in Nederland, dus hopelijk kunnen we weer een keertje afspreken. Fijne zomer in ieder geval.

  2. You two must be in fabulous shape after all those hills and headwinds. I’m envious of your hard bodies 🙂 Love the photos as always, especially the people shots, and especially the “New Look” of the debonair silver-haired man in black. Great shot. And the inside of the cathedral is stunning. How ’bout more shots of the two of you?!

    Love to you both as I cheer you on.


    • Working on more ‘people shots’. We’ll try. Getting strong and after two days of no cycling but lots of walking, I think my legs have recovered. I’ll find out tomorrow!

  3. wind has been our enemy all our lives in almost all our sports! have been quite behind with my reading, but am caught up now and thinking of you!! Enjoy!!

    • Yes, very true Wendy. But being out in the elements, cycling, flying, skiing, whatever, always feels good :-).

  4. 1000km mark ! Good progress. That springtime wind sounds must be quite annoying , hopefully June will be better . Nice to see the photos, Liz saw a lot of that area as a child when she lived in Wakefield and her Aunt was the Mayoress of Hull. The “New Look” photo is clever , an opportunity not missed!

    • Thanks Mike. Yes, it’s pretty countryside. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Up towards the next 1000km!

  5. Ik schrijf even in ons moers taal hoor, dat gaat wat makkelijker. Wat leuk weer van jullie te horen. We kijken iedere dag of er mail is binnen gekomen van jullie Wat een mooie en grappige foto’s hebben jullie al geschoten. Het landschap is echt prachtig. En de eerste duizend km gedaan nu.. Petje af hoor! Knuffels van ons

    • Mag gerust in het Nederlands hoor :-). Altijd leuk om van jullie te horen. Alles goed? WIj zitten inmiddels in Schotland–er begint ‘schot’ in te komen zo gezegd!

  6. Wonderful to hear from you, Inge. As someone who lived in Scarborough, the Ontario version, I smiled at your comment. Had no idea there was actually a Robin Hood’s Bay. I’ve always identified him with forests, not water. Your trip continues to sound marvelous

    • Yup, there’s a real Robin Hood’s Bay–a quaint little village on the North Sea route. It is also the end point of the Coast-to-Coast hike, which we did a few years ago. It was great to be back there.

  7. Happy to get this update. I’m following your progress on my UK map and am loving the pix.

    • We’ll keep them coming! The other day when watching the weather forecst on TV, which showed a map of the UK, I was quite happy to look at the distance have travelled so far!

    • Thanks Katie. Everything is pretty much green, fiels and trees here, so we try not to be too repetative.

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