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.