Started off as a foggy morning in Northumberland, and I needed lights on as I headed towards Newcastle. Ended up nice 'n' sunny, though. As Loafer said, nice ride heading east along south bank of Tyne, to cyclist/pedestrian tunnel. As Loafer's pic shows (see below) it was used by 20,000 people a day at one time... blimey... Headed beack west along north bank of Tyne to start point at Millennium Bridge (the blinking eye one). Good to meet Graham56 (again) and The Loafer... cheers fellas!
1st Pic: Graham 56 and the Loafer
2nd Pic: Fnaar and Graham 56
3rd Pic: the tunnel
 I found one of the photos!!!!Onwards to Scotchland
The jersey had languished in my wardrobe for long enough, and so the day came for it to continue on its journey north. It was warm enough for me to wear my short-sleeved Cycle Chat jersey as I headed out from home, passing through some of Northumberland’s finest scenery, and through or past places with such wonderful names as Dyke Neuk, Netherwitton, Nunnykirk, Snitter, Lorbottle, Callaly, Weetwood and Doddington. One wrong turn added half an hour to my journey, but I was soon back on track, and the “rolling” scenery provided enough entertainment and hilly challenge.
Just out of Doddington, now heading north-west towards the border and Coldstream itself, a call from behind alerted me to Graham56, who’d been at work that morning, got a lift some of the way, then caught me up; and so we headed on, through Fenton and Milfield. Milfield is eight miles from Coldstream, and there’s a bit of a climb before you roll down towards the Tweed. We stopped to put on waterproof tops, and it was at this point that the gathering dark clouds threw their worst at us; I can only describe that last section as bloody hard work, with sideways wind and sideways rain. We arrived at Coldstream freezing cold and very wet, and headed for a caff to warm up. The caff was hosting a kids’ birthday party (either that, or it doubled as a nursery) and the much-needed tea was a while coming!
I checked into my hotel (more on this later) and put on something warmer. A quick phone call to Hairy Jock later, and we met (also Mrs HJ and Scoosh) by the bridge over the Tweed; HJ arrived in kilt, which was a nice touch (if you see what I mean!)
After the handover and photo-opportunity on the bridge, we said goodbye to Graham (who was heading off home) and I arranged to meet the others later for dinner. My hotel was a typically British vaguely grubby place, with a lingering smell of feet, and ominously, a board outside proclaimed that evening’s “disco party” in the public bar… at dinner, the others told me of their idyllic B&B, with shoes drying by the Aga, bowls of sweets lying around, rose petals drifting through the air, piped easy-listening music and tame baby rabbits to sleep in your slippers and keep them warm (I may have jazzed up the details here, but it sounded a lot nicer than my place )
Dinner was good (Scrumpy Pork, Moroccan Chicken, you know, typical Scottish fare), and it was good to meet/have a chat with people who had hitherto been just names on a forum.
Back to the hotel… disco party in full-swing below, till about 1am, so not the best night’s kip. It was sort of countered by possibly the biggest fry-up breakfast I’ve ever had. I have a feeling I was the only guest… Journey home was good, weather was actually sunny and warmish most of the way (two brief rain showers) and I took it easy, as I was a bit knackered.
Mrs HJ was official photographer for the event, so HJ will no doubt provide some pics, but I can offer you this fibreglass cow at Doddington, and this humpty-back bridge at Weetwood.
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