We are writing this from a lovely restaurant in Tynmouth (Barca Art Bar and restaurant). We completed our C2C journey in the middle of the afternoon, dragging our bicycles across the soft sand of Long Sands for the traditional wheel dipping in the North Sea. We even had some fun dodging the waves!
We were cheered at our start by the people at the Crown and Crossed Swords, who knew lots about our route, and also told us the story of the pub name (the 17th century owner won a crown in a sword-making contest). After loading up our bikes we started the climb out of Shotley Bridge, almost our only climb of the day. We quickly joined the Derwent Way, another repurposed railway line, which carried us almost ten miles, straight and level. It was shaded, dappled and we regularly stopped to take pictures. We crossed several viaducts, offering spectacular panoramas. However, the quieter passages through the trees as we moved towards Newcastle and Gateshead were a constant pleasure and source of jealousy as we realised how many miles of cycling you could have if you lived around here.
We hit Newcastle and had a great ride along the Tyne with its most amazing series of bridges.
The route from Newcastle to the coast was much more urban than anything we’d done before. Great views in places though, mixed in with slightly surreal rides down terraced roads with people going about their daily lives.
As we got to North Shields, we lost the cycle route, but we were on familiar ground and cycled through to Tynemouth and on to Long Sands. We felt pretty satisfied and proud at our completion.
We have another day in Tynemouth before we head home on Saturday. We had planned a leisurely day with no cycling and no blogging but on the way through Newcastle we stopped at a bicycle cafe and perhaps somewhat rashly hired a tandem for half a day. So, tomorrow morning we’ll pick that up and have our first go on a tandem. Then of course we’ll have to write another post!
Kyla & Erik