The Castle to Castle Challenge: Day 2

The Castle to Castle challenge

In aid of World Spine Care

Starring:

John ‘the Shoes’ Andrew

Dan ‘Versace’ Everson

Pro Paul ‘the Mechanic’ Newell

‘Who needs to train’ Jonathan Pollentine

Adam ‘True Grit’ Quesne

‘Liahona’ Mike Siswick

Ben ‘the Fixer’ Tomlinson

Adam ‘I nearly booked the hotel’ Wilkey

and introducing, ‘King Louis of the mountains’ Wilkey

(Read about Day 1 here!)

Day 2 Alnwick to Sedgefield.  The missing hotel rooms.

Britons are renowned for their topical conversation based upon the weather.  And our trip provided ample fodder for any conversation.  Bright blue skies greeted our bleary eyes this morning.  Dan ‘Versace’ had treated us to a colour coordinated outfit that gave us some credibility as cyclists, and John ‘the shoes’ wore his Sunday shoes.  By 9.30 we were waving farewell to the excellent Youth Hostel and had put our trust once again in Liahona Mike to lead us to our next destination, Sedgefield.

With lifted spirits we soared through castle strewn countryside with fleeting glimpses of golden sands and sparkling crystalline seas.  We rolled along the roads with relative ease (compared to the previous day, coursing old railway lines, ghostly mining towns with pit relics strewn along the way, coastal towns where garish arcades rang out their siren songs like mermaids guiding unsuspecting seafarers to the rocks and even a ferry across the Tyne.

Punctures, loo stops and garmin issues punctuated our progress, and yes, as predicted at about 2pm the heavens once again opened to provide us with a slippery surface and wet bodies.  But we loved it.  As has been the case in all of our cycling adventures we were a little slower than anticipated and reached our destination , the Travelodge, at about 8pm.  What a welcome sight.  We all imagined our stomachs being filled with fare from a local restaurant following a revitalising shower.   I had booked the wrong day at the Travelodge  (I think the computer made an error) and were not due until the following day.  Dan ‘Versace’ , Ben ‘the fixer’ and ‘who needs to train’ Jon, miraculously found a  guest house within 20 minutes driving distance.  It could have been an awkward time for me, well it was, but it was self-inflicted because the ‘boys’ were very understanding and said nothing (perhaps it’s a good thing that I am not a mutant that has the ability to read minds!)

After a takeaway pizza tea we all fell into a deep sleep to ready ourselves for the longest leg of our journey, 105 miles to Hull (yes I did check that we were booked in at the Travelodge there.)