Day 9: Newcastle to Whitby – 118km

118 km, 1495 meters of climbing

It was very chilly today, I was wearing all my warm weather gear – pretty much what I would wear in the middle of winter at home.

As it is a week day and a busy city, first off we have a convoy for about 8km to the outskirts of town. The 65 km to lunch was reasonably easy going, some of the roads were pretty busy but others were nice and quiet. We had about 14 km along an old railway line, and stopped at a cafe at the end for a cup of tea.

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The trail was beautiful and peaceful, but was followed by about 5 km of a main highway with no shoulders and very busy traffic, including large trucks. I thought this would be the worst of the day, how wrong I was.

When we were having lunch two of riders were stressing about the two big climbs, but I didn’t take much notice as the day before it had said the same thing and the climb was not even that steep. So off we went, and the road got steeper and steeper, and it colder and colder. We were back on the Moors but this time the Yorkshire Moors which I am no fonder of than the Scottish ones. It was so chilly even the sheep were sheltering behind stone walls. IMG_4875We had a number of long 17% climbs and descents, the ride seemed endless. I was cold and my legs were feeling leaden. After a number of climbs we turned right and went along the flat for about 5 km and I’m thinking “yay done it!”. But no, down more steep hills and up them again, I ended walking 3 times.

One hill was so steep I had to keep stopping just walking up it. The climbing and descending continued all the way into town. The town is called Whitby and is a popular holiday destination. It has a harbour and is quite quaint.

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Whitby Harbour looking to the Heads on the North Sea.

We are staying at the Angel Hotel which is quite old. There is nowhere to store the bikes so they have to share the bedroom with us, which isn’t that big, but with some furniture rearranging we fitted them in.

 

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Instead of a set menu we have all been given a meal voucher for fish and chips, salad, bread and butter, and mushy peas, all to be charged to room 202 (Gergos). Sounds simple but is wasn’t. You would think if you had 30 plus people having dinner that night with a voucher this may have been mentioned to the staff but no! What a debacle.

It took the girl I gave mine to 15 minutes to work out how to put it through the till, and check that I was allowed to have everything it said on it. Other riders were told they had to pay extra for salad, or pay for the whole meal. One rider spent 10 minutes trying to tell one of the staff she didn’t want the mushy peas whilst she held up a number of people. In the end I snarled at her “For Pete’s sake just get them and leave them on your plate”.

Then we had to wait for the food to arrive, by which time I was pretty hungry as I had been out on the road 9 hours and it was a long time since lunch. The food was ok, and we had a bottle of NZ wine The Ned Sauvignon Blanc with dinner (all the whites were NZ).

After dinner we went for a walk around with Michele and Tony and went into two pubs. The first was called the Whitby Way ( previously was named The Wellington) and the second was called The Station. I had a blood orange gin with fever tonic which was really nice. They serve gin over here (Ireland and Scotland and England) in a big glass like a brandy glass with lots of ice. The fever tonic is a really nice brand. Over here they are allowed dogs in the pub. At the Whitby Way there was an elderly white terrier.

Tomorrow we are going back up the Moors, with all of the day’s climbing in the first 15 km, such a joyful thought to go to sleep with.

 

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Whitby Harbour from the hotel

 

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