Gaz’s day 14a: Whitby to Sunderland

Day 14
Date Saturday 21st July 2012
From Whitby
To Sunderland
Mileage 70
Weather Mild
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  54.905041, -1.373291 Gaz\'s day 14a: Whitby to SunderlandDay 14 Date Saturday 21st July 2012 From Whitby To Sunderland Mileage 70 Weather Mild Aint No Mountain High Enough Well, Tina I got news for you, there sure are around here, in fact there are plenty that are way high enough, their feckin monsters so forgive me Father Marcial for I have sinned and had to push the Boardman Beast up several (Directions)


Aint No Mountain High Enough

Well, Tina I got news for you, there sure are around here, in fact there are plenty that are way high enough, their feckin monsters so forgive me Father Marcial for I have sinned and had to push the Boardman Beast up several

The day also got off to a very late start and the black dogs got me into further trouble when I replied to the kindly enquiry from the girl on YHA checkout that I wasn’t so good due to two black dogs. She looked aghast, took my arm, looked me up and down and said “where did they get you?” Now I must admit it wasn’t the brightest thing to do a rubbish mimic of her yorkshire accent with “nah lass, thows daft brush, it were name t’of beer nowt real dogs” well judging by the wallop in jest from such a slim young thing I will leave Timmy to work out whether I missd up a great opportunity of her nursing concern and pretend the ‘dogs’ had savaged me somewhere tender

More hilarity right outside YHA with a coach load of Japanese tourists posing in copy of bronze statue of naked man in Usain Bolt form – velly, velly funny guys all 50 of you but why the near perfect arrowhead formation?

Shame my camera battery died so was unable to record the epic picture and also loads of other great views around Whitby and this fabulous coast. So Marcial, mate can I nick some of yours after you’ve passed here – I’ve a great money shot one of a laughing beach donkey from a Scarborough poster to swap, glad I didn’t miss that one up and waste battery, I’d have been gutted

Rest assured though it was no more black dog for me, though strong suspicion  that other mischief lay ahead

Well it was a mixture of real tough climbs, crazy, scary descents, stunning scenery and some lovely villages along the coast and a wonderful feeling from freewheelin out of Saltburn and seeing fairly flat land as far I could see. Oh yes I’d finished my equivalent of the Pyrenees stages

I survived the withering stare of an elderly Staithes waitress who took a full 4 minutes to bring my beefburger to my table from kitchen – I know it was 4 minutes cos I timed her hobbling back when I asked for some mustard, the eye of a tiger would have been more welcome! I didn’t tho dare ask for a serviette on her return

Middlesboro came fairly quickly, past the riverside stadium and through a ghost town (great song), then losing the cycle track through a horrible housing estate

And a kick in the balls

I don’t suppose Paul Weller was prescient enuf to predict my misfortune but the pain and result was much the same. T*sser in black car overtook me at speed and then sharp left turn right in front of me – slam of brakes, hard pull to the right and down I went

Now it became very clear that Rod Stewart was horribly wrong with first cut is the deepest. The first two were largely self-inflicted, moronic negligence at Git Yarmouth (sic), missed the chance for I’m in a Rut but now rectified, the second was just self-indulgent Madness but the third, well I reckon it was Vicious

A very kindly, young lad helped me up, empathised, put my chain back on uncaring for the dirt and grease to his hands, thank you young sir. I’m still not sure though if he was joking when pointing the way back to the track he advised me to “pedal fn quick, else round here theyse nick thee wheels”

So more slowly and gingerly, especially over those speed bumps I made way into Hartlepool and it would be far too desperate for me to paraphrase the great Morrisey with ‘Hang the monkey, hang the monkey …’, hmm maybe not!

Here things hit almost rock bottom, knackered, bleedin and in desperate need of shower n beer was told several times there would be no room at the inn – its them bl**dy eastern foreigners working on the wind farm I learnt. It was getting late and panic starting when immense (I don’t mean it that way though she was large) star of receptionist at the Premier Inn spent agers ringing round until she found me a crackin b n b at Seaton Carew, 4 miles down the road

By the Marcial, when you come through here its pronounced Car roooo apparently

And this is where the mischief foretold hit in

Seaton on the face of it looks an unremarkable, friendly but sleepy small seaside resort but for sure there may be trouble ahead

And with a capital T – firstly in the form of two very funny, very friendly pikeys, Aaron and Robbie with their old romany caravan and two rutting stallions but even this seemed safe enough sat around bonfire giving it a good craic and looking out to sea

But then the girls from a wedding party turned up and the greasy pole (more about that later) beckoned – well the Gypsy Kings were really going for it, in fact not just it but anything and everything- Robbie you’re a great a lad and I really hope you got what you hoped for (robbie sykes his name and I promised I’d check him out on facebook so this is to remind me and find out if did, you know)

But who was the randy old aussie and where did he come from but whoever thanks for the offer of a bed in Sydney but I don’t suppose I’ll ever make it out there and I know you were planning on getting to New York but mate don’t bank on that address I gave you, my mum certainly isn’t rich and she doesn’t have a swish pad in Manhattan

Anyway after several, actually wayhay mon way too many beer I slipped away to leave the rutting stallions at it

And I was so close to home when a siren voice to my left suggested a swifty in the hotel bar where the wedding party was now in full swing

They say that you should try anything once. I don’t know who they are but they’re clearly right when it comes to strange, dangerous foreign brews with or without the maggot but my friends trust me it doesn’t include pole dancing, especially after a couple of free JDs

Well my old dad often said ‘always leave them laughing’ so dad if you’re up there and were watching that was for you cos I for sure left them laughing

Waking up and recalling the previous night’s public humiliation was bad enough and if there is a god then no doubt the mighty one will make sure the whole sorry scene finds its way onto YouTube but worse was the thought of having to get back in the saddle one more time for the 20 odd miles to Sunderland

Mentally and physically pained in all the wrong places for riding a bike somehow I made it. Maybe it was the phenomenal athlete in me finally coming through or maybe just enough anaesthetic juice left in the engine from last night

It then occurred to me that today is also the final day of the other, smaller tour going on over the channel

Tradition has it that the last leg into Paris starts off with a celebratory glass of champagne. Discovering a half can of flat fosters from the Gypsy Kings who am I to buck a tradition

There actually is a really good cycle path into Sunderland tho I reckon from your end Marcial it will be hell to find so best research it well

Stage Nine: into Paris (well Sunderland actually 23 miles

Walking in a Windy Sunderland

Ok not quite a rock reference but not a bad line. Not half as good though as a place on route, that’s why I’m easy, Easington on Sunday morning – I will leave you to do the slidey guitar solo bit

Well Sunderland may not be as majestic as Paris and the route around the shopping centre is no champs elysees but two laps for me in search of railway station and an offy then a champions punch of the air, almost causing crash number 4, and I’m over the finishing line

Yep, finally made it, bruised, battered but feeling damn good, especially when the beers started to slipe down whilst on the platform and thank you Misters Simon and Garfunkle because I was sitting in a railway station, ticket for my destination, I was indeed homeward bound and it felt really damn good and its a mighty fine railway station to sit in

Elation however was a little taken down when chatting to a guy called Ray who was on the last part of his cycling journey home in Edinburgh – the man has only been on the road since mid May from Norway, sheesh that he told me was around 3000 miles, way and unnecessarily so more than the proclaimers but I don’t think he got my joke, but the bloke is still totally bonkers

And now on train down south, passing places I didn’t realised I’d cycled past, Darlington, Durham (Durham Durham could that be!?), blookey eck that is friggin miles up north

Thoughts turn to next year when Marcial and I plan our crossover at Berwick on Tweed, now that will be a real party. And on that note a few last rock references, this is an immense journey, a long and winding road, shedloads of laughs, too many falls but as Liam told me you’ve got to roll with it and a few regrets, but too few to mention (not really that was just a feeble effort to sneak another song in), one very sad time but above all met so many warm, friendly people along the way. Queen sang about wanting to ride his bike well Freddie me too but not just yet, let’s just say Wheels on Fire or even Mr Cash and ring of fire (sorry ladies) and so with next year a fuzzy but happy thought I leave you with ….. ….. The Chain, that’s a great one to finish on cos it works in several ways so now cue fade out with Top Gear theme tune

Later on it will be to the podium for the Tour Awards.




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