Staindrop: Upper Teesdale and Weardale
The ride from Staindrop attracted two old timers, one fighting fit after completing the end to end on three pints a day, the other short of breath after riding from Northallerton. This was to be Melanie's ride but despite her supplying the intended route the old timers decide to hijack the route. Staindrop to Middleton in Teesdale is a long drag and so it was coffee at the bakery, followed by another steady climb from Teesdale to Westgate in Weardale. The roads were very quiet thanks I suppose to one Andy Murray, playing some form of ball game that had attracted a large crowd of women drivers and would be passengers. Any way back to the ride up Weardale and past Killhope Wheel into the cloud, then a long descent into Alston. The cafe stop in Alston was amazing for the warm hospitality of the staff, reluctant to serve customers, perhaps we were spoiling there Murray watching. We were treated to a spectacle as the Lancaster Gold Wing club road through town with their varied Gold Wing combinations, all of which seemed to be fitted with loud speakers blasting out ABBA music. The ascent out of Alston was broken by the rescue of a distressed lamb with its head stuck in the netting. Once at the top it was a long sweeping descent into Middleton in Teesdale, passing High Force on route. Another quick stop for a drink and a fast descent from Folly Top to Staindrop where due to time restraints from her indoors both old timers drove back to Northallerton, missing a heavy downpour to end a very enjoyable ride.