A Fistful of Up, A Momentous Occasion, Tea with the Magic James

And a first for me. Today I went to Rothbury. This is a bit of a momentous occasion as you all know I’m just not good at the up. So, as best I can through the fog of shatteredness, I’m going to bore you all with a description of my day.  

I left home at 10am with a google map and a squiggly pile of directions, these directions said it was 24 miles to Rothbury where the Magic James had promised me a free cuppa if I made it. 24 miles sounds like nothing huh? 24 miles of mostly up sounds impossible and one friend advised me to attempt just half the journey on my first time out that way. But, you know, sensible isn’t my middle name. I don’t have a middle name though if I did it would probably be deathwish or nice-glass-of-red or maybe Muh? Oooh, or possibly random. Um right, distracted…… ok. Up into Morpeth, through Fairmoor to somewhere called Pigdon? (who names these places?) and the going was hard. It takes me a good few miles before I stop having to work at it, a good few miles of why don’t I just turn back now and camp out on the sofa with a nice bit of cake. Of course, that would be the sensible choice.  

I got to a mean UP somewhere past Netherwitton  ( sorry Mark, I ignored your instructions to turn off for a less evil route ) and my phone rang, climbing some mean up while conversing with my husband was hard like. I get lost in a crisp packet so when the Household Cyclist told me that was forestgate I believed him.  I passed some sort of B&B called The Gate? Which was bizarrely advertising a hay show? That’s what they do for fun? Look at hay? Boggling.. anyway… I keep the wheels turning and start to go downwards, look right and see what seems to be a rather large and evil looking up (was this forestgate?) . Pay attention because this is where things took a turn for the weird. I heard a maniacal laugh and the screaming of “bring it” coming from somewhere….. hmm, someone left my brain out of the loop.. whooo. I got up it. I don’t give a hoot that I did it in my granny. I did it. Then down into Rothbury, chucking anchors on at 37mph, well, people kept telling me to be careful…. I was met at the Lazy Grace HQ by the Magic James and furnished with coffee and a gas. Then another cuppa, watching snow appear from the sky outside. SNOW!!!!  

Going Home-  

The Magic James tried to convince me to go home via something called Bilsmoor and a Gibbet (lol) and I was sorely tempted to give it a try, then I realised that my middle name definitely wasn’t “come pick me up I’m stuck and or lost” and I opted for the straight return journey but made him promise to show me the way when I’ve improved a bit more.  

 I firmly believe rides should be eased into like a workday morning, started with a leisurely cuppa building to a slow crescendo of shouting and running.. Getting out of Rothbury is not like that. It’s more like waking up and realising its already lunchtime, jumping out of bed and putting your feet into a shoefull of dead mouse then spilling your coffee down your shirt in the car. It. Was. Not. Fun. The rest of the journey home felt much quicker than the journey in though how there was so much UP on the way back when there was so much on the way in I cannot seem to fathom. Anyway, I took the same route home too but coming up the Whorral Bank at Morpeth I struggled more than I have in a long time. The ride was beginning to tell and I was looking forward to a nice cuppa and a bath.  

Coming into Ashington my stomach started to rumble and I had some interesting aches. Truth be told that’s the closest I have come to running empty (the dreaded bonk?) since my first club ride. But home I was and feeling tired and proud of myself and absolutely ravenous! 3 flapjacks and 2 boiled eggs was an inadequate lunch obviously. One bath lovingly run by my wonderful husband and my weight in chicken eaten and I feel more than pleasantly tired. I got some photos as a mementos. Heres a lazy link to the facebook album.  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=187074&id=576796753&l=7cba958af8   

Stats here:  

48.7        dist  

37.3        max  

4.24.25  time  

11.1        ave

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14 Comments on “A Fistful of Up, A Momentous Occasion, Tea with the Magic James”

  1. danny winthorpe Says:

    Super ride Carrie,
    Your on course for the Mountain 47
    Well done
    Danny.

  2. Mark K Says:

    you said describe the route so you could visualise it so i gave you it in glorious technicolour. You should have put it on tape and listened to it on the way round.

  3. alan holmes Says:

    You are not doing it in half measures!!! That is a hard ride by anyone’s standards. Next time come back via the ‘water splashes’

  4. Suzanne Says:

    Great ride report Carrie, really inteprid riding too. You must be a fan of the UP by now, you can’t keep away from them thar hills! X


  5. I’m knackered just reading that! LOL!

  6. Alan Says:

    The ‘splashes’. When you leave Rothbury heading back towards forestburn gate you climb up two massive hills. At the top of the second hill there is a small road on your left probably signposted ‘The Lee’. This road has i think 3 fords to cross hence the nickname. There is a lot of serious climbing. If you keep on this road you eventually come out at the north end of morpeth.


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