On Sunday 31/4 eight TVMTBC members rode 83 miles of the proposed Borderlands road bike cycle route between Carlisle and Berwick upon Tweed.  The cycling was really high quality but a strong beasterly Easterly extended our cycling time by 1.5 hours and drained our legs but not our spirit.

We stayed the night at the welcoming Kirk Yetholm hostel and ate in the excellent Border Hotel after which we all slept exceedingly well. The route begins easy then gradually slopes up through magnificent Borderlands scenery to the Scottish side of the Cheviots where the roads are cycling heaven (apart from regular potholes) and vehicles are scarce. Nice to bump into Cameron and Anne Marie Gordon at Bonchester Bridge sitting next to a huge horse waiting patiently for its owner to exit the pub. See day 2 post..... 

On Monday 01/05 eight TVMTBC members rode the last 35 miles of the proposed Borderlands road bike cycle route between Kirk Yetholm and Berwick upon Tweed. The quality of the cycling experience the previous day was maintained apart from a couple of sections after Norham and we were grateful the beasterly Easterly was less robust than on Saturday. This will be a new coast to coast route which is a fascinating blend of changing topography, geology, land use, hamlets and villages, architecture, dialects, history, views and more. Cooperation between Cumbria CC, Borders Region and Northumberland CC, with each contributing £10,000, could see this route open relatively quickly bringing pleasure (and perhaps some pain) as well as challenge to thousands of touring cyclists and economic benefit to the city and town at each end plus more than a few rural communities and relevant isolated businesses in between. The Granary Cafe at Berwick is an excellent place to end; also we had great service from Eco Bike Adventures and Steve our driver. HUGE well done to all – especially Deb and Trev who was on his first 2 day road ride and brought FAR too much stuff. 

This is an awesome route taking in some fabulous landscapes. Excellent quiet roads, superb company and some truly surreal experiences....George, the cardboard cut out horse...Trevor's TARDIS bag...with a complete cosmetics service...Angus's insatiable appetite for coffee and cake ...we won't mentioned Deb's advertising for the canaries islands and Pete's determination in the face of a horrendous headwind...great two days!

 

Thanks to Ted for organising a great route with good company. As the only female in the group the guys were a pleasure to be with and looked after me well. Beautiful countryside, quiet roads, ample stops for coffee,cake and lunch not to mention a lovely evening meal at the borders hotel in Kirk Yetholm..... hot bath and soft robes! The second day ending with ice cream in Berwick and views of the sea and the river. More ladies should try this. Great work out!

Deborah Aubrook

borderlands