Day 16, 2nd June 2011, Scarborough to Middlesborough

We got an early start as the cost of breakfast in the hotel was unjustifiable, so we went downtown, found a bakery, and ate pastries in the street.  We had heard that the path north of Scarborough was good, but this greatly understates it. It is an absolute gem. 

It is another rail trail that tracks the coast, dipping through woodland and gradually rising to give superb views across the bays.  The surface is a bit rough, so the going is slow. The track, called the Cinder Trail passes through some lovely hamlets until you get to Whitby, some 40km further on, but it is all good.

The irony is that this fabulous trail connects two exquisitely banal tourist towns.  They are just dreadful, full of cheap tourist attractions and unfortunately well populated this week, a school holiday break.  At least Scarborough has a decent city centre; Whitby lacks even that.

From Whitby there is no bike route for most of the way.  There is really only one road.  To get north it is necessary to climb up and over a number of ridges, dropping down into some more of the sort of seaside tourist place that makes one feel fortunate to be Australian.

There is some seriously hard, steep riding before you descend to the Tees Valley.  Check out the route profile in Google Earth.  The ride into Middlesbrough was fast and easy with a good tail wind, but tracked an A road, so it was noisy and not particularly interesting.

We made it into Middlesbrough around 6.00pm, and spent a half an hour finding a hotel.

We had a good long day, but there is a tradeoff in coming in late. Your options reduce as the Information Centre closes and you are more on your own devices.  Nevertheless, it all works out every time. We rode 102km.

While riding up some of these hills I was mulling over the role of WiFi in hotels today.  It is a bit analogous to hot water in hotels in years gone by, when people had to put a penny in the water heater to make it work.  So Travelodge is on the bottom of our list of hotels until they join this century.  This hotel has free WiFi, like all good hotels.

The weather today was perfect, so still in the morning that you could see glassy leads in the sea, with the tail wind rising in the afternoon.  This weather is predicted to stay for a few more days.  If it was not like this we would have gone to France.  Of course this is a bit arrogant and we will get caught in bad weather, but in the words of St Augustine’s prayer, “not yet”.

View 2 6 2011 Scarborough to Middlebrough in a larger map


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