Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A Mini Kielder100

Saturday Ali was off to the football so it was my day for a long ride. After a look round the maze and a peek in the bikeshop we parted ways with me heading off to find some bike trails and Ali to drive to Gateshead. We had asked in the bikeshop how to get on the bloody bush trail over to Newcastleton but I have to assume the women there has never done the trail. After telling me that the trails could be followed in either direction (not really the case as lots of them had no entry signs) and telling me that everyone asked by names but she didn't know them! Anyway it was slow going at first as I used a combination of maps off the internet and the OS map to navigate to I made it onto the boardwalk that headed onto the bloody bush trail. I actually recognised this from kielder100 and was confident enough to stop checking the map every 5 minutes. Coming off the boardwalk I stopped to chat to a guy who had come off on a patch of ice, he had some issues with his brakes but got them sorted. He warned me that there had been snow on the trail a couple of weeks before. As it turned out there was still snow. I made a brave attempt at riding it till I got back on boardwalk, here I was slipping everywhere and decided walking was more sensible! Off this and some more singletrack appeared that was snowfree, although I managed to nearly go flying on a bump and still have no idea how I stayed upright!

Dropping down into Scotland I was faced with more snow, at this point I decided my plan of a 50mile ride was out of the window as I was making slow progress at least this meant I didn't miss any of the signs! I popped out onto the blue at Newcastleton and headed on round the red and then back to the trailhead. Time for a toilet stop. Up again to do the first loop of the red but time was ticking so I didn't do the red/blue loop again and headed back via the red to the border stone. More food and it was time to head back towards England.

This was the easiest riding of the day as I followed a river, most to the climbing was seated and I was beginning to bring my average speed up. Back over to Kielder and I started to find it hard, everything hurt. I have no idea what they have done to the trails in kielder but riding rigid was not a good plan! My hands could barely hold the bars and my arms were screaming. Still I soon got onto Bloody Bush and then dropped onto Lonesome Pine before making my way back to the Youth Hostel. I had just hung all my clothes up in the drying room and was grabbing a drink in the kitchen when Ali pulled up, so it was perfect timing.

I got the 50miles, with about 100m of tarmac or something in the whole ride, and was out for 8hours. Not sure how I managed the kielder100 in September?


  1. good idea to go round kielder before the midges season!,

  2. sounds like hard (but fun) work. will you be riding rigid at the 24hr? maybe try some extra spongy tape?

  3. New tape is going on the bike tomorrow I think. More worried about kielder as they were the trails that hurt!