Cestria Sunday Club ride (Whttonstall-Hexham-Wylam, 8 June 2014)

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Despite a sunny and mild morning, only 11 riders appeared at CLS. Vin, Ian and Malcolm headed for Hexham up the A167, while the rest of us decided to take to the hills via Burnhope, Ebchester, Slaley and Hexham. There was a light southerly wind and we set off at a stead pace up the long drag to Burnhope. Having stopped just outside the village, we then regrouped and headed to Maiden Law where John Mabbit had to turn for home. Having negotiated the tricky and gravelly chicane near Stony Heap, we climbed up to the C2C crossing and kept a stead pace up and then down to Ebchester.

The climb to Whittonstall is steady but quite a challenge and we then stopped for a rest outside the pub (picture). We then headed to Kiln Pit Hill where Mal and Ian G decided to take the scenic route back. Graeme, Dan and Steve forged ahead while Peter, Richard and Trev adopted a more leisurely pace. Curiously, both groups arrived at Hexham cafe at the same time!

We had a relaxing 45 minutes at Hexham, then departed for Corbridge, Ovingham, Wylam and Gateshead. At the three ramps near Birtley (under the railway bridge), Stevie took off, followed by Graeme and Dan, but maintained his lead to the top. We then gathered together and kept it steady to CLS.  It was a great day and we had really good fun. Well done to Graeme on his go-faster beard, and for Richard for his resolve in sticking in all day.