August 1 – Bridlington to Hull
We were up and packed and ready to go at 7:30 this morning. We wanted to make an early start because:
- We were quite keen to get out of the guesthouse we were staying in as fast as we could.
- We had a reasonable distance to ride and the roads and tracks we’ve been on have taught us that we take twice as long to get anywhere.
- There was a teensy bit of sunshine so might as well make tracks while the sun shines.
Only one wrong turn and we were on our way. The rain had gone, the wind was a little blowy but it was fine and mild and the sun was having a good crack at making an appearance. The start of our ride was a little bit hairy. With all our riding in The Netherlands on cycle paths and the rail trails we’ve had here, it’s been quite a while since we’ve been on a really busy road, but that’s what we started with this morning. The road didn’t have a shoulder we could escape to, so we were riding the white line on the edge of the road, as the traffic hurtled past. The drivers were great and gave us distance and even the trucks tried to give us a lane’s width as they passed us. We were both wearing our colour, to try and stay visible and we pumped the pedals as hard as we could, to churn through the distance and get off that road as fast as pedallingly possible.
About 10km of fast and furious pedalling and we turned off and had a quiet country road as a replacement. Then that country road became a single track country lane and that was absolutely lovely. We pedalled along, between hawthorn hedges, past farms and fields and it was quiet and peaceful and we barely saw any traffic at all.
We passed through Hornsea, which was a nice, quiet little town and decided to stop for an early elevenses in a park.
On we went and once again we were off road. We picked up the Trans Pennine Trail, another rail trail and waved the roads of traffic goodbye. With all the rain we’d had, I was expecting to be slogging through mud along a track, but the trail was great, just some puddles, so a terrific ride along another former railway line.
We passed dog walkers and groups walking along the track. When we passed one older man, he looked at the loaded bikes and commented, “Yer forgot the kitchen sink.”
“I think we’ve got it in there as well,” was Steve’s swift reply.
We stopped at the side of the path to let a woman on a horse go past and she told us she hoped we made it before the rain came because, “There was a thunderstorm in Hull half an hour ago.” It seemed we were heading into the weather again. No sooner had we started riding off, than the clouds darkened and the rain came down. On went Nora and we pedalled off, in rain once again. It continued to rain on and off and when we came to a park, we decided to make the most of a break in the showers to stop for a quick break. Of course, just as we’d wiped down the table to dry off a spot to sit, the rain came down again and it was heavy enough that we upped and scurried off to stand under a shelter. A few minutes later, it stopped again, we ventured out, redried the table and did a Take 2 on our attempt at a sitting snack. That’s how it was going to be…rain and stop…rain and stop…so we’d just have to roll with it.
We rolled into the streets of Hull and it was a bit early to rock up to our accommodation, so we walked the bikes around to have a look. We were walking along beside the quay, when we passed a man who asked us where we were from.
“Australia!” he said with some surprise, “‘ow are yer likin’ it ‘ere?” he asked.
“Loving it,” I said.
He then chatted away to us in the most lovely, friendly way, in that delightful Yorkshire accent.
“I’m seventy-one and d’y’know when I were a lad, down there were all docks, and down there and down there. The fish would coom in there. It ‘ad to be sold by ten o’clock and if it weren’t, they turned it into fish meal and the ‘ole place stank of it!”
He asked us where we’d ridden and how we liked Hull and if we’d found somewhere to stay tonight.
“Well,” he said in parting with a smile, “I ‘ope yer don’t do too well at ther crickit. Enjoy yer time. Bye now.”
I continue to love this aspect of our travels here, the way people just stop and chat. Not only do they say hello, but time and again, people stop, ask us about our travels and just settle in for a chat about themselves, or the place we’re in or their life in general and it never ceases to be utterly wonderful.
We had a cup of tea beside the quay, then the very nice people at our hotel let us check in early and yet another pit stop was very accommodating of the bikes. They had intended to put them in a separate room, but the lady at reception then said there were workers going in and out. “They might leave the door open and I wouldn’t want that, bring them into the office here, they’ll be safe there.” So we took the bikes behind the reception desk and the lady was quite happy for us to leave them in their own office. Places have been very kind when it comes to the bikes and here was yet another example of just how nice people have been.
We got ourselves looking a little more respectable after a warm ride and being splashed by muddy puddles and set off into the streets of Hull to have a look around. It’s another place that could probably do with a little TLC, but there were some lovely old buildings and I learned that Hull was also the worst bombed city in England outside London in both World Wars. During WWII, reports were only allowed to refer to a “North East town” so most of the country was unaware of the devastation. London and Coventry were known for the destruction they suffered during WWII, but not Hull and 95% of homes here were destroyed or damaged by bombs. We strolled through the centre, then out to the Old Town, past Hull Minster and around the mixture of cobbled and modern streets, down to the old dock area before gathering supplies and calling it a day.
It was another top day. Even with the busy road and getting rained on yet again, it was a terrific ride along the lanes and rail path and then meeting some more lovely people. Our time on the coast is coming to an end, as we begin to turn west and make our way across country in the general direction of Ireland. It’ll take us a while to get there, so lots to explore and discover and experience along the way, as we change direction again. On we go…on road, or track, or path or trail…whatever it may be, it all sounds fab to me!
Distance ridden: 50.2 km
Time in the saddle: 3 hours 26 minutes
Weather: sunny, then grey, then rain, then fine, then more rain, then just grey, 20C