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Day 4, Monday 24th April 2006 - Daily Update

Day4route

Grounds today - Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC

Darlington to Middlesborough

The journey from Darlington to Newcastle was a joy to behold! Leaving the White Horse Hotel behind us, super flat roads and a tail wind gave us an average speed over 17 miles per hour. So far ahead of schedule we could even afford a stop off at the monstrosity that is the Angel of the North!

As we were merrily pedaling Northwards, Sir Bhab was seeking professional cycle help to repair Jamie’s rear wheel and duly met us at St. Jamie’s Park. After Jamie had swapped back to his original bike and collected a match day programme signed by Alan Shearer we headed east to the Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland.

The Stadium is an impressive beast from the outside and even more impressive from the inside! Jamie’s gift of the gab and general cheeky chappie manner tugged at the heart strings of the burly 6”6’ security guard who made a phone call and arranged for us to have our pictures taken pitch side. If only every club was as helpful! We managed to sneak a look at the Home dressing room and the players lounge. A super stadium and one that we’ll look forward to visiting when the mighty Hatters play there next season.

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The head wind that helped us so much this morning was, quite frankly, a pain in the arse on the way towards Teesside. So much so we were considerably more exhausted than we expected to be when we met Sir Bhab for lunch. An annoying detour, caused by an incompetent navigator/route master (Daz) gave the lads five extra miles to work up a proper appetite. And it was a good job too! We were greeted with tomato soup and glorious venison burgers severed with freshly ground black pepper and fried onions (and copious amount of tomato ketchup for Brad)!

Due to the retarded map reading causing a 30-40 minute delay we were now negotiating the A19 at the height of rush hour. Not ideal but the last 20 miles flew by in a blur of HGV’s and chavs in suped up Land Rovers (Series III Lightweight Airportable, to be precise).

So, here we are in the adjoining pub to our Holiday Inn Express just north of Billingham. A few beers, a hearty meal to follow and an early night as another long day ahead awaits. Middlesborough’s Riverside and a ride to just outside Leeds.

Stats

Time in saddle - 5 hours 10 minutes

Miles - 73.3 miles

Average Speed - 14.3 mph

Time of Departure - 9:10am

Time of arrival - 5:15pm

Max Speed - 38.1 mph (Dazzlin)

small_cyclist
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