Friday, 21 March 2014

Day 4: 20 March 2014 - Whitby to Scarbrough (20 miles)

This was our last day of cycling, and was not really with the aim of getting somewhere, but just an excuse to get a few more miles in the legs before catching the train home to rest up over the weekend. We ate our breakfast and left the hotel around 9:30, in order to allow plenty of time to make our train home and, if possible, allow time for lunch in Scarborough.

Arrival followed by fish and chips.
We left Whitby by climbing up the fearsomely steep (and cobbled) road leading up to the abbey, before winding round the back for the very windy road that would lead us to Robin Hood's Bay. Right from the start the wind was against us and it was a real effort to keep cycling. We eventually reached the main road before rapidly turning off again to join the B road to Robin Hood's Bay where we just missed the turn-off we required. Fortunately, we realised before attempting the very tempting 30% downhill gradient down to the beach front, which we would have surely had to climb up again had we had the wherewithal to go down it in our error.

The harbour at Whitby bay.
Fortunately we caught ourselves in time and turned back to head back to the main road for our next turn-off. On our way back to the main road, we saw the turn-off for the Whitby to Scarborough cycle trail that we had previously noticed before arriving at the main road. We decided to give it a go to shun the presence of cars and in the hope that it would provide us with some much needed shelter from the horrific wind that seemed to be following us everywhere we went. Although not ideal terrain, being built on a former railway and being surrounded by trees, we were sheltered from the wind in large part and did not have such fearsome gradients to contend with, as railways inevitably can only manage gradients of a certain degree.

The steep climb out of Whitby.
We carried on in this manner for some way before coming out at Ravenscar, where we needed to decide between carrying on the cycle trail or rejoining the road way and feeling tarmac beneath our feet. I decided we should head back on the roads for a bit, which I briefly regretted given the wind going against us again, but at least we gained a small amount of speed back to allow us time for lunch in Scarborough.

On the coastal trail from Whitby to Scarborough.
We approached Scarborough eventually with time to spare, but with some real effort being put in due to the endless wind meaning we had to use the path at certain points to avoid being blown into an oncoming vehicle! Fortunately, being midweek, the roads were not too busy and we were largely free to enjoy the roads for ourselves.We stopped briefly by the Welcome to Scarborough sign for a photo opportunity showing we had made the trip (and survived) before cycling three miles further on to Scarborough station to park up the bikes before heading into town for some lunch.

View round the headland. 
Upon wandering into town, we found a pleasant little cafe by the cliff-top lift that led down to the seafront, which was both affordable and decent food to keep us going for the journey home. Tiredness was clearly getting to us however, as I asked for luxury chips and a home-made hot chocolate, rather than the other way around - I even had a little laugh to myself, so the woman behind the counter must have thought I was a bit crazy. Still, having cycled 120 miles or so with no effort other than my own two legs, she'd probably be right. Having eaten our fill we dragged ourselves up the hill back to the train station and boarded our train with time to spare. As much effort as it took to get up some of those hills or ride into the wind, I wouldn't change a moment of it and am already planning the next one. Here's to our big bike ride in Slovenia! Until the next one, Clifford.

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