Cardinal Spins

Cardinal Spins 2: NE – Day 2

Journey’s end near Cloughton

I am a lover of maps, and OS maps in particular; but I’m not so excited by things like sat-navs or Garmins. I know they are extremely useful and very clever devices. I just don’t like to rely on them too heavily. So, when Richard’s Garmin tried taking the three of us towards a high security prison this morning, I felt a mounting sense of concern about the route we were following. Luckily the situation was soon put right, and our superb cycling experience along quiet country lanes across the Yorkshire Wolds was soon recovered.

And glorious it really was. The strong following breeze was a cyclist’s best friend and we had the leafy lanes to ourselves. We linked together small limestone villages, swooping down and pushing back up the long slopes. The sun popped out here and there; but the day was brisk and cloudy. We made fine progress north-east towards Cloughton, an attractive village just north of Scarborough, at the foot of the Yorkshire Moors, where my straight line from the Lizard in Cornwall, that passed through Hathersage, hits the east coast.


There were not too many big stand out moments; but much of our 55 mile morning ride was green and rolling and always easy on the eye. It began to improve within a few miles of York, where we stayed last night, as the flat Vale of York gave way to moderate hills. The countryside immediately became more attractive and the abundant hedgerows were alive with birds. I heard several yellowhammers singing their distinctive “a little bit of bread and no cheese” song. It made me even more happy to be spending the morning this way (despite the necessarily early start).

After about 35 miles we stopped at a small bakery in pretty Sherburn, our first opportunity to refuel in these sparsely populated hills. The steak pies had just come out of the oven and were magnificent. I managed to leave my helmet behind in the shop but the nice lady brought it round the corner of the street to our bench. Then, just down the road we crossed a level crossing with old fashioned gates! It was that kind of place.


A few miles from the end, we reached the cinder track that runs along the east coast between Scarborough and Whitby. It was a railway once upon a time and makes for decent cycling, especially if you have thick tyres. Mine were thick enough to see me safely along the last three miles of track to Cloughton’s old train station. Soon after, at the abrupt end of a narrow lane, my journey came to a close high above the sea on the cliffs of Cloughton Wyke. It was a pleasing place to reach the official end of a Cardinal Spin for the first time. And that left me feeling a modest sense of achievement.

It was just a five mile ride along the main road down the coast to Scarborough, which we entered by the north bay, with its glistening sands below the silhouetted castle up on the headland. The sun shone now and the freshly painted beach huts made for a very colourful scene. We stopped by the water for fish and chips out in the sun at a well placed cafe, and just had time to ride a mile into town to catch the direct train home to Sheffield without any need to rush. In truth – prison apart – it was all pretty seamless!