An urban cyclist takes to the hills

Pedestrians crossedIn my part of East Yorkshire there are things we have taken for granted in the past, such as bouncers in city centre pubs and Lada taxis. The dodgy taxis are gone, although the bouncers probably remain – for all I know. But this is a sad sight, I think. Why on earth should it be necessary to fit a protective grille to the control – or whatever this thing is called – on a pedestrian crossing? It actually doubles as a control for cyclists who ride the disused railway line that extends eastwards to Hornsea. It's not far from the National Cycle Route 65: The Trans Pennine Trail. In the other direction the track lasts for only a few hundred yards and then you’re on to a side street and, should you wish, heading towards the few hills that cyclists in these parts have available to them: Brantingham and Trundlegate.

Stepney Railway Station

The old Stepney railway station was at one point a non-Christian place of worship (and therefore provides a tenuous link for this post).

This is a fairly grim section of a ride I sometimes do when I want to get in a bit of hill work. On the day I took these images, shortly after Easter, I had hoped to photograph the Humber Bridge from a viewpoint near Welton. Unfortunately, it was very misty over the Humber. Instead, and for no particular reason, I photographed a few village churches on this Sunday morning ride. It was ironic, really, that I was on a ride that passed these churches whilst my wife was in Mass in St Charles, where we were married. Cycling and church-going don’t go together too well, both being a Sunday morning activity, in the main. There is a Sunday evening service, but Mrs B prefers the morning one.

St Helen, Welton. This is on the Trans Pennine Trail and the National Byway.

All Saints, Brantingham. Quite far removed from Brantingham and surrounded by trees of so many different kinds. I couldn’t get the right shot without including a parked car. And now the trees are a less vivid colour. This is where the first hill of the day starts.

All Saints, North Cave. At the bottom of Church Lane is one of those private houses that allows cyclists and walkers to pass through their land. But not on this day: the padlocks and a stern notice meant a short detour to Hotham.

St Oswald, Hotham. As you cycle past this church you know you have Trundlegate to come. That’s the hardest hill for miles.

St Michael's, Skidby. Er, that’s enough churches.

I had whizzed past these churches many times on short training rides. This particular day I thought I’d take my time and a few photographs. A few months later and I still can’t really think of a pertinent story to justify including them in a post, but here they are anyway 😀

4 comments on “An urban cyclist takes to the hills”

  1. Mick F wrote:

    Great report, Chris.

    Love the photographs of the churches. So peaceful and calm.

    It's put me in mind of an idea:

    Some time back on the CTC forum, we had a series where people went out and photographed their bikes against village name signs. The idea was to get the names in alphabetical order.

    I wonder if we should resurrect this but with church names?


  2. Chris wrote:

    It was the first day of the summer holidays today and I did part of this route in reverse. Four of us met up in Skidby and passed through Hotham and North Cave on our way to Howden. The closed private road between Hotham and North Cave was open again (I remembered that the sign had said something about dogs and lambs at Easter).

    We got absolutely drenched – my trainers were squelching out water even after my second cup of coffee – but two of us came back on a route I'd never ridden before so it was enjoyable all the same. 60+ miles I think – my little computer stopped working in the rain!

    Looked at the first few and last pages of your thread on the CTC forum, Mick. Looks like fun. How would the church names idea work? Would it be the church name itself? There are lots of 'Saint...' would we drop the St bit? Or is it the name of, say, the village in which the church is located?

    If it's to be the name of the place, you look to have the drop on the rest of us for the final entry:

    💡 I think Patrick might worry about the time it would take for the page to load ❗

  3. Patrick wrote:

    What's going to happen to these rural churches as attendance continues to decline? Some stats here. Many of the churches on my local rides look quite forlorn (the main exception being the glittering palace known as the Preston England Temple). It's the same with some of the country pubs. I often ride past what is claimed to be the oldest licenced premise in England and it closed recently. I never go in churches or pubs but they are part of the landscape and our social history so it's sad to see them in decline. Nothing improves a rural vista like a distant spire.

    It's nice to see the clocks still work. They tell us it took Chris almost one hour and twenty minutes to cycle from St Helen to St Oswald!

  4. Chris wrote:

    Patrick wrote: It's nice to see the clocks still work. They tell us it took Chris almost one hour and twenty minutes to cycle from St Helen to St Oswald!

    Er, I went the long way round 😉

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