Lets start with an apology to Only Fools & Horses for stealing their title for this thread
So when I last blogged we were in Barnsley soaking wet and having got hopelessly lost in the woods on the way to Barnsley….sounds like a fairy story doesn’t it.
Well, Sunday morning we said goodbye to my parents and we continued on our merry way, heading towards Humberside. A lot of the morning on Sunday we were riding alongside the river Don, then met an ex police officer on an electric bike who knew the area well. He road with us on some back roads that were very poorly signposted. Thankfully he did join us as he kept us on the correct path.
After our guide left us, we rode for a number of miles along a canal causing annoyance to anglers who seemed to think the tow path was theirs for stowing the voluminous fishing gear and seemed rather unhappy that people were so audacious as to want to pass along the towpath!
So far, so flat. The ride was largely very flat up to this point. The surface varied from river paths, to tarmacadamed roads. nothing very challenging though.
Following a difficulty caused by a lack of signposting,in the Sykehouse Area, we ended up riding on the road and found a significant shortcut. After riding on flat open roads into a headwind, we joined the A614 towards Goole. By the time we arrived in Goole, we had ridden 35 miles that morning and hadn’t found a single place to stop for a coffee or tea. So as we entered Goole we stopped at a McDonalds for lunch. Not ideal, but its open, serves food and drink and is a place to recharge our phones etc.
Whilst in McDonalds, we went online and booked a room & breakfast at the Premier Inn at Hull West for that evening. We got a confirmation of the booking from Premier Inn confirming we had booked bed & breakfast.
We then carried on our ride towards Hull, Largely flat roads and to be honest it was a bit boring riding quiet flat roads with no traffic.We were getting to the stage of craving some rough trails or even hills.
The highlight of the ride was when we saw the Humber Bridge for the first time. Its a spectacular structure and even 30+ years old it is an engineering wonder. Whilst viewing the bridge from afar, we met a couple of lads doing the ride the opposite way, so shared stories and tips with them for a bit before we both made our ways to our respective hotels.
Eventually, as it was getting dark, we arrived out our hotel near the Humber Bridge. You will remember this was the pre booked bed and breakfast at the Premier Inn at Hull West. As we checked in we were told we could not have breakfast the following morning because they had allowed all the tables in the restaurant to be booked by non residents taking advantage of the last day of the “Eat Out”scheme to get food half price! A clear breach of contract since they had 5 hours earlier confirmed a contract between us for them to provided bed & breakfast accommodation.. Oh and we had already paid for the bed and breakfast at full price. No Eat Out discount offered to us.
The receptionist at the hotel said it was our fault for not ringing up and booking a time slot for a table for breakfast. Now this is a case of victim blaming as there is no warning of the need to book breakfast timed slots, there is no way to do so when booking on the Premier Inn app and there is no way to contact the hotel as Premier Inn do not give out anything other than a national phone number for the chain’s call centre.
So either the hotel had already no tables left when we booked or they booked the tables after we had a contract with them for breakfast.
Not a problem, Premier Inn offer a 100% satisfaction policy which guarantees your money back if not satisfied. So we asked the hotel for a refund so we could go to a hotel where we could get bed and breakfast. The Premier Inn guarantee says to contact the hotel reception at the time of unhappiness to invoke the refund. However when we did this, the hotel called the police to claim we were threatening them. Yes, threatening them by following their own “refund” policy and asking for the refund. The police were duly embarrassed to be called out and accepted there was no crime being committed.
This is one for their lawyers. At the time of typing this, A formal letter before action has been served upon Whitbread, the owners of Premier Inn.
So Monday morning and we set off hungry for our 40 miles ride into Hull and then onto Hornsea and back to Hull. A little bit of trepidation as online and from people we spoke to en route, the route from Hull to Hornsea was said to be badly signed. Given how poor the signage had been on the rest of the route, this did not bode well at all. The reality proved to be the opposite ( apart from one blip). We road nearly all the way from Hull to Hornsea on the old railway line . The old stations still had a lot of the platforms left. The route being an old railway line was pancake flat.
Now about that blip…as we approached Hornsea, we came to a roundabout with 5 exits. We were coming on one. On two of the other exits were blue TPT signs pointing down different roads. There was also a road sign to the seafront pointing a different way. So that’s 3 different roads signposted. We chose one of them and road down to the seafront and found the Obelisk marking the finish of the route. we had photos taken there, then turned round to head off home and came upon the old Hornsea Railway Station and things to do with the railway line. We set off riding down the old railway line, despite it not being signposted for the TPT. This brought us out at that confusing roundabout on the road that was not signposted as part of the TPT!.
So we have 3 roads signposts and none of them were the correct route!
The End of The Trail
The Many Tentacles of the TPT
Various Views of Hornsea Station
The Kind Folk of Humberside Erected A Sign for Me
The ride back to Hull followed the same route at the ride out to Hornsea and was only notable for me picking up the first p*nct*re of the ride. Not a problem whip out the punctured tube, get the thorn out of the tyre and put a brand new inner tube in. All sorted? No, turns out the brand new inner tube is defective, so time for another tube and on our way.
Back in Hull we had a ride around the docks and town centre, then tried to find somewhere to eat. This had to be somewhere we could watch our bikes. This is not an easy task on a bank holiday Monday that is also the last day of the Eat Out scheme. Eventually we hit upon Furley’s in Princes Quay where we had a great meal, sat out on the Quayside in the sunshine. The food and the service were excellent. Even better it was also half price under the Eat Out scheme. I can thoroughly recommend this bar and would definitely visit it again.
Then it was time to head to the train station, and back to London. The adventure over. We even arrived into Kings Cross early and headed our separate ways home.
So the 4 days of the ride started in Southport, went via Liverpool, Manchester, Stockport, Hyde, Glossop, Woodhead Pass Penistone, Sheffield ( by mistake), Barnsley, Doncaster, Goole and Hull and took in over 220 miles. Many of these were off road. Some hilly, some very flat, but all in all a good bit of fun.
This was my first ever off road tour. It was great fun and I am surprised how easy the ride up to and over Woodhead Pass was. I learned I enjoyed the trails through Grenoside Woods, even if we shouldn’t have been near them.
Sadly, its back to reality today. My bike has been cleaned and lubed and repairs made. Time to start planning my next trip…or it would be if Covid would disappear.
Thanks must go to my long suffering ride companion Drew Jones for his help, encouragement and support not to mention his patience waiting for me on the more technical bits that I struggle to deal with.
The only downside is that 5 days away has seen me put on 5lbs in weight, despite all the riding!