Stanegate suicide slug

“You’re dead, mate,” I said out loud while cycling uphill, slowly, past a slug this morning. It was on a suicide mission across the Stanegate road near Fourstones in Hadrian’s Wall country.

Or maybe not. There was a fairly good chance it would reach the other side of the road because in the hour I was on this former Roman road (built long before Hadrian’s Wall) only three motor vehicles came past me. This part of Northumberland is on the tourist track, but Northumberland is so gloriously empty it’s not uncommon to go hours without seeing any more than just a handful of motor vehicles. Perhaps that’s the reason for the great overtakes I experienced yesterday? There’s hardly ever any other motor vehicle coming the other way so motorists happily cross to the other carriageway to pass cyclists. 

Cyclists on the Stanegate

There were two two touring cyclists coming the other way on the Stanegate. They sailed past, a reminder it’s best to ride west to east in this neck of the woods.

The wind was especially fierce today. As I mentioned in today’s Strava upload posting it was also sopping wet.

I sheltered under trees for 20 minutes or so near Thirlwall Castle, a 12th Century ruined fortified home largely built from stones salvaged from Hadrian’s Wall.

Thirlwall castle.

I could see from the 1:25,000 OS map on my phone that I was sheltering almost exactly where the Roman wall would have once stood so the builders of Thirlwall Castle certainly did a bang up robbing job.

Thirlwall Castle is largely built from stones robbed from Hadrian’s Wall.

I finished the second of two flapjacks bought — by a digital honesty box — from a cottage on the footpath to the castle. I took Sustrans Route 72 instead and then double backed to get to the castle, which I’ve wanted to see up close and personal for ages.

Yommy flapjacks, paid for by PayPal.

The castle is not part of my book research. None of today’s ride is. Today was a transit route, and while I’d rather not get cold and wet at least this wasn’t a route photography day.