Newcastle: A Ride on Stephensons' Rocket: Walk To Gateshead and Back. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

June 12, 2013

Newcastle: A Ride on Stephensons' Rocket: Walk To Gateshead and Back.

That would be something. The Rocket wasn't a bike though. And I don't think Stephenson was a cyclist. He was a famous railway engineer. But I like the title no less.

Back to the here and now. I felt more tired and slightly sick this morning after spending all day yesterday updating the journal, than, five days in a row riding the bike. All that sitting still, being indoors and staring at a screen isn't healthy. I still have Monday's page to write. I cannot face it after breakfast. My head's a blank. I make instead a small list of things-to-do today.

#1 Get a haircut.

#2 Buy 4km to 1cm map for road ahead.

#3 Phone the tax office.

#4 Do laundry.

#5 Check emails.

A few doors from the hostel I happened upon a barbers shop. It was mid morning and there wasn't any customers waiting, so I was sitting in the chair as soon as I entered. I never tire of listening to the north east accent, and the two barbers who were both women even though the shop was called a barbers, where talking about a comb. "Ay like tha comb Katie. Yeah should ha got me one."

With the hair cut, I walked down towards the quay. I was interested in seeing the iconic Tyne Bridge, and saw it while crossing over the High Bridge. At the Gateshead side of the High Bridge, there was an interpretation board all about the bridge and the building of the railway, and Rocket inventor Robert Stephenson. I wonder what the meaning of the word "rocket" was in the eighteen twenties. When in 1829, the Rocket was launched on the line, Stockton to Darlington, people wouldn't have dreamt that a hundred and thirty years later, a man would be sent to the moon on a rocket; or, presently, the word can mean long-range weapon. So what did the word rocket mean before it was a train, or was it a new word coined for the technology, meaning, fast steam locomotive.

Tyne Bridge.
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Rocket Man.
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THe High Bridge, the worlds' first to carry both railway and road traffic, was openned in August 1849. It is still sound today.
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I walked uphill from the river into Gateshead. There was nothing to see this side, being much the same as Newcastle. But I did see a cycle lane and a sign for a B road to a place called Felling. I was thinking this might be a way out of the city tomorrow. Then I walked back to the Newcastle side on the Tyne Bridge.

Later, I bough a road atlas instead of a map, as the only maps with a lot of detail, were OS walkers maps; and I'd need both a lot of money and space in the panniers, because they only cover such a small area.

I done a bit of laundry; hand-washing, which will do for now. Checked emails. But forgot to charge the phone, so didn't make that phone-call.

It's raining this evening, but the forecast gives it to clear by morning. Though there'll be the chance of showers during the day. It's also given to be quite windy tomorrow.

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