The Beach

It’s been a long hard year watching cycling on the telly so in search of a little R&R and some amelioration of my resulting vitamin D deficiency we packed the tartan rug in the morris minor, filled the thermos with bovril and headed for the seaside. The beach may not be much suited for bike riding but the sand and salt provides a welcome feeling of familiarity to a bike rider dragged from the North East’s winter roads, the collars of passers by turned up against the relentless wind provide the friendly reassurance of a home from home at every step and there is coffee and cake, which is pretty much all I need to be offered to be pursuaded to do anything. The beach is also known for it’s movie set looks, a little stretch of the east coast of England which will be forever France and any bike rider is a sucker for anything with a whiff of the continental. There is a feeling of space at the seaside too, except when you forget to check the tides and the sea is washing up against the foot of the dunes. You can stand and look out to sea and wonder if there is someone standing on a similar beach in Denmark looking back at you, thinking of Kierkegaard, The Killing, and whether they left the gas on. The space offers the chance of shaking off the past, of starting afresh, of faking your own disappearance and claiming the insurance. It is particularly at this time of year when christmas lights are being turned on, children’s faces are pressed to department store windows and grown up begin to realise that they are never going to clear everything that is on their desks before the 24th that we need to get out under the sky in search of guidance and so it was that lo, we did look to the heavens and the light of the Wilton flare stack did guideth us home, and it was good.



  1. Rachel

    I’ve never heard of Redcar beach before but it looks quite nice. Sounds like an interesting place too with a movie and a disappearance both to its name. I think I am right to say that Whitby is the main touristy place that people seem to go too, would that be right?

  2. northernbike

    This is a beach of two halves, as they say in football, with pretty little victorian Saltburn at one end and the industry of Teesside at the other. It’s my nearest proper seaside though and I love it there. Whitby is a great place to visit too as it’s got the history and Dracula connection and movies too as some of ‘Possession’ was filmed there and there is also a great beach between Whitby and Sandsend. Whitby’s a bit further, and we’ve had one or two close calls with the weather on the Moor Road too in the wintertime, but I love going there as well.

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