Bicycles are like cars but without the insurance, and if you rev the handlebars and make a “vroooomm” noise, that’s called a motorbike.
When buying a bicycle, bear in mind that size isn’t everything.
Cycle Streets is a convenient website for plotting your own cycle route. You can pick between the fast, quiet, or balanced routes, and you can download files for advanced features, like “Fly in Google Earth” (you can download Google Earth itself for free here), or .gpx files that you can transfer to your GPS device (such as a Garmin or TomTom).
Long Distance Routes
Here is the Ordnance Survey map of the whole UK, with cycle routes, which is useful for a quick overview, and it also has more sightseeing suggestions (use the Change Map button in the bottom right to toggle between different overlays).
This route takes you either to Sunderland, or you can head north into the wildlands of Scotland, all the way up to Inverness and the North Atlantic coast. The entire route is 601 miles, and takes you through two national parks.
This route starts in Darlington, goes through Hartlepool, Durham and Consett, and then turns back north-east to South Shields. It includes the section known as the Three Rivers Cycle Route. The whole thing is 88 miles.
Do you know any great cycle routes around Consett? Let us know in the comments below.