The pALEgrimage is a yearly event where teams of 'Smoggies' leave Teesside for various breweries scattered far and wide. These breweries donate a cask or pin of ale, the pALEgrims collect it and get it back to The Golden Smog pub in Stockton-on-Tees.
So far, so easy? Not as easy as it sounds as the pALEgrims carry their precious cargo while walking, running or cycling from their nominated brewery back to The Golden Smog with their ale. Once all the kegs and pins are back, they are racked in the alley at The Golden Smog and the pALEgrims, their friends and family and Smoggies have ourselves a brilliant beer festival with all the donated ale.
The pALEgrims are sponsored for their endeavours and every penny of the festival ale sales goes in the charity pot too with all the donations going to The Great North Air Ambulance.
A local band of ale lovers called The Ale Team started the pALEgrimage with a yearly walk to Masham a few years before The Smog opened, but the two teamed up and held their first joint pALEgrimage in May 2015.
This would be my first participation in this yearly event, my team leader Phil had been on many before although this time he had chosen probably the furthest away brewery (North Riding Brewery in Scarborough) and was doing the first two legs by himself, so I offered my assistance and he agreed to have me along, as long as I could keep up. We discussed possible routes and Phil chose the 'Cinder Track' from the North Riding Brew Pub to the first nights stopover at Whitby. A good choice, as the track is ideal for pulling a trolley along and covers virtually the entire route from start to finish.
The Cinder Track runs between Scarborough and Whitby and is roughly 22 miles. It is free of traffic along its length, apart from a couple of short road sections and It follows the old railway line that linked Scarborough with Robin Hood’s Bay and then headed further north to Whitby. The line was part of the Beeching axe and it was closed in 1965. However, Scarborough Council bought the line shortly after it closed and it is now a well-maintained bridleway with plenty of cyclists (and walkers) using it.
Although this was quite a long walk, as stated above, it was very gentle and offered an ideal way to transport a barrel of beer. Off we go - that Sunday celebration seems a long way away !
3D outline of route