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Alpaca in a field alongside East Coast Mainline
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Battle of Bramham Moor 1408 information board.
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Kite flying above Aberford
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View across Battle of Townton site across Vale of York.
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Battle of Townton information boards
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Townton Battlefield Trail information board.
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Battle of Townton Moor 1461 battle information board
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Light covering of snow along un-gritted road near Tadcaster
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View back toward Tadcaster
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Tree full of birds
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Snow covered pond at Askham Bryan
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St. Nicholas church (12th century) Askham Bryan
Due to the forecast of snow, I was the only one at the station, while the others did a walk from Riccall to have a meal in the pub at Naburn.
My ride went via Aldwark Bridge to Lotherton Hall. Lotherton Hall had a Christmas Experiance event taking place which mean't the Cafe was very busy, so I decided to head to Tadcaster which turned out to be a good move, since it started to snow has I approached the Battle of Townton site. I came Straight back from Tadcaster a total of 59 miles (shorter than I had planned).
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Wind Turbines near Howden
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View of Windmill at Seaton Ross
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View of Mast at top of Garrowby Hill
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View towards Garroby Hill
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Snow along side of roman road
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View over Vale of York
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View of Kirby Underdale from Roman Road
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View of Norton and Malton from Leaving Brow
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Buzzard resting on Pole
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View towards York near Thornton le Clay
Just me at the Station today.
So I did a roundabout route to Pocklington some 77 miles in all, taking in Selby cycle path to Barlby, Osgodby, South Duffield, Brind, Spaldington, Foggathorpe, Laytham, Seaton Ross, Melbourne, Thornton, Allerthorpe to Pocklington. I stopped at a new cafe to me SMile Cafe at a farm shop on the road to Millington.
With return route, heading towards Millington to take the old Roman ridge road to Leavening, across to West Lilling and taking the Bridleway to Haxby/Wigginton
Over the last year the Section has enjoyed its usual selection of trips away, both home and abroad. Destinations have included Hawkshead; Dufton; Whitby; the Algarve; Easter was spent exploring the area around Hadrian’s Wall where we were joined by CTC members from Chester & Portsmouth; Grinton and Ingleton for the May Bank Holidays; Northumberland, following Sustrans routes; two weeks touring the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain.
Congratulations to Brett Hill, Keith & Ann Benton for completing the LEL in appalling conditions.
July saw the successful launch of the PG Challenge Rides with 68 taking part in remembrance of Peter Gray. An excellent effort by the organiser, Andrew Kirby.
Gerry’s rides have maintained their numbers, up to 240 riders from 231 for the same events last year.
Please enjoy reading the following reports, some a little longer then previous as, due to dwindling news reporter numbers, this will be the last newsletter for the time being.
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Lydia outside Street YHA
Sustrans routes can give an area once visited a new twist. The Cotswolds/Mendips is such a place and a long time since we were there with the club one Easter. A bit of research, Google Earthing and inspiration and the trip was set in motion.
Kicking off from the hostel in Stow on the Wold one morning with promising weather deteriorated within 5 miles to stair rods, a whirlwind and utter blackness! It got worse. Taking refuge under a tree by the lane which was now the rapids of the upper Nile, a passing tractor forced me to lift the laden tandem out of the way which then swung the chainset into my shin. I could not utter *$%@** out loud because it was so painful.!! What a start.
It had to improve after this and it did. Glorious sunshine down the lovely Coln valley with beautiful villages in succession to Arlington Row. A pub lunch and then past the famous Uffingham white horse to the excellent Ridgeway independent hostel near Wantage. The route then took us on trail 45 & 4 through the glorious vale of Pewsey to our B&B at Devizes. Devizes, a pleasant market town brewing the famed Wadworths 6xx . However, after taking in several pints of this hallowed brew I was not allowed to recite the fabled “ there once was a man from Devizes” verse that evening in the Black Bear hotel by stoker Lydia. Denied.
Then along the Kennet and Avon canal route 4 passing the 45 locks down Caen Hill two aqueducts and on through Bath, Bristol, Avon Gorge to Avonmouth. This brought us onto the new Sustrans Strawberry line cycleway from Yatton to Cheddar cutting as it goes through the Mendips (southerly flanks used to grow – you’ve guessed it strawberries). Too early for strawberries so a Cheddar cheese toastie at Cheddar! Onto the village of Street staying at, for me, one of the best located hostels in UK. : A 75 years old Swiss chalet located in a National Trust forest on a ridge looking down from our dorm window onto Glastonbury Tor. All for £13/ night. Bargain !!
Route 3 took us onto Wells (No baby eating Bishops to be seen anywhere) but not before a broken spoke on the rear - drum brake side. Over an hour to sort this in the entrance to a farm. Time was passed though in the good company of an inquisitive farmer discussing the expenses fiasco and which parts of the MP’s need removing. Then high into the Mendips and the Hostel at Bath. Similar to York in many ways but definitely NOT tandem country. Many a breadfruit was thrown off the Tandem Bounty next day due the unforgiving terrain. The mutiny was quelled; Lydia (alias Mrs Christian) was sentenced when we arrived back in port. The Mendips gave way to rolling countryside by the river Severn and the The Ship Inn stayover at Upper Framilode. Gammon with chips and beer and the severe hills were a distant memory. Until next morning! Back into the Cotswolds. North South with the grain is OK, but West East is a bugger.... Although picturesque, it’s warp speed down into a valley and pulling against black holes gravity out. Not easy on a tandem. We dropped into Copton Abdale and filled the bottles with spring water from a 16th century stone Crocodile poking out from the hillside for the last few miles back to the car.
If you enjoy severe hills, Cholera free springwater, Sustrans tracks and your strawberries with cream snappy this may be the one for you.
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Grinton Lodge Hostel
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View from the Hostel of Reeth
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Wensleydale Railway (Redmire)
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Climb of Oxnop (Andy G. and Sally)
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River Tees at Whorlton
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Grass track from Castle Bolton
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Elaine walks steep descent to river crossing
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Grass track from Castle Bolton
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Grass track from Castle Bolton
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Group approaching Muker
7 of us met up at Skelton, 9am to cycle to Grinton. A fairly quick pace was required to get us to Bedale, in order to catch the train to Redmire. The intention then was to go over Butter Tubs Pass to get to Muker and the café there, however Peter knew of a track from Castle Bolton, which kept us high on the fell side, with good views. By the time we came off the track the decision had been made to take Oxnop to Muker, which is much nicer with quieter roads and better views. It was then just down the valley, with some of us taking the back road to Grinton, which missed out Reeth and the final climb to the Hostel. Evening meals for the weekend were taken in the pub in Grinton, which then required us to climb back up the hill to the Hostel.
Day 2 we intended to go through Marske and over the climb to Barnard Castle, however Andy G. said I know a nice route (with track) to bring us out onto the top. This proved to be OK until we got to a steep down and up which proved too much to ride on road bikes, it was then a long descent to Newsham (with a strong tail wind). The roads then meandered through the lanes to Barnard Castle with the final 5km into a strong head wind, the café stop being Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle. Instead of doing the Stang to get back it was decided to follow the Walney to Wear (Sustrans route 52) through Bowes and the track to Arkengarthdale, when we should then turn and have a tail wind back to the Hostel.
The journey home was through the lanes to the café at Masham and on through Grewelthorpe and Ripon to get to Knaresborough and our usual route back to York.
Overall it was a very good weekend with plenty of steady off road riding and again no rain.
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View of Ingleborough
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Sally, John and Elaine (Carnforth Station)
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John, Sally and Elaine on climb to Mastiles Lane
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Pete crossing ford on Mastiles Lane
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Elaine cyles along Lancaster Canal towpath
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Sally and Elaine with statue of Eric Bartholemew
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Andy G. and Pete with statue of Eric Bartholemew
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Sally and Elaine crossing over Wharfe at Cavendish Pavillion
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Ascent to Mastiles Lane
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Group decision time
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heading towards Lanacster
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Group looking towards Ingleborough from cycle path
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Ingleton - park behind the Hostel
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View of Ingleborough
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View of Ingleborough
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Askrigg - scarcrow
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Ascent through Well
5 of us met up at Dringhouses at 8am to cycle to Ingleton. We were to meet up with Andy G. at Otley between 10.30-11am. We went the usual way through Wetherby and the back roads to Otley. Our next stop would be Grassington via Appletreewick before the long climb up to the track of Mastiles lane (4.5km of track) where I thought our luck had run out, with some light rain in the air. This was also the point when I received looks of disgust from those there. I must say the track was much better than the last time I rode it (however, not in the best condition). After this things improved to Stainforth and over to Austwick and onto the Hostel at Ingleton. It was decided that we would have a meal in the hostel that evening (this proved mediocre).
It was decided to have a ride to Morecambe; I took the decision to take the main A65 to Kirkby Lonsdale while the traffic was quiet, which turned out to be helpful for a circular route. Back roads were used to get us to Carnforth and the ‘Brief Encounter Cafe’ at the railway station, which was a café-cum-museum. It was then along the Lancaster Canal and the cycle track along the sea front at Morecambe where a number of photos were taken with the statue of Eric Bartholomew. The cycle path was then taken to Lancaster where a second café stop was taken, with some interesting local characters (not recommended), before heading back to the cycle path out of Lancaster to Wray and our 3rd café of the day, before returning to Ingleton. We decided after the previous nights meal that we would try out the Wheatsheaf for the evening meal, this turned out to be a big mistake, with the food for some inedible. We ended up having a few drinks at a pub with live music; P.S. I’ve got the evidence!
The journey back was via the back road to Ribble Head and through Hawes to Castle Bolton, where Pete bought a fruit pie, which turned out to be a pork pie topped with cranberries. Then it was the back roads, up Preston Scar through Masham and onto Ripon (‘Sun Parlour’ - first time this year). This was where we left Andy G. who headed back to Leeds, while we headed back through Boroughbridge and over Aldwark Bridge.
All I can say is yet another good weekend only let down by the poor quality of the food in Ingleton, which is surprising with “Bernie’s” and “Inglesport” cafes, which are both excellent.
I was a bit apprehensive in organising the event, especially since it was the first one I’d done. I came up with a number of routes representing various aspects of what Peter was all about.
220km was intended to be a true challenge ride to test the most hardened of cyclists. This took in Pete’s favourite Easter route of the Stang, which was extended to Tan Hill, Butter Tubs Pass, Fleet Moss and a number of other climbs. This proved to be the case with 12 riders taking part on the day. They set off at 7.35am and I was surprised to see a group of 7 get back by 6.30pm all Clifton members.
100km was designed to be a standard club ride setting off at 10am enabling those who choose to, to cycle out to the start. This had 2 cafes at Ripon, which had to deal with all 50 riders descending upon them within a 15-30 minute period, the second being ‘Restaurant 21’ in Easingwold. Unfortunately there were two incidents on this ride a rear shunt, causing some damage to some of the cycles. With a more serious incident when Geoff came off, which was caused when descending out of Yearsley where he moved over onto a bit of rough road to let a car pass. He ended up spending the night in the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. 50 starters and 49 finished the ride with just the one unfortunate incident.
25/40km was designed to encourage families and those who haven’t done this sort of riding before. 6 started out and 6 got back with no problem, all doing the 40km route.
I would like to thank all those who took part and thank to Clifton for including the 220 and 100 into their Challenge Series. Brett deserves special thanks for helping me out all day by doing a check on the Stang (220km route), before coming back and dealing with the returning riders, providing Teas and Coffees.
2010 Event will take place on Sunday 18th July and will be the same routes except a 50km ride instead of the 25/40. Route sheets etc. can be found at: - http://www.amkirby.co.uk/York/PGrides.htm
You could cycle in Northumberland at anytime with its great coastline, Cheviot Hills and lack of cars. The Sustrans Coast and Castles route brings this all together in one convenient loop. So with the usual poor suspects we began with a night in Newcastle; an Italian restaurant to start ending up with inebriated Geordies at the excellent Station Inn by George Stephenson’s railway bridge over the Tyne.
Next day from the centrally located Albatross (reminds me of a python sketch) independent hostel we followed route 1 along the Tyne, through the cyclists tunnel under the river (poor Elaine + diagonally opposed bike nearly lost it on the escalator). A preliminary bacon sarnie alfresco at Tynemouth and down the coast for a picnic at lovely Druridge bay. Already, Cashpoint Pete’s bike had punctured with a broken cable in his STI lever; honourably letting everyone, including the ladies, sort it out for him! What a gentleman.
Overnight in Alnwick Lydia, Nick and myself stayed at the White Swan Hotel. The dining area has the entire reclaimed & relocated 1911 RMS Olympic’s (identical sister ship to Titanic) panelled dining suite bought at auction by the hotelier after her break-up in 1935 at Jarrow.
No icebergs hit during the night so onward to Bamburgh castle then tracking it through sand dunes to the magnificent Budle Bay, Chillingham castle overnighting at the reprieved Wooler Hostel under the Cheviots. Another night of beer and pasta.
The Sustarans route then skirts around picturesque base of the Cheviots although bumpy with leafy/ferny tracks – good then. Our luck with the weather was lost for an hour or so with a monsoon before reaching the excellent cyclist’s café at Elsdon. A stay over at Bellingham YHA bunkhouse – a great place although there was just enough hot water for a very small mouse to have a short shower.
Next day the group parted. Group “A” became disorientated (lost) in the tracks through Kielder forest but eventually found their way out to the Dales and home! Elaine, myself + stoker followed the pleasant route 72 alongside the Tyne from Hexham to central Newcastle. Farewell until next time then to the land of the stotie loaf and Newkie brown.
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Group on climb to Silpho
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Pete and Sally tour Whitby Abbey
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Sally at the top of Bank Brow near Boulby
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John fixes the only puncture of the weekend
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View over Whitby Abbey
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Church near Whitby Abbey
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Tall Ship arriving Whitby Harbour
Seven of us set off just gone 9am, heading to the first café stop at Fridaythorpe, which took in the ascent after Kirby Underdale. The 2nd stop being at Wykeham Tearooms, after first going through Sledmere and a couple of ascents to cross the A64 at Sherburn. It would then be up Forge Valley and the steep ascent of Silpho hairpins, through Harwood Dale to the 3rd stop of Flask Inn. A couple decided to go their own way to Whitby while the rest did a bit more of the main road before being able to get back onto the back roads. The evening as ever with our group would be to have a drink before the evening meal, which tonight was at Trenchers.
Saturday ended up as a short ride along the coast to a tea garden at Runswick Bay via a track to get there. It was at this point it was decided to go to Danby Lodge for our 2nd stop that took in a steep ascent of Bank Brow near Boulby. Sustrans route 52 (W2W) was then taken to get back to Whitby. A look around the Abbey was always the intent on and was much better than the last time I went round about 20 years ago (or there about- free entry to the Abbey when staying at the Whitby YHA). The evening meal was having an Indian at Whitby railway station, which proved to be an excellent choice.
The return journey spilt into 2 groups to Pickering with those cycling all the way taking in Ruswarp, Sleights, Grosmont and the hillier moor road though Stape. The other group took a more scenic route to Grosmont and a train ride to Pickering. Both groups meet up and did the usual route back stopping off at the Arboretum Café at Castle Howard.
We were very lucky with the weather yet again, with a torrential downpour when we were in the Tearooms in Wykeham on the way out and another while we were in the Arboretum Café on the return journey, with just a shower heading back into York.
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View from ferry across to Santander
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Group climbing one of the ascents
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View over the Cantabria mountains
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View across lake towards Torre Blanca
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Pete in Oseja de Sajambra
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Desfiladero de los Beyos
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Cangas de Onis, Puente Romano
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The Basilica of Covadonga
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Group approach to Cares Gorge
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Cares Gorge foot bridge
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view over la hermida
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Shrine above la hermida
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Andy G., Sally and Nick approach Mirador del Corso
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View Hoz De Llanaves
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Peter with Picos de Europa
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Cloud over Picos de Europa
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Group walking near Posada de Valdeón
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View down Desfiladero de los Beyos
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Group cycle along Desfiladero de los Bellos
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Peter and Nick (Desfiladero de los Bellos)
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Group having a meal, Cangas de Onis
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Snow tunnel (Canales la Molina)
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Picos de Europa (Arenas de Cabrales)
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Sally walking (Ruta del Cares)
Having trained it down to Plymouth on the Saturday we had time to explore a little of Dartmoor before the ferry departed for Santander on Sunday afternoon. Nick and AK had done their homework and planned a route to Yelverton and back, following Sustrans Route 27. It proved to be the ideal leg and lung stretch before boarding the ferry. It was a pleasant enough crossing with a spot of whale/dolphin watching thrown in and time to go on deck, enjoy the Spanish sunshine and our approach into Santander.
We headed east along the coast off the ferry, with the intention of going round the peninsula and along the north side of Santander to avoid the centre. With Andy G’s GPS we made it out on to the minor roads fairly easily. After a section on quiet main roads to get us across two rivers, we found an old railway line that had been surfaced to take us to our accommodation in the sleepy village of Casar de Periedo.
Our first full day in sunny Spain proved to be too much excitement for Jacque! With three passes to negotiate and the mercury rising into the 30’s, dehydration and touring panniers took their toll. We were all relieved to reach Potes and our hotel. No prizes for guessing who was first to the bar!! It was going to take a bit more to bring Jacque back to life. After some negotiation with the proprietor he agreed to ferry (for 60 Euros) Jacque and her bike over the next day’s pass, in his 4x4, to Posada de Valdeon where we had a rest day planned. With that organised we could relax.
With another warm day ahead of us we said ‘hasta luego’ to Jacque and set off into the heart of the Picos. Today we would get our first views of the limestone peaks, just a 1600m climb in our way! Well worth the effort for some stunning views before dropping down to Posada Valdeon where we caught up with Jacque. It was a relief to see her almost back to her usual self. We were all glad of a rest day as the heat continued. So a short walk, a picture show at the tourist info office and a picnic lunch on the balcony were the extent of our activities.
With everyone keen to get back on their bikes we headed for our only pass of the day, a steady 1280m. After a lunch consisting of a cheese and ‘tree bark’ bocadillo we started our descent of the famous Desfiladero de los Beyos. A superb run down this gorge to Cangas de Onis was punctuated by frequent photo opportunities too good to miss. Cangas is a busy town with an impressive Roman-style bridge. This is where we had our first real taste of the local Asturian cider, an acquired taste I have to say and acquired by some quicker than others!! Note – an evening meal in Cangas is not the laid back Spanish experience you might expect. Please hand me the Gaviscon and the Valium!!
Saturday and the weather had turned cloudy and hazy. We decided to take a detour up to the Disneyesque Covadonga and the lakes beyond. This proved to be a less than a bright idea as the whole of Spain seemed to be heading in the same direction. After lunch and a gear cable repair we headed for Arenas de Cabrales where we would stay 3 nights.
After an easy/rest day the owners of the Hotel Torrecerredo (Jim & Pilar) dropped us off at the start of the Cares Gorge walk and picked us up again when we returned. A 12 mile walk not to be missed, even if it had to be done in cycling shoes! The stunning scenery proved to be too much excitement for some cameras! We got back to Arenas in time to get a card and cake to celebrate Pete’s birthday.
Time to start heading back, so off to the coast and a route via St. Vincente to Comillas, famous for it’s modernista architecture including the occasional Gaudi design. Weather damp and grey but soon forgotten when we got to our hotel. A fantastic location right on the beach, all rooms with a sea view. A very dramatic, atmospheric night with heavy rain and thunder and lightening battling it out over the bay.
After a wet morning and a spell huddled in a bus shelter, some of the group headed off to explore the Via Verde along a disused railway line. We had a real treat in store for our last night, a dramatic, if slightly OTT, gothic palace at Villacarriedo.
Homeward bound now. Took a direct route to Santander and made use of a local ferry across the bay so avoiding the city centre. Time to relax by the beach, take in the Spanish sunshine, have a paddle and a leisurely lunch before boarding the ferry home.
¡Adios, hasta luego!
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Lydia looking back towards Arnside
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Descending Fairy Steps
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Above the clouds and mist from Yoke
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Sally crossing stream (John and Elaine background)
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View along valley towards Kentmere
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View over River Lune
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Group crossing sands near Arnside
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Leighton Moss Nature Reserve
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View over Leighton Moss
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Lydia descending Fairy Steps
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Lydia on ridge towards Yoke
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Group heading towards Yoke
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Levels off before final ascent to Yoke
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Group descending Ill Bell
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View over Kentmere Reservoir
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View over Haweswater
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View over Haweswater
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View along River Kent
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View of Hillside near Kentmere
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Sally and Kent take in the view of River Lune
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View down Barbondale
Arnside is a great base for walking the Lakes, Western Dales and also has great trekking trails within its own locality. So with no more a do Lydia and myself met up with Ken, cashpoint Pete, AK, big John, Sally and Elaine in sunshine and blue skies at Arnside hostel. Ken brought along the fruit of his loins Jason, who could not quite make us out – even at the end of the long weekend! We almost immediately launched into Morecambe bay mud hauling ourselves on to the wooded limestone cliffs after White Creek to escape the dreaded tides and could be anywhere, quicksand! The 12 mile (or was it 14 - see Andy!) circular took us around the lovely headland to Silverdale, Leighton Moss reserve, Zealand Redmayne and onto the wooded and enchanted fairy steps. These are not for fairies though cutting down through a deep and narrow fissure in a limestone buttress where two of our larger beer drinking fairies struggled to get through. Good day out finishing off with the excellent homemade cuisine at the hostel and Thwaites Bomber Ale at the local. After a couple everyone tried on Pete’s toon army tartan football supporters hat with attached ginger wig (see rogues gallery). Strangely it looked quite natural on Pete and nobody gave him a second glance at the bar
Day 2 and up the beautiful Kentmere to cover the 11 miler of Waiwright’s Kentmere Round taking in Yoke, Frostwick, Mardale Ill Bell and down the picturesque Kentmere valley back to the village. Lovely weather conditions with columns of mist slowly evaporating away as you ascended higher into the fells with hardly a breath of wind. Not bad for October.
Sundays walk from Kirby Longsdale started badly with brief rain and Cashpoint Pete realising his rucsac was 15 miles away on a bench outside the hostel. Arranging to meet up with him at Barbondale manor, something was lost in translation ending with Pete apparently a mile away further up the valley of Barbon! Forgotten rucsac, then this – in no mood to talk then!! Our walk took us to a non-existent crossing on the river Lune so we backtracked to a Gothic cattle bridge. Even OS can be wrong. Into and out of Barbondale following a drystone double walled bridleway to High Casterton leading back into Kirby Longsdale.
Good weather, respectable mileage and good company made for an enjoyable 3 day trip. When’s the next one then?
I was not looking forward to compiling this edition of the York Section Newsletter. Many sad events have taken place since our last publication back in April, most poignant to the York Section, the loss Peter. Not only our main organiser and fund-raiser but also our motivator, inspiration, friend and last but not least our ‘humour link’! It will take many to fill PG’s cycling shoes. There are few club rides that go by without somebody mentioning his name and reminiscing. You’re never faraway Pete!
We also saw the passing of Ray Johnson and Eddie Clarke, both had long associations with the Section, Eddie as one of the founding members of the York Section and Ray a member of winning team in the CTC DA Competition back in the ‘80’s, to name just one of his achievements.
As a tribute to Peter the Section (well AK) is in the process of organising a PG Challenge Ride (220K from Tockwith to Tan Hill) and shorter rides (100K, 40K & 25K) to take place in July 2009 (as close to Peter’s Birthday as possible). Details to be confirmed.
With the recent sad passing of Eddie Clarke the story of the foundation of NERDA may get lost. Specific dates, and entries to the first standard rides, should be available from HQ but here are my memories of its beginnings.
John and I had been nurtured into cycling by HERDA (Hull and East Riding DA) and had spent many happy Sundays and hostelling/camping weekends with them. Through these experiences, and attending York Rally we had learned how to successfully adapt our bikes so that we could continue to enjoy the cycle scene as Elaine outgrew the child seat.
When John's work took him to Selby and with the promise of a later move to Ripon we decided to find a home in York - the home of cycling and reasonable cycling distance, between the two, for John.
The move completed in October 1975, but we were surprised to find there was no York section. By chance, on a lone ride to the Wolds that Christmas, John met Eddie. For those who knew Eddie this itself was a miracle but I guess it must have been a fine day (tee hee). Eddie told John how the club had folded when its members started their own families and/or 'progressed' to the motor car. He gave John a link person - Johnny Hessle - and together they got the club back on the road.
Other people involved in those early days were Ron and Glenys Healey, and Mike and Ann Haseltine. (Twas Ann who made the first club tops - a dreadful piece of work - mine only lasted 25 years!) We had good support through the schools through Keith Barker aka Wuffa (teacher at Scarcroft) and welcomed many young people including Phil (son of Mick) McCormick, Iain and Andrew Sellars, Gary Myers and of course Andrew Kirby.
Maybe club members can track down some of the other early riders or their families, for their memories, and enable a larger picture of the foundations to be recorded.
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Hostel at Patterdale
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View of Striding Edge from Helvellyn
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Dave & Lydia at Castlerigg Stone Circle
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View of Windermere from the Struggle
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Group having Tea and Cake by Ullswater
Arrival at the hostel on the Friday was met with glorious sunshine, blue skies and no wind. Visibility very good so onto Helvellyn! Sally and Linda keenly charged off ahead to get to grips with Striding Edge. Left at Patterdale church, up Grisedale using the hole in the wall route, to Striding Edge. The faint hearted used the new lower path whilst the rest clambered over the dragons back to meet a near 30ft sheer drop before the final ascent. We were met with near perfect conditions on the top easily picking out major landmarks before descending steeply down Swirral Edge, Red Tarn & into Glenridding.
Saturday Andy, Lydia and myself took off on the bikes to Aira Force and the scenic Sustrans railtrack into Keswick. Back to base via Castlerigg standing stones, the east bank of lovely Thirlmere before going over the Struggle. The rest had a damp attempt at High Street. The cool, damp day was immediately forgotten in the evening at the White Lion Inn.
Sunday was again perfect walking conditions with the route taking us past Brothers Water, ascending steep stone cuttings for quite some time steep (very similar to the ones Bilbo used to Shelob’s lair) to the lower flanks of Dove Crag and onto Fairfield. Elation was present in the air until I could hide the way down no longer, a precipitous scramble down and around the airy Cofa Pike and then up and over St Sunday Crag to Glenridding and a celebratory tea & cake by Ullswater.
Enjoyable long weekend had by everyone. Just hope Cofa Pike did not give anyone nightmares!
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Top of Col du Tourmalet
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View from hotel - Argeles Gazost
After years of watching the Tour de France climbing through the area, we decided this year to do a cycling tour of the Pyrenees.
The easiest way to get down there with bikes was using the European Bike Express bus - several DA members had recommended this service.
The trip was booked for the first two weeks of June and two Michelin maps and the Rough Guide to the Pyrenees guide book purchased. That was the extent of the planning.
We pick up the bus at Bramham village and got dropped off at Bayonne near Biarritz a mere 27 hours later – we had two weeks to get to Toulouse 185 miles away.
The first day was an easy roll down the Atlantic coast to Saint Jean de Luz then turning inland on the second day making for Saint Jean Pied de Port, crossing the boarder into Spain several times, our first col being the mighty Col d’Ibardin at 90m.
The scenery was beautiful, very green and picture postcard perfect, and after cycling in Britain, the absolute lack of rubbish strewn roadside was very noticeable.
We wended our way to Pau where we stopped two nights giving us chance to have a day off the bikes and a good look round.
The more we travelled, the more we relied on our guide book, it proved quite accurate and entertaining. Our daily quest to find accommodation was straight forward getting into the first Hotel listed for each location. The proprietors obviously dazzled by my command of their language.
We had been forewarned about Lourdes, described by the guide as Catholic Disneyland. I would certainly recommend a visit, it really does have to be seen to be believed.
Halfway through our holiday, we landed at Argeles-Gazost, at the foot of the Col d’Aubisque and the road to Hautacam where we struck gold with the accommodation, the Hotel Beau Site. The view from the room was spectacular, the food superb and ridiculously cheap. The couple running the Hotel looked after us well and made sure we made the most of the area. We stayed three nights here, allowing us to take a trip up the Col de Tourmalet without luggage, and visit the Cirque de Gavarnie. I certainly hope to return here in the near future.
At Bagneres de Bigorre, we spent two nights allowing ourselves a day to sample one of the many thermal spas in the area.
We now started heading away from the high Pyrenees towards Toulouse roughly following the Garonne river. The scenery changed and the roads made for quicker progress.
We arrived in Toulouse via the Canal du Midi two days before pickup where we had our first problem booking a hotel on spec. A rather tense tour of the airport area and a ride up a motorway ensued before we found a place for the night.
The final full day, we just headed into the city centre and by good fortune got a room in an Etap Hotel, cheap, convenient and smack in the middle of the red light district.
The whole trip passed without incident, no mechanicals and certainly no problems out on the roads. June seemed to be the ideal time to go before the area gets busy with the Tour and the start of the French holiday season in July and August.
Brett & Elaine.
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Lydia on the Afluisdijk causeway
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Nick with refreshment
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Candlelit dinner Sneek
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Cyclists cafe NS route
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North sea cycle route
If you prefer flat (ish) terrain, a staple diet of ham, cheese and Heineken then the Netherlands must be your first choice. Forewarned of this 8 individuals still headed off across the North Sea in this direction in July.
Cashpoint Pete & drinking partner Nick, Sally, Big John, Little John & Sue, myself and stoker Lydia met up at home in Riccall for T and cake before heading off for my “special” route to North Sea Ferries at Hull. Over the Wolds, down Elloughton dale and then following the walkers Trans Pennine Trail route. We trekked from the Humber Bridge to just after Hessle foreshore arriving dishevelled. After application of dressings and elastoplasts to some individuals we continued over lock gates, down tracks and over /through shipping warehousing to finally arrive at our vessel “The Pride of Rotterdam”.
After a shower, pint, evening meal with someone playing dodgily on a piano, all the ups and downs and brambles of our route there were forgotten (by me) as we cruised on towards the flatlands.
After the terrible summer we have had, our spirits were up when we awoke just before arriving at Rotterdam to glorious weather. Big breakfast, customs and off immediately from the port on an A1 cycleway or fietspad to Rotterdam down a 6 mile sliver of wooded land in the middle of a large river. I must confess to being a bit fazed when in the planning stages, at the thought of navigating with 8 cyclists through 35 miles of Europe’s largest port. In reality the continuous excellent signed cycleways, interesting route, bikers everywhere and a pigeons sense of direction saw us easily through and into the country. A whistle-stop and Macdonald’s (everywhere closed on Sunday) in Gouda & then on through lanes with lakes butt up to the edge of the road before arriving at the 17th century Bunick hostel, complete with bar.
Good weather next day through wooded heathland cycle tracks in the Appledorm region with the tandem reaching 41mph down a hill in the “flatlands” before arriving at our hotel in the pretty moated medieval town of Elburg. The hotel was comfortable, lovely Italian meal and well fermented beers (Nick and Pete had it literally by the jug full again) so a nice end to the ride.
The following days were spent trekking through the marshy Weeribben National Park to Sneek hostel, then on over the 18 mile sea causeway, the Afsluiddijk, complete with strong headwind from Friesland to North Holland. Then ferry onto the island of Texel.
The final couple of days took us on the Dutch section of the North Sea long distance cycle route. The route weaved its way through impressive sand dunes and wooded areas, protecting us for some time against headwind, to Nordwijk hostel. The final day’s weather was in contrary to the bad forecast and was a sunny pleasant ride along the North Sea cycle route to the Hook of Holland with a final appletart and coffee before our return on the ferry.
Good company, hostels & hotel and high quality cycletracks through a varied countryside. Unfortunately everyone is now ham and cheesed out for some time to come!
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Brett in Ludborough Wolds Railway
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Elaine outside De Aston School
Whilst still reeling from the cost of this year’s CTC rally in the Cotswolds, the Tandem Club magazine dropped through the door with details of this year’s main tandem event at Market Rasen in Lincolnshire. A whole week half board in Lincolnshire for only £129 each on a week which fitted rather nicely with my work’s roster. After several seconds deliberation, we booked.
Elaine & myself have been in the Tandem Club for three years but had yet to attend any event, so this was an ideal opportunity. Lincolnshire may not have been our first choice for a week away being so close but it certainly was convenient.
The event was held August Bank Holiday week at the De Aston School, a State run school with boarding facilities. We opted to stay in the dormitories rather than camp on the playing field. Meals were provided in the school’s canteen by the schools own catering staff.
Not really knowing what to expect, we loaded up the car and set off late on the Saturday afternoon. Yes we could have ridden down, but we had to take bedding and creature comforts and a whole host of other items for a week away.
Ninety minutes later, we were at the school settled in a dormitory room for two.
For the first evening, a cheese & wine party had been organised in a marquee on the playing field where we bumped into Tom & Joan Beevers, making a grand total of four NYDA members at the event.
Each day, a choice of three rides, short, medium & long were available, with eating stops arranged, and taking in points of interest. We had only printed out the medium routes.
The first ride on Sunday was a trip to Lincoln. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a grand roll out together on the first day, I’d been looking forward to the sight of about eighty tandems going down the High Street. I suspect common sense had prevailed and we rolled out in ones and twos (twos and fours?) so as not to hold up the traffic.
There was a good selection of people on the rides, from families with their kiddie cranks & tag along bikes, to the more seasoned tandem teams on their high end machines. It was fascinating just to see how many variations of tandem frame designs there could be.
On the way back from Lincoln, we did a detour out to Bardney & took afternoon tea at a newly opened heritage centre in an old railway goods shed. On departing, we came across the local fete so had to pop in there and were rewarded with a fly past by a Lancaster Bomber.
The second day was a trip out to Louth. On the road, we met up with two couples, Steve and Anna from Silsden (WY Tandem Club Section), and a couple from Carlisle. At Louth, we all decided to take a detour and went to Mablethorpe for lunch. We picked the route back up at Ludborough where we just made the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway Station café before closing time.
Day three and we headed west to Mount Pleasant Windmill at Kirton Lindsey for the morning stop. This was the day we should have taken some pictures as the sight of about twenty five tandems propped up against the mill was something to behold. Once again we met up with Steve and Anna and did a detour to the River Trent before heading south to pick up the long route at Gainsborough.
On the rest day, we cycled back to the Wolds Railway at Ludborough and had a ride on the steam train, a high speed line connecting Ludborough and North Thoresby some one an a half miles away.
Day five saw us heading south east to Horncastle on picturesque roads through the Wolds. On speaking to a couple at the café, we decided to detour further south to Coningsby and Tattershall. Unfortunately, we missed the Battle of Britain memorial flight based at Coningsby as it had taken off about two hours before we arrived, and Tattershall Castle was closed Thursdays and Fridays.
Friday was our last day as I was back to work Friday night. We had a quick ride up to Caistor before packing up and heading home.
Overall, we had an excellent week’s riding. The weather held, all be it rather windy, and the organisation was superb. We met plenty of people with varying levels of interest in tandeming. We certainly intend to go to more tandem events in the future.
Thanks must go to the organisers Ian & Jo Postlethwaite and the catering staff at the De Aston School.
Brett & Elaine.
Further info on the event – see http://www.tandem-club.org.uk/nf2002/rallies.htm
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Hostel at Kirkby Stephen
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'Low Carlingill' towards 'Langdale Fell'
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Outside the Cafe in Buckden
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Nick crossing ford near Crosby Garrett
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Linda with Birthday Cake
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Bedraggled Sally and Tan Inn's Pet Sheep
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Peter with National Cycle Network sign pointing across moor land
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Group at top of climb after Greenholme
Whilst Brett & Elaine were Lincolnshire bound the rest of the Section headed for the slightly more challenging terrain of the Yorkshire Dales. We’d booked into the ex YHA Kirkby Stephen hostel. So with an early start and excellent cycling weather, we set out on the road to Otley, where Nick & Andy Gibson would meet us in the Riverside Café (Linda to meet us in KS). After a cheap and cheerful elevenses we headed up Wharfedale. We made excellent progress via Burnsall and Kettlewell to Buckden where we stopped for a late lunch at the West Winds Tearoom. This is a real gem, hidden away behind the Buck Inn. Suitably refuelled we pressed on up Fleet Moss. The sight to two bare chested, mud splattered mountain bikers just up the road certainly spurred me on!! No stopping now, straight on to the Moorcock Inn, a quiet ride down Mallerstang to arrive in KS with plenty of time to spare before our evening meal at the Black Bull Inn.
Sunday. Linda’s birthday, so I had a cake to collect from the Appleby Bakery on Main Street. It was huge! The bright & sunny day was perfect for a steady birthday ride. We headed out across the heather clad moors to Orton and our first stop of the day. Then on down the picturesque (despite the M6 & railway) Lune Gorge and into Sedburgh for a second stop before heading back to KS for tea & birthday cake.
Monday. Oh dear, what a contrast to yesterday. We were all envious of Linda with her return rail ticket! Wind and rain greeted us as we stepped out of the hostel. The forecast was for it to brighten up later, but that wasn’t before we had battled against horizontal wind and rain trying to blow us off the road up to Tan Hill. Walking was the safest option in places. Thankfully the skies began to clear and the rain eased as we descended to Reeth. From there it was more or less just a matter of putting the sails up and allowing the wind to push us homeward!
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Group short break at North Kelsey
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Café stop at Waters Edge RSPB
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Dave and Lydia at the top of Walsbey Hill
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Brett tries out John's sun glasses
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Group having a break near Reedness
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Road works near Scotter
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View across the river Humber
Arriving on the Friday at Beverley Friary like wet bedraggled moths was not a good start to the weekend. A shower, curry (including large screen Bollywood) and a pint at gas lit Nellys put things into a better light.
Not daring to look out of the window next morning the warden passed on a print out for the weather, confirmed outside by sunshine and fluffy white things! A fry up, bagged up and the merry group were off. Lincolnshire bound across the Humber Bridge. Tea alfresco at the new RSPB visitor centre in Barton. Down quiet lanes, across the Lincolnshire Wolds to Burnham and a break at North Kelsey. After over half an hour the mystery wrapped up in an enigma Boswell had not materialised. We carried on & up the drag of Walesby Hill (everyone in dripping mode) and along High Street to the café at Tealby crossroads. The owner then gave us an imitation of Charlie Chaplin walking and said: “ Your little friend has gone on to Woody’s”! No surprise there then.
Through the beautiful Donnington on Bain valley, sleepy Scamblesby and along Blue Stone Heath road to Woody’s Top hostel – now reprieved from rent a hostel. A nice descent in the evening brought us to the Stag Inn Thai restaurant at Burwell (I had gammon and chips!) for a nice meal with the group and a good selection of beers. Then everyone very slowly turned the cranks the couple of sleepy miles climb back to the land of nod.
Another sunny day on Sunday as we left the Bain area by the huge Belmont radio mast and across to Sixhills. Then nearly a three mile gradual drop down from the Wolds to a bacon baguette at Market Rasen.The warm rear wind wafted us through the quiet lanes of Lincolnshire and Trent, picking up John and Sue at Blacktoft and back to the vale of York.
Sadly the last summer’s weekend of the year. And, as they say, never listen to the forecast ….ever!
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Tunnel on 'Cromford Canal'
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Nigel at Heage Windmill
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Balloon over Ambergate
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Group at tower Stanton Moor
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Group outside 'Hardwick Inn'
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Ostrich at 'Upper Town'
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Lunch stop along Manifold Valley
Due to PG’s unfortunate demise, Wendy stepped into the breach and took over organisation of Pete’s Mountain Bike? Week. So there was some trepidation as to what it was going to be like. These thoughts were dismissed with good food, accommodation, weather and most of all good company.
I rode across from Chesterfield to Ambergate with Elaine, while Brett would arrive late Monday after finishing work. This was a steady paced 22-mile ride, with 2 café stops taking 5 hours. This was a sign of things to come, low mileages with plenty of sight seeing. The longest ride being on Saturday to Manifold valley and High Peak Trail of 55 miles. We looked around Kedleston Hall on Sunday and Hardwick Hall on the Thursday. Tuesday was the only non-cycling day with a walk of 8 miles from Winster to Nine Ladies stone circle with a pub lunch at Birchover. Four of us had a short ride along Cromford Canal on Friday before returning home.
A few actually did mountain biking with the only serious injury befalling Dave who came a cropper while descending ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, hitting a rock and fracturing his shoulder, this required him going to A&E resulting in his week of mountain biking coming to an end.
The week was enjoyed by all (apart from Dave’s injury) and a big thank you goes to Wendy for all the hard work required in organising the week. It was a shame that Wendy could not have been with us to enjoy it.
Welcome to the first Newsletter of the year. I hope you all survived the winter’s riding without mishap. For our first report we are going back to summer last year and the PBP.
Was it worth all those long qualifying rides in the wind, rain and grey skies only to ride the PBP in the same conditions? Not for me or anyone with an ounce of common sense, but it was for a certain Mr Stui Lea (once seen never forgotten). Stui’s simple strategy was to spend most of the outward leg to Brest asleep and overloaded on croissants/pain au chocolat followed by Brett looking at the differential on the rear axle of a fast moving trike flying past him down a hill into Brest. It must have been similar to a sports car being outpaced by a Reliant Robin! That was the last that was seen of Mr Lea until Paris. Such is the legacy of a once amateur road racer! Apart from having the fastest time of those I know who entered, Stui later went on to receive an award from Audax UK for the fastest time ever achieved by a trike.
For those waiting for the next PBP the plan is obvious : Become an amateur road racer, fit a mirror to look out for 3 wheelers, sleep like a door mouse during the ride , buy a trike and hope that Mr Lea has not reverted to his fast, carbon fibre, audax specific machine !!
Congratulations to both Brett and Stui.
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Sally climbing ‘Blakey Bank’
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Railway Incline Bank
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John admiring the view from top of Railway Incline
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Climb out of Cockayne
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Top Blakey Bank - Nick and Andy G.
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Nick and Andy G. - Climbing 'Blakey Bank'
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Nick at Gate on Railway Incline
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Sally and Andy G. - Gate on Railway Incline
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John S. at 'Bloworth Crossing'
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Nick and Ken climbing out of Cockayne
Five met up to ride to Osmotherley on a cold but sunny October morning. Ken would make his own way there (Beer Festival at Huddersfield!). It was decided to go via Kirkbymoorside and Castleton. It was a very pleasant route with good views, especially over the moors, once we’d climbed ‘Blakey Bank’. It was strangely uneventful for one of our rides, well Andy had lost one of his chain ringbolts and a piece of plastic wrapping was used to prevent loosing the spacer. We met up with Ken at the Hostel.
Our evening meal was at the ‘Golden Lion’ in Osmotherley, the food being of good quality, before moving on.
The following day, all were ready for the journey home, after a good breakfast (we’d planed to meet up with PG later that day in Helmsley). The route took us up the Railway Incline from Ingleby Greenhow (all walked – now that’s what I call a climb!). The view was well worth it, even though it was hazy, while the track was easily rideable to Rudland Rigg. A short distance along the Rigg before dropping through a wood to Cockayne and back onto surfaced roads to Helmsley.
Upon arrival at the Café PG and John G. were ready to leave (it had taken us longer than anticipated).
From Helmsley we came through Oswaldkirk, Gilling, and Snare Gate.
With good company and good weather, what more could one ask for!
The forecast for the weekend in the Peaks was good, almost unbelievable for February, 15°C, no cloud cover and, incredibly, 0-mph wind speed (never seen 0 mph before). The forecast matched up to the weekend so closely that everyone wanted to walk for England!
The Saturday started with a 12 miler (15 on Andy’s GPS!) from Over Haddon through beautiful Lathkildale to a prerequisite bacon buttie & tea in Monyash – somebody has to do it. Along the Limestone way to Bradfordale, Youlgreave and back along the river Lathkill with wooded cliff escarpments to a perfect sunset at the end of the walk.
Ravenstor Hostel & BnB’s in Tideswell served well for accommodation & then down to our old haunt the Anglers Rest in Millersdale for ale and scran. With beer connoisseurs Cashpoint Pete, Ken and Nick the evening swiftly kicked off to a good start with everyone getting louder as more beer was quaffed.
Sundays 14 mile walk (or 15 on Mr. Kirby’s GPS!) found the fellowship of the CTC trekking down Millersdale to Monsal Head, Highdale, Chelmorton and again along the Limestone way into the dramatic deep river Wye valley of Cheadale. This snakes down a deep limestone gorge with two awkward long stepping stone sections along the river and against a high limestone cliff. The river was not in spate so dry feet (unlike last time) but poor Ken attempted and nearly succeeded in launching himself into the river.
Some of the group required a few days convalescence after the weekend I understand – a sure sign, I think that a good time was had by all!
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Cogden Moor towards Reeth
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On the train ‘Wensleydale Railway’
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Elaine climbing over Redmire Moor
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Peter and Nick (Bellerby Moor)
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Woodlands Disused Quarry near Harmby
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View of Reeth from Grinton Hostel
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Peter and Nick (Bellerby Moor)
Eight set off from Skelton at 9am with the intention of catching the 12.11pm train from Bedale to Redmire on the ‘Wensleydale Railway’. Due to the strong head wind we ended up arriving at Bedale at 20 past twelve. The next train was 14:54, which we ended up taking, after a long lunch break.
The climb from Redmire station looked as though we’d end up getting rather wet. Fortunately, the rain held off with a strong wind blowing across the left shoulder. John had a puncture and Nick stopped to help him, while the rest pushed onto the Hostel.
We were in the Annex of the hostel which holds 12 with it’s own kitchen. Only Peter and Ken where brave enough to go down to the pub in the wind and rain, while the rest had a hostel meal (which was brought across the court yard with the wind blowing a Hooley).
Sunday started with the usual hostel breakfast before riding back. The wind had picked up; this literally blew us home over Bellerby Moor to Masham (1st stop) and through the lanes to Knaresborough (2nd Stop).
Looking out of the window at the horrible freezing weather it seems that our holiday in Majorca was months ago. I can’t believe that it was just a fortnight since I was in shorts and sandals in bright sunshine.
Peter, with his years of practice, organised everything faultlessly and it was such a shame that he couldn’t join us. Lets all hope that his strength improves and we see him out again.
When we arrived in Palma we noticed that we were a couple short. Micky and Geoff had been unable to come because of last minute health problems, otherwise everything was OK and we were at the Palma Bay Club in Arenal in no time. Hans sorted everyone out with their hire and there were no major problems all week. The only injury was Melinda. She and Atul snagged wheels on the second day and she was off her bike for the rest of the week. There were two new people in our group. Dave Cook, a member of Clifton CC, who has only been cycling for 18 months but is very fit indeed thanks to his running background. The other was Sharon’s partner Phil, a cycletrack racer who was also very fit but unused to cycling our distances.
Our first ride was along the cycle path by the bay. This was quite exciting as we came across all sorts of obstacles on this narrow track, often on blind bends. These were roller skaters, one chap on a skateboard towed by a huskie, joggers, chap on a moped, bad tempered Germans etc, etc.
Brett led most rides and we had some really nice days out. I cannot remember ever seeing so many cyclists there, mostly ultra-fit types, we saw some having to brake on bends powering up the climbs. There were all speeds on the road, Brett even found a tortoise!
Map reading was done well and we found a little used track descending towards the airport. Unfortunately we found that this track was used as a dump by all the cowboy builders for miles and it got worse and worse, finally ending in a huge mound blocking our exit to the road. We got through eventually with just a few swear words and Brett getting stuck on the fence!
We had a good ride to Soller and arrived just as Atul and Melinda arrived on the little wooden train. The others cycled back around Inca but Elaine and I took the coastal route and around by Valdemossa. The sea views were terrific and the only rain we had started right outside a cafe back in Palma (yes we did go in).
It was a lovely holiday, just the thing to get fit and in a summer mood. It’s a shame there was not more snow at Leeds airport as another week would have been just fine!
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Nick (track to Dalby)
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John S. and Sally (track to Dalby)
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Dave and Jacque (track to Dalby)
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Jacque on climb to Suffield
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Diversion after Ravenscar
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Dave and Lydia on Abbey Steps (night)
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Dave climbing steps to hostel (night)
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Jacque on track to Aislaby
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Nick and Andy G. on track to Aislaby
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Sally (climb out of Egton Bridge)
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John J., Sue and Jacque (climb out of Egton Bridge)
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Nick and Dave (climb out of Egton Bridge)
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Sue negotiates ford
It wouldn’t be Spring without out our annual ride to Whitby for the weekend, so off we set. True to form the weather threw us a challenging ride out on the Saturday. A persistent headwind ensured we had all earned our bacon butties at Malton station. Jacque Green joined us here. Three riders decided to let the train take the strain to Scarborough. The rest of us continued via Thornton-le-Dale, Ellerburn and a muddy track to Dalby, on through Langdale End, Hackness and Suffield. With a couple of mechanical hiccups behind us and a refuelling stop at the Station café in Cloughton we hit the railway cycle trail up the coast. The fun started north of Ravenscar. Due to a landslip the track is diverted onto the Cleveland Way. If you’d managed to keep your bike clean this far, you were in for a challenge now! It was so very muddy, you either laughed or you cried!! We just made it to the Hostel in time for a quick wash and brush up before heading to the Magpie for tea.
Sunday, luckily the wind would be in our favour today. Another track to start the day, taking us up to Aislaby, then the usual route to Pickering via Egton and Stape. We said our good-byes to Jacque Green at Amotherby and continued home via Castle Howard and a cuppa in the Arboretum Tea Shop.
Thanks to Dave for organising the trip and the mud!! Prize for the w/e goes to Andy G’s tyre, which finally expired after 6 years!!
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Lydia outside Woody's Top Hostel
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Lydia at Backpackers 'Berwick'
We are all aware of the problems associated with touring using the YHA (if you can get in that is)! This is made more awkward as most B&B’s now only take a minimum of 2 nights. Do not despair, there are alternatives are worth considering!!
Travelodges These have been used by our friends for some time and are available seemingly everywhere and can be very reasonable if you book in advance. Only downside is that you have to sort your own breakfast – usually something nearby or use your imagination. Our friends & child have used this type of accommodation before. On one occasion Liverpool hostel was fully booked & would have charged £50!! Hello Travelodge at £20.00 for the room. Look on http://www.travelodge.co.uk
Backpacker’s hostels. They offer availability, good value & no need for a membership card (what is the point of a card anyway when you cannot access all international hostels?). There is a good network throughout the UK and Southern Ireland. They vary from A1 (Berwick, Northumberland is excellent) to a bit rough though these are far and few between. Gerry tried to get in last year at Llangollen YHA at £21/night to be told: “ Sorry, for groups only”. Solution: converted stone barn (with Jacuzzi) a few miles away for £14. No card needed, much better standard /location and cheaper! Is there really a choice? Try this link firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy an accommodation guide for the UK from the York Backpackers 88-90 Micklegate, York.
So keep calm, keep flexible and give it a go !!
Unique opportunity now to ride in new territory without using that B.... car - Grand Central trains running north from York - very
reasonable fares, i.e. 50% discount for over 60, but also cheaper than normal rail fares. Example: York-Northallerton senior return £3.
- 3 trains/day each direction Travel to Thirsk or Northallerton for a day riding in WensleydaSwaledale or getting to Richmond & Barnard Castle; Eaglescliffe for Cleveland Hills & northern coast south of Saltburn; Hartlepool for Durham Coast trails. Trains go to Sunderland, cross the Tyne and head into Northumberland or to Hadrian’s Wall.
Plenty of room for bikes in HST brake van at rear of train going north.
Setting Off 100k m Sign on at the Start
Here are a few snaps from the PG archive. Look closely and see whom you can recognise, who’s aged the least/most??
Wishing you all a safe and sunny summer’s cycling!!
Well what can you say about this last Summer? Wet, wet, wet springs to mind! However the spirits of the York Section were not to be dampened. With more weekends and holidays planned than ever and, of course, the PBP rolled round again for some of our members, including virgin PBP’er Brett Hill.
The Section managed to get a trip away every month over the Summer.
Starting in May with a weekend to stay in the new YHA flagship hostel, Abbey House in Whitby, certainly an improvement on the previous property, however this is reflected in the cost at £20/night, but this does include an excellent breakfast. The Summer was rounded off nicely with a PG Tours trip to North Norfolk, where the weather was the best we’ve had for any trip this year.
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John, Elaine and Linda
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Sherwood Forest Hostel
Meeting at the fisherman’s bridge on a cloudy Saturday morning. We set off on what would become an interesting ride down to Edwinstowe, using mainly cycle routes (TPT route 62 from Selby) and a café stop in Snaith. It all changed with a rather scary crossing of the ‘East Coast’ main line, when a high-speed train went whistling past (the train was rather closer to some, than had been anticipated). Worst was to come, when Steve lost 7 spokes and damaged his mudguard, when a branch got caught in his wheel. Fortunately, the wheel remained true and a cycle shop was found just down the road in Bentley. It was decided to use the nearby Café while the wheel was repaired. Back roads were used after Doncaster (light rain) to get to Worksop, then route 6 through ‘Clumber Park’ and the last couple of wet miles on tracks to the Hostel.
Sunday started with a lot of reluctance to even leave the Hostel. We ended up doing a cold wet ride to Southwell, with a welcoming café
allowing us to get warm and dry. The shortest route back to the Hostel was taken.
A direct route had been agreed, to return to York. Started with a heavy shower leaving the Hostel, after 5 minutes it had stopped and then remained dry. Cafes at Bawtry and Osgodby were used.
Good Company and Good Food made up for a cold and wet weekend.
A guest contribution from an honorary Section member, John Savin.
The group assembled in Portsmouth on June 10th. Southern Softie, me, arrived by train. Pete G, Nick, & AK got off the train at Petersfield and rode to Portsmouth, (something about Petersfield to Portsmouth fare not at a discount, who said Yorkshire folk were tight?); John Smith and his entourage (harem?), Sally & Linda by car; Andy Gibson by bike from Lambourn; Brett & Elaine by bike via Rowlands Castle’s.
Andy had programmed the route into his GPS. This proved to be an excellent method as it was accurate and saved a lot of time especially in the wet. The only problem was Andy’s as he had to be at or near the front all the time to show us the way.
After an overnight ferry we arrived in St Malo. After a look round the old town we cycled round to Dinard and had an ice cream on the seafront. As the sun shone we cycled to Sable D’Or les Pins, a very pleasant town just inside Brittany.
The next day we enjoyed a ride in the sun. At midday, the Hard Rider Group, PeteG, left us to do his own thing. The rest of us had an ice cream and rode beside the Canal du Rance to arrive at the appropriately named Hotel du Lac at Combourg. We had a superb dinner in the restaurant overlooking the lake followed by Calvados all round as it was my birthday.
The next morning, we started in the sun and stopped for coffee at Bazouges where it started to drizzle and continued on and off the rest of the day. After lunch in a village square a few miles on, pain au chocolat being the most popular choice, the Easy Riders & Brett set off while the others had an early afternoon coffee. Without Andy to lead us, we immediately took a wrong turn but eventually got back onto the correct route. An undulating ride took us to Ducey with great views of Mont St Michel on the way. The hotel was originally an old mill sitting astride the river. From the bedroom one can see the fish in the stream below.
Assembling under a murky sky the following morning, we set off on an old railway track. It was very damp which played havoc with my angina. Some continued onto Barenton for coffee. While enjoying our coffee, the heavens opened. The others had thankfully been held up by a puncture and sheltered in a barn to repair it. Lunch was taken in the local Supermarche entrance. Eventually the rain eased and we set off via back roads, passing the imposing Lonlay l’Abbaye on the way, to Putanges Pont Ecrepin.
We had a very good dinner and most of the group then had a noisy party. Unfortunately, as I need my beauty sleep these days, I went to bed but my room was above the party so not as much beauty sleep as I expected!
The final morning was blustery and damp, the Easy Riders and Brett started with the others and then we turned off to have coffee at Falaise, home of William the Conqueror. After that it was literally downhill most of the way to Caen for a lunch of mussels and white wine, superb. In the afternoon, the weather cleared for the amble along the cyclepath by the canal to Ouistreham where we all met up for dinner and the ferry home.
My thanks to all for their enjoyable company and support.
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A good test for the waterproof bags!
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Rope Bridge, Carrickarede
The accommodation, ferry and route had been sorted for months but there were still two concerns: the grim June/July weather and what type of magazine had Gerry been reading to source and then book a Guest House with the name “ Fairy Lands”? No need to worry, the weather, with the very occasional skirmish on the edge of a distant storm, was excellent as was the Guesthouse with not any type of fairy in sight!
The first couple of days were taken up riding from Belfast along the excellent Antrim coast road into Glenariff Glen on the way to Cushendall for an excellent stay at Central Bar. Then navigating the very bumpy terrain around the far North Eastern Tor Head with clear views across to Kintyre and Jura. This brought us onto the Causeway Coast staying over at the A1 Bushmills YHA. The obligatory stop at the Giants Causeway before leaving for the tourist free Sperrin Mountains.
The next few days were spent meandering through gentle green rolling countryside through Omagh and Armagh before passing through the dramatic Mountains of Mourne to the Victorian coastal town of Newcastle. Then ferry across Strangford Lough to Bangor and along the North Down coastal path back to Belfast for a days sightseeing and black nectar drinking.
A good time had by all then (everyone Guinnessed out) and a well done to John J’s better half, Sue. The tough sea trials up White Horse and Terrington Banks paid off in the end!
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Ingleborough (view near Ribblehead)
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Leeds Liverpool Canal
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Gargrave ‘Dalesman Café’
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From left to right Nick, Sally, Steve and Elaine
7 / 8
Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside
On an overcast and breezy day, 6 cyclist set off for Ingleton, with 1 mile of climbing and 75 miles of head wind. Brett who had just completed the PBP (1225km wet and windy) would join us on Sunday.
We used a new café in Otley ‘The Corner Café’ the ladies seemed rather surprised to have to deal with 6 customers all at once, we left contented.
Just beyond Ilkley, Steve received a phone call, which meant he ended up doing the ride by himself. In Skipton Nick took us along the towpath of the ‘Leeds Liverpool Canal’ this gently wound its way round to Gargrave for our second stop and saved using the A65 (worth the excursion).
Climbed over to Settle from Airton onto A65 to Clapham (rather scary) and onto Ingleton. Low-level cloud hugged the hills and looked like it might rain. It was then decided to split up, so some could book in at the Hostel, while the rest took a more sedate pace.
‘The Wheatsheaf’ was used for the evening meal (food mediocre).
Sunday’s ride, started with a ride to Sedburgh over ‘Kingsdale’ with the weather improving (yellow thingy in sky), but there was still that nagging breeze. Not forgetting the Strategically placed gates, especially descending to Dent along with 4x4’s getting in the way on the narrow roads.
The cycle route from Dent to Sedburgh was used and rather interesting. Since a tractor with muck spreader came round a corner at a fair rate of knots, needing quick reactions to avoid contact with its contents. The café was greatly welcomed, having taken 3 hours to get there.
Using roads along the west side of the Lune valley, gave nice views over Barbondale and of Ingleborough as we headed to Wray and it’s café ‘Bridge House Farm’.
A short ride back, for an early finish (4.30pm and 50 miles).
Brett finally arrives having spent most of the day recovering from the PBP.
We’d decided to try a Hostel meal (highly recommended) before taking a walk. Strangely, that evening’s conversation tended to be about the PBP. We celebrated Brett’s success with a drink (Hum! Now there’s a surprise?).
Monday taking the back road from Ingleton to Chapel le Dale, Ribblehead (picturesque views), Hawes (wind picking up! and assisting us!), Askrigg and onto Castle Bolton (café stop).
Back roads through Well, Thornborough and into Ripon used ‘Sun Parlour’ Café (excellent as ever).
With a wind on our backs it was an easy ride back (85 – 90 miles).
All seemed to have a good time
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Lydia in Tyne Tunnel
September saw myself, stoker Lydia and the tractor tyred Galaxy Twin navigating the Sustrans Coast and Castles route along the Newcastle to Berwick section.
Kicking off from the Newcastle Quays, crossing the Millennium Bridge and under the river at Tynemouth, using the 1951 cyclists and pedestrian tunnel (used by 20,000 commuters/day when built). Getting down to the tunnel using the lift and the once largest escalator in the world was not too bad with a panniered tandem - hold onto the brakes and brace yourself! The route then closely hugs the coast along bridleways, greenways, deserted beaches, marshland and on the edges of precipitous cliffs, passing Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh Castles on the way. Stay over in beautiful Alnmouth and then onto the excellent Backpacker’s Hostel in Berwick – watch out YHA.
Leaving R1 at Coldstream and into what must be the best route in the Northumbrian Cheviots. This involves cycling a narrow lane due south from Town Yetholm before a green road takes you to 1800 ft onto the lower flanks of Windy Ghyle fell. Superb views at the top, with running the gauntlet from what sheep leave behind being the only downside! Down a track eventually becoming tarmac and then corkscrew at speed down the lovely twisting upper Coquetdale to the Queens Head Inn and civilisation in Rothbury.
Final leg to Corbridge and along the excellent route 22, following the river which passes George Stephensons cottage, to finish the loop with a beer, alfresco in the sunshine next to the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle.
If you think you know Northumberland try this route and think again! Tourist free scenery, no cars and plenty of pie shops………
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Group Photo (PG taking the Photo)
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Windmill – Great Bircham
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Café Stop – Castle Acre
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Repairing Stu’s Puncture
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Wolferton Station (near Sandringham)
As a new cyclist and recent addition to the Social Section I was excited, but also a little nervous as I set off for Norfolk. "Would I be able to keep up?", "Would I get on with everyone, in a cottage for a week?" "Would I irritate anyone?"
I can't answer the last question - you'd have to ask the other 15 about that - but the rest of my worries were completely unfounded.
Most of us arrived at Sedgeford on the Friday afternoon/evening - many of us having got caught up in a diversion on the way. The cottage was in a fabulous location, surrounded by rolling countryside and only about 10 miles from the coast. There was a long dining table that could easily accommodate all of us, which was a bonus, as Ele and Dave produced fabulous meals for us.
For the first two days most of us cycled together exploring the area and visiting places like Castle Acre, Sandringham and Wells-next-the-sea. The weather was tremendous, lots of sunshine and very little wind. PG was still recuperating from his back operation and so did shorter distances, with plenty of rest - most of us took the opportunity at some point during the week, to ride with him either on or off-road.
The cottage was about a mile from the Peddar's Way, a long-distance walk, which is largely on bridleways. From Day 3 onwards we tended to split in a number of smaller groups, some going off to ride on the Wells-Walsingham Steam Train and walk out to see the seals at Blakeney Point, some riding on-road, some visiting friends and relatives, others riding offroad on the Peddar's Way.
Highlights of the week for me were:-
1. - Everyone chipping in with preparing food, washing up etc, without having to be asked.
2. - Not getting a puncture (I think we had 6 over the week, due to the sharp flinty stone that seemed to be on most of the country lanes).
3. - Finding out what my bottom bracket was - (although I'd have preferred to see it in a book, rather than broken and in pieces on the lawn).
4. - The fabulous wine that John Smith had sourced!
5. - Gregory's (aged 19 months) squeaky shoes.
6. - Brett nearly missing tea, as he dozed in the bath.
All in all, I think it was a fabulous week. Huge thanks to PG for booking, arranging and organising the week and to everyone else for making me so welcome. I'd recommend it to everyone.
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Dave walking through forest
Armed with small tent, trangia and 2 bicycles, the Atkinson’s climbed from the River Rhine into the heart of Baden Weurtenburg and the Black Forest. With sunny skies cycle camping was fun, however as they dropped out of the forest towards Lake Constance rain set in. After two day’s and one night of rain the more level headed Atkinson insisted on trading extra cycling miles for a posh hotel to dry out sleeping bags and riders. Feeling well rested with clean shaven legs (Anne) and chin (Dave) they headed along the fantastic River Donau back towards the Black Forest. Again with sunny skies cycle camping was fun and included cooking fantastic veggie curry with rice on rather small trangie! A rest day in Bad Wildbad included insane Atkinson (Dave) running 20 miles while sane Atkinson (Anne) managed 3! This was followed by coffee and cake in various cafes.
A fantastic sunny Sunday included a 70 mile ride up and along the highest road (1100m) in the Black Forest (Schwarzwalder Hochstrasse) ending with the most amazing decent from Zuffucht to Opperau. The Atkinson’s ended their adventure dropping back out of the Black Forest over the Rhine into France.
Countries visited : Germany, France, Switzerland ( for coffee), Belgium and Luxembourg
Distance with full camping gear! : 1090km
Total height climbed : 5800m
The Black Forest has a large quiet network of cycle paths, tracks and roads, which climb through forests up to meadows. In Spring the wild flowers and birds are amazing. The climbs are moderate compared with some we have completed during other tours, however the views just as splendid. The most we climbed at one time was about 23 km’s. Germany is a very civilised place to cycle where the people are hospitable, have fantastic bakers and show a great deal of respect towards cyclists on the road!
25th October (Thursday) 8pm - York Section AGM. Minster Inn, Marygate.
17th & 18th November Hostel Weekend to Haworth YH. Book yourself in and let Dave F know.
9th December 12.45. Cyclists Carol Service, Tockwith.
16th December York Section Christmas Lunch – Tykes Restaurant, Flaxton. Contact Sally to book. Numbers limited and a deposit will be required.
February Hostel Weekend. Date TBC.
9th & 10th February Walking w/e - White Peak - Contact Dave F.
8th March (Saturday) PG Tours to Majorca. Hotel Java, C’an Pastilla. £280 for 7 nights, £390 for 14 nights. £190 deposit to PG by mid November.
Easter Weekend Cambridge YH. TBC.
25th to 27th April Cumbrian Lakes & Passes - Contact Dave F.
23rd to 25th May Beverley/Woody's Top - Contact Dave F.
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Chris Bolton 2 hours later
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Stamford Bridge before
30th October and 4th December – Escrick, site of the old station and southwards.
20th November – Riccall (start of path northwards).
0930 start, tea break and finish about 12noon.
Caption Competition - Photo
Best caption wins a pint of beer on PG at the Minster Inn. Your suggestions to PG or Sally by end November. The Editor’s decision is final!!
I hope you have enjoyed our latest newsletter. Hopefully in the next edition we will have a PBP report for you and a few “blasts from the past”. If you have any suggestions for items to include in future editions please let me know.
I look forward to seeing you at the AGM.
What a good feeling, to be able to turn those clocks forward, dig out the shorts and shades again and dust off the summer bike! It looked like Spring had arrived in time for the Easter weekend.
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Group Photo at Ravenstor Hostel
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Climbing out of Ilam
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What poor Jacque had to put up with!
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View from Monsal Head
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Jacque giving Falkers a Tow?
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Mark & Becky's Back Tyre Blow Out
The usual mixed vagrants arrived at Ravenstor Hostel, down Millersdale in the White Peak, for what turned out to be 4 days of perfect cycling weather. DA's from York, Portsmouth, Cambridge, Chester and London but with one common interest: challenging rides, a good laugh and a perfect pint.
Routes were up and down dale including Dovedale, Ilam, Goyt valley, Tissington and Manifold valley cycle trails, interspersed with the mandatory cafe stops. A shower at the hostel, and down to the Anglers Arms for evening meals and intoxicating alcoholic beverages and suddenly all the hills were a distant memory, until dawn the next day. Poor Nick had to cut it short on Sunday and train it back home from Buxton due to a rim that was about to explode (the curse of the York CTC).
A memorable Easter had by all then! Good hostel, A1 weather, fine scran/beers at the Anglers Arms and the usual great crowd - how can you fail not to have a good time!
She lifted me down from the car, checked out my brakes and tubes and loaded my rear panniers.
Yates led the way onto a disused rail track into the Churnett Valley. A beautiful track but my tyres are too sensitive and picked up thorns. The road into Ashbourne pressed the thorns further into my rear tyre and punctured it as we reached the Tissington trail. As the pedallers lunched at Parsley Hay Yates and we caught up on news. Refreshed, we then sailed through Monyash, Taddington and Millers Dale to Ravenstor Hostel where the staff gave us a great welcome and offered us covered accommodation for the night.
The following day was dry and warm and I joined Dawes, Weston, and the little Apollo's over the rocky tracks and minor roads to Bakewell, then it was all gears ablazing as we climbed Cresswell hill and back to the hostel.
Sunday morning all the bikes rode via Buxton and the Goyt valley to the Cat and Fiddle. The car park was full so we were stacked in small groups but on the route back, over Axe edge, Longnor and Monyash the pedallers took us to ride alongside our other buddies so we were up to date with all bikes by the end of day. There were casualties, a split rim, and tyre but this was a club ride and everybike is safe.
The following day we set off home. Yates accompanied me to Ashbourne and as I travelled back to Dimmingsdale, the heavens wept to see the end of our Easter tour.
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Sunset over 'Badia de Pollensa'
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York Social Group on climb from Betlem
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'Pont Roma' at Pollensa
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Sheep on the road to Lloseta
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Statue of local artist at Cala de Sant Vicente
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Descent to Formentor
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Lighthouse at Cap de Formentor
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Sally on climb to Orient
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Group having a break at a cafe
Three weeks prior to Easter saw the regulars taking their annual trip to Mallorca:-
The 23rd PG Tour to Mallorca was based in Puerto Pollensa, at a new hotel for us. The Daina is conveniently situated in the centre of the town and the management quite agreeable to us taking the hired bikes to the bedroom. After an enjoyable day on fairly quiet roads, one was able to gaze over the new machine that Hannes had managed to get for us. Not everyone got their exact choice of bike as the island had experienced an unprecedented demand for hire bikes this year. This was born out by the large number of groups we saw on the road to Arta, and each group contained 20 to 30 cyclists.
The weather whilst it could have been kinder, was better than that which we left in Manchester and it was possible to go out cycling everyday, even if the Tour Director did elect to have a rest day when it was "blowing a hooley".
The usual places such as Arta, Petra, Inca, Lluc and The Orient were re-visited, although the damp conditions persuaded us that Sa Calobra could wait for another time.
With a group of 26 it was easy to provide at least 3 levels of cycling each day, with individuals often changing groups throughout the stay. Probably the largest group was those of "The Social Group" back home, whilst the faster Whitby lads stayed together, only pausing to scrape Ian up after he had a close encounter with the tarmac on three occasions. Luckily nothing too serious, only lots of scars and loss of ego. The other group was mostly partner oriented and enjoyed their time as much as everyone else.
Big thank you to Pete for organising yet another successful trip.
The DA had another enjoyable social evening on the occasion of the DA Awards, held at the Beechwood Close Hotel.
John Taylorson was our guest speaker. His talk highlighted what a huge event the Wetherby to Filey ride has now become and the staggering amounts of sponsorship monies, which have been collected over the years.
Of the awards we had another new name or names since David Preston and Terry Wadkin shared the Peter Rowntree Trophy for greatest number of DA events ridden. Richard Delf was applauded for his victory in the DATC National Awards as top junior and was again the youngest rider in our more modest scheme. York members were also prominent with Gerry B, AK & DKB receiving bars to their ribbons for 20+ years participation in the scheme.
Refreshments before the service and afterwards in the Village Hall.
A chance to take part in the All Cyclist Service (Peter Main organist, Eddie Grainger lesson reader). Places available in the All Cyclist choir, superb vocals not essential, just sufficient to sing in tune.
Four congregation collection folk needed, also chance to practice bell ringing. Service starts at 1.30pm at St Michaels and last 45 minutes.
I am collecting surplus bikes for a charity that provides guide dogs for blind people. I pass them on to Tom Burchill, from the Bygone Bykes, whose wife Sue went blind last year. He uses whatever he can from whatever is donated and turns them into cheap runabout bikes. All the money goes to his chosen charity. Either dump them in my garden at 16 Burtree Avenue, Skelton, or let me know ☎ and I will collect. PG.
A bridge across the river to act as a catalyst for traffic-free routes :-
This project makes use of an old railway bridge that is now an open skeleton carrying Yorkshire Water pipes. A new bridge deck will link footpaths and bridleways on both sides of the River Swale to connect a number of traffic-free routes away from the heavily trafficked roads in the area, including the A1(M).
The Jingleby Thorn Farm Tearoom in Dalby Forest has closed permanently. Audrey Davidson has retired.
Rosedale Abbey Bakery & Teashop is no more. There is a rumour that it may reopen as a tearoom. Building work is going on at present.
The Coffee Pot in Norton has re-opened.
For latest information on Cafes
Peter G. working on the cycle path near the Forth Bridge.
Picture taken by Mick Lovett near the Forth Bridge.
I went out with the WW's, came back from lunch and went and tidied up a bit more of Route 65.
This part of the track is now fully restored, well really tidy.
Progress is now being made towards the bungalow called The Landing.
Sustrans Ranger looks almost professional. I obviously never found my true vocation in my working life!
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View near Langdale End towards Dalby Forest
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Misty view over Fylindales Moor
On a frosty November morning I left Whitby Hostel and cycled past the Abbey on the back road to Hawkser (gently rolling roads). This is where I joined the Moors to Sea route to Langdale End.
The route takes you through Low Hawkser from A171 to the outskirts of Sneatonthorpe, on quite back roads. I should warn you, there is a couple of short sharp climbs, no more than 100m in length. A left turn before Sneatonthorpe (Moors to Sea - signed) climbs very gently to a T-junction right onto B1416. At next junction Left, again marked with Moors to Sea signs (2nd Left goes to Falling Foss), its just a case now of following the Moors to Sea signs to Langdale End.
Leaving the B1416 is where the fun begins, though!
Following a good surfaced road passing 'New May Beck' farm and a nice descent to the car park where the forest track begins. The track climbs gently through the forest and a couple of gates later I appeared on top of the Moors in a low cloud on this day (If it had been clearer Scarborough Castle could have been easily seen, instead of being a bit hazy). On the right you travel along side of the 'RAF Fylindales' parameter fence, although you wouldn't really know. It's a good mile of undulating open country, with the worst part of the track, but perfectly rideable. Then, entered 'Langdale Forest' with a long gradual descent of approx. 5 miles and a couple of Left junctions to Langdale End.
I left the route ½ mile short of Langdale End to get back to York via Dalby Forest (which is also part of the Moors to Sea route - Langdale End to Low Dalby section)
1.) - The road/track surfaces are good even where it deteriorates.
2.) - Terrain generally gradual climbing/descending, except Hawkser to B1416 (couple of short stinkers!)
Route highly recommended if you want some spectacular views across the North Yorkshire Moors.
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Severn Bore during daytime
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Lydia with Tandem on Severn Bridge
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View down Wye Valley
Travelling through the orchards and oast houses of Herefordshire we were off to see the large night time Severn tidal bore occurring only 4 times each year. At 9.40pm that night it was going to be a sixfooter.
We tandemed from Malvern to Slimbridge-on-Severn YH, passing through some lovely countryside.
Arriving at the Hostel after a bumpy 68 miles we had 30 mins to unpack & sort ourselves out before riding the 6 miles, along a Sustrans route to the Ship Inn at Upper Framilode, to our pub meal. This is a prime viewing location. After a large meal and several pints later we departed the pub at 9pm and made our way down to the Church, on the riverbank half a mile away. We waited patiently in the dark under a large Chestnut tree. Suddenly, people appeared out of the dark as if from nowhere and at the same time we heard a distant roar, similar to that of a far off jet engine. In the moonlight a mile away came a wide silver line snaking its way slowly down the Severn. After only 10 mins a six-foot wave crashed passed us turning a tranquil ¼ mile river into an impressive and very fast moving rapid, which went on for some time.
The next few days were crossing the Severn Bridge into the beautiful Wye valley by Tintern Abbey to Welsh Bicknor YH. This hostel has, has a fantastic location down a steep track on the wooded banks of the Wye and can be recommended. Across to Leominster YH by Hereford and back to the start at Malvern. We were lucky to have good weather with only one puncture (its always on the back on a tandem) and just managed to burn off more calories than those taken in!
You can find the Severn Bore (times/best viewing places) on http://www.severn-bore.co.uk/. I can provide details of our route if you want to have a go yourselves - consultancy fees apply but are very modest.
Mallorca, November 2007.
Only bare details at this moment, but PG Tours hope to organise a trip departing from Manchester at 1700 on 5th November, using a 3* hotel on half board,in C'an Pastilla for £240. If you are interested, please contact Peter who will let you have more definite details when he can get a fixed price from a Tour Company. Bike rental will be through Hannes at VeloSportMallorca as usual.
Summer 2007 Diary Dates:
12th & 13th May
- Weekend ride to Whitby. Staying in the new YHA property, Abbey House
1st to 3rd June - Beverley YH & Woodys Top YH (Lincolnshire) Contact Dave F.
10th to 17th June - Tour of Normandy - fully booked.
13th to 22nd July - Tour of Northern Ireland - fully booked.
25th to 27th Aug
- Bank Holiday weekend ride to Ingleton. Staying in the YH
14th to 21st Sept - Norfolk, fixed centre at Sedgeford Hall. Contact PG.
19th to 22nd Oct - Walking/biking in the Lakes. Contact Dave F.
On a personal note, I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me for the Paris Marathon.
I've raised well over £500 for St. Martins Children's Hospice. I completed the course in 4hours 30mins, which I was pleased with, considering how warm it was, 30°C at the finish! I don't think anything you do in training can quite prepare you for the day, all the people, the chaos at the water stations and having to negotiate empty water bottles, banana skins & orange peel plus all the bumping and barging. My legs have recovered well and it hasn't put me off doing another. I will just be avoiding pasta for a while!
Happy & safe cycling,
I hope you have all had a great summer’s cycling and enjoyed the various events and tours.
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Memorial Tank near Utah Beach
For the Social Section our first tour of the summer began with a trip to Brittany & Normandy, once again ably organised by John Savin. The accommodation was generally above average, staying in a grand Chateau on one occasion, this made up for the slightly less inspiring cycling. However we did get to visit many of the D-Day landing beaches, Arromanches and Bayeux, so with generally good weather it was a leisurely, enjoyable tour.
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Hutton Hall - Play Area
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Cycle Museum - Drumlanrig Castle
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Loch Urr - Craigenvey Moor
Several of us attended the CTC Birthday Rides, based in Dumfries. I think we would all highly recommend the area for road and mountain biking, the 7 Stanes being easily accessible. With a good range of rides most joined the B rides with a steady mileage and plenty of time to stop and absorb the cultural and historical attractions of the area. These ranged from modest castle ruins at Lochmaben to the impressive Caeraverlock Castle, complete with moat and Trebouché, to Henry Moore sculptures. We even had time to play on the swings!!
The weather was pretty good for Scotland and seemed to wait until we were home before the stair-rods descended, making us feel very smug when we thought of all those under canvas on the campsite.
The accommodation provided by the Dalswinton Estate was ideal and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of basing themselves in that area.
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Semaine Federale - 1st Photo
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Semaine Federale - 2nd Photo
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Semaine Federale - 3rd Photo
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Semaine Federale - 4th Photo
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Semaine Federale - 5th Photo
It was either McEwans, midges and watch the rain fall in Dumfriesshire at the birthday rides, or seize cent soixante quatre alfresco at Chateauroux France in the department of Indere’ for the 67th Semaine Federale in 80 deg – the choice was difficult but reached in 20 seconds. For those unfamiliar with this event, suffice to say it’s where 15000 cyclists descend in a different area of the country each year to ride well organised and premarked routes to suit every ability. Food and drink (1664) everywhere with entertainment laid on each day including a large trade show trying to sell you a 6-Kg carbon fibre wonder. On certain days you feel you have unknowingly died and gone to heaven!
Stoker Lydia and myself drove down to the event avoiding Paris whilst Gerry, little John and “friend” Gordon took their chance on the bike bus dropping off in Tours on the Loire to spend a few extra days getting to the venue. Poor John had to grudgingly share a double bed on their first night with Gerry after tossing a very heavily biased coin with Gordon (Coin supplied by Mr Boswell) and became yet another unsuspecting and unfortunate victim of Gerry’s evil clutches! John is currently convalescing at home quietly.
We all met up eventually in Chateauroux registration area and forwarded onto an excellent campsite in the park grounds of the town’s biblioteche situated near the abbey – beer, food and showers on tap. Sorted!
Rolling wooded countryside interspersed with Chateaux and plenty of food, Kronebourg, photo and whatever stops- usually after the beer stops was a recipe for great rides. The scenery got better and hillier as the week progressed ranging from 50 – 200k but found 100-120k was enough each day for a weeks riding. All had a great time but the week went too fast and finished French style with a farewell pogging meal + wine and loud foreign singing.
Gerry, John and Gordon retraced back along the Loire to Tours for the bus. We drove to Arras in Piccardy to do a cultural thing I had sorted and ride a few days around the sights of the Somme memorials and battle sites to break up the journey home.
Anyone interested in the Semaine 2007 can find a registration form on the net. Should be a good one based at Pegignord in the Dordogne. But, be warned the Frenchies still cannot make a descent cup of tea!
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Tandem - Birker Fell
Esk Dale and the village of Boot were created mainly for the short lived quarrying there, whilst Ravenglass was in Roman times, second only to Chester in importance as a port.
A mixed party of 13 stayed at Boot. Although the house had full central heating, the temptation to light the open fire in the lounge was too great for Peter A and it was his first job on arriving back after the rides. It was however a welcome sight to see smoke curling from the chimney on the one wet afternoon we had.
The party split mainly into three groups each day, with one on road, one off road and one family.
The on road rides included HardKnott and Wrynose, which were ridden in both directions and again from the middle of the two just for good measure. The only other real alternative was via the fell road over to Ulpha, which was not much less challenging.
The off road party spent more time carrying the bikes than cycling, as the Bridleways were very inhospitable. Out of 7 high level ones that were planned, one had no trace; five were un-rideable, leaving just one that was what we hoped for. Even this had its moment of pulse rising, when we encountered a rather large bull and his harem, blocking the exit gate so we clambered over a rather high stonewall.
There were a few enjoyable bridleways that followed the valley to the sea and the inclusion of two crossings of the estuary made for an obvious choice. However the first crossing shown had warning markers. After a few attempts at carrying bikes across the mud and thigh high water the attempt was abandoned. The second place was more user-friendly despite the water still came up to the knees on Brett. The 3 others saw the possibility of using a disused (well rarely used) railway bridge for a quick sprint to the other side, whilst keeping dry.
On the Tuesday the party joined together for a 7 mile walk to Ravenglass, with the youngest member (aged 0) enjoying the luxury of sherpas Peter A and Peter G.
After a stop at the railway café there, the party returned on the railway with one member enjoying the ride on the footplate. No guessing who it was, but thanks PA for making it possible.
7 superb dining experiences prepared by EleDa catering, made for enjoyable evenings that stretched from quite early to bed time.
We all brought back memories of a forgotten corner of the Lake District.
Clipping From "York Press"
We all know of people who continue to cycle with chronic diseases such as angina, and hypertension. Why shouldn't they? Cycling is an excellent way to keep fit but the more uncontrolled the chronic disease, the more likely one is to have an accident.
Cycle groups tend to meet on a Sunday, often after a 'good' Saturday night. It's not rocket science to realise that if our liver has spent the majority of the night detoxing our body then it hasn't been doing it's other jobs, like cleaning our blood and maintaining our carb levels, causing us to 'suffer' the next day. When we 'suffer' we tend to take chances. Taking chances increases our risk of an accident.
Then there's the other road users who have uncontrolled conditions or are 'suffering.' Now you start to get the picture of the risk of an accident. In fact, most of us have had an accident at some time.
It's time to look at Accidents. An accident is; an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss.
Yeh we know that. We also know that we are going to continue with our risky behaviour so I guess the next best think is to learn what to do after an accident has happened. That's first aid.
I know we are still on British Summer time, but I’m afraid now’s the time to start thinking about the dreaded ‘C’ word and our ride out lunch on 17th December. Thought we’d go for a change of venue this year and on Mr. Smith’s recommendation, try the St. Vincent Arms at Sutton-on-Derwent. I have placed a booking for 15 people. So please let me know by 3rd December if you’d like to join us.
As yet no plans have been laid for weekends away next year. However, we will need to be quick off the mark if we intent to book Youth Hostels, especially on Bank Holidays. So, please forward any suggestions. We will be planning a weekend stay at the new Whitby YH when it eventually opens.
Look out for new events being organised by section members, i.e Brett’s 100 & 150k in mid February 2007. These rides will start from Dringhouses.
Majorca March 2007
Monday 19th March for 7 or 14 nights
Manchester 07.05 (appears to be only airport that day)
Hotel Daina Puerto Pollensa
Cost £305 for 7 nights
£464 for 14
If you are interested can you let Peter G know and send him £130 deposit.
Plans for September 2007
Next year will see something "entirely different" with no mountains to be climbed, unless Norfolk imports some in the meantime. North West Norfolk is an area that is rarely on our holiday list, but this will be rectified on September 14th 2007, when we take over a part of West wing of Sedgeford Hall. Sedgeford Hall is some 4 miles South East of Hunstanton with the Peddars Way passing the doorstep. With a back garden of 6 acres and shared use of an indoor swimming pool, it promises a lot. Numerous quiet roads and cafes in all towns and coastal resorts should make for an ideal late Autumn break.
York Section AGM
8.45pm, Thursday 26th October 2006
Minster Inn, Marygate.
I hope you have all had a Happy Easter and are now looking forward to the summer rides and events stretching ahead of us.
On a serious note to begin with, many of you will be aware for the death of a local cyclist on Garrowby. The reason for mentioning this in the newsletter is to advise people, if riding alone, to carry some form of identification and an emergency contact number with them. It took the Police sometime to identify the casualty after the incident happened.
On a lighter note, some good news sent in by Mike Fielding. NYCC are upgrading the footpath between Rillington & Yedingham lane end, alongside the A64, to a cycle-path. The section, which is finished, is of very smooth tarmac, with ramps at the end to road level. In fact the cycle-path continues beyond the Yedingham junction, but we don't yet know how far it will go. Eventually it will be possible to cycle from just outside Norton to Yedingham lane end without riding on the A64 itself. This will be extremely useful to us & hopefully also to other members.
Whilst we were still in what felt like the deep depths of winter and battling against blizzards on the Wolds PG Tours were on their 20th annual pilgrimage to Majorca.
Read Pete’s report at the end of the news.
Fancying an evening ride now that the nights are beginning to draw out and including some refreshment on the way?
Read John McCloy’s report on the Wednesday Evening jaunts and see if you fancy joining them. (After Pete’s Majorca report)
With April came the first Audax event of the year, Gerry’s Spring 100K from Wigginton. Here’s Gerry’s report.
“ What I hoped were enough cards had been ordered and received, so a few sneaky trips to the office computer and printer and I had route sheets and entry forms for the event (thanks BT!). Entries had been coming in over a month before the event. All I needed was some decent spring weather, some hope! On the day of the event it was dry but windy to start, but unfortunately didn’t stay that way and everyone returned rather damp! All booked entries turned up, which was a first. Lots of people entered on the line meaning 55 set off for a very enjoyable ride despite the mixed weather. As soon as we all left Mike went home to ask Anne to bake some more cakes, as there were so many entries. Many thanks to Mike and Anne for all their efforts and to all the other helpers.”
Also see Martin Weeks report on the DA website.
A plug from Keith for the next event on Saturday 13th May – the Brimham Rocks 100K and if anyone is interested the 300k on the same day. The 300 course is quite gentle, ideal for a first attempt at the distance.
Update on the Café List. It now holds details for 315 establishments and has the top slot up when you type café list into Google UK. So if you’re passing or using a café it’s worthwhile checking the opening times etc. and passing them back to Andy so the list can be kept upto date. Thanks Andy.
The Great Yorkshire Bike Ride on Saturday 17th June 2006.
Wetherby to Filey.
See www.gybr.co.uk for an entry form.
Dave & Lydia have entered and will be staying over in Filey before riding back on the Sunday if anyone would like to join them.
For the second year running, another chance to do the guided walk across Morecambe Bay.
Saturday 1st July - Cycle to Arnside (or make your own way)
Sunday 2nd - Walk across Morecambe Bay or run the half marathon across
Monday 3rd - Cycle home
Contact Peter Gray if interested.
Dumfries & Galloway CTC Birthday Rides - 29th July to 5th August.
One place remaining in the self-catering accommodation on the Dalswinton Estate (5-6 miles from the HQ). All twin rooms, secure cycle storage, all linen provided, all we need to take is food & drink. If you’d like to join us please let me have a £25 deposit.
Tour de France in the UK
Looking even further ahead - July 2007 and we see the Tour de France in the UK. Anyone interested in going down to London to watch the stage should contact Peter Gray. Probably a good idea to book early to avoid disappointment.
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First Climb of the Day
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Sunday Walk - Lunch stop at Dunsop Bridge
The Easter weekend saw the majority of the Social Section joining Dave & Lydia at the Youth Hostel in Slaidburn. We were also joined by Mark Waters of the CTC’s Touring Dept. along with others from Hull, Portsmouth & London. We totalled 15 in all. Despite an energy sapping headwind all the way over from York, we just managed to muster sufficient reserves for rides over the Tatham Fells and across the Trough of Bowland to Lancaster. Our pins were more than happy to go for a stroll on Easter Sunday, just a leisurely 15 miles, during which time Gerry lost his soul in a peat bog…!!! Oops, that should be sole. Time for a new pair, Gerry. I think you’ve had you’re money’s worth out of that pair! How old…??
I think we can all recommend the local hostelry, the Hark to Bounty, the Steak pie especially getting the thumbs up from all who sampled.
Luckily the wind stayed in the west for a brisk ride back to York on the Monday.
A big thank you to Dave & Lydia for organising another successful trip. Just one request, please could you arrange to have the fan turned off next time?!
The 20th PG Tour to Mallorca had very much reduced numbers this year. Why this should be is open to speculation and the following are thoughts:
Folks are getting older and no longer cycling.
The price has gone up far more than inflation over the past 5 years.
Folks want to explore new places.
The choice of venues on the island is now down to two, so rides tend to become familiar.
Some folks have bought properties on the island.
Whatever the reason(s) 17 met up at the Hotel Alicia in Cala Bona on a sunny March 10th, only to be told that the hotel was not expecting them, and had no rooms reserved.
Mainly a paper hiccup, as we had been transferred from the Cala Bona Hotel at short notice after promenade works took longer than planned and would not open until after the end of our holiday.
Timely intervention of our "rep" soon sorted the paperwork out and we were promised rooms within the next 3 hours. This too, proved optimistic as it was well after 4pm before we could unpack. In the meantime Johannes from VeloSportMallorca turned up as arranged and delivered the bikes we had been looking forward to hiring. One or two were not exact fit, as this is the firms busiest time of the year and they could not supply the exact size requested for everyone. This was but a small point as they were all were top class machines and easy to ride. The miles being kilometres spend by so much more quickly and far easier than at home.
A very short ride to the Max Hurzeler Boutique in Sa Coma late that afternoon, sorted out the riding positions on the new bikes and enabled a few more items of cycling clothing to be bought.
The first day is normally to San Salvador and this was taken as read and the lack of granny gears on the bikes did not provide the drawback some us feared. The main market for the hire bikes is the German cyclist, who wants the latest set of gears. Having 10 speed blocks was a first for us all, but only a double chainring did not make it any harder to climb the hills.
Sunday saw half the party zing along the road from Arta to Alcudia and onto Pollensa for lunch. The plan was to come back fairly direct but after the Tour Director was seen heading towards Lluc, the rest changed their minds and followed an hour later. They had ordered the set lunch while PG made do with a banana and Mars Bar. Some things never change. It was a fairly tired party that claimed 98 miles that day, and apart from two doing a 200k Permanent Audax later, proved to be biggest daily mileage of the week. How times have changed from when I first started going to Majorca, when if we did not get a ton in everyday, we thought that we had been short changed. Now, not only far less miles, but folks even have rest days. I suppose that we justify this to ourselves that we get quality miles now rather than quantity.
The idea of sitting down to a locals lunch has far more appeal than it ever did in the past when we made pack ups at the breakfast table and smuggled out.
VeloSportMallorca proved to be far more in tune with our needs than our last supplier and when one member slit a tyre, a visit to their shop in Felanitx had a replacement tyre and tube done in 5 minutes with a smile and without charge. On another occasion when one of the party had a moments lack of concentration and two of them hit the ground, Hannes arrived early next day to repair the damage and return the bikes the same evening. He had to make 50 mile round trip twice and only made a minimal charge for the repair and petrol.
The week ended all too soon with most folks getting a top up tan and a few hundred miles in their legs.
For the cooler winter nights in February we take a winter warm-up with a Curry supper. To make the most of the time for the meal, we do a short route out along the riverbank and the racecourse cycle path to Askham Bar and directly to the Auhasd restaurant at Copmanthorpe for a splendid meal from their varied menu. The restaurant is unlicensed, so it is not unusual to see customers arrive with a bottle in hand, especially as there is an off licence shop close by. A soft tyre was detected on the way home, but there was enough pressure to ensure a safe journey to the Park & Ride car park!
Yet another Sam Smith’s pub, the Tankard at Rufforth allows a pleasant short ride out of the city for a pint (or two) of the Old Brewery Bitter; excellent form as usual and a welcome open fire and company as well. As we went out through the country lanes from Poppleton it was a quick return along the main road afterwards.
The White Swan at Deighton must be one of the busiest pubs along the A19. Run by CAMRA members ?????? They have maintained the reputation for the restaurant and now it is a non smoking pub. A choice of Bank’s Bitter, Mansfield Bitter, (getting rarer!) Marston Pedigree or Red Brick Double Barrel. The return, an easy ride through Naburn on a some what dismal night mad for an early finish.
It was a frosty night for the ride scheduled to Shipton by Beningbrough, and as anticipated there were no takers, so I took the opportunity to combine a ride out of York with the delivery of the latest edition of Ouse Boozer. First stop was the Blacksmith’s Arms at Naburn, long enough without a stop when the temperature was below freezing, even though the wind had dropped. Bank’s Bitter & Marston Pedigree on offer here and a pleasant chat with local a fellow cyclist. On to Deighton I chose to go to Escrick first and the decision was well rewarded by the choice from Theakston Bitter, John Smiths, or, my choice, Eastwood& Sanders, Beyond the Pale, just the thing, if not a bit pricey for a cold night, on then to the Swan at Deighton had the same choice of Bank’s Bitter, Mansfield Bitter, (getting rarer!) Marston Pedigree or Red Brick Double Barrel, can anyone deny that Wolverhampton & Dudley have not introduced the chance of variety? A quick dash back up the cycle track to Fulford and a refreshing half of Hyde’s HPA (that’s Highly Prestigious Ale to you and me!) at the Saddle, yet another W. & D. outlet!
It was still cold for the ride out to the Buck Inn at Appleton Roebuck, so the warm welcome was added to by the traditional Sam Smith pub open fire, and the Old Brewery Bitter. We chose to go through Copmanthorpe on the outward journey, favoured by a tail wind, so felt the difference from the “Siberian” blast on our return through Acaster Malbis and Bishopthorpe, avoiding the flooded road as best we could and it was a relief to get back early into York.
At last we were able to set off in daylight as summer time had been introduced the Sunday before the ride to the Sun at Long Marston, yet another Sam Smith pub. The daylight had brought out one or two extra riders and a lively conversation over the Old Brewery bitter was welcome change and also to have companions on the ride back through Askham Richard, where two fell by the wayside at the Rose & Crown!
I always feel that the official start to summer is the ride to the Cross Keys at Stillingfleet. An excellent sunset set the scene and the warning of a cooler evening to follow was heartened by the Sam Smith Old Brewery Bitter. It was a pleasant ride along the cycle track from Bishopthorpe and the light had almost gone by the time we arrived. One of our members, not a beer convert had a pleasant pint of Sam Smith’s new “Naturally Brewed” Lager at 5%. The sky had clouded over and there was a hint of it becoming warmer when we made our return through Naburn, so perhaps summer is on its way!
Now that the evenings are lighter the rides are extending, but still only for a couple of hours or so on Wednesday evening. Why not join the CTC group meeting 7pm at Leeman Road Gardens. Details of the destinations are also published in the Evening Press each week.
Hope you all enjoy a happy and safe summer’s cycling.
The aim will be circulate three times a year to help keep everyone in touch with our activities. If you have any news items or suggestions for new routes/ destinations/ cafes/ weekends away etc that you’d like to share, please let me know and I can include details in the next circulation.
So before giving particulars of events/rides that are already on the calendar for 2006, let’s have a recap of 2005. The Social Section has continued to enjoy a good turnout throughout 2005. With numbers regularly in the teens over summer although no new members have joined us this last year. The Inters have had a moderate year with a few new riders joining them. Bill Baker continues to be the mainstay although he is threatening not to lead the 8am starts – watch this space for further details.
Reflecting on all the events we have taken part in, when all pulled together it’s a pretty impressive list of activities that I’m sure many a club would be envious of. We are luck to have amongst us such willing and competent organisers.
The 2005 locally organised Audax events proved very popular with Gerry’s two 100k events attracting a total of 66 riders, the Easingwold series managed 69 but the highest number was the Wiggy 300/100 event with 82 riders.
A big pat on the back for Brett Hill who completed the LEL, well done Brett! To read more about Brett’s build up to the LEL and his experience of the event see his article at the end of the Newsletter.
For many of us the thought of a certain sun kissed Mediterranean island keeps us going through the deep, dark months post Christmas and for 2005 it was to be the resort of Palma Nova, Majorca. Disappointingly without our illustrious leader this time round. We had to survive without PG and thanks to Brett, who willingly filled Pete’s shoes, all went smoothly and a good time was had by all. However, I don’t expect we will be patronising Herr Rompelberg’s establishment in the future!
So we were all set up for a cycling packed year. After Easter in the Lakes, based at Cockermouth, it was on to plenty of weekends way including Whitby, Kirkby Stephen, Spurn Point and Arnside, where a walk across the infamous Morecambe Bay Sands was included. 18 of us set out and thankfully 18 returned!
Midsummer saw groups on tours in Normandy and the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland where the weather was exceptional for both tours. The French trip was a great success with ample cultural and gastronomic delights as well as quiet rural lanes ideal for cycling. Our thanks go to John Savin (mate of PG’s) for organising this tour and for agreeing to organise another for 2006.
Dave’s Irish trip was another success. We know Dave’s good but how did he manage to arrange the sun to shine on us all week?? With time in Dublin to sample the night life and plenty of leisurely riding through quite picturesque countryside and over moorland and mountain passes, there was no excuse for not partaking of the local beverage. And it’s not true, it doesn’t always rain in Ireland. It must have been one of the driest July’s on record. How disappointed were we not to see any Irish rain….?? Not!
More weekends away including Dent, Whitby again and also a group tackling the Dales Three Peaks, I hasten to add walking not cycling!
Into the last quarter of the year, but still plenty going on with two PG Tours trips to enjoy. Here are Pete’s reflections on his tours and the Tockwith Service:
“September was the MTB week in Wales, based just 3 miles from Llanrwst, which is not far, but at 850 feet above the town, it presented quite a challenge to the end of any (all) rides. There was a choice of 3 roads, hard, harder and hardest. The only easy way was when we had a car assist for a cycle and train ride on the Great Little Trains of Wales, well two of them. It was a superb farmhouse that had been extended with extensive views of the Conway Valley and the Snowden mountain range. With the setting sun it was very picturesque and inviting. In the morning with the sun catching the tops, it looked, well challenging. Although originally these weeks were started with the main aim of Mountain Biking, more punters are taking their road bikes with them and using tarmac surfaces for great days out. There was a wealth of minor roads to choose from and unlimited hills to climb. There was (in theory) several footpaths, although in practice, those outside of the National Park had "lost" their finger posts.
The highlight for those with Mountain Bikes was the climbing and descent of Snowden. The only proper mountain in Britain that has bridleways in all directions. Although it was a struggle to carry the bike the last mile from the Miners track to the Pyg, it was worth the effort for a fast effortless descent some 30 minutes later.
Early November saw 8 in Majorca at the cyclist friendly Cala Bona Hotel. Although it did rain on part of 3 days, it never stopped us going out every day and riding in shorts all the time. The usual rides to San Salvador, Randa and Alcudia were all made, but no big mileages, as it was billed as a "Wind down" trip. Even the bike shop at Manacor did not get its usual visit. Probably to do with the price of equipment as much as anything. Hannes from Velo Sport supplied first class machine and when John suffered a broken derailleur one afternoon, he arranged to come out that evening and change it. Small wonder that we hire from him every time now.
The carol service at Tockwith saw increased numbers after several years of falling attendances. The service has remained unchanged for a decade now and is so popular that the supply of hymn sheets ran out and had to be supplemented by the church's hymn books. The catering by the Tockwith Under 5’s Group again did us proud. Most of the food was home made and for a fiver you were allowed as much as you wanted.”
The year is almost at an end now so it just remained to organise a ride out Christmas Lunch. Despite a bitterly cold day 21 of us cycled out to the Castle Inn at Cawood. We were very well looked after by the hospitable landlady, Alex. She opened up early so we could get in out of the cold. We were all ready for a hearty lunch and we weren’t to be disappointed. Then it was back to York for most of us and the Fox & Roman for liqueur coffees to round off the day and an excellent year’s cycling.
I think that has just about covered the majority of the sections activities for 2005, it just remains to say a huge thank you to all who have organised these events, holidays and weekends away which we have all thoroughly enjoyed. It is appreciated.
So onwards and upwards!
Diaries at the ready.
What do we have in store for 2006?
2006 Audax events:
Please consult the Runs List for event dates.
There are a couple of omissions from last year’s programme. Keith will not be running the hilly September event and Ann has bowed out of organising the Easingwold 200k, however the 100 and 50k events will still run, organised by Gerry.
Coming up first this year is Gerry’s 100k on the 2nd April followed by the GHS (both start at Wigginton). Last year’s GHS attracted a record 38 riders. Keith hopes we can better it this year.
A new addition to the calendar and for one year only. Gerry will be celebrating his 50th birthday by organising a 50 mile event in August. Details to follow.
18th & 19th Feb - Malhamdale. Contact Dave F.
Saturday 25th Feb. 7.30pm Beechwood Close Hotel. Ticket £8 from Keith.
Majorca Trip :
March – Cala Bona. See PG.
25th & 26th March. 9am from the Station on Saturday. Staying Whitby YHA. Contact Dave F.
14th to 17th April - Slaidburn YH. Contact Dave F.
23rd April from Wigginton.
May Day Bank Holiday w/e:
To be arranged. Possibly Langdon Beck or Alston YH
8th to 11th May Isle of Man. Ferry from Heysham. B&B. PG Mini Tours.
Whit Bank Holiday w/e:
27th to 30th May - Holderness & Spurn Point. Contact Andy Gibson, Leeds Section.
11th to 18th June. FULLY BOOKED.
YORK RALLY 24th & 25th June
7th to 9th July. Staying at Once Brewed YH. Walking & cycling. Contact Dave F.
CTC Birthday Rides:
29th July to 5th August - Dumfries & Galloway
Looking to book a self-catering cottage for 6-8. Contact Sally
30th July to 6th August. Based at Chateauroux, Loire. http://www.sf2006.org/
Gerry’s 50th Birthday Ride: 20th August
August Bank Holiday w/e:
26th & 27th August. Joint with Leeds Section to Kirkby Stephen. Contact Andy Gibson.
15th to 17th Sept. Staying at Patterdale (15th) & Wastwater (16th) YH’s. Contact Dave F.
15th to 22nd Sept – Eskdale. See PG
Note: For weekends organised by Dave please contact him in the first instance so he has an idea of numbers, then book yourself into the appropriate hostel.
See you there!! Happy pedalling.