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.