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,