Author Archive (Chris)

Road Tax Is Dead, Long Live Road Tax!

In 1926 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill, introduced measures that would ultimately do away with Road Tax in 1937. His reasons for doing so included a concern that some motorists felt they enjoyed a special entitlement to behave on the road in any way that they pleased. They did, after all, pay for […]

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Great British Bike Rides Review

Great British Bike Rides: 40 Classic Routes for Road Cyclists is the follow up to Dave Barter's first publication, Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder. The first, self-published, book was largely an anthology of blog posts that detailed Barter's increasing obsession with cycling that developed when his running years were ended after injury. Great British Bike Rides […]

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Cycling Climbs of Yorkshire: A Road Cyclist's Guide (review)

A recurring theme in reviews for the original 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs went something like "Why wasn't such-and-such hill included?" Fans of Scottish hill climbs in particular took offence at the ratio of their favourites to those in Wales (7:14) – and the inclusion of some lesser climbs in the South East especially. Back in […]

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The Helmet Debate. Again

On the last day of August I fell off my bike. Again. A graphic I never ended up using in the promotional material for an event I organised. (It was designed by a former colleague of mine)

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50 Classic Cycle Climbs: Yorkshire & Peak District (review)

I bought 50 Classic Cycle Climbs: Yorkshire & Peak District from a bike shop in Pickering on a holiday last year during which I rode five climbs that had featured in one or other of Simon Warren's 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. Perhaps for that reason I find it difficult to review this book without comparing […]

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Steve Abraham attempts to break the cycling year record…

... or the Highest Annual Mileage Record, if you prefer. Steve Abraham set off just after midnight this morning in an attempt to beat the record – established by Tommy Godwin in 1939 – of 75,065 miles ridden in a single year. At the time of writing there are a few links scattered about in […]

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Park Tool PRS-20 work stand review

Park Tool PRS-20 Team Work Stand After years of making do without the benefit of a cycle work stand I finally took the plunge and got one. And a pretty decent one it is too. The Park Tool PRS-20 Team Work Stand felt like a bit of an indulgence when I got it, but now […]

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Bracket racket: what's the bottom line?

I've been spending too much time lurking about on online cycling forums again. I must cut down – or cut it out completely. Maybe. I know that amongst the true gems of genuinely fascinating information there will be the inevitable verbal fisticuffs, misunderstandings and completely random tangents taken. Sometimes I think I post comments just […]

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Le Petit Départ

One day I will do a decent ride in the Yorkshire Dales. Earlier this year I had hoped to follow much of the route of stage one of the Tour de France 2014. It was not to be. Kilnsey Crag, on the route of stage one of le Tour 2014, albeit in the other direction […]

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Back in the saddle again

After four weeks out of the saddle I made an almost last-minute decision to get out yesterday. The forecast was promising. Within a mile of our start point we had stopped under some trees to shelter from a heavy rain shower. I had been too tired to put the wheels back on my touring bike […]

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A Little Man at Large

James turned three earlier this month. For his birthday last year his main present was a balance bike – a Tiny Bike from a shop in Hull. He now has an Islabikes Cnoc 14. I was sceptical about the claims made by advocates of balance bikes, but within a week of his birthday James was […]

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Sometimes letting go is hard to do…

My name is Chris, and I'm a hoarder. I find it difficult to throw things away. Not everything, you understand. I don't keep my urine in assorted milk bottles or that sort of thing, so I'm not about to feature in a Channel 4 documentary – at least not for a while. I only keep […]

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Western Wolds Bike Ride (from Stamford Bridge)

Last weekend I took a 30-mile cycle ride with Rupert Douglas, creator of the Big Skies Bike Rides that I have written about over the last couple of years (example here). The ride wasn't one of the eight circular routes described previously, being longer, harder and starting further from the Yorkshire Wolds than any of […]

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Wintry Weather in the Windy Wolds

The only person to turn up today for one our club's three planned rides (apart from me) was a chap who had driven to the start in case anyone else fetched up for his ride. He explained that everyone had been informed by telephone that the ride was cancelled. (I didn't expect that any of […]

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Cycling around Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Almost two months in to 2013 and I have (almost) kept my new year's resolution of giving up alcohol for health and financial reasons. Last year I got through to the summer holidays (with a few minor blips) before falling off the wagon comprehensively. You see, I was in Germany for a few days and […]

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First ride of 2013 in the Yorkshire Wolds: Kiplingcotes Valley is flooded

A rare day of mild weather today and no rain. Unfortunately, we came upon this scene as we dropped down in to the Kiplincotes Valley. I might have guessed that water would still be covering this low-lying part of the Yorkshire Wolds after my last ride in the area. The road was flooded in three […]

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Wind, Water and… Whoa! the A1079

Sancton Hill Wind Farm On Sunday the frost was replaced by strong winds from the west. So I headed in that direction to take advantage of a tailwind on the way home. I really struggled into the headwind and the gradual drag up to the highest point of the southern edge of the Wolds. Four […]

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Fitting Hyperglide sprockets on a six-speed Uniglide freehub

A stack of used Hyperglide cassette sprockets and various spacers. The single 13T is the threaded locking sprocket from a Uniglide cassette. NB since I created this post I have seen that 7 speed Uniglide cassettes are availabe from SJS Cycles – not sure how I missed them. However, their cost including postage is almost […]

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Uniglide and Hyperglide compatibility

I've been reading about how Shimano's 10-speed MTB rear derailleurs are not compatible with their 10-speed (STI) road shifters. This affects those of us who prefer to use lower gears on our road bikes rather than grind our way up hills. It reminded me of when I had a pair of wheels built in the […]

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Caistor 14 October 2012

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Different Strokes

Aren't we lucky that our sport/hobby/pastime is one we can do in a group or on our own? Some unfocused musings... Solo ride on the Lincolnshire Wolds A bug swept through the Bailey household recently. I couldn't eat much and I didn't feel well enough to take part in the Standard Ride organised by our […]

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Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder (review)

No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money (Samuel Johnson) 'Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder' is the self-published anthology of 30 articles written by blogger Dave Barter. It covers a ten year period and a range of cycling activities during that time. I hope Barter can make some money out of this amusing and […]

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Cottingham Road Club ride to Hutton Cranswick

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Cycling and Yoga

I should probably stretch more. I recently asked my chiropractor if there was a common problem with the cyclists she sees. "Tight glutes" was the reply. My hamstrings, glutes, lower back and neck have all been aching just recently. On a short ride the other day it felt at times as though someone was performing […]

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Coventry Eagle Touristique: a restoration project

With the cycling in the Olympic velodrome over I have finally got round to (almost) completing a little summer project I had postponed from last year. The frame had been very rusty when I took it for renovation at a West Yorkshire cycle shop several months ago. As with my Raleigh Road Ace, another bike […]

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My first sportive: the Big G 2012

Sunday 15th July 2012 Preparing for the Big G Cyclosportive Grimpeurs des Wolds Preparing isn't quite the right word, actually. Ideally I should have been doing regular shorter, faster rides than I have, and be tapering off by now. Instead I have done a long ride every week or so, ending with one of around […]

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Planning a 300km Audax Ride

The local television news last Friday night showed pictures of flash floods in the east of Yorkshire, Sky TV reported 42mm of rain had fallen on the ground where Leeds Rhinos were to play in West Yorkshire, and the Ouse had burst its banks again in North Yorkshire. Ever the optimist, I took this to […]

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A cycle ride to Hunmanby

Rudston Monolith: entries for this month's caption competition can be made below It's July and only my second ride this year as leader of the 'B' group for the local CTC member group; the last was back in April. I missed the early ones through illness and, later, other commitments. It was particularly satisfying to […]

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Long Day's Journey into Night (a cycle ride from Loftus)

One of the pleasures of planning a cycle ride is working out the best way to link various points. I have a vague plan of cycling from the church in Hull where I was married, up to Middlesbrough Cathedral (Hull is in the Diocese of Middlesbrough) and back one day this year. Or maybe next. […]

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A cycle ride to Coxwold… with coffee and cream

"Temptations", Coffee & Ice Cream Parlour. A new cafe stop, in Stamford Bridge It's always rewarding to introduce other cyclists to a new cafe. A couple of weeks ago we rode to Coxwold in North Yorkshire (my third century ride of 2012) via Stamford Bridge. The prices at "Temptations" are a little steep for the […]

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Rainy days and Mondays

Well, that was the wettest April for more than 100 years. It's official. A bit back I fitted a DIY mudguard extension as a trial for next year's bad weather. Yesterday I was supposed to lead a group to Flamborough, but it was so wet, cold and windy that nobody ventured out for the start. […]

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GHS ride: 102 in 8.5, April 2012

In between Francis's first 100-mile bike ride and a much shorter ride with the Cottingham Road Club I squeezed in my second century ride of the year on April 15th. The GHS rides, promoted by the Yorkshire Cycling Federation, are held annually as close as possible to the birthday of George Herbert Stancer. The man […]

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Cottingham Road Club: first ride

On what turned out to be a showery day I finally started a ride with Cottingham Road Club, established at the end of last year by three keen cyclists who saw the need for something different from existing cycling clubs in the area. Pitched as being between CTC and the local road racing clubs, they […]

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The National Byway: from the Humber Bridge to Beverley (and back along the National Cycle Network)

At the end of February I had been under the weather since the middle of January. Planned rides had come and gone but I had stayed put. So I took my Kinesis for a very short ride. I rode fewer than ten miles (along the Transpennine Way) to refreshments at Mrs B's Cafe at the […]

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Caistor Saturday 7th April 2012

More cofffee in Caistor. Northerly wind 10mph. Average moving speed 15.8mph. Almost an out and back. Good hot coffee, very cold feet.

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Floods, sleet and suspected hypothermia… spring is here!

The only photograph from Sunday's ride, and that was taken the next morning when I tipped out the soaking wet contents of the LiDL carrier bag I got drenched on Sunday completing the first standard ride of the year. A 70 in 6 from Cottingham Green out to Stamford Bridge. As last year I clung […]

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Cycling, signs and separatism

These are interesting times for cycling and cycling matters, at least in the national newspapers (for national read London-based). Several newspapers have recently added their weight to calls for something to be done about what is claimed to be the rising toll of cyclists killed on our roads, especially on the roads of the capital, […]

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Caistor Sunday 15th January 2012

Nearly 50 miles plus cycling to the Humber Bridge and back, so just over 60 miles today. A good, cold ride, and good, hot coffee in Caistor. Coasting in Caistor: Francis and Scott take the plunge

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The first ride of 2012 in "Hockney Country" (aka the Yorkshire Wolds)

Approaching Middleton on the Wolds along an unfamiliar road Ooh, dear. I see this morning's online Independent report about the Yorkshire Wolds (and David Hockney's A Bigger Picture exhibition that opens at the Royal Academy on Saturday) is in the Travel section.

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Big Skies Bike Rides: Bempton Cliffs and Rudston from Bridlington

Big Skies Bike Rides is the name given to eight cycle loop rides 'launched' in 2010. They take their name from the phrase used by David Hockney when he compared the sky over the Yorkshire Wolds to 'the big sky' he experienced in the American West. This 23.5-mile route starts in Bridlington and passes through […]

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Cycling resolutions for 2012

My rusty mountain bike. New parts are in stock awaiting a spring clean Almost a year ago I wrote that a couple of my new year's resolutions were to watch fewer soaps and get out on my bike more. I think I managed to get out on the bike quite a bit, but I really […]

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Hope Vision 1 LED review

Hope Vision One LED This is a review of the Hope Vision 1 LED. It is not the most powerful front light available, it seems to be overpriced, it switches off without warning, its quick-release clamp has a number of detractors, and some have called the light ugly. So why should you have one?

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If it's Sunday it must be Fridaythorpe

Following the Bracken trail (and the pattern of the day) the other chaps pull away in to the fog Today's ride was a struggle. It's been three weeks since my last ride and a week since the Bailey household succumbed to the nursery germs that James brought home with him. Still, I'm glad I got […]

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My log of cycle rides in 2011 (by Chris)

January 2nd Market Weighton solo 55 miles January 16th Bell Mills and Driffield Big Skies Bike Ride with CTC 76 miles January 30th Bell Mills with CTC 62 miles February 6th Humber Bridge with Danny 20 miles February 20th Brigg (?) with CTC 56 miles February 24th Market Weighton to Lund loop with Patrick 87 […]

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Where in the Wolds? Why, Walesby!

Coming home at the end of the day. To East Yorkshire not to North Humberside For as long as I can remember I've hated the name 'Humberside'. I've ranted before about it (we also used to strike out the hideous coat of arms affair on our school exercise books and write 'Yorkshire' above it), but […]

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Big Skies Bike Rides: Thixendale from Malton or Norton on Derwent

Big Skies Bike Rides is the name given to eight cycle loop rides 'launched' in 2010. They take their name from the phrase used by David Hockney when he compared the sky over the Yorkshire Wolds to 'the big sky' he experienced in the American West. This 21.5-mile route starts in Malton/Norton and passes through […]

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A south bank century: a mystery ride to Misterton

Nothing much to report here, except on this, surely the last sweltering weekend of 2011 in my part of northern England, I dragged myself around a route that gave me what is certainly my last 100-miler of the year. Like many of my rides across the Humber I had little idea where I was on […]

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Mafting in Melton

The last day of the week; the last day of September. The last chance of a crafty ride after work before the weather turns? (Note to self: if I do get another chance remember to take lights next time.) I don't know how many times I have hoped to get away after work for a […]

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Do you do duathlon?

A while ago I thought about getting back in to running. I wanted to improve my general fitness, to supplement my time on the bike. But running hurts.

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Coffee in Caistor and tea in Tealby: a cycle ride in the Lincolnshire Wolds

The regulars in our little B group have been absent lately for various reasons. But I have had a pass out on four consecutive weekends so I have made the most of each of them. Last Sunday two riders, who were new to our group the previous week, came back for a ride across the […]

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