Day Rides Cycling

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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Isle of Wight Randonnee 2014

Another year past, another randonnee ridden. I've blogged about this several times now and, as usual, I spent the day at the Whitwell checkpoint helping to supply refreshments to hungry riders and, in the process, raising around £650 for a local children's charity. We couldn't have asked for better weather for it – dry, light […]

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Start How You Mean to Go On!

I've always felt that what you do on New Year's Day somehow sets the pattern for the rest of the year. A bike ride is therefore compulsory but a weather forecast for severe gales and heavy rain from 9.00 am was hardly encouraging. An early start was my only option, and so, while normal people […]

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Whitchurch Winter Wind Down 100K Audax

I joined AUK last year with the idea that it would encourage me to do more rides on the mainland but it hasn't really worked out like that. Instead I've ended up riding round and round the Isle of Wight chasing AAA points on DIY round the island rides. A change of scene was definitely […]

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Not Riding the Gridiron

For the last few years I've cycled over to the New Forest in mid October to ride The Wessex CTC Gridiron ride. I was all set to do this again. I'd entered well in advance, made arrangements to meet clubmates at the ferry, the weather forecast was looking good. Well, it was until the middle […]

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Loches again, cycling (sort of)

A September week in Loches, Touraine, France: cloudless skies, 34° afternoon temperature, quiet roads, empty villages, lovely châteaux, walks, some cycling. Heaven! Loches, Touraine, France Unfortunately our hosts for the past three years are moving on; they have bought the outbuildings of the Château de Chavigny near Chinon and are taking their antique French furniture […]

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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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New Forest On & Off Shore 200k Audax

The New Forest On & Off Shore is the only Audax calendar event to include the Isle of Wight and since I joined Audax last year it had become a 'must do' event. Actually I've been meaning to ride this for several years but I've always chickened out. I've ridden round the island umpteen times […]

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A Quick Jaunt to Thirsk.

Why Thirsk? Because of LEL (London Edinburgh London) the flagship ride of Audax UK. Not as a cyclist, but myself and my eldest daughter Beth had ourselves up as volunteers to help at the Thirsk Control. Firstly though we had to get there...

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Up, Up, and Up a little bit more. Taking on The Galibier

Day 3 of the University of Bristol Cycling Club's tour of the French Alps saw us take on the iconic Galibier (2642m). Read on to find out how we faired, relive the highs the lows of the ride and feast your eyes on some great scenery. If the previous two days of riding were anything […]

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My First Alpine Climb

In late June, I set off with 5 like minded riders for a 5 day trip to the Alps. The first Alpine climb we tackled was Alpe d'Huez. Here's a summary of how it went. Alpe d'Huez After a quick look at the profile and Hattie's local knowledge I knew the first 2km (the first […]

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Cycling in the Vale of Wenning (from Settle)

I take back what I said about map cases in my recent bar bag review. In the car park at Settle, getting ready to ride in the Yorkshire Dales, I accidentally deleted the route from my Garmin GPS. Either that, or I had forgotten to put it on when the route was planned in May. […]

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Wayfarer Sausage Sizzle

Somehow it always seems to rain for the Wayfarer's annual sausage sizzle and this year looked like it was going to be no exception. Sizzle in the drizzle seemed to be on the cards as I cycled to the meeting place at Merstone where six of the usual stoving suspects were gathered. We were soon […]

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New Forest Excursion 200k Audax

I don't normally set goals for my cycling but since joining Audax UK at the end of last year I've had one clear goal in mind – to ride 200k. Although AUK validates rides from 50k upwards, 200k is really the basic Audax distance – it is 'the long distance cyclist's organisation' after all and […]

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Isle of Wight Randonnee 2013

The weather gods smiled on us this year and the 1833 participants in the IOW Randonnee enjoyed a beautiful sunny day. I rode the route on Saturday (when it was cold and windy!) and then spent Sunday on the checkpoint at Whitwell helping to keep the riders well stocked with cake, chocolate and tea.

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Heart of the Wolds Sportive

It hasn't been the greatest start to 2013 cycling-wise. I had a pain in my left knee which was diagnosed as a bruised cartilage, coupled with the sensory nerve damage in the other knee meant that I was restricted to rides of less than 40 miles and no hills for quite a few weeks. But […]

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Cycling up down Ilkley Moor

Ilkley Moor In Skipton, as we set off to cycle up Ilkley Moor, an elderly chap shouted: "Tiny Thomas!" "Who's Tiny Thomas?"

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Let's cycle to Limbrick

Windless, cloudless, it's almost a perfect morning. Just 3.5 degrees. The sky is hazy blue but towards the east the light is gold. Limbrick is a tiny village about half way between our house and where Bradley Wiggins lives. In all the years I've been cycling I have never (knowingly) seen Sir Bradley although Jason […]

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A Manx Patriot – Sir William Hillary, a cycle ride in his honour

A Manx Patriot – Sir William Hillary. The Founder of the Royal National Institution for the preservation of life from shipwreck. Born, 1771, Died, 1847. The Tower of Refuge, on St Mary's Isle, now known as Conisters' Rock

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Fun in the Snow!

There are only 2 things guaranteed to keep me from cycling – illness and snow. Unfortunately in the last week I've managed to have both! I was away for a month, then had a stomach bug, so I'm just beginning to get back into cycling again. This being March, I wasn't unduly worried when the […]

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Structural Cycling

Structural Cycling is a term I recently thought of to characterise the type of cycling I do mostly. It signifies cycling as a structural part of one's life. It is not essential for survival as are eating and drinking but has status equal to, say, tooth cleaning, nail cutting, shaving, hair washing, tidying the house, […]

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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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The Last Tints of Autumn

I haven't managed to go on many Autumn Tints' mainland rides this year. On several occasions the weather has been so foul that the ride has been cancelled and on a couple of rare occasions when the sun did shine, I had things that I needed to do. November's ride would be the last mainland […]

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I've caught the audax bug!

I recently joined Audax UK and now a whole world of obsession awaits me! I'll never make a serious audaxer – I'm too fond of my sleep, but I'm hoping it will provide the motivation to try a few events further afield that I always mean to do but somehow never get round to. The […]

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Dorset: a couple of short cycle rides (and signs)

Darkening skies over Dorset Does anybody object to commercial add-ons to normal road direction signs? I do, especially when the original one is a nice old-fashioned type with interesting place names – even when the add-on points to an award winning country pub like the Drovers Inn at Gussage All Saints: Dorset Country Pub Of […]

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New Forest Gridiron Ride

The Gridiron is getting to be a bit like Christmas – what that time again already? This is the fifth time I've done this ride and when combined with the ride to and from the ferry it makes a satisfying century. The forecast had been pretty iffy all week but then suddenly it was transformed […]

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Not (much) cycling in France

The plan was to put the bikes in the van, drive to various places in France, then ride. It had worked in Germany but not this time. I have come to the conclusion that generally, the French do not cycle very much. Col du Tourmalet (near the top)

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SCRC on the road: Etape Pennines

Many months ago, the whole of South Cave Road Club decided it would be a good idea to do the inaugural Marie Curie Etape Pennine Sportive. I should explain that South Cave Road Club (SCRC) has a total membership of two (although others are trying to join). It consists of myself and my frequent riding […]

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A Welsh Wander

Not content with just looking at bikes on our recent trip to Wales I managed to fit Why?Bike in the back of the car for a spot of Welsh cycling too. I was relying on picking up a leaflet from the Tourist Office which described a circular route from Llandrindod Wells. As this was supposed […]

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Going Shopping

In my continuing effort to ride every road in Cornwall, the other day, I decided to ride to the Shops. “Shops as well as roads?” I hear you all ask, “How many shops are there? There must be millions!” “No, not shops, silly – Shops!” In Cornwall we have Shops. These are places/hamlets/villages almost invariably […]

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New Forest and Coast 100k Audax

I first did this event a few years ago with a friend and we made a real hash of it, losing the route and adding many extra miles on busy roads. Every year since I have meant to go back and do it properly but somehow it has never happened. This year I decided it […]

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Sizzling Olympics

Last Sunday, as the world's best women cyclists prepared for the Olympic Road Race, six somewhat slower cyclists set off for the lesser known, and much less arduous, Olympic sport of sausage sizzling. When I joined the Guides at the age of ten one of the first things we did was a 'cookout', cooking sausages […]

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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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The Isle of Man Lighthouse Challenge – 8 July 2012

A soggy ManxCat slips in another 200km Audax on this fabulous Sportive event. My goodness. I’ll try not to mention the weather more than just once. Not to be discussed again this year! You guessed it, it rained – and rained – and rained throughout the Isle of Man Lighthouse Challenge Sportive. Up and coming […]

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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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I-Spy Jubilee Britain

A couple of roads (and any number of bridleways) across Salisbury Plain are often closed by Army training exercises. Perhaps the most (in)famous of these is the road through Imber village – whose entire civilian population was evacuated in 1943 to provide a training area for troops preparing for the invasion of Europe. Since then, […]

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How not to prepare for a 200km Audax

Not many things can persuade me to miss a Hull Kingston Rovers home match but some months previous I had decided that the chance to participate in a 200km Audax was one such occasion (Rovers beat Castleford 70-12). Scott is a friend I go out for a ride with most weekends and he was also […]

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Victoria Day ride

Victoria Day is a long weekend (a.k.a. bank holiday) in Canada, during which the Queen’s birthday is celebrated. Sort of. In cottage country May 24 is the traditional cottage-opening weekend after a long winter, although openings have been earlier in recent years due to weather changes. Canada’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth. I am […]

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Isle of Wight Randonnee 2012

Sunday morning is usually a quiet affair in the small village of Whitwell. When I arrived at 8.30 it was cold and raining, but the village hall was a hive of activity. Outside, gazebos were being erected with much scratching of heads, while inside cakes were being cut and wrapped and hot cross buns buttered. […]

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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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Champlain Lookout

The ride to Champlain Lookout in Gatineau Park is the standard weekend ride for most Ottawa cyclists. Gatineau Park, in the province of Quebec, is right across the Ottawa River from Ottawa. It is closed to traffic until May 1st and every Sunday morning during summer, making it a cyclists' paradise. The return ride from […]

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3-valley bike ride round Snowdon

A498: Llyn Gwynant on the banks of Snowdon Nant Gwynant, Nant Peris, Nant y Betws. I don't know if they are official names for the three valleys surrounding the Snowdon Massif in North Wales but they are written large on my OS Explorer map of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon's Welsh name). Nant means stream, small river, […]

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My River Avon to River Avon cycleway

My visit to 'Bespoked 2012' was actually the 'main dish' of a three-course cycling day. The 'hors d'oeuvre' had already been served very very chilled – a freezing, early morning ride to Salisbury train station to catch the 0730 departure to Bristol. The compensation was going to be a 'hot dessert' – my ride home […]

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My First 100 Mile Bike Ride

Magazines at various times have articles which suggest there are random things to do before you die/reach 50 etc. I have completed quite a few of the tasks that often appear (both legal and illegal) but one goal, which up to April 1st 2012 had eluded me, was to cycle 100 miles in a day. […]

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ManxCat dilly-dallies in the Dales

I had entered The Marcher Audax in Shropshire organised by Andrew Seabourne and was looking forward to the challenge, until my health got the better of me again. I tested a 200km on the island and miserably failed it. As the Marcher Lord is a 3,000m climb Audax, I swapped it for the 100km ride […]

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No sign of Hockney but very fine cycling

Cyclist approaching – the bridleway between Bishop Wilton and Fangfoss After at least half a dozen visits to Hockney Country I thought this weekend we might at last have seen The Man. The weather was gorgeous – warm sunshine and almost windless: perfect for sitting at an easel to paint the English landscape. Sunday's big […]

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Cycling the Monsal Trail

Sandra and I cycled the Monsal Trail the other day. The trail has apparently existed since 1981 but I hadn't heard of it until last year when it was announced that four ancient railway tunnels are now open to walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists and horse riders, after being made safe by the Peak District National […]

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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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