Picture Posts

Magnum Opus

Not split into pages. It's best viewed as a single page using the up and down arrows to navigate. The weather is very bad for cycling, so I've been going through old cycle-touring photos of which I've literally thousands, and have picked some to present; I'll have something to say about many of them...

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Westport to Achill – an appraisal of the Great Western Greenway

This is, as we say in Cork (and I believe in Liverpool also) a span new cycleway. It's 44 km long or 26 miles in a Christian measure. It is off-road but on surfaced tracks apart from a 1 mile section near Achill Sound and a perhaps 2 mile section on the Westport side of […]

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Coast to Coast to Coast – Snorkel cycling

IN 2010 I repeated the CTC Lejog with a very nice crowd of people and stayed in touch with some of them via Facebook and email. One of them, the character of the group, one Roger Davies proposed a reunion short tour from Whitehaven to North Shields, so eight agreed to participate, including my wife […]

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The Leather Saddle from Hell; Put through Purgatory; Now Heaven!

Mick gave me a "present" of a Brooks Professional Saddle which he had failed to break. I'd bought my racing bike, a carbon fibre Ridley Orion with a synthetic saddle on it and surprise surprise had found it not bad at all, but not as comfortable for me as leather. I've used leather saddles almost […]

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The Beara Pilgrimage

I've cycled the fabled Ring of Beara maybe ten times in all. This was described in an old CTC book about bike touring as "probably the best one day tour in the British Isles". That it surely is. The full ring varies from 90 to about 105 miles depending on how much you take in. […]

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Pumping tyres with valve extensions on the tubes

Lizzie borrowed a pair of carbon wheels for a duathlon she's doing on Saturday and asked me to pump them. They are V-sections carbon rims with long funny-looking valve extensions. I couldn't get a decent connection, or so it seemed, to inflate the tyres hard enough. Tried various pumps. I could get them hard but […]

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Honks, bonks and oopsy daisy

Sorry, I couldn't think of a more sensible title for a post to sum up my last two rides. One was across the Humber to Kirton in Lindsey, the other to Malton in North Yorkshire. For a Sunday morning the roads seemed rather busy over in Barton, on the south bank of the Humber. Having […]

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A Lincolnshire Wolds cycle ride (South Kelsey, Walesby, Kirmington)

I'm still trying to get to grips with the many towns and villages in the Yorkshire Wolds in preparation for, amongst other rides, the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route. But every now and again it's nice to get over to Lincolnshire and the quiet country lanes that include route 1 of the NCN. Yesterday over 30 […]

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Cycling in Corkwall

My friend Mick has gone to London for a fortnight so today I decided to do some exploration on my own, rather than going out with another friend. What I love about being on my own is that I can stop when I want, as often as I want and feel no pressure. I love […]

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Cycling Light Horse

What the hell does that title mean? All will be revealed, presently. My father was from the Glen of Aherlow in Co.Tipperary, a lovely valley at the foot of Galteemore, the highest of the Galtee Mountains, and for you lovers of mountains, a Munro. Aherlow is correctly pronounced Aherla, as the name Aherlow was coined […]

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The Right Time in the Right Place

Every place has its best season. If you cycle in Andalucia in the spring the fields will be dappled with gorgeous wild flowers, the grass will usually be green and it will look 1000 times more beautiful than it does in autumn, when everything is brown, brittle and withered. I had often imagined Extremadura to […]

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A cycle ride to Bell Mills

I seem to have got in to a pattern of getting out on my bike on alternate weekends. Today's ride had the same cafe stop as the last one: Bell Mills Garden Centre near Driffield. The route today was almost the same as the one I took a fortnight ago, with different riders, except in […]

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Cantabrian Footsteps

I want to live in a huge but single-storey house that I can cycle round. Forget this walking lark. Walking is difficult and "uncomfortable", as the medics call it. It's been this way since before Christmas. The problems are either soft tissue (in which case I should exercise more) or dying bone (in which case […]

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Bracken, on the NCN route 1

Not a day for many photo opportunities, although I hope to write something about the ride I did today which included the Driffield Big Skies Bike Ride – or at least the majority of that route. Before the rain came down I took the photograph below of half of today's 'B' group riders, cycling along […]

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A quick spin

On New Year's Eve I hurtled around the village preceding a local loop. This was about 12 km (7.5 miles) which I did in 3 min 22 sec. That's 214 kph (134 mph). A personal best. And, if I'm not mistaken, a world record for human powered vehicles. Click on the piccy for the viddy.

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A Pound of Perseverance is worth a Ton of Talent

This is only peripherally about cycling, but what the heck? I've the flu, I'm stuck indoors and I've got to do something!

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Bike symbols

Bicycle symbol #1 in the image below is the one used on signs for the official cycle route network in the UK and which Cycling England refers to as cycle route waymarking. Someone, somewhere, was given the job of drawing the symbol and the pleasure of seeing their work reproduced tens of thousands or maybe […]

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Cycling Cork to Westport August 2010

Our son Tom and his lady wife, the lovely Tracey went to live in Westport Co.Mayo, recently, so we decided to cycle there to see them, having a short bike tour en route. We'd covered this territory some years ago and Listowel is the obvious first port of call, but on this occasion we decided […]

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Big Skies Bike Rides: Millington Dale and Warter from Pocklington

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 17.5 mile route starts at Pocklington and has […]

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Seize the day!

Its not been a good week for cycling. Gales and rain on Monday. Torrential rain and strong wind on Tuesday. Gales and rain on Thursday. But Wednesday, Wednesday was glorious. Cold, but glorious!

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A day on the Col d'Izoard, watching the Giro d'Italia, 1994

In 1994, I and 5 or 6 friends cycled from Strasbourg to Nice. This is not a long account of that tour, or even a short account of it. It's just a memory of one particular day. A couple of the lads, Paul Harte and Mick Sweeney, I think, decided that after leaving Briancon, we […]

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Cycling West Yorkshire

A weekend cycle tour in the Yorkshire Dales In the June 30th, 1937 edition of 'The Cyclist' magazine L.G. Fothergill described this Yorkshire Dales week end route as "Embracing Some of Yorkshire's Finest Scenery" and reckoned 90 miles as its length. I think it's nearer to 100 miles. I've drawn it up in Google Earth […]

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Cycle tour in Sardinia, 2003

An Account of a Tour of Sardinia March 4th-12th inclusive, 2003. I decided to refurbish this account as it was originally published without photos. At the time, you couldn't put photos in an article on Usenet. Introduction. I and my wife Mary are experienced cycletourists. We do little else for holidays and this tour was […]

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The Guadiana Loop

I've been in Ayamonte, on the Atlantic Coast of Andalusia, or Andalucia, for the past three weeks. We bought an apartment here 4 years ago and come out here for breaks. It's too hot in high summer, but for the rest of the year, the weather is, on average, much better than at home. It's […]

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The Yorkshire Wolds: a cycle ride to Thixendale

Yesterday's ride was filled with unexpected moments. The planned destination was Murton, but only four of us 'B' ride cyclists turned up at Cottingham Green to make the journey (although there were plenty of 'C' riders, and a gaggle of mountain bikers who set off before us). Someone suggested meeting up with the Last of […]

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Using the WWW to plan a cycle ride (on a rainy day…)

Another day of 'filthy' weather, to borrow the phrase used by a BBC Breakfast presenter during the week. Today the Hull & East Riding CTC were supposed to have a cycle ride around the Humber. I have a few too many jobs to do – and, of course, the weather is awful. I'm hoping to […]

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Castlegregory Seven Frogs Triathlon

Castlegregory is a village on the Northern Side of the Dingle Peninsula in Co.Kerry. There is a small peninsula north of it usually referred to as the Magharees (from the islands off it. Magharee = Machairí (same word as Machair in Scots Gaelic) and means plain, prairie etc). At the tip there's a village called […]

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Favourite Cycletouring Photos

I'm idle this morning and am to photograph a wedding for a former work colleague after lunch, so my thoughts strayed to photographs. These are some of my favourites from cycling.

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CTC Lejog 2010

Day Minus One I repeated Lejog with the CTC this year, having done it last year, also in July. British cyclists are obsessed with this tour and indeed there are finer tours you can do in Britain, but this one has the feather-in-the-cap element and I think that that's the attraction. I decided around Christmas […]

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What do you do with a jealous bicycle?

I once had a girlfriend who referred to her moped as "Horse". Strangely, I never met Horse, but I imagined something old and large, with plenty of character. Bicycles are the same. Perhaps more so, because a bike is an extension of a person, a remarkably simple machine that converts leg movement into speed and […]

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A cycle ride to Hovingham and the Howardian Hills

After a soaking on Thursday I made it out yesterday with four other members of the local CTC group. I felt I needed a long ride – with some hills – as I continue to train for our Morecambe to Mappleton coast to coast. The runs list had Hovingham as the destination, but on Thursday […]

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The sublime joy of working on a bike

I'm going touring on my Thorn Raven (A Rohoff-equipped steel framed tourer) in two weeks so I started off my preparation today by washing it, for the first time, I might add! I've had it 10 months, but it has superb mudguards and doesn't get very dirty. That's my excuse anyway. I've never been a […]

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Second 100 miler of the year. The Ring of Kerry.

We hadn't cycled this for years, so the weather being stunning, we headed in the car for Killarney and parked near the Gleneagle Hotel on the West side of town. This is a famous drive in a car, of about 108 miles. It's also a famous cycle and we did it in a day, BUT […]

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We need a puncture Whisperer!!

Yesterday 5 of us did a 65mile spin in gorgeous weather. Cork Midleton Rathcormac Ballyhooley Cork. Mick got 3 punctures. None of us had had one for weeks. We could only explain one of them and then it was just a theory. He was back from touring in France but not on this bike. He […]

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The Vee: first hundred-miler of the year

The Vee is a mountain pass on the Waterford Tipperary border, at 1100 ft., and a favourite route for the Cork City cyclist who wants to train for a hundred miles. I've done it maybe 20 times in the last 25 years, maybe less. Today we headed east and stayed on minor roads from the […]

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Skibbereen Duathlon

My daughters are very good runners, the younger, Lizzie, 29, being number 3 triathlete in Ireland and the best middle distance runner in Co.Cork. Rosaleen took up running this year and at 35 is one of the best around as well. I was persuaded to ride the cycle leg of this Duathlon yesterday with Rosaleen […]

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The Best Bike Ride in Ireland

This is an account of a bike ride I made 10.04.10. Unfortunately I'd knocked my camera into White Balance for Bulb mode by accident so I couldn't quite correct the colour, but you'll get the idea anyway. The Beara Peninsula is the middle one of 5 on the Southwest Coast of Ireland. Three quarters of […]

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You never know what the day'll bring

This morning, April 6th 2010, the weather forecast was for a wet day, especially wet up to lunchtime, with westerly winds. I wasn't that keen on cycling, and I've had a nagging shoulder injury caused by trying to lift something which was much heavier than I thought it would be. Mick was up for it, […]

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Cycling and walking around Askrigg

Askrigg is becoming my favourite base for cycling, and walking, in the Yorkshire Dales. On Tuesday this week I cycled home after completing two day-ride circular routes with a walk to Castle Bolton in between them. I think each loop, Tan Hill and Kettlewell, is worth a separate entry, so I’ll add posts later. For […]

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Ayamonte/Vila Real de Santo Antonio to Tavira by Back Roads

We bought a holiday apartment in Ayamonte about 3 years ago. Ayamonte is a lovely town on the Atlantic on the Spanish side of the River Guadiana, the Portuguese town on the other side being Vila Real de Santo Antonio. The cycling on the Portuguese side is much better but Portugal has a major problem […]

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Cycling Bliss

The great weather continues and this is to be my last post for a couple of weeks as I'm going to Andalusia where we have an apartment. The weather there is unusually wet. The usual suspects cycled up the hill to Waterfall and Goggin's Hill, west from Bishopstown and then dropped down the steep hill […]

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A New Route, not easy

In Ireland we are blessed with a huge road network, but this is a mixed blessing, because many of the roads are not that well-surfaced, and in a hilly county like Cork, most of the minor roads involve hills, and in many cases serious hills. I'd often cycled from Innishannon to Ballinspittle and Garrettstown, along […]

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Creating a GPS cycle route on Google Earth

You can plan any type of route on Google Earth – not just a cycle route – but in my case I'd like to plan the route for a cycle tour in Denmark next May. Denmark has a network of cycle routes, some of which run alongside roads, but some follow country tracks that aren't […]

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Rathcormac, Ballyhooley, Glenville, Cork

It was a little bit colder than of late this morning (4C) as I cycled east into an east wind to the Silversprings Hotel, known in Cork as "the Sillysprings" to meet the redoubtable Mick and Donie. Off we head towards Glanmire and then north on the old Dublin Road (most of it has been […]

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It's an ill wind…

My lady wife Mary, and I came out to our Spanish apartment in Ayamonte, Andalucia, on the Atlantic just next to Portugal two weeks ago. Initially the weather was cold and on the second day we had a day of Monsoon-like rain. This area which gets little rain by and large had been deluged for […]

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Askrigg cycle ride (via Tan Hill Inn)

Happy New Year! Just a quick post after returning from Askrigg yesterday. In the end I decided not to take a bike with me. It was after all our first anniversary, we had the dog and two other couples joining us in the last few days and on reflection I didn't think I would have […]

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Day tour of Muntervary (Sheep's Head) peninsula, in better times

The lingering vile weather prompts me to describe a trip we did in August last. Mick Lehane (a sunny and very witty optimist) and Donie O'Keeffe (our group pessimist, who has elevated pessimism to the level of an Olympic Sport) drov

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Freedom…of a sort…

After 11 days the ice came to an end, to be replaced by industrial strength rain, a 30 mile-an-hour northeasterly gale and a snug 4 degrees centigrade. Now am I going to stick my face out in that or not? I have more rain-gear than sense so I put BMX pedals on my trusty steed […]

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Snow in East Yorkshire

I know, it's hardly Hallmark quality, but here is a picture from this morning of the first snowfall where I live. I use this route to miss out a big roundabout. (I've never stopped to notice the graffiti before.)

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Around Great Island

Today despite predictions we had nice cycling weather, 5C, northerly wind and sunshine. I love this kind of weather. I decided to do a tour of Great Island (Cobh, Queenstown formerly). The island it's on is Great Island, an tOileán Mór in Irish, which means the same thing. Oileán in Irish = Eilean in Gaelic. […]

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