The ride that didn’t ride, ride – 09 March 19

With due apologies to comedian, Peter Kay, Trekkers broke two records today. (Keith thought this one up!) Firstly, we had the best turnout ever for a non-track session. 10 Pilots and 11 Stokers – the answer’s in Drew’s Triplet in case you’re wondering.

The second record we broke was the most people attending a ride that didn’t ride. The weather was always going to be marginal, but the forecast held sufficient optimism to give it a go. And in true Trekker’s spirit, all 21 riders turned out.

Whether it was the warmth and alluring aroma of coffee and breakfast in Julie’s Café, whilst we waited for all to turn up that finally crystallised the decision not to proceed, or the stubborn blustery squalls that failed to abate, caution was not thrown to the wind, and we decided to stay warm and dry (and more importantly safe!)

Take 2 next week…..

Will we or won't we ride today; Barney and Damian mull over options as other seated trekkers sup their brews.
Will we or won’t we ride today; Barney and Damian mull over options as other seated trekkers sup their brews.
"We don't mind paying, even if we don't ride". Aisha and Elisa donating to Trekker's funds, courtesy of Martin.
“We don’t mind paying, even if we don’t ride”. Aisha and Elisa donating to Trekker’s funds, courtesy of Martin.
This picture deserves a caption. If you are VI, get someone to describe what Drew is saying to Keith. Richard certainly seems suitably shocked.
This picture deserves a caption. If you are VI, get someone to describe what Drew is saying to Keith. Richard certainly seems suitably shocked.
"… and I told my wife I was going tandeming as well!" Saj and Muz tucking into a Julie's Veggie Breakfast Special. (Or was it their second breakfast?)
“… and I told my wife I was going tandeming as well!” Saj and Muz tucking into a Julie’s Veggie Breakfast Special. (Or was it their second breakfast?)

Leeds Road Track – 02 March 19

What an amazing start to our 2019 season !

A record breaking 26 Trekkers, (12 Pilots and 14 Stokers) enjoyed a superb session with several new faces. Indeed, a very special welcome to Ahmed, Akbar, Hajra, Ian, Jean, Kaukub and Nicola on your maiden Tandem Trip. Lovely to meet you all and we hope to see you again real soon.

And attendance wasn’t the only record broken! Under the very close supervision of Barney, several Stokers had a go at cycling solo! It can be done. But you really need a trike (and a recumbent one helps too!)

Posted pictures show the everyone posing for a group shot and a few images of folk engaged in off-track communication. Enjoy!

25 Trekkers and 3 Guide Dogs clustered around the bench at Leeds Road Track
25 Trekkers and 3 Guide Dogs. Paul took the picture so doesn’t count!
deep in conversation with Damian and Diane
Jennifer with Damian and Diane
Barney watching Hilary on his recumbent trike
Hilary trying Barney’s recumbent trike
Carlie on recumbent trike - her hands are behind her head. She's smiling and looks very relaxed
No handlebars – no problem
Toseef's dog Poppy looking at Toseef. If she could talk she'd be asking "Why can't I have a go?"
Does that Tandem make me redundant?
Nicola with a lovely smile piloting Jean. First time for both ladies who both rode brilliantly.
New Pilot Nicola with new Stoker Jean. Riding like true professionals ….

Bags of Help for Tandem Trekkers

Tandem Trekkers Trustee, Paul Stark, and Founding Member, Martin Eatherley, receiving their cheque for £3,434.00 from Melanie Cropper, Community Champion, Tesco Cleckheaton.

Customers of the Cleckheaton branch of Tesco recently voted Tandem Trekkers, winners of their Autumn Bags of Help promotion. Using the mandatory 5p carrier bag charge to help local community groups, the £3,434.00 cheque will enable the Huddersfield based group, which caters for blind and visually impaired riders, to purchase two brand new tandems.

Commenting on the awards, Trekker’s Founder Member, Martin Eatherley, said “We are absolutely delighted to have been nominated for, and to have received, this fantastic grant. As a relatively small charity, it is so easy for small groups like our own to slip below the national radar of deserving causes. Tesco’s initiative helps redress that imbalance and enables smaller community based organisations to receive much needed funding. The ability to buy two new tandems provides us with a real boost, as we seek to introduce more and more blind and visually impaired riders, such as myself, to the joys of riding a bike! And if there are any sighted pilots out there, interested in helping us in practical ways, we really would welcome them getting in touch.

Spen Valley Greenway – 17 November 18

Drew’s triplet, piloted by Drew and capably powered by Carlie and Aisha, attracted several comments on our Greenway trek, earlier today. “I’ve never seen one of those” observed one passer-by.  At least, I think they were referring to the bike. Martin managed to make up for the absence of mechanicals, by successfully leaving his rucksack at the café.

Pictures show the six tandems and triplet on the iconic viaduct, and Trekkers tucking into their fare at the Milestone café.

And finally, our 2019 ride calendar is now available on our website. See above. An accessible version can be downloaded here.

Longdendale Trail – 10 November 18

This Saturday’s six tandem safari up the Longendale Trail encountered its own mini-jungle; a freshly felled tree necessitated a detour through the undergrowth. Barney was all set to go back to his car to return with his axe but wisdom, thankfully, prevailed. Otherwise, a great ride all topped off with a well-deserved coffee and cake in Hadfield.

Leeds Road Track – 06 October 18

Trekkers were live at a rain-free Leeds Road Sports Complex today where we welcomed Stuart and Janet Brown from The Kirkby Foundation. Through their generosity, we were able to purchase three brand new Orbit Velocity tandems earlier this year.

Also visiting Trekkers for the first time, new pilot Charles and new Stoker, Aisha. Great to see you both and hope to see the two of you again real soon; next week in fact. And also riding with us, a recent convert to the Trekkers cause, Richard Cooley.

But perhaps today’s award for star appearance goes to Andrew’s triplet. Fantastic fun for three. See pictures below.

Finally, a gauntlet has been thrown down. A 400 metre tandem lap in 37.65 seconds.

Fairburn Loop – 29 September 18

Today’s joint ride with Hull based Beech Holme Tandem Club was a winner. 9 Tandems and 7 Solos, lovely sunshine and an extremely cycle friendly cafe at Birkin all made for a most enjoyable day. Yes, there was a bit of a headwind on the way back. That’s probably why many people had double helpings at the cafe. But for most riders, the flat 21 miles near Fairburn were a delight. And why do I say for most riders? Because not content with the 21, Keith and Mike cycled out and back from Huddersfield. I guess that will push their total tally towards the 100. Well done to everyone!!!!

Spen Valley Greenway – 15 September 18

Another brilliant ride with Ten Tandems trundling up the local Greenway. Absolutely fantastic to see new pilots Mark, John and Richard joining in the fun. Thanks guys – we really do appreciate you coming along and hopefully we’ll see more of you on future rides. Also great to have Sally and Josh, who are relatively new, coping so well. You were both awesome.

And apologies to Elisa who had to put up with Keith’s various renditions of Simon and Garfunkel and to Tariq who laughed so heartily at Paul’s jokes. You were very convincing, Tariq.

Today’s pictures show the bikes and riders on the viaduct as we head home, a pensive Barney, a smiling Josh and Brittany and a couple of group shots at the Coffee Counter Cafe.

Telford Weekend: 7-9 September 18

Wow – what an absolutely brilliant weekend away. 20 trekkers in attendance for all, or part, of our stay in Coalport.

Yes, there was a bit of rain on the Saturday, but nothing like enough to dampen spirits on our 20-30 miler (there was a choice of return route) along some delightful country lanes.

And Sunday’s sun made the 20-25 mile trip along disused railway lines more than memorable.

Of course, cafe stops are an integral part of any ride, and Keith did us proud on both rides, finding us two excellent refuelling stations.

But to only tell you about the tandeming would be to tell you less than half the tale.

Saturday night’s nail-biter of a quiz went right down to the wire. It was an epic Pilots vs Stokers billing. Only did the final round see the Pilots narrowly clinch victory by two points.

And then the real talent emerged. First up, Mr Weatherly on the Ukulele. His rendition of his self-composed “Tandem Trekkers are here” brought the house down; almost literally. Next up, Drew Mann, confirmed what everyone long suspected. Should Shakespeare be alive today, a star-performer would he have seen. And finally Paul told a joke; at least I think that was what it was meant to be.

In short, it was nothing short of superb to see some of Trekkers more seasoned participants mixing it up so well with a number of newbie pilots and stokers both on and off the bikes.

Roll on 2019…

Leeds Road Track – 01 September 18

It’s not often we get more pilots than stokers but today we did. In fact we had over twice as many pilots (9) as stokers (4). Fantastic to see new pilots Sally and Chris – both experienced cyclists in their own right – take to tandeming so seamlessly. And I think we had our youngest ever stoker. Well done Robin ! Also, special thanks to Michael for taking some more footage for us.

Leeds Road Track – 11 August 18

6 Pilots + 6 Stokers + 2 Guide Dogs taking a breather during this morning’s session. Congratulations to Catherine and Carlie who won the slow race by a narrow 4 second margin – and to all the pairs who excelled at the 3 bikes vs 3 bikes synchronisation exercise. Impressive performance. Special welcome to new pilot Josh. And special thanks to Barney who, whilst everyone else was out enjoying themselves, beavered away back at storage giving some of our older bikes plenty of TLC.

York – 23 June 18

Pilots Ken, Keith, Damien, Jennifer, David Joyce. Stokers Diane, Caroline, Hilary, Martin E, Tariq.  Lead Barney on a recumbent solo.
After an initial lap of the racecourse to try and find a good exit point to join the tarmac trail a 20 mile route of very level and quiet railway path with a few annoying tree routes and a non-existent café – yes, indeed, a failure of route planning was that the café had closed due to lack of staff since the risk assessment was carried out.
Everyone back to York Cycle show in one piece despite Mr Eatherley repeating his party trick of rolling over into the bushes whilst still attached to a tandem – one more pilot to add to the growing list of victims.
Inside the cycle show despite 20 miles in their legs a number of trekkers took the opportunity to go solo on recumbent tricycles – and Martin then attempted his second roll over incident of the day.
Shopping, food and coffee completed all home after a good day out – one to think about for next year and probably the easiest / flattest 20 miler we can muster.

Hull – 16 June 18

2 Trekkers Tandems, 5 Beech Holme Tandems and 5 Beech Holme Solos. Pilots Barney Harle and David Joyce. Stokers Martin Eatherley and Chris Vaughan.
30 miles of city centre cycling, railway tracks, minor roads and a return into the city roads with a stop for fish, chips and pop.
A grand day out for all, a chance to show off our new tandems and our new trailer.
Many thanks to our friends at Beech Home for organising and leading the ride.

Tandem Trekkers is back on track but this time in Scunthorpe – Saturday 2nd June – Racing with the British Human Power Club (BHPC)

On Saturday TT and the British Human Power Club(BHPC) travelled to Scunthorpe’s outdoor Velodrome. The track is 485m with an incline of 30 degrees. Most of the racers were riding recumbent but there were other forms of bicycles. It was amazing to see so many people riding so many varieties of bikes in different positions.

Barney, Rachel, Louise, Chris and Chris V all attended the event and thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone at the BHPC and their wonderful creations. The atmosphere was great and people were interested about the tandems and where we had travelled from.

Once the bikes had been sorted by our wonderful mechanic Barney, he familiarised everyone with the race circuit. Understandably everyone was anxious about their races but once we got on the bikes the nerves quickly disappeared.

The race was a solid hour constant cycling around the Velodrome in a pack of ten strong, this would push all five of us to our limits as we jostled for position. The atmosphere was amazing with so much support and friendly competition, pushing everyone on.

Once Barney and Chris had finished they dropped the bike and pegged it for a much need toilet break. Everyone had completed the race, doing Trekkers proud with their efforts.

It was a wonderful day of racing but it didn’t stop there. Barney’s friend Neil allowed Chris V to have a go on his recumbent trike with Barney jogging alongside shouting directions. Louise then had a turn in a pedal car (a four wheel recumbent) with Barney directing from the side. Both Chris V and Louise thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Due to our starting later than planned the final race was cancelled so we gathered everything up and headed home for a much needed rest.

Thank you once again Barney for organising this wonderful day for Trekkers.

Photo is Louise riding off solo in Crude 45 – a 4 wheeled fully faired pedal car.

Gargrave Loop – 26 May 18

Will it be third time lucky? Twice before we’ve had to postpone this 24 mile undulating trip around this lovely part of the Dales. Hopefully not this time!
(Please note this ride is a bit more demanding than our normal escapades so you’ll need to be feeling up for a bit of a challenge).

POST RIDE DEBRIEF

Trekkers enjoying bacon butties, cake and a very welcome brew at Wigglesworth, half way round Gargrave Loop. Quite a few inclines today, but who needs electric assistance with Keith around. Never was a helping hand so greatly appreciated! (And then he went and cycled home!)

Leeds Road – 05 May 18

… and it’s a track session … with a very nice surprise in store …

POST RIDE DEBRIEF
… and for those of you who were unable to join the 20 or so Trekkers and friends at today’s brilliant session … but who are itching to know just what the nice surprise was ….queue … drum-roll …. 3 brand spankingly new Orbit Velocity tandems. That’s right folks; you heard it right. 3 gleaming new bikes courtesy of a most generous donation from Stuart and Janet Brown of the Kirkby Foundation ….

Great to see a few new faces (and old friends) too ……..

Longendale Trail – 28 Apr 18

If you’ve ever cycled to Dunford Bridge and wondered where that rather large foreboding tunnel led to, now’s your chance to find out.

Starting from t’other side of t’hill at Hadfield, we follow the disused railway all the way to where said tunnel emerges at Woodhead.

POST RIDE DEBRIEF
Tandems = 3
Solos = 1
Café stops = 2
Miles = 13
Puddles on track = 541

Huddersfield Special – 21 Apr 18

Yes folks, this is a variation to our calendar. Organiser’s details are still sketchy but this is what we know so far….

10am Participants meet up at Magic Rock Brewery Willow Lane Huddersfield

10:15 We do a short group ride in and around the town centre (bikes and riders are encouraged to look festive)

11:00 Riders arrive in St Georges Square where politicians/local councillors will be photographed putting their ‘voting slips’/ promises into a large ballot box backing ‘Space 4 Cycling’ in Kirklees. (This done to the cheers and clapping of the attendees.)

11:30 Participants ride back in large group to Magic Rock brewery where they’ll have some alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage and possibly some food before making their way home.

More to follow…..

POST RIDE DEBRIEF

“It will be very interesting how you write up today’s events on our blog!” said Jennifer. An understatement  – but in brief: Four tandems and a solo set out from storage; two tandems were back within minutes. A jinxed derailleur ensured that Martin (piloted by the aforementioned Jennifer) got his name into pole position on our 2018 “Most Accident Prone Trekker” leaderboard. And whilst attempting a running repair on the said derailleur, a loud firework explodes. Except it wasn’t a firework. It was the rear tyre on Barney and Chris V’s tandem. “This tyre is broken” said Barney (although he might have used another word).

Undeterred, two tandems and a solo soldiered on and joined the Space4Cycling entourage. Except, at times, there wasn’t always that much space!

A very welcome and refreshing Dixon’s ice-cream at the end of our frolic made up for our earlier frustrations.

And if you really want to know how Barney managed to get a totally un-rideable tandem back to storage, you’ll need to click here

Penistone to Dunford Bridge – 07 Apr 18

A firm Trekkers favourite, Penistone to Dunford Bridge is a totally off-road route and a great first ride for anyone wishing to graduate up from a track session. 12 virtually flat, traffic free, miles along a disused railway line ending up for a belly busting sarnie (or second brekkie) at Julie’s café, guarantees riders a truly memorable trip.

POST RIDE DEBRIEF

Six tandems, one solo, a black labrador, forecasted rain that didn’t materialise and the truly renown fare served up at Julie’s, all made for a very pleasant late morning ride up to Dunford Bridge. Great to have relative newbie pilots Chris and Andy piloting relative newbie stokers Muz and Saj. Thanks to one and all.

Leeds Road Track – 24 Mar 18

Trekkers are on track. It’s the last Saturday before Easter, it’s an introductory “Taster” session and it’s a great opportunity for friends old and new to have a spin around the track at Leeds Road Sports Complex. We’re hoping that some of the folk we met at Vision Connect will join us. Why don’t you?

 

POST RIDE DEBRIEF

Wow – what  a brilliant start to our first track session of the season with some 20 or so Trekkers and friends enjoying a spin. Great to see Chris and Andy – two new pilots. Thanks lads – you were ace. Also joining us for the first time, two new stokers, twins Anne and Helen – well done ladies. Hope to see you all again.

And a very special thanks to our cameraman, Michael. Can’t wait to see our new promo video.

Fairburn Loop – 17 Mar 18

STOP PRESS – 15 March 2018:

The more insightful or clairvoyant amongst you will have concluded that our transport problems, coupled with a weekend forecast of foul weather, would mean that we would have to cancel the Fairburn outing. And guess what. The Fairburn outing is cancelled.

Our outing on 17th March is a repeat of the Fairburn loop which several of us rode in November last year. At around 20 miles – and with virtually no hills – the route is mainly on quiet country lanes. Our rendezvous point will be Seedlings Garden Centre, Carlton DN14 9PX – where we’ll be able to enjoy a post ride buttie and brew.

Timings and further details will be posted here shortly ….

Spen Valley Greenway – 10 Mar 18

Fingers crossed the first ride of the season should take place this Saturday 10th March. It is a trip down the Spen Valley Greenway. This contains on road sections and is around 15 miles. The last time out in the late autumn we were caught out by a headwind on the way back which made sure everyone felt thaat they had got their exercise for the day.

Please let Pete Hardy [pete@bikeworks.co.in] know if you are up for this ride and as he is taking over the reins of organising the rides – you’ll need to remind him if you are a pilot or a stoker. The earlier he knows numbers the more chance he will have to make sure everyone is paired up.

POST RIDE DEBRIEF

Six tandems, undeterred by the initial drizzle, made a very enjoyable start to the 2018 season. Thanks Barney, for showing how limit screws on the rear derailleur can be used to lock out buckled rings on the cassette.