M62 Special – 31 Aug 19

Yes, you’re right. The ride was initially billed as “Glasson Dock”. But circumstances changed it to a lovely trip along the M62. “Never had as much fun since the cat got run over” quipped Andrew. And just in case you’re curious – no we actually didn’t cycle along the motorway.

I suppose that after so many successful rides this season, something was going to go wrong sometime. And the gremlins chose today to strike. And strike they certainly did. To be precise they struck Barney’s car.

When the engine cut out, the dashboard lit up like Blackpool illuminations on steroids and a plume of volcanic steam erupted from under the bonnet, Barney, very wisely, decided it was time to pull over to the hard shoulder – complete with the trailer and seven tandems. Optimism suggested the first strategy should be to simply top up the radiator with water and wait a while. Alas, reality, in the form of strange engine noises on an attempted restart, soon kicked optimism into the motorway verge and onto Saddleworth Moor. And the decision to abort the day was the only choice on the menu.

But still, everyone got home safe and sound and Glasson Dock isn’t going anywhere.

Trekkers will be back.

Leeds Road Track – 24 Aug 19

Excellent weather underpinned another fabulous track session. Great to welcome a new pilot, Essam, a friend of Mostafa. Hope to see you again real soon.

And congratulations to the winners of our various communication and handling exercises. Barney and Aisha on the standard straight line challenge, Barney and Tariq and Keith and Elisa tying for first place on the stoker only version of the same event and then Keith and Elisa again on the stoker only version of a traditional slow race. I think I can see a pattern emerging here…..

Keith and Elisa riding to victory on the stoker power only slow race
… on-lookers marvelling at Keith and Elisa’s bike handling skills. Andrew and Jean beginning to realise that their hereto lead is about to be snatched from them.
Charles and Mostafa attempting to break the sound barrier. They almost succeeded!
Barney and Drew discussing elliptical off-sets on timing chains (or something of equal importance!)
Keith and Tariq doing what Keith and Tariq do best. Having a laugh!

Spen Valley – 17 Aug 19

Despite a snapped chain (Barney our ride leader pack is down a 9-speed quick-link) and the ride leader setting off without his Stoker, today’s spin up Spen Valley was enjoyed by 7 tandems and 3 solos. What was particularly encouraging was seeing so many relatively new pilots making the most of one of our popular routes. Well done everyone 👍👍👍.

John, Martin, Tariq, Aisha and Muz eagerly awaiting food at our obligatory stop at the Milestone cafe.

Elaine, Diarmuid, Carlie, David and Danny also anticipating sustenance.

David, Tim, Chris, John, Andrew and Beverley queuing to order their grub.

Wharncliffe Woods – 03 Aug 19

The only real similarity between today’s trek and our favourite ride to Dunford Bridge was the starting point at Julie’s Café at Penistone. Boasting a 300m tunnel, a 10% off-road incline and some great undulations, the forest track was there to be enjoyed. And thoroughly enjoy it, eight tandems and a solo most certainly did. Full credit to everyone who powered up the gravelled gradient at the start of the Woods. And equal credit to everyone for not careering into the bridge on the return. Drag brakes do have their uses.

And finally, a welcome return to the saddle to John Tayler and special thanks to Open Country Pilots, Dave and James for helping us make this ride the success it was.

First up the incline, David J with plenty of torque coming through from Tariq.
Danny and specialist hill-climber Louise showing our Silver Dawes Tandem who’s boss.
Dave and Colin making it all look so easy.
John and Jules – cool and confident as they summit the crest.
Charles and Mostafa – looking like word class champions.
James and Ahmed – even professionals don’t look this good.
Keith and Muz – not a drop of sweat to be seen.
Jennifer (now to be known as “The Queen” ) and Haj rolling along the trail.
David and Tariq arrive at our turn-around point.
David and Colin – still smiling.
John and Jules about to pull up as we get ready to head back.
James and Ahmed – wishing they could go further.
Danny and Louise – also looking like they want to continue to Sheffield.
Keith and Muz planning on being first back to the café. They were.