Make no mistake. A Trekker’s ride without a cafe stop is no ride at all. And the camaraderie and ambiance that under pinned our return to Birkin Fisheries bears testimony to just how much today’s 19 riders enjoyed another delightful day, cruising around the flatlands close to Fairburn. Long may such rides continue.
And whilst most of us arrived by car, clearly the challenge posed by the 20 mile circular route failed to match everyone’s aspirations. For reasons best known to themselves, Charles and Keith decided to add another 60 or more miles to their Strava totals by cycling out and back on their solos.
Finally, whilst one post-ride bacon buttie would satisfy most appetites, Judith confessed to having devoured three sandwiches. How come she is so perfectly petite?
Today’s ride started for me at 7.50 as I left home to ride to the lockup in fog. Forgot lockup keys but fortunately remembered before I got out of the drive. Arrived at lockup, opened door and there was a tremendous downpour as I got the tandems out. Luckily it stopped before anyone else had arrived. In due course all were present and correct and with newbie pilot Judith raring to go we made our usual way to the Flowerpot cafe where me and Collette and James and Martin opted to stop whilst the remaining teams rode to the top and back. This was a very sensible decision as there was another downpour whilst we sat dry in the shelter at the café. Eventually all returned from the top and in due course fed and watered we made our way back to lockup. Sorry no pictures today but it was a great ride with no issues and the newbie did well (chapeau Judith). Another splendid Trekkers day.
One more thing to note, I have just now created a Tandem Trekkers Club on Strava (no idea why we’ve never done it before) and already it is massively over-subscribed with a lengthy waiting list….😁. As I made it using my phone it’s a bit bare right now but I’ll tart it up later! Anyway, this is Drew signing off and hoping to see you all again next week.
Drizzle failed to dampen spirits at this morning’s tootle around the track. A special welcome to John, a new pilot introduced by Tariq. Great to have you with us – hope to see you again real soon.
Congratulations to Barney and Jules who narrowly beat Andrew and Aisha in our slow race and to David G and Elisa who were judged to have kept the straightest line in a separate challenge.
And finally, a special thank you to Barney who brought two toys for us to play with. His now famous (or infamous) double decker and his recumbent trike – allowing VI’s to cycle solo under close verbal guidance.
A thoroughly good time was had by all. Enjoy the pictures and video clip.
Granted. The gradients on the Fairburn Loop aren’t quite those of today’s Tour de France tortuous Col du Tourmalet ascent; the most challenging climbs being over a couple of canal bridges. And nine tandems (plus Elaine on a solo) mightn’t be considered a Peloton. But who needs to travel to the Pyrenees to experience the joys of cycling. A very enjoyable ride with a lovely mix of veteran Trekkers and newcomers to our family.
With pilots outnumbering stokers this morning, there wasn’t much waiting around for any VI wanting a ride. It’s always nice to welcome new faces and today we were joined by two new pilots, Kellie and Danny, and stokers Josh and Lynn.
Keith ran an excellent session; normal riding punctuated with a slow race and a taxing slalom. Congratulations to Andrew and Jean who smashed the slow race, with a winning time of 30.35 seconds – over 8 clear seconds slower than Stephen and Mostafa who claimed second place, just ahead of Peter and Elisa. Impressive performances all round.
Indeed watching the skills of some of our newer members, Paul said he was thinking of retiring from tandem riding altogether!
But without doubt, today’s leading accolade must go to Christine. Not satisfied with completing a full lap at our last track session, today, again piloted by Keith, she doubled her previous milestone and completed two laps. Talk about a spirit of courage and determination!!
Trekkers have now ridden the Tissington Trail a total of six times. And although it’s quite a drive down to Ashbourne, it really is worth it in order to enjoy the rather special 27 traffic free miles, through the rolling Derbyshire landscape, up to a very welcome refreshment stop at Parsley Hay.
Congratulations, and a very special “well done” to Elisa, Ahmed, Hajra and Colin on their longest ever Trekker’s outing. And, as ever, grateful thanks to each and every one of our nine pilots for so selflessly giving up yet another Saturday, so that we could all share in a such great day out. Thanks guys.
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.
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.
As one pilot put it, “I never realised Lancashire was as beautiful!” Four tandems and a recumbent trike made the most of yet another brilliant day. 21 miles and 1200 feet of ascent. And, in case you’re wondering, everyone made it up the pull out of Grindleton which maxes out at 16%. Go Trekkers!
It’s always been a popular ride, and today was no exception. Seven tandems and a solo averaged the 26 miles at 13.6 mph; considering the gravel surface and other trail users, a very respectable average – north of 16mph on the return.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
… 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 ……..
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
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.
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.
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 ….
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 [firstname.lastname@example.org] 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.