Penistone – 21 Aug 21

Despite the ride being punctuated by a couple of punctures, the forecasted rain failed to make an appearance meaning the eleven tandems and a solo were able to enjoy yet another superb ride on this very popular traffic free route.

Encouraging to see Tim and John stepping up to the plate and answering our plea for enough pilots to ensure we just managed to cater for every stoker.

Kudos to John and Chris who did the whole 22 miles and to Judith who decided to solo cycle back to base.

And thanks to our stalwart pilots and stokers who made the day so enjoyable.

Captain Drew, and newly inducted Anis, about to depart. Next stop = Dunford Bridge.
Kathryn and Collette about to remount after the pinch points.
Charles and Louise. With Louise as stoker, pedalling by the pilot is not required.
Puncture 01 being repaired. John T in action. Drew supplying the tools. Jules and Anis giving moral support.
Puncture 02 being repaired. Keith, on-hand to assist. Jules and Elisa explaining what needs to be done. Yes – it was the same bike, same tyre. And yes, a thorough check was made before reseating the rubber. Just plain coincidence.
James and Jade. A rare photo as James is actually looking at the camera.
Cafe shot 01. Jules, Jade, Charles, Chris and John T.
Cafe shot 02. Ahmed, Muz, Richard and Tim. All listening to Liverpool vs Burnley. Not the best of results as Liverpool won 2-0. Sorry Peter!

Track – 07 Aug 21

Thankfully, the forecasted rain didn’t arrive until two hours later than scheduled. Which resulted in today’s ensemble of six pilots and eight stokers making the most of a rewarding track session.

Great to be joined by new stokers Anis, Kathryn and Richard; and nice to welcome back Matthew.

Following an hour of general warm up and inductions it was time for Trekker’s competitive spirit to emerge from a pandemic enforced period of hibernation. Following Olympic nomenclature, Gold in the slow race went to June and Joanne with a superb time of 33.11 seconds. Silver went to Sean and Anis with 32.68 seconds. Remember, the longer the time, the better the handling capability. But the truly amazing thing was the number of tandem pairs who were in the 28-33 second band. So, breaking with tradition, Bronze is duly awarded to everyone else who took part.

Next up, it was time for tightest turn skills to be tested. And this time, following his Silver in the slow race, Sean again excelled – more than ably assisted by Michelle – who ran off with Gold and Silver. And would have got away with a Bronze too if the track judge had allowed three attempts instead of capping the event at two turns per pair.

Finally, special thanks to Joanne who’s photographic and administrative skills haven’t gone unnoticed.

Drew explaining to Anis how he hates having his picture taken
Steve welcoming Richard to his first track session
June and Collette
Sean and Michelle about to start the tight turn event
James piloting Matthew
Steve and Sean powering around the track
Post session group shot minus Drew, James and June who were ferrying bikes back up to storage

Spen Valley Greenway – 24 Jul 21

One of the advantages of our local Greenway is the distance flexibility it provides. Four tandems sped off to complete the whole route up to Low Moor. That left three tandems and two solos to indulge in a leisurely coffee and accompanying bacon or flapjack item of sustenance. Surprisingly, Drew was one of the pilots who elected to rest at the cafe – but then again he had already solo-cycled his tandem down from Bradford.

And it’s not often we’re thankful for cloudy skies, but after the nigh on 30 degree days of the last week, today’s overcast weather was more than welcome.

Charles making sure Michelle’s saddle is at a suitable height
….. and that’s a ditto from Keith helping Elisa
Colin and Chris sized up and ready to roll
June and human dynamo Muz at storage
Barney anxiously awaits a coffee to go with his currant slice (…. or flea pie as he so appetisingly described it)

Around Clitheroe – 17 Jul 21

It was hot; and compared with other Trekker’s rides it was hilly. But it was also a superb day, cycling through some of the prettiest Ribble Valley villages Lancashire is blessed with. Numbers wise, 15 Trekkers, 20 miles, 1200 ft ascent and 28 degrees. And it would have been 21 Trekkers, but the vehicle gremlins paid an unauthorised visit to Drew’s car necessitating some late logistical changes. But if there’s one thing Brittany excels at it’s last minute logistical updates.

Most impressive was how everyone rode – especially mastering Grindleton bank. No mean feet in baking heat. And wow – our newer 2021 pilots June, Judith and Colin were all fantastic.

Lunch was more of a picnic than a cafe stop. Big shout out to Rumbletums of Clitheroe who came in specially on their normal day off to serve up some truly spectacular sandwiches. They were ace !!!!!!

And finally nice to have Simon ride with us again; and last but not least special thanks to Joolz for looking after Guide Dog, Tessa.

Lunch at Chatburn – Take 01. Group shot with everyone taking refuge under the shade of a large tree
Lunch at Chatburn- Take 02. Judith and Aisha laughing
Lunch at Chatburn – Take 03. John T and Ahmed sitting and smiling- with James otherwise engrossed

Leeds Road Track – 03 Jul 21

It rained. And it rained. We got wet. And we got very wet. And then we asked why are we getting so wet. And someone said it was possibly because it was raining. And then we decided that to stop getting even wetter, one of two things was going to have to happen. It would either have to stop raining or we would have to end the session early and go home and drink some hot tea. It didn’t stop raining. So we ended the session early. We went home and we drank hot tea. (Though I think Brittany said she was going to have some hot chocolate instead.)

Despite a rain-enforced shortened session, it was superb to be joined by new pilot Judith and new stokers Celia and Lucy. It was also lovely to see Diarmuid and Elisa back with us. We’ve missed you.

Peter and Elisa
James and Barney
A yellow masked Brittany and Honey sporting her matching yellow raincoat
Stephen and Diarmuid
Diarmuid and Chris

Fairburn – 19 Jun 21

Undeterred by the Tesco van driver’s assurances that even bikes wouldn’t be able to get through the “Road Ahead Closed” blockage, seven tandems rode on. Whether it was stubbornness, curiosity or simply rising to the challenge, Drew had rightly worked out that if the road was open to pedestrians it wouldn’t pose a hindrance to cyclists. The problem was, there was nothing to suggest foot traffic could get past the sink hole on one side and the rain filled gully on the other. But it wasn’t within Trekkers remit to give up and go back. And we didn’t.

It was yet another superb Saturday sauntering around Fairburn’s quiet lanes – all capped off with the customary cafe stop back at Birkin Fisheries.

And fantastic to be joined by Richard on his maiden away from base ride. L-plates decidedly not required, Richard.

Richard and Martin bump elbows
John T leads Jules around the obstacles
And Richard ensuring Tariq gets through safely
Post road closure group shot
Post ride bacon butties never tasted this good
Charles explaining to Keith he’s considering becoming a vegetarian. The conversation has an interesting ending which defies being committed to print

Spen Valley Greenway – 12 June 21

Only a shortage of pilots restricted today’s trek to just seven bikes and a solo. So if you’re one of our regular front-riders – you were missed. But for those fortunate enough to be part of this morning’s meander, you won’t need reminding of what a great time was had by all. Rumour has it, next week’s outing will be a little different. Watch this space.

All the photos in today’s post were taken at the cafe stop.

A smiling Peter and Ahmed renewing acquaintances after Covid enforced curbs.
Keith and Mustafa complete with coffees.
Sean and Collette deep in a group discussion about cadence.
Colin, Drew and Chris V waiting patiently for their brews.
James and Aisha astride their Orbit.

Spen Valley Greenway – 05 June 21

Brilliant sunshine saw 8 tandems, a recumbent and a solo sauntering up the Greenway this morning. Lovely to see Colin and Collette on their maiden “away from track” outing and great to welcome back Mostafa .

With almost matching attire, winners once again of the tallest tandem pair, Messers Draycott and Sandiford
Ride Leader Barney with Chris V in Lower Hopton
A trio of Orbit tandems
Drew and Ahmed
The compulsory cafe stop
James about to discover the joys of riding an e-powered recumbent

Leeds Road Track – 29 May 21

Our first track session in over a year. Nice to be out in some warm sunshine – and great to welcome new pilots, Colin, Richard and Kath. Hope to see lots more of you throughout the season.

Keith working through induction procedures with Kath
David J on Barney’s recumbent trike
Charles K and Ahmed in deep conversation
Chilling at the track- Leanne, Collette, Barney and daughter Izzy. And, of course, not forgetting Dixie the guide dog

Spen Valley Greenway – 22 May 21

I spoke too soon! Last week’s ride benefited from more Pilots than Stokers. Alas, today’s outing saw a return to the more normal state of affairs. We were, sadly, unable to offer places to every Stoker. Hopefully, a situation we’ll remedy as we aim to welcome new front-riders in the next month or two.

All that said, for the Magnificent Seven tandems that ventured out – ably shepherded across the junctions by solo rider David J, it was, apart from the odd spot of rain, a very enjoyable morning.

Martin and Drew

Aisha and John T

Jennifer and Jade
David J, Jules and James
David T and Chris F
Michelle, Sophie and Stephen
…. and last, but certainly not least, Michelle

Penistone – 15 May 21

It doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, it’s a bonus. And today was one of those rare occasions when pilots outnumbered stokers. That meant a solo ride for Paul and a lie in for Drew.

So 12 tandems and a solo on our most popular away from base ride. Penistone. And thankfully the rain held off until we were all back at Julie’s cafe tucking into our bacon butties and the like.

Great to see Pilots Charles K and Peter, and Stoker Colin, back in the saddle.

And finally, today’s quote of the day award goes to Barney. Speaking to Brittany in encouraging tones “Shut your gob or I’ll throw you into that muddy pool, pull you out backwards and feed you to those pigs.”

A sight for cycling eyes. Our two trailers, fully loaded with blue Orbits, on arrival at Penistone.
The dynamic duo. Keith and Steve coming back from the Wharncliffe end of the trail.
The two B’s. Barney and Brittany. The photo was taken in pre-quote times.
David J with Jules taking a breather before heading back to Penistone.
Looking ready to rob a bank, a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. A masked James supported by fellow felon, Aisha.
From left to right. Chris V, Damian, Joanne and Peter.
Back at Julie’s. Several Trekkers being reminded that small isn’t a word in Julie’s vocabulary.

Spen Valley Greenway – 01 May 21

It was a cold and windy start this morning but once the pedals started turning we all soon warmed up. 10 Tandems and our super soloist, David conquered the Greenway in true Trekkers style. Some Trekkers even made a little friend, we called him Robin! And… thank you to our dog sitters, Ann and Robert who will certainly get a good nights sleep after chasing 3 dogs all morning.

Six abreast. Why keep to riding in pairs when the road’s wide enough for more? Brittany is missing her pilot.
An unbelievable picture. A smiling Keith.
Double Trouble. Dave T and Martin.
Beauty and The Beast. Jules and John T.
Sorry Jennifer. It’s not quite “Wine o’clock”. You’ll have to make do with water a little while longer.
Robin !

Spen Valley Greenway – 24 Apr 21

Another “superb-for-cycling” weather day; lots of sun and virtually no wind. Eight tandems and an e-recumbent, no mechanicals, great socialising at an outdoor coffee stop and all mostly on our local traffic-free Greenway. What’s not to like?

Pre-ride discussions between John T and Joanne. James and Muz in the background.
Jennifer, looking like she’s about to throw a punch, and Chris F.
A masked pre-ride Barney and Chris V.
Sam on her recumbent.
Drew and Catherine on part of the Calder Valley section.
Drew supping a brew.

Spen Valley Greenway – 17 Apr 21

Weather-wise, the nine tandems cruising the Greenway this morning couldn’t have had it any better. Cool and sunny, with virtually no breeze. Perfect conditions.

Andy W and Steve D on the Mirfield section of the ride.
Jennifer and Chris F ready to lead Group One.
Sean and Jade on Sean’s bike – the only non-Orbit tandem out today.
Jade, Brittany and Jennifer at our compulsory cafe stop. Apparently Jennifer’s sandwich was crab and avocado. Sounds scrumptious.
Blue and green should never be seen – unless, as shown here, worn by a Pilot and Stoker. Dave T and Martin at the cafe stop.
Guys if you’re planning on robbing a bank, the masks suit. But you might find a tandem getaway a bit on the slow side. Bandit James, and his partner-in-crime, Muzzled Muz.
And finally Cohort Two Leader Keith and Stoker Chris V astride the largest bike in our current fleet. Fittingly described as a “double large”.

Spen Valley Greenway – 10 Apr 21

Our second ride of the season and the maiden outing for three of our four brand new Orbit Velocities, acquired thanks to the generosity of British Cycling and West Yorkshire Freemasons.

And moreover, another superb turnout. 11 tandems and 2 solos convoying up Spen Valley in 3 spaced apart cohorts. Although careering up the Greenway in a concerted effort to break the sound barrier would more aptly describe the speed Drew and Lou flew through the cafe stop.

Charles and Aisha ready to ride one of our four new bikes.
Keith and Tariq with another of the latest additions to our fleet. Beverley on her solo looks on.
Damien and Joanne on yet another brand new Orbit tandem.
John T and Michelle about to ride to the top of the Greenway.
Andrew D and Martin sensing that their eagerly awaited Bacon Buttie can only now be a couple of minutes away.
James and Jules
Group 3 Ride Leader Stevie B.

Thank you – Thank you – Thank you – Thank you !!

1st April 2021

Four Orbit Velocity Tandems about to be collected from J D Tandems at Gargrave.
Left to Right: Jamie from JD, Trekkers Chair Brittany Stead and Trustee Paul Stark.
Completing the picture, Brittany’s Guide Dog, Honey.

Four, ever so richly deserved Thank You’s, to two extremely generous sponsors are most certainly in order today.

A fantastic award from British Cycling combined with a superb gift from West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd, has enabled us to add four brand new Orbit Tandems to our fleet.

Collected earlier today from J D Tandems in Gargrave, the timing couldn’t have been better. Our first post Lockdown 2 ride has just taken place, and with restrictions now set to ease further, there can be little doubt that these bikes will be made very good use of.

So, on behalf of everyone at Tandem Trekkers, if you are reading this and are connected in anyway with either of the two above-mentioned organisations, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your donations.  Such generosity goes a long way in enriching the lives of many members of our community who battle daily with visual impairment.

Thank you – Thank you – Thank you -Thank you !!

Spen Valley Greenway – 27 Mar 21

If ever a season merited the Beatles’ lyrics … “it’s been a long cold lonely winter …” then for many, the last few months would be prime candidates.

Of course, in normal times, our 2021 Ride Calendar would have started 3 weeks ago. But, you’ll need no reminding, these times are anything but normal.

Nevertheless, taking advantage of COVID concessions, available to outdoor disability sports, we got back on our bikes today, and in true Trekkers style 11 tandems and a solo breezed up our local Greenway. Breezed being more than appropriate terminology, given wind speeds in the mid to high teens.

Yes – we had to comply with our pandemic policy. Face masks at base, hands and bikes suitably gelled and disinfected and  riders split into three spaced apart cohorts. 

But despite the logistical adversities, including several  late adjustments, it really was great to be back in the saddle.

Special recognition to Brittany for putting it all together. Never tell this girl something can’t be done. To Barney, for prepping all the bikes after their winter hibernation and sorting out a last minute mechanical. To Pilots Dave and James from Open Country who ensured no Stoker was turned away. To recently promoted John T who so capably led Cohort one…. “Best led ride ever!” quipped Jennifer, whilst looking at Paul.

And finally to everyone who rode and who made sure our return was such a brilliant success. Enjoy the pictures….

Group One – Masked and Distanced at Storage
Group One – Enroute
Jennifer enjoying a Tuna Sandwich as Chris eagerly anticipates the return leg
Simon and Aisha from Cohort Two
Keith and Steve – also cycling with Group Two
David J and a masked Louise
Open Country’s Dave T and Richard
James and Jules
Group 3 Ride Leader Stephen riding with daughter Sophie on their brand new Orbit. It’s a brilliant bit of kit
And last, but definitely not least, Sean and Martin. Two of our longest serving stalwarts

Spen Valley Greenway – 10 Oct 20

It’s been a very long and very frustrating seven months. But finally, all the hard work Brittany has put into preparing our Covid-19 Risk Assessment and Policy, bore fruit today. Five tandems in two spaced apart bubbles ventured up our local Greenway – and, boy, was it so good to get back in the saddle. And not only was it brilliant to feel the wind in our faces again, the extra precautions put in place and approved by Kirklees Council, Sports England and British Cycling proved to be more than manageable.

Tandem Trekkers are back!

Diarmuid using a thermometer to check if Jennifer has a brain. The search continues….
Keith and Jade. One of the benefits of our new policy is Keith is banned from singing.
Jennifer and Diarmuid power through Lower Hopton.
Masked and Distanced at storage.
Paul disinfecting the bikes post ride
Cohort from Bubble 2

Penistone – 14 Mar 20

Anyone who can think as far back as last year will remember that our first three planned Penistone rides had to be cancelled because of lousy weather. Not so in 2020.

15 Tandems and a solo (yes another record smashed) made the most of a lovely March morning on what must be one of our favourite rides. The fact that Paul can’t count, and loaded one too few bikes, was sorted with Britt’s superb suggestion of hiring a tandem from the bike rental place behind Julie’s Cafe. Cost us £20.00.

But guess what. On our return from Dunford Bridge we helped sort out a puncture saving a couple of cyclists a five mile walk. Such was their gratitude, they donated £20.00 to our funds. All’s well that ends well!

Mike and Ali on the tandem we hired
And Mike’s muddied face shows what happens when you hire bikes without mudguards
Julie’s Cafe – Scene 01
Julie’s Cafe – Scene 02
Danny and Joanne at Dunford Bridge
Josh and Diarmuid – also at Dunford Bridge
Chris and Andy ready to ride Chris’s superb tandem back to Penistone
Steve and Jade in the foreground with Simon and Saj behind
And finally, Simon and Saj in the foreground

Leeds Road Track – 07 Mar 20

After three wet and windswept months, it was absolutely brilliant to be back in the saddle once again. And what a way to start the season. 12 Pilots and 12 Stokers, together with 3 Visitors , enjoyed a great session at our Leeds Road base.

A very special welcome to Pilot Michael and Stokers Silver, Sophie, Matthew and Michelle who joined us for the first time. You were all magnificent and we hope to see lots more of you as 2020 progresses.

Andrew C. and Michelle astride the latest addition to our fleet.

And today’s icing on the cake was the maiden outing of the latest addition to our fleet: A Silver Viking kindly donated by the Dave Rayner Trust. It’s a brilliant bike as was demonstrated today by the numbers of Trekkers, itching to give it a go. So, Paul C., if you’re reading this, please do pass on our most grateful thanks to everyone at the Trust for their generosity.

New Pilot Michael C. and son Stan
David J and Catherine also giving the recently donated Silver Viking a run for its money.
New Stoker Silver and Old Pilot Keith with one of our Orbits.
“I’ve missed you!” Haj and Diane catching up with each other.
Peter and Ahmed resting between laps.
Ali deep in conversation.
Apparently, Joanne, Matthew and Michelle have known each other since school days.
And last, but not least, Dez, Charles and David G, aka the 3 Monkeys, pose for the camera.

Spen Valley Greenway – 16 Nov 19

Never before has the old railway viaduct, over the River Colne, been graced with so many tandems.

Trekkers penultimate outing of the 2019 season must surely rank as one of the most memorable. A “code-share” ride with Open Country, 17 tandems plus 3 solos ventured up the Spen Valley Greenway. Despite one bike having to make a premature return to base, and another tandem taxing our puncture repair capabilities, it was a superb ride. Even the unforeseen drizzle failed to dampen everyone’s enthusiasm. And, once again, Cafe 53 in Mirfield excelled. Fantastic food and great service. Well done all.

Cafe 53 – Scene 1
Cafe 53 – Scene 2
Cafe 53 – Scene 3
Cafe 53 – Scene 4
Cafe 53 – Scene 5

Penistone – 13 Nov 19

After two rain-enforced ride cancellations, it was refreshing to be back in the saddle, cycling along one of our favourite routes from Penistone up to the Woodhead Tunnel at Dunford Bridge. Despite a chilly nip in the air, a complement of 20 Trekkers enjoyed working up an appetite, ready to be more than satisfied at Julie’s cafe on the return. Congratulations to Leanne on completing her first non-track outing. Hope you’re not feeling too sore!

Jennifer and Leanne en-route to Dunford Bridge.
David T and Steve D majestically posing
Elisa looks on at Dez, Ahmed and Danny doing a superb impersonation of the Three Monkeys.
Joanne and Simon about to embark on the return leg.
Hilary and Stephen enjoying the day.
Julie’s Cafe – Scene 01
Julie’s Cafe – Scene 02
Julie’s Cafe – Scene 03

Spen Valley – 12 Oct 19

Well, if you count the five solos as well as the eleven tandems on today’s spin up our local Greenway, it was another record breaking ride; 27 Trekkers making the most of some autumn sun. And, undeterred by the closure of the Coffee Counter Café, we descended en-masse and totally filled Café 53 in the centre of Mirfield to overflowing. As is now settled, a ride without a café stop isn’t a ride! And Café 53 – you did us proud.

A warm welcome to four new riders this morning: Rach, Alison, Meg and Kayleigh. Girls – you were all superb and although Kayleigh’s home in Cambridge may mean she’s not a regular rider with us, we certainly hope to be seeing a lot more of the rest of you on future outings.

And finally, well done to Carla and Dave on their first non-track tour. Sorry your ride was cut short, Carla, but glad to have caught up with you at the café.

Rach and Alison at our Lower Hopton re-group point.
Danny and Hilary aboard our newly fixed Silver Dawes workhorse.
Tim and Martin astride our recently donated Silver Orbit. A fantastic and welcome addition to our fleet.
Café 53 – Scene 1 Take 1
Café 53 – Scene 2 Take 1
Viaduct shot of this morning’s group clustered around our newly donated Silver Orbit

Leeds Road Track – 05 Oct 19

“Right Jean. We need to pedal slower than a snail with lumbago!” I don’t know who writes Andrew D’s lines, but his instructions in this morning’s slow race were legendary.

But despite a sterling effort, Team Snail were beaten into third place. Gold went to David G and new stoker David W and Silver to David T and Richard D, visiting us from Open Country.

Indeed, full credit must go to everyone who took part in the two Slow Race Challenges. Probably the best performance ever.

And despite being a stoker depleted session, it was still marvellous to welcome Joe, Sylvia, Carla, Dave and Richard as newcomers

Slow race Gold Medallists, David G and Dave W. Superb performance, especially as it was Dave W’s first session and they were up against some stiff competition.
Dave T and Richard from Open Country. Despite some very skilful riding, they were pipped into second place.

And finally, though I didn’t get a picture, a special award to James B from Open Country. I watched James balance and remain stationary as a solo rider on a tandem. Now, that’s what I call skill !!!!!

Brownlee Circuit – 28 Sep 19

It’s just as well that we believed the weather forecast. Because if a decision to head off to the Brownlee Circuit had been based solely on the early morning downpours, and we had cancelled, we would have missed out riding around what is, arguably, the best purpose made cycling track in the UK.

As it happened two dozen Trekkers, including new pilots Colin M and John J, had a great time, whizzing around the mile long circuit under a blue sky, dotted only by a handful of fluffy white clouds.

Yet another brilliant session, underpinned by an excellent turnout.

Martin and Diane looking forward to a ride. An hour before the sky had been lead grey.
David and Ahmed astride an Orbit.
David G and Keith keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.
Andrew D and Aisha just back from a lap.
First time pilot John J with stoker Haj in matching red cycling jerseys.
A post ride debrief over a cup of coffee.

Penistone – 21 Sep 19

At this rate, there won’t be many more records for Trekkers to smash. Fourteen tandems, on this morning’s sunny and warm run up to Dunford Bridge, is the largest turnout for a Saturday ride in our history. And, what’s more, we ended up having to stand down five stokers due to a shortage of pilots.

That said, it was amazing at the number of front riders who stepped up to the plate. Thanks all – you really did save the day.

Lovely to see Hilary on her maiden Penistone trip – and first non-track ride in a long time. And also, a very special welcome to returning pilots, Josh and Claire, as well as stoker Karen. You all rode superbly- and we really hope to see you riding with us again very soon.

Finally, two mega-acknowledgements.

Firstly to Brittany who made today happen and then offered up her place. Coordinating such a large group, matching pilots to stokers, working out who would be meeting where – not too mention her relentless pursuit of pilots so that we could accommodate as many VI’s as possible, literally takes hours and hours of behind the scenes efforts.

And secondly to Damian. Though he lives at the far side of Leeds, he offered to drive over to storage, simply to tow our large trailer to Penistone and back as well as pilot for us.

Thanks both. It’s people like you that make Trekkers the superb group it is.

A smiling Keith and a puzzled Colin on their return to Penistone
A colourful yellow and green clad Stephen B and Chris V in a harmonising blue near Dunford Bridge.
Jules and Mark on our orange Dawes Edge. A recent and popular addition to our fleet.
Mark R, John A and Jean soaking up the sun.
David J astride a medium Orbit and Martin about to embark.
Returning Pilot Claire with Aisha
Meanwhile, back at Julie’s café …..
Keith flexing his muscles stands next to Claire back at Penistone.
… and another café shot, this time featuring Jean, John A and Haj. Always nice when people smile …
Salesman Stephen B doing a brisk trade selling jars of home produced honey.

Scamblesby Residential – 13-15 Sep

Officially, Tandem Trekkers are an organisation; a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, or CIO, in legal parlance.

But we’re much more than that. And if you were privileged enough to be on our Scamblesby Residential then I’m sure you’d agree that “community”, “fellowship” and even “family” are words that better capture the warmth and camaraderie that comprise our DNA.

To merely describe Saturday’s 20 or 40 mile rides and Sunday Morning’s 20 mile trip to Lincoln along the Water Rail Way would be to remain safely within cycling narratives. But it would totally miss the friendships and repartee that were foundational to our weekend away.

Detailing the lovely weather, and flat traffic-free pedalling, wouldn’t tell you how Andy W explained to Ali (a recently arrived PhD student from Saudi Arabia) what the previous evening’s sung with beer-fuelled gusto “On Ilkley Moor baht’at” rendition was all about. Nor would it chronicle the episode when VI’s, Jules and Aisha, discovered how you can simultaneously both open a door a walk straight into it at the same time. Stable doors are not for anyone with sight loss.

And crucially, just writing about 30 Trekkers on 14 Tandems and 2 solos, in exclusive occupation of a very comfortable barn and holiday cottage in the heart of beautiful Lincolnshire, wouldn’t let you know how the Pilots finely secured quiz victory over their Stoker opponents in a nail biting fiercely fought final round of questions, designed and hosted by Trekker’s Chair, Brittany.

But the final cameo of two most memorable days must go to our resident comedian, Andrew D.

Andrew D: “Where’s ‘e’ gone on my keyboard?”
Charles: “It’s on the top row, next to ‘r’.
Andrew D: “Got it.”

Three trailer towing cars, laden with tandems, lined up ready to depart for Southrey

Jennifer, Ahmed, Charles, Aisha, Elisa and Carlie soaking up some evening sun

Keith, red wine in hand, and Andrew D await supper

Ahmed, Ali and David J, seated and sharing a smile worthy moment in the lounge

Queuing for lunch at the Riverside Cafe at Chapel Hill.

Andy W and David Q enroute to Lincoln

John T and Jules – also making towards historic Lincoln

Trail’s end just outside Lincoln. Seven bikes ready for the return ride to Bardney

Andrew D was really impressed with the skills used to forge this metal cow. He literally fell for it!

Sunday Lunch Trekker’s style

An inside view of the cafe at Bardney

Chris F and Elisa seated at our final cafe stop

Drew enjoying his second breakfast

Leeds Road Track – 7 Sep 19

Of the various benefits our track sessions offer, the opportunity of welcoming new people to the Trekker’s community must rank as one of the best. And today was no exception. It was great to be joined by Nick as a pilot and Ali as a stoker. Guys, you both cycled like real professionals and we sincerely hope to see more of you on future rides.

And making up our numbers, we were also joined by Dave, Julie, Richard, Jennifer and Hermi who had come along as part of the South Pennine Explore 2019 initiative which we integrated into our normal monthly meeting.

And last, but certainly not least, it was wonderful to see Hilary back with us this morning. We’ve missed you!

All lined up and ready to roll. A group shot of today’s attendees.

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.

Penistone – 13 July 19

Six tandems and three solos enjoyed a great ride up the Trans Pennine Trail to Dunford Bridge this morning. Enjoy the captioned pictures:

Danny on his first non-track session powering up to Dunford Bridge with Tariq in close tow.

Haj and Beverley smiling. Yes I always carry tissues as well!

A pensive David looks on as Danny, with arms outstretched, explains how big the one that got away was. Andrew looks on in absolute disbelief.

Well whatever it was to smile about, it wasn’t the midges. They were out in force at Dunford Bridge.

Stephen and Colin in thoughtful discussion. Guys- next time, first pair back to Julie’s Cafe buys the brews!

No Trekker’s ride is complete without a cafe stop. Post ride debrief in full flow.

Spen Valley Greenway – 29 June 19

Seven magnificent Tandems, and a solitary solo, made the most of what might well turn out to be the hottest day of the year.

Besides our normal regulars, it was tremendously encouraging to be joined by Pilot Andrew D. and Stoker Gazza making the most of their maiden trek away from the track.

Might summer have finally arrived?

The “Double A” team. Andrew and Ahmed waiting for others to catch up.

A smiling Elisa queuing quietly for a coffee.

Steve and Keith sharing a joke.

Hull to Hornsea, Sat 8th June.

We always love doing this ride with our fellow club Beach Holme from Hull.
The weather forecast was not great for the day, but we are always sure of a warm welcome, with a great fish and chip stop at Whiteheads in Hornsea.
And it was a record ride too, with thirteen tandems and three solo riders.

Sorry for no pictures of the day
The weather was very kind and was lovely and sunny riding into Hornsea, but the weatherman got it right, as it started to rain when we arrived in Hornsea, and it never stopped, so we all got soaked on the way back, but it was a good laugh.

Riders
Charles, Muz, Barney, Carley, Jennifer, Elisa, Martin, Andy W, Saj, Dean, Ahmed and Tariq,

Spen Valley Greenway – 18 May 19

Matching our previous Spen Valley record, 11 tandems and a solo (not forgetting the cat at Lower Hopton, who appeared so desperate to join us) enjoyed another great escape up our local Greenway. Special applause to Open Country pilots Dave and James and Trekker Steve on their first non-track session as well as stoker Hajra who saw first hand that riding off-track can be real fun. And finally, thanks to stalwart wives Anne and Beverley for minding guide dog Lola and shepherding the rest of us, respectively.

Regrouping in Lower Hopton
Enjoying a buttie at the Coffee Counter !
Dave and Martin discussing matters of Trekker importance !
Peter enjoying a well earned brew, whilst Saj and Muz chat.

Penistone – 11 May 19

Fourth time lucky !

Yes folks, we finally managed it. After three previous cancelled attempts, seven magnificent tandems (sorry, Clint!) dodged the odd shower and rode a total of 12 trail miles up to Dunford Bridge and back.

Great to be joined again by pilots Dave (and Elaine), Peter and John (and daughters Ophelia and Summer) along with a traditional cast of Trekker regulars.

Damian and Diane (aka The Dynamic Duo) aboard the Yellow Thorn and about to start the return trip to Penistone.
A smiling Jennifer (recently returned from her Pedal4Pounds trip to Holland) and a puzzled Colin at Dunford Bridge.
Peter and Muz astride one of our newer Orbits.
David and Jean, anxious to set off before the rain takes hold.
Six of today’s Trekkers at the end of the ride, with David Joyce enjoying some of Julie’s finest fare.

Leeds Road Track – 04 May 19

Boosted by 5 new volunteer pilots, stokers found themselves narrowly in the minority at this morning’s track session. Indeed, a very special welcome to David, John, Peter, Simon and Steve. Guys, you were all absolutely brilliant and we sincerely hope to see more of you on future rides. Thanks ever so much for joining us today.

Also making a debut on this blustery morning, two new pieces of kit. A brand new Orbit Tandem which several Trekkers collected yesterday (and managed to combine the pick up with a Dales ride – it would have been very rude not too!) And a new Walkie Talkie system which will enable front and back riders to keep in touch on future non-track rides. Both purchases made possible thanks to the generosity of the People’s Health Trust using money raised through The Health Lottery in Yorkshire and Humber.

Pilot John H. and Ahmed getting on a new Tandem
Pilot John H. about to take Ahmed out for a maiden spin on our brand new Orbit Tandem
Keith and Steve C. finding something to smile about
“That’s a funny looking tandem!” Charles, David and Drew pensively looking at Barney’s recumbent trike.
Diarmuid, Keith, Brittany and Paul collecting the latest addition to our growing fleet of new Orbit’s. Not pictured is the £3000 bike Keith and Brittany rode – the wet weather putting a dampener on borrowing the earmarked £9000 bike !! Next time?

Leeds Road Track – 20 April 19

Trekkers made the most of this morning’s wonderful weather, honing their cycling skills. Tightest turn, slow race and slalom competitions, overlooked by Keith and Jamal, punctuated some very relaxing riding.

Great to see Pilot Neil back with us and a very special “Well Done!” to Christine whose determination shone through on her second tandem ride.

Picture shows Drew piloting Hajra
Drew and a smiling Hajra making the most of the wonderful weather
Mark, Christine and David. Christine’s just successfully completed her second tandem trek. Well done!
Today’s 13 Pilots and Stokers donning Health Bloom T-shirts and holding customised mugs, posing for a publicity picture.

Spen Valley Greenway – 13 April 19

All 8 bikes lined up
Not sure what everyone is smiling about. I think it might have been something to do with the whiteness of Tariq’s teeth – or was it that Keith had just promised not to sing on the way home?
Barney, Dean, Jean Charles K, Drew, Ahmed and Charles W queuing patiently for their brews and flapjack
Drew proudly holding up his Coffee Counter Loyalty Card. He’s ridden the Greenway so many times he’s worn a groove in the surface
Tariq, Elisa, Keith, Chris Muz and Stephen enjoying mid-ride refreshments.
Well done to everyone on our 8 bike trek up the Greenway today. And special appreciation to Stephen and Charles W. on Tandem Trekking one of our favourite rides for the first time. You were ace.

A pilot mix up over numbers could so easily have dented today’s ride, until Martin so gallantly offered to step down as a stoker so that 17 Trekkers could complete the 17 mile round trip up our local greenway. Thanks Martin. We love you !!

Leeds Road Track – 06 April 19

Trekkers smashed three records today.

Firstly we witnessed the biggest turnout to any session in our five year history. 34 Pilots and Stokers (not forgetting, of course, Guide Dog, Honey). Amazing.

Secondly, of the 34 riders, I counted 19 Pilots. Yes folks, that’s right. 19 sighted front riders. Awesome.


And the third record we broke was the largest attendance of brand new volunteers and first time stokers; one of whom had never ever ridden a bike! (No guesses as to whether this was a pilot or stoker!!) So a very special welcome to James B., David T, Mark G., Zubayr B., Daniel O., Jade B, Christine T., Neil B, Michelle T., Stephen B., and Marina P. It was fantastic to see your enthusiasm and watch you all getting stuck in.


We hope you really enjoyed your morning with us and we sincerely hope to see you again real soon.


And finally. If you were a first time volunteer pilot and you are keen to ride with us again, we still have 5 places for sighted pilots on our residential weekend away in September. You can read all about it here.

STOP PRESS:

Elisa on one of Barney’s recumbents. Way to go Elisa..👍👍👍👍

Fairburn – 30 March 19

As the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma, put it, “Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day…. ” And indeed it was.
Trekkers and Beech Holme’s combined tally of 12 Tandems and 4 Solos really did enjoy a beautiful 21 mile ride leisurely meandering around the quiet country lanes to the east of Fairburn on a superb Spring Saturday. Special thanks to Martin C and girlfriend Tracey for helping us out and also to Robin at Beech Holme for loaning us one of their pilots. And apologies once again to the 6 Trekker’s stokers who put their names down for this ride but were unable to come due to our perennial pilot shortage problem. So if you’re reading this and would like to help us out in future – do please get in touch. We need you; we really do!

Brittany keeping guard of her tandem, Oscar
“Come on Paul – stop messing with the photos – let’s ride….”

Charles and Aisha
Charles piloting Aisha on her first on-road Trekker’s outing. Well done both.
Keith and Elisa
Elisa appreciating the views and Keith looking as cool and confident as ever….
Group shot of tandems
… you don’t often see as many tandems strung out like this…
Standing group shot
24 of the 28 Trekkers and Beech Holme riders posing for a pre-departure photo …..

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.