A lesson today in how to start off: by looking at the map a little more closely. Some of the roads west of M6 are pretty grim for cycling, though not overwhelmingly so. Having found the route to Radway Green (must return to Alsager sometime) the rest of the route was relatively calm and some splendid sights to behold; small market town squares which must have been quite wealthy in times past but maintain some albeit now quite shabby dignity.
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/5734380705 The overall view of Stoke on Trent from riding through is of a series of badly run down towns and not many signs of prosperity. Some good countryside in surprising locations not far off the main roads (see in particular Bathpool Park, Acres Nook Road/Boathorse Road). And the museum in Hanley is worth a visit. And on to Cycle of Good. Always some positive things to remember from visits there!
Bournemouth – Bradford on Avon – Bourton on the Water – Burton on Trent – Bollington (or Broadbottom) – Blackpool
All the ‘Bs’ with loads of teas and other treats along this south – north route with options to include more (or less) hills
A sample here: Stow on the Wold (there was no room in any inn in Bourton) – Burton on Trent. On this occasion the weather had been harsh and the bike had been temperamental; there were ongoing ankle and back issues
Day 3: Stow – Burton 117km 536m elevation gain
Bournemouth:Blackpool can in five days give the most established stamina a thorough beating. Recommended for experienced riders seeking a demanding challenge. Spreading it over a longer timespan – or just doing a bit or two – means more time to enjoy some of the best of English countryside and a fair bit of heritage
(actually a bit outside Aix en Provence to a bit past Avignon). Part 1 of Aix:Angouleme. Started from Aix the night before after an eventful flight and bus from Manchester via Marseille. Helpfully met – when lost in the dark – by host. Quite a warm day. Very little gain in elevation made up with plenty of calorific enjoyment of a really lovely day in the south of France.
In a bit over three and half days – including time set aside for extensive research – a tour for the mind and soul of anyone seeking spectacular countryside, great hospitality and hills. Yes. There be hills. So not for the faint of heart. Immensely satisfying. Features are very numerous. Opportunities for diversion are extensive. Tastes catered for are all encompassing. But beware – there be hills!
Been much engaged in pursuing #marksthepielines recently. A recently tested leg #TraffordCentretoTottington was much enjoyed (and indeed there was a bit of a carry on until Ramsbottom). Numerous great pies en route including Bury Black Pudding Samosas ( – blimey – who knew that was a thing!) Congratulations to all involved at the Victoria in Walshaw!
Next planned is #SwinleytoSaddleworth featuring Horwich, Astley Bridge, Breightmet, Ainsworth, Bury, Heywood, Rochdale, and Newhey. (That’s a bit hilly in anyone’s language).
Moving on from the subject of hilly there has also been a bit of gentle leisure cycling with a few midweek excursions of the flat and easy variety. These are designed to help promote a bit of extra exercise and fitness for those not (yet) inclined to the inclines.
Various routes explored including an interesting variation of the pie line theme along the canal from Astley to Leigh. Much more pleasant that the Bridgewater: less people and a better surface. Cheaper. Interesting heritage at the mining museum and countryside at Pennington and all along the canal.
In political news plans are progressing for a couple of foreign trips: Dieppe:Angouleme (wot? no alliteration?) and #BirchtoBelfast (for 2021, subject to vaccinations) and #StudentskiGradtoSindos (2022).
Feels like I’ve been away in lockdown time. Not sure how I came to be unable to keep up this news channel – I suppose it is mainly because I have become a fiend on that Twitter (tho’ not yet worked out how to link it all together)
making goodish progress with #marksthepielines
thinking about #VforVeganByBike
not making much progress on #BRingv022020 (even forgotten which # to use – on which more anon)
tried a bit better approach to sales
started and ran a bit of #0to50Kin49days (at present on lockdown shutdown)
A2 (unframed) Posters: were £8.40 now £5.00 – save! over 40%
COMING SOON! #marksthepielines
A new project to link together the best pies – by bike!
#marksthepielines will be a series of rides featuring the best of sustenance for two wheeled travellers
Already bound to be included will be homes of the tastiest pies that we have come across while giving our fullest and most detailed consideration to route planning ….. never knowingly passing a good pie emporium is a mantra to which many cyclists would, we would wager were we gamblers, willingly NOT withstand …..
We will not suggest that these are the only pies – rather that if you cycle down this way a fine pie will never far lead you astray
Been a bit busy recently with inaugural ‘Ride Hope:Hope to be a Tour Guide’ swiftly followed by a trip to #TdY and then our very own #RideoffourHope and a quick spin round Manchester courtesy of Tour de Manc.
Next up #FlixtontoFulford taking used inner tubes to Cycle of Good in Stoke on 19 May. Not sure that anyone is up for riding an elephant bike even though the main route is across the flatlands of Cheshire. Let us know if you think that could be you – or if you fancy the elephant suit (really! … pics to follow!).
In Brexit Busting Bike Bus news the Cherbourg:Dieppe pathfinder was a pretty great success! Absent any major hiccup there was wine! Biere! Snoring! Very pleasant weather and splendid – tho’ not very challenging – cycling!
‘Le winter training #1 d’excellence’ took place just a week after the last really cold snap and it was really very pleasant to traverse the quiet roads and cycle paths of the Cotentin peninsula and Calvados.
BBBB (2nd ed.) le Dunkerque:Dieppe is in planning stages now so if you wish to participate in this pathfinder get in touch with GetToTheCoast. Dates yet to be confirmed but it will likely be either 3-7 July (with potential TdF viewing) or 4-8 September.
Meanwhile the alphabet of alliteration continues to fill up with a new addition to the F’in selection – Flixton:Fulford. This ride will be inaugurated on 19 May when there will be a delivery of used inner tubes to Cycle of Good We are promised an elephant suit for a suitably bold rider and an elephant bike for anyone willing to try one out! This is a free ride-along provided by GTTC as part of our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. There will be support in form of the bus driven by a volunteer which will carry any spare tubes which you might wish to bring to deliver to the project in Stoke.
We have been pleased to provide some very enjoyable gentle rides out to Cheshire. Featuring stops at Moulton we have travelled the Whitegate Way and Delamere Forest amongst other places on ‘Gentle Cheshire Wednesdays’ (wot? no alliteration?) ok – more properly called ‘Midweek Meanders’.
Finally in this news update ….. the return of RIDEoffourHOPE. Another ride-along with free support provided by GTTC this year to be run on Saturday 4 May. Hope Hospital! Hope Inn! Hope beer! Hope Derbyshire! All in a day’s riding!