An early start on Friday, April 17th saw us arriving at Hesket Newmarket in the northern Lake District for a long weekends riding.
Hesket Newmarket is famed for it's pub "The Old Crown", the first registered co-operatively owned Pub in Britain. And our B&B was next door!.
We had three days of riding planned, starting on the Friday, with a trip out to the coast at Allonby where we could see right across the Solway Firth to Dumfries. Of course heading to the coast means it's largely downhill all the way. Which means it's uphill all the way back. I don't think we'll ever forget that long drag we finished with, before dropping back to Caldbeck, and Hesket Newmarket. Of course we then had to finish the day with a meal in The Old Crown.
Saturday saw us taking a circular route around Blencathra and Skiddaw, passing through Mosedale, Mungrisdale and Threlkeld before we joined the old railway line into Keswick, which is now resurfaced as a track for walkers and cyclists.
Keswick was heaving with tourists, as expected, and it was nice to hit the open lanes again as we headed back up towards Hesket Newmarket. Passing past Bassenthwaite, back through Caldbeck to our base, before returning to The Oddfellows Arms for dinner.
Sunday was a shorter ride. Heading east to Greystoke and the Cyclists Cafe for lunch, just outside the grounds of Greystoke Castle, home of the legendary Tarzan.
Club weekend to Belgium 12th to 15th October 2013.
Six club members: John, Chris, Dave, Matt, Jim & Jackie met up at Hull on Saturday to travel on the overnight ferry to Zebrugge. It was a grey, wet day and there was a strong wind blowing - not what you want for a thirteen hour ferry journey. We parked on the long stay car park and put all our gear on the bikes.
Jim and Jackie were travelling light with just a saddle bag each. I'm relatively new to cycle touring, so had probably packed more than was necessary, so I was relieved to see others had packed similar amounts and alos had two panniers. After checking in we were packed off toward the ferry. It felt strange walking onto the ferry alongside the parked cars and lorries and we stowed our bikes right at the front of the car deck.
The ferry crossing was forecast to be quite rough due to the stormy weather. I get seasick so I was not looking forward to the journey, but fortunately Jackie had brought some motion sickness tablets and shared them out to the group. I took two and hoped for the best. We had prepaid our meals and once aboard agreed between ourselves to upgrade to the Brasserie retaurant. It was a good decision as we had an excellent meal with good service. It was impossible to walk down the corridors in a straight line by this time as the boat was rolling quite a bit, but the pills seemed to be working. After a couple of drinks in the piano bar we retired to our bunks. The worst of the weather was forecast for approx 1am but I slept through it and we all emerged for breakfast in good spirits.
After the buffet breakfast we donned our cycle gear ready for departure. As we could see it was raining, wet weather gear was definitely in order. As we all covered up it was obvious that Dave is made of stern stuff because he was in his cycling shorts! We made our way out of the ferry port and soon found the cycleways. The routes were of a good standard and seperated from the carriageway and pedestrians. We headed for the town of knokke Heist where we found a tourist information centre and bought a local cycling map. Using this and the maps John had downloaded from the internet we planned a revised shorter route to Sluis. We were already dripping wet by this stage and could wring our gloves out. It was really windy and still raining but so far the wind had been behind us as we headed north eastwards along the coast, but we knew that when we turned to head for Brugge we would be cycling into the wind.
We got to Sluis about 1pm and found a nice restaurant for lunch. We really only wanted a snack and a brew but the cafes didn't seem to cater for that so we ended up having a meal. We left around 2:15pm and continued our journey via Damme to Brugge and the santuary of the hotel. The cycling was very well signed and of an extremely high standard and it made navigation relatively simple. It is difficult to describe just how flat the area is and the only 'hills' we encountered involved cycling onto the canal levees. We arrived on the outskirts of Brugge and located the area of the city where our hotel was and plotted a route to it. The cycling in the city was so easy with priority given to cyclists when crossing side road junctions and dedicated phases at traffic signal junctions. We finally got to the hotel about 5pm, booked in and stored our bikes in a locked outbuilding. The hot shower was very welcome. The hotel had a dryer and they very kindly agreed to dry all our cycling kit.
After freshening up we met in the bar and booked a taxi into the centre of Brugge to find somewhere to eat and have a look at the historic city center which was very impressive. We returned to the hotel and turned in after a brief drink in the bar discussing the following day's ride.
The continental breakfast at the hotel was really good and accompanied by fine weather which was a bonus. We assembled for a photogragh outside the hotel and then rode into Brugge to see the city square and buy some gifts before riding northwards out of the city centre to pick up a large canal which would take us west towards Oostende. True to form the rain started as we joined the canal but fortunately it was accompanied by a mild wind rather than the raging storm of yesterday.
It was about 15 miles to the outskirts of Oostende whrer we turned north and headed on quiet roads for the coast, and the town of De Haan where we planned to find somewhere to have lunch. We found a small cafe where we had some nice cake and a welcome warm drink. From here we continued along the coast to Blankenberge which looked like a nice seaside town. We were a little early for the ferry and the rian had stopped so decided to take a less direct route to Zeebrugge.
For the first time all trip we missed the signs for the route we wnated and ended up on a cycle path at the side of a main road. We raelised we had gone wrong but found a cycle route which crossed the main road and as it turned out, it was the one we were meant to be on. Back on course we followed the quiet roads through fields of corn towards the coast and the ferry.
The 2013 CTC Birthday Rides were held at Yarnfiled Park, North Staffordshire. The rides are held in a different region each year and are run by CTC Holidays with help from the local member group volunteers.
This year around 460 members attended to celebrate the 135th birthday of the National CTC.
The event was based at Yarnfield Park the British Telecom Training and Conference Centre. Members could stay in the en-suite accommodation with breakfast and evening meals provided, or could caravan or camp in the grounds either self catering or purchasing meals.
Burnley and Pendle CTC member group were well represented again, with 10 of our current members attending, along with a couple of our past members that have moved away from our area.
Detailed ride sheets were available for a wide range of routes along with a gazetter listing numerous places of interest in the surrounding area.
Entertainments were laid on each evening including talks, a quiz night, Jazz band and barn dance.
Our Club Weekend from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April 2013 was based in Miller's Dale, Peak District, Derbyshire.
Members stayed either at Eyam Youth Hostel or in caravans at Beech Croft Farm, Blackwell, just a few miles away.
Although the area is called the Peak District and there are not many flat roads and some seriously steep roads, cycling in the area is made a whole lot easier by using some of the many off road cycling trails, many of which follow the route of old railway lines with nice steady gradients.
Having made our own way down to Derbyshire on the Friday to check into our accommodation, we met up to discuss the route for the ride the following day.
We left the hostel and headed for Monsal Head on the Monsal Trail, which is one of the best of these trails, with a good surface and with pleny of interest passing through tunnels and over bridges and viaducts. We headed down toward Blackwell to meet the rest of the group that had been caravaning and then transfered onto the Tissington Trail and rode to Parsley for a refreshment stop at the cycle hire centre. Although we were only a couple of days away from May there was a bitterly cold wind and we were all searching our saddles bags for extra layers to put on.
Setting off again we then branched onto the High Peak Trail and continued for several miles before leaving the trail just past Gotham to get onto country lanes via Elton, & Alport. We then had a short excursion on a bridleway across a field and onto Bakewell for another stop and a sample of the local 'Bakewell Pudding' not 'Tart'. From here it was a very short ride to the end of the Monsal Trail and back to complete the circuit of just over 36 miles.
In the evening we all met up for a very nice meal at The Miner's Arms, Eyam.
On the Sunday we split up into smaller groups with some looking around the historic village of Eyam and it's museum, while others went for another cycle ride before packing up and heading home.
The village is famous for its part in the plague of 1665. When the plague arrived in the village, thought to be transmitted by a delivery of cloth from London to the local tailor, the villages took the brave decision to quarantine themselves, to prevent the spread to other villages, and as a result many of the villagers died with some familes losing up to 25 of their relatives.
By John Ramsden with additional photo's from Jim Duerden.
Our club weekend from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September stayed at Hawes Youth Hostel and coincided with our vice-president Peter Gott's 50th birthday on the Saturday.
The ride over on the Friday headed off from Burnley via Higherford, Barnoldswick, Cracoe, and Grassington with a lunch stop at Buckden. We then continued on through Aysgarth and onto Hawes for a cafe stop while we waited for the hostel to open. The ride was a very pleasant 60 miles with 4600 ft of ascent, although the last section was quite tough into a strong headwind.
In the evening we ate at the hostel before walking down into the village to sample a couple of the local pubs, which were very busy as there was a walking & beer festival being held over the weekend.
On the Saturday after breakfast at the hostel we set off via Askrigg, Carperby, Castle Bolton and over Redmire Moor to drop down past Grinton Lodge YHA into Grinton and on through Reeth to start the long climb up to Tan Hill the highest pub in Great Britain at 1732ft ASL. We had a well earned lunch stop at the pub, before heading down over Stonesdale Moor to Keld, and Thwaite before the climb over Butter Tubs and the final descent back to Hawes. We had only done 44 miles but they were quality miles with almost 5200ft of Ascent.
After our evening meal in the hostel we again ventured down into the village to sample some more of the local brew.
After breakfast on Sunday we set off to cycle back home via Ribblehead, meeting the club long ride at Horton-in-Ribblesdale. By John Ramsden.
The 2012 annual CTC Birthday Rides, were held from 13 to 19 August at Ellesmere College, Ellesmere, Shropshire. The rides are held in a different region each year and are run by CTC Holidays with help from the local member group volunteers.
This year around 520 members attended to celebrate the 134th birthday of the national CTC.
The event was based at Ellesmere College, where members could stay in the student boarding accommodation with breakfast and evening meals provided, or could caravan or camp in the grounds either self catering or purchasing meals from the college.
Burnley and Pendle CTC member group were well represented, with 11 of our current members, several wearing our club tops which often sparked off converations with other riders and members of the public. We also met up with a couple of our ex members that had moved away from our area.
Detailed ride sheets were available for a wide range of routes, with 7 'A' rides (61 - 77 miles), 6 'B' rides (45 - 56 miles), 7 'C' rides (29 - 39 miles) and 6 'D' rides (13 - 21 miles). A gazetteer had also been produced listing numerous places of interest in the surrounding area.
There were certainly plenty of options for rides with pleasant undulating countryside to the east or the mountains of Wales just over the border to the west, including Llangollen and the horseshoe pass. There was also an option to take your cycles by coach to Plowden to the south and then ride back. Another possible excursion went to Shrewsbury for a guided tour.
There were a variety of entertainments in the evenings, including old slides of the local CTC section, talk on digital mapping, a quiz, 'Jigsaw Sounds' choir, Mike Carnies 'The Jazz All Stars', music & comedy from 'Three Men in a Bow Tie' and on the final evening a barn dance with 'Five Speed Box'. Burnley and Pendle CTC won third prize in the quiz.
On the afternoon of Friday 17th August approximately 400 cyclist's met up in Ellesmere town centre for a parade ride through the town and back to the college. The local chamber of commerce organised an escort and marshalling of some of the road junctions, and many of the local came out in the rain to watch us cycle past. On return to the college we headed in doors, out of the rain, to the main hall for the Birthday Tea & cake hosted by CTC chairman David Cox.
Next year's event has not quite been finalised, but we understand that it is likely to be held in the North Staffordshire Moors.
By John Ramsden with additional photo's by Jim Duerden.
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July saw 8 members head to Osmotherly for the weekend. A variety of accommodation was used including the youth hostel, bed & breakfast and the caravan site. Unfortunatley a further two members had to cancel at the last minute due to a medical problem.
Richard Armstrong was the only one to ride from home, making it a long weekend, while Ian was the only one to go out for a cycle ride after arriving at Osmotherly on the Friday.
Saturday morning we set off over the moors, dodging the odd shower, to Hawnby where we had lunch. The party then split, with some going to Revaulx Abbey and 4 of us crossing the A19 through Borrowby and the lanes back to Osmotherly, only to get rather damp due to a heavy thunder storm and hailstones.
After getting dry we had a super meal at the Golden Lion in the village and sampled the real ales.
Sunday morning, with the sun shining on us, we set off over towards Teeside ridingthrough the lovely villages of Swainby, Potto, and Carlton in Cleveland to Ingleby Greenhow for lunch, arriving just before the rain. After lunch in the local pub, we then had to shleter until the rain passed, we eventually set off via the village of Great Broughton, when the sun came outagain, and through the town of Stokesley on to Rudby, Crathorn, West Rounton and back to Osmotherly, a ride of approximately 45 miles. By Jim Duerden.