The Tandem Club


Content

View
View Content

Account

Pictures

Last evening party
Last evening party

Essex and East London

Organisers Contact: Jackie and Stuart Hibberd, Tel: 0117 9695159, Email: stuart.jackie@tiscali.co.uk

News

11/10/2017

We have moved the Tandem Club website to a new sole use server  so that emails are better handled. There may be issues for a time. Please bear with us but email us (webgroup@tandem-club.org.uk) if there are issues you notice.

09/10/2017

We are proposing to have a group Christmas meal at midday on Sunday 3rd December at the Mistley Thorn Hotel CO11 1HE. A menu is available. I need to have some idea of the numbers so if any of you think that you are likely to attend please can you let us know asap, by the end of this week hopefully. We had 15 last year, if we can get 20 or more at this meal we can virtually fill the back room of the Thorn which will make for a more convivial experience, so all are welcome. No ride is planned for December, but if any of you want to ride to Mistley you are welcome to freshen up at our home first, we live just about 1km away.

17/09/2017
Information about the 2018 International Rally.
Booking and full rally details should be available in October/November 2017.
Chalets should be booked direct with the campsite as soon as possible.
Future Rally News
Past rally News and Photos
24/08/2017

Nigel and Mercedes organised the August ride where 10 tandems and 2 solos met at Barnstaple railway station.

Some members of the Tandem Club might be familiar with the Tarka Trail in North Devon where much of the route is on old disused railway lines. It is flat, with a good surface and is popular with cyclists and walkers. The problem is that it usually follows deep wooded valleys and consequently it's difficult to do a 'round trip ride' that avoids tandem 'unfriendly' hills. The August ride for the Taunton Group tried to achieve this.

The Old Bideford Road was the route out of town which led us via unclassified roads over the hill with a couple of long steady climbs and back down to sea level at Bideford. The sky was blue and it was perfect cycling weather. We then had to climb again out of Bideford with another steady hill to Gammaton Cross. If there was any muttering of discontent about the hills, I didn't hear it and I didn't quite think it was necessary to hide in the bushes whenever the group stopped. We joined the Tarka Trail at Weare Giffard in the Torridge Valley and this was a very steep descent. Lunch at The Cyder Presse at Wear Giffard and then it was the Tarka Trail all the way back to Barnstaple but stopping for tea and cakes at the Fremington Quay cafe. En route there are a few gates etc which require a little more care to negotiate than on a solo bike but the tandems can be wheeled and no heavy lifting is required . So in total it was 29 miles and 1130 ft of climbing which was all in the first half of the ride.

21/07/2017

Malcolm and Grace organised a joint July ride for both the West Country and Taunton Groups where 10 tandems, 2 solos and 1 recumbent solo met for this friendly outing.

Starting at Puxton Park near Weston super Mare heading out through the villages of Banwell and Sandford then stopping at Heathers coffee shop in Congresbury for elevenses. Suitably refreshed heading then through Claverham and across the levels eventually arriving at Clevedon Sea Front for our Lunch stop overlooking the sea.

After lunch we toured Clevedon harbour, then through to Yatton where we picked up the Strawberry Line through to Sandford. The pace quickened and a small group managed to break away from the peloton surviving to the finish line at Sandford railway bridge (been watching too much TDF me thinks).

A short stop to admire the leaning tower of Holy Saviours church in Puxton and then it was just 2 miles back to the car park and home.

36 miles covered in dry and warm weather but some members - Ron & Linda and Stuart & Jackie had ridden down from Bristol clocking up over 80 miles. Well done!! Also nice to see Bill and Katherine who popped in to say hello at lunch

13/07/2017

Andy and Anita organised the June ride where 4½ tandems enjoyed an extremely hot ride over some of Devon's rolling hills. They were joined by Mark and Liz, Steve and Maggie, Chris and Chris and their daughter Yasmin, on a solo bike.

The temperature reached 29 degrees in places, so sun block and plenty to drink was the order of the day, this was in marked contrast to last month's ride where the rain was the abiding memory of the day.

As our ride progressed through the narrow lanes we encountered, amongst other things, a horse and trap and on the whole some very considerate motorists - we even had a tractor and trailer reverse for us!

It was quite bizarre to watch Chris and Chris on their electric tandem, with their independent pedals, totally out of sync as they powered up the hills.

 

We had a tea and cake break at Kirsty's Kitchen in North Tawton, lovely home-made cakes, yum yum!!. Kirsty even stayed open late for us - much appreciated and highly recommended.

We made our way back over Staddon Moor, with spectacular views of Dartmoor and the recently completed Den Brook wind farm and then on to Bow, where we stopped outside the church for a drink and a natter. The climbs were now behind us and we had an easy ride back to the Waterbridge Golf Club, the only impediment to our progress were the cows crossing the road near Copplestone, they held us up for a couple of minutes as they ambled across the road on the way to be milked. As we'd pre-ordered our food before we set off we only had a short wait before a well deserved lunch.

 

Thanks everyone for their company, we look forward to our next ride together.

 

04/07/2017
Catch up with crew of MatildasMusings promoting the joys of #tandeming in a 15 minute chat on Out of Doors on BBC Radio Scotland.
We have the relevant audio clips extracted into a single file. Includes presenter Mark Stephen teaming up with my Captain Colin Calder for shot as Stoker - in place of regular Diane Lockhart.
Hope you enjoy! Listen here.
25/05/2017

Steve and Maggie organised the May ride where 8 tandems and 2 solos met for coffee in the old railway station at Okehampton to ride the Granite Way and explore a loop of southern Dartmoor. The weather forecast of sunshine and showers was half correct, the sun appearing in the last couple of miles of our homeward leg.

Despite the weather, the visibility was good and we had stunning views of a moody Dartmoor. The heavy showers arrived soon after the ride started and by the time we got to Lydford the thought of a warm, dry pub lured several couples.

By this time we had already lost 2 tandems (how, we don't know) so 3 tandems and a solo continued a lumpy ride around Brent Tor (the church on the hill) to the pub at Peter Tavy for lunch. The lost tandems appeared separately at the pub and 14 of us had a very enjoyable lunch.

Having regrouped, 5 tandems set off on our homeward journey. The route between Peter and Mary Tavy was more off road. Here we unfortunately met a farmer in a Land Rover who very kindly reversed 200 yds back up a narrow, twisty lane. After that the path became very rough and we walked a short distance.

Leaving Mary Tavy we skirted around the edge of the moor and joined the road back to Lydford. This road had a sting in its tail with a steep, short climb into Lydford, but then through the old village to rejoin the Granite Way and back to Okehampton.

Steve and Maggie were trying to claim the title for the wettest ride, but Nick and Rachel can still hold on to it!!

25/05/2017
After many years we have been unable to re-new the member’s third party insurance cover. This has come about due to changes in U.K. law which changes the level of liability which needs to be covered. Please note that this cover is withdrawn immediately (25th. May 2017). Check your home insurance policy as you may find you are covered under that. Other member’s benefits remain unchanged.
Members: Please delete reference to insurance on any business cards you have as currently we are unable to offer this service.
21/04/2017
Please note, any members in neighbouring postal areas that do not have monthly rides, please feel welcome to join us. Just phone the ride leaders or myself for details.
J Trewick
RO, Derbyshire
03/04/2017
Mark and Liz organised the March ride where ten tandems left Woodbury village car park, heading for Budleigh Salterton sea front. We started with a slow climb to Four Firs crossroads on Woodbury Common and passed through East Budleigh village. After a couple of miles, we sped down the hill to Budleigh sea front, pausing for a photo opportunity facilitated by a tame walker (who also owns a tandem). A coffee stop followed at the Cosy Teapot, who coped with 20 of use with great ease.  Leaving Budleigh, we joined the cycle track to Exmouth along a disused railway line as far as Littleham, where we turned off to Maer road, passed several farms down to Exmouth seafront and a blowy ride to the estuary mouth. Passing the railway station, we joined the Exe estuary cycle track.

An ebbing tide exposed more mud and birds including Shelduck, Oystercatchers, Godwits and Curlews. We passed through Lympstone village and then Lympstone marine camp, including the famous commando course. After Exton, we crossed the relatively new bridge over the river Clyst for walkers and cyclists taking us to Topsham. We arrived at “Route 2,” a cycle café, who have plenty of space for parking the tandems and a very good menu. After lunch, we crossed back over the Clyst, through Ebford village and back to Woodbury.Highlights:

No rain, even a little sunshine, great food at the two stops and good company and we didn’t lose anyone-and not too many Devon hills

19/02/2017
Nigel and Mercedes organised the February ride where eleven tandems convened at Curry Rivel  in Somerset. It felt like the first day of Spring since the clouds  lifted and we were treated to blue sky for the duration of the ride.
We headed south through Ilminster to Perry's Cider Farm Cafe at Dowlish Wake for a coffee stop. This first ten mile section of the ride involved the Somerset levels with a couple of climbs at the end to make us feel like we had earned our coffee (and cake). Feeling replenished we followed unclassified roads through Dinnington, Hinton St George and Merriott. This quiet, almost traffic free route involved a little climbing but the altitude was maintained with spectacular views to our left of the Somerset levels . There was a short section of A road,which took us to Martock and the return leg north  via Muchelney and past Thorney Lakes (site of 2015 tandem rally) back to Curry Rivel. An excellent lunch at Sandpits cafe then followed this most enjoyable thirty mile ride.
22/01/2017

James and Liz organised the January Ride and they managed to get a report done in double-quick time – this is what they sent:

Such is the pressure of modern society that there was only ten minutes after the end of our tandem ride before the report had to be in.  So to save time the report was written first and only needs minor adjustments.  

 Please use the Key Below:

A - Nice

B - A bit bumpy

C - Cold

D - Pretty hot

E - Coffee and cake

We met in Knightshayes near Tiverton for (E). The ride was attended by four singles and lots of tandems.  At lunch there were 21 people, which was rather confusing as we should have had an even number of riders.  

The ride to Bampton was (A) and (B) and (C).  Lunch in The Swan was (A), (B), (C) where it should have been and (D) in the hot parts.  After lunch we were a bit (C), so we danced the Hokey Cokey until we were (D) – that’s what it’s all about!

A short blast down the main road back to Knightshayes, (A) and not (B), for more (E) and the chance for a quick chat with our stokers, most of whom are - (D).

Apologies to the three, or was it four, who we temporarily mislaid.

12/01/2017
Regalia Shop News
We have relaunched for 2017 three items in the clubs attractive modern design. Mudguard Decals, Car Windscreen Stickers and Metal Badges. These and other items are available at rallies or by post. Have a look in the Regalia Shop at all our Regalia items. There is a printable order form available for ordering by post or items can be purchased from the shop at rallies. Items can also be ordered for collection at rallies if previously paid for.
29/12/2016

A total of 36 people sat down for the Christmas meal at The Walnut Tree in North Petherton including original members of the Taunton group and newcomers too.

Our group is continuing to expand which means that we have a variety of starting places and routes and on this occasion we split into two groups to make life easier and avoid traffic mayhem.

The organisers, Ian and Lisa, led the first group and were helped by Peter and Rowena leading the second group. At the rear we had Nick and Rachel in charge of Elf and Safety.

Fancy dress was optional but the prize for the best dressed tandem went to Andy and Anita. A quiz followed the meal and the award of the trophy went to John and Judy, having attended the most rides during the year but several others were close.

We are pleased to have so many enthusiastic members and lots of rides are planned for 2017.

21/11/2016

Nigel and Mercedes organised the November Taunton group ride which ventured into mid Devon. 10 tandems started at the excellent Mount Pleasant Inn at Nomansland (8 miles west of Tiverton). It was pretty cold and when the rain started it became even colder so we were keen to make a start and warm up.

The first leg of the journey took in the traditional Devon villages of Puddington, Black Dog and Morchard Bishop. The considerable height above sea level was maintained, with snow-capped Exmoor and Dartmoor clearly visible on either side. The route then dropped down to the Taw valley at Morchard Road onto the A377 which follows the river Taw all the way to Barnstaple. This road is now thankfully much quieter since the building of the North Devon Link Road. This open road gave us the opportunity to eat up about 7 or 8 miles at a reasonable pace. The trees in the heavily wooded valley still had remnants of autumn colours.

At Eggesford we turned right and encountered the only real long hill to Chawleigh. This isn't particularly steep and the route planner (me) was not aware of any negativity from the other riders about this hill. After Chawleigh the height is maintained along another unclassified but reasonably wide open road past Thelbridge Cross to Nomansland. The Mount Pleasant really did look after us and we had our own cosy dining room with a blazing log fire. Our very varied food requests were swiftly served. 

It isn't always easy to have a circular route in Devon which doesn't involve perpetually gaining and then losing height. This route did this only once which hopefully means my fellow tandemers from the Taunton group will still speak to me

27/10/2016

I have complied a list with the help of some members, that gives details of cycle friendly cafes and tea rooms where we like to stop in our area when we are out riding.   I thought this might be useful if you ever visit this part of the country and wanted to plan a ride in the lovely countryside.

 

If you are aware of any that we might have missed then please email me with details and I will add them to the list which can be found in the document section at the bottom of the  East London/Essex Region pages.

 

Hope you find it useful.

Vivienne Woodroffe

16/10/2016

Nick and Rachel organised the October ride. Summer was still here when we left Taunton under cloudless blue sky. A gentle breeze from the South caressed our 9 tandems 1 solo semi recumbent and a one man and his dog up the gentle slopes of country lanes where birds chirruped and frolicked. We crossed the M5 with joy in our hearts that we were not stuck in cars zooming along, but out in the fresh air.
We had a great lunch at The George in Uffculme with candles and roses on the table.
Then it started raining. Just very heavily at first before getting worse. The only escape route in those conditions was the A38 back to Taunton. The joy in our hearts at not being in cars strangely faded to a distant memory.
We made it back without the use of snorkels but only just.
 

04/10/2016

A long train of 11 tandems and 2 solos set off in the sunshine across the Somerset levels from Glastonbury to England's smallest city, Wells, where coffee was taken in the beautiful gardens of the Bishop's Palace. Onward the procession travelled along Wells High Street, providing free entertainment for the visitors, before leaving the city behind and climbing towards Wedmore. A steep descent from Mudgley Hill brought us down to the levels once more and a scenic, if bumpy, ride through Westhay Moor Nature Reserve.  We lunched and relaxed in the sunshine at Doublegate Farm in the village of Godney before gradually trickling away for the last few miles return to Glastonbury or to head directly homewards for those lucky to live near enough to have left the car at home.

The ride was organised and occasionally led by John and Judy.  26 mainly level miles along quiet lanes, a shaded former railway line, city streets and one very one rough track.  A couple of hills sneaked in just to prove Somerset isn't entirely flat and help our Devon members feel at home.

25/08/2016

Richard and Michelle organised the August Taunton Group ride. Despite the forecast for showers and strong winds, 4 and a half tandems braved the weather for a West Somerset ride. We met in Minehead and after visiting the harbour, looking lovely with the tide in and hanging baskets in bloom, we headed through Dunster and along the undulating back lanes to Porlock. The rain really set in after James decided to take off his waterproof jacket! - And was with us for the rest of the morning ride. The ride to Porlock Weir was a very wet affair so we quickly headed back to Porlock for lunch at the Ship. It was a unanimous decision not to attempt Porlock Hill (not that it was on the planned route) but instead cut the proposed route short and headed back to Minehead via Bossington and Allerford. The rain stopped briefly for a photo shot in Bossington before the wind assisted ascent followed by a long decent back to Minehead for a cream tea at Richard and Michelle's.

Not many miles but a sociable and enjoyable ride.

19/07/2016

Ian & Lisa organised the July Taunton Group ride and eight tandems met at the leaders house in Creech St Michael. A slight mechanical problem was not the best start but it gave the men a chance to suck air between their teeth.

As usual, 13 bend hill was the first challenge (clue’s in the name) and then we had to make up lost time and get to coffee at Langport. Malcolm and Grace joined us here as did James and Sarah and their baby Matilda. This gave Lisa the chance to show off their second granddaughter.

It wasn’t too far to lunch at Kingsbury Episcopi and we had the steep hill out of Langport under the Hanging Chapel which will be remembered by those who attended last year’s rally at Thorney Lakes.

Karl and Lisa joined us for lunch. They were unable to ride as their new tandem, bought for the International Rally, had been written off during a charity ride recently. We were very pleased to see them and wish them a speedy recovery.

Although it was very hot, Ian decided to add a few more miles so that we were ready for tea and cakes in the garden at home.

14/07/2016
Mark and Liz organised the June Taunton Group ride and eight tandems and one solo met at Woodbury village hall car park. We road near Exeter airport, crossed the “blue” cycle bridge over the M5, through Pinhoe and then Poltimore village to the National trust property, Killerton - the old home of the Devon Ackland family.   
Killerton is a good coffee (or lunch) stop and we can vouch for their tasty cheese scones. Had we more time, we could have explored the grounds including the” bear house” (sadly a bear was kept here once), ice house and lovely gardens .
Devon drizzle turned to rain during the coffee stop and our circular route took us back through Broadclyst, Dog village and into the back of Clyst St Mary and then to Topsham. It is almost unbelievable to think this estuary town was once the 10th major port in the country and built 3 ships to sail against the Armada.  We had lunch at ”Route 2“ in Topsham, a cycle café –efficient and accommodating - they had plenty of space for so many tandems . 
We cycled down the Strand with houses with Dutch gables to see the filling Exe estuary at the start of the so called “goat walk”, before crossing the new cycle/pedestrian bridge over the river Clyst to join the Exe estuary trail. This is largely wooden boardwalk to Lympstone and then rode cross country back to Woodbury. Two of the eight tandems joined us while on holiday in Devon - our bonus.  The East Devon route, largely off main roads was appreciated and despite the drizzle, spirits remained high.
23/05/2016

Steve and Maggie led the Taunton Group Tandem Club ride on Sunday 22 May. It was lucky that this month’s ride was the Sunday as the weather on the Saturday was rather inclement. We had a few showers but mostly the weather was kind to us.

 

After coffee in the craft centre in Bovey Tracey, where the women admired the exhibits and the men held on firmly to their wallets, nine tandems and one solo set off. This included some welcome new faces which helped to lower the average age of the group!!!!

 

With the smell of the wild garlic in our nostrils we headed off up the Teign Valley towards Dunsford. With a regroup at Steps Bridge the climbing to Moretonhampstead started. Reaching a height of 300 meters it tested the muscles(and the lungs) but also offered fantastic panoramic views.

Lunch in the cycle friendly Central Cafe in Moreton offered a well-earned rest but also excellent food.

The ride back to Bovey was through the lanes via Lustleigh with a few nasty little climbs on the way. The scenery of the woods, the rocks, and the bluebells was very pretty.

A long downhill took us back to Bovey for a well-earned cup of tea. A challenging ride that seemed to be enjoyed by all.

04/05/2016

The date & Time for the next meeting will be 19th July 2017 @ 19:30 at the Cliff Inn Crich. Hope to see you all there.

24/04/2016

The wheels on the bike go round and round etc.

James and Andy organised and led the nice varied ride on 16th April with six and a half tandems, two walkers and two dogs.  Probably like everyone else, I researched this ride in January when the weather was awful and all the paths were muddy.  At that time three miles was exhausting, so a 25 mile ride seemed almost unachievable.  However come the day, it was sunny and dry and we all shot round the route in no time.  However…..at the end was an optional hill from hell!  Being as we’d all had a nice time till then, the hill from hell became obligatory.  Amazingly most people cycled all the way up.  Not me - I felt the leader had a responsibility to make sure everyone at the back was OK, so I walked.
 
I should add the walkers joined us at the pub with dogs for lunch.  Not dogs for lunch, at lunchtime with dogs - sounds better I think.  They walked the lovely if rather pointless Tiverton Canal which goes from Tiverton east to…..well nowhere really.

04/04/2016
Thanks to Eifion Francis, we now have audio versions of the more recent Tandem Club Journals available on-line. These are in the members only area of the website so you will need to log in to access them. Once logged in they are available from the home page link Journals or directly at: https://tandem-club.org.uk/files/members/journals/. They are in MP3 format can be listened to directly or downloaded as a whole or by chapter.
28/03/2016

Peter and Rowena led the Taunton Group Tandem Club ‘Fairtrade Ride’ on Saturday 19 March 2016.

6½ Tandems set out from Procters Farm, West Monkton on a chilly but dry March morning to ride to Monks Yard, Horton, near Ilminster. Fortified by some excellent fairtrade coffee we negotiated round a couple of road closures and across the busy A358 without incident and enjoyed fine scenery and views below the Blackdown Hills. We were served very tasty locally sourced food at Monks yard and were somewhat reluctant to leave the warmth of The Sanctuary room which we had been allocated.
After a brief photo call we set off again, crossing the A358 to Ilton and thence to the Community Café at North Curry, where we were served fairtrade tea and coffee and delicious home-made cakes, before returning to Procters farm after an enjoyable 30 miles with no breakdowns.

Thanks to all for entering the spirit of this ride, taking place just after the end of Fairtrade Fortnight.

07/03/2016

It was Lisa and Karl's first time to lead the Taunton group. The route starting at Exeter Quay towards Dawlish returning via the same cycle route venturing onto the main roads just briefly saw 6 tandems including some new faces set out. 

 

The weather forecast was overcast with some brisk winds, this could have proved challenging considering that the route was mainly flat with some quite exposed areas.  Most of the attendees drove to the start through rain and strong gusts but as soon as we set off the sun came out and was glorious throughout.  

 

In Dawlish we took a breather for a cup of tea, a chance for the group to acquaint themselves properly.  The journey back from Dawlish to the Turf Hotel was via the same route, with Lisa and Karl bringing up the rear! Lunch didn't disappoint, the group chatting about the upcoming rallies.  

 

With only a short journey from lunch to the end, a couple of the tandems went home in different directions, Maggie and Steve heading back to Teignmouth, Rob and Sallie zooming back to Taunton. Once back at the Exeter Quay three tandems had a final coffee at Lutzy's coffee shop, the place we started from, where she thanked us for being her guests before all heading off home. A gentle 26 mile ride without the challenge of climbs.

25/01/2016

The Ordnance Survey maps of Devon are often very pink. This is because of the density of the contour lines which means the roads, if they cross them tend to be very steep. When selecting the route for the ride on Saturday 16th January care was taken to ensure the route was on ‘white bits’ rather than ‘pink bits.’ The Taunton Group from Somerset were able to venture down the M5 with the tandems in/on their cars to the ‘bandit’ country of East Devon and start the ride from the National Trust House of Killerton. Free parking and a café is a prerequisite. Five and a half tandems present and we headed south towards Broadclyst. The weather had been very wet, but the preceding couple of nights had been clear and not surprisingly ,there was some standing water which had frozen. Nevertheless this was minimal and disappeared during the morning. Unclassified roads were then followed to the small villages of Talaton, Dulford, Mutterton and Clyst Hydon. These villages are not exactly household names (unless you live in one of them). For Devon lanes they are reasonably wide (ie just about the width of a car) but there were good views because there were not too many steep Devon banks. Traffic was pretty minimal, just a few cars and horses. It was decided to deviate from normal protocol and instead of having lunch en-route. The whole ride was completed without a lunch stop and return to Killerton for luncheon. This was because of the limited daylight hours. There had been a minor debate about the final leg of the ride back to Killerton. It had been planned to take the old A38 (now B3181). This is a straight road which no longer carries much traffic however the cars that use it frequently fly past quicker than the cars on the adjacent M5. For this reason the lanes through the Ashclyst Forest were chosen. This was decidedly more lumpy and traffic free and there were times when the wisdom of this choice may have been questioned. However when reminded that the lunch stop and destination were literally just round the next bend – any mutiny was averted! It was about 25 miles in total on easy to follow Devon lanes, which although it was not a fast route, itwas scenic and with little traffic.

20/01/2016
16/12/2015

The Christmas meal for the Taunton group started with a 20 mile ride; lots of familiar faces travelling over to us plus some new ones. 9 tandems started out and many were decorated with coloured baubles, lights and tinsel.
The route from the New Mill at Bathpool circled Taunton in a clockwise direction so that we could cut it short if the weather forecast was correct - it wasn't and we stayed dry!
Ian and Lisa led the ride and also brought up the rear at times. This meant sprinting quickly back to the front again! After 17 miles we stopped for coffee at Hestercombe House and then it was just a few miles back.
A traditional Christmas lunch was followed by a Christmas quiz organised by Lisa and then Ian awarded a trophy to the couple who had attended the most rides during the year.  Richard and Michelle Miles had been to 9 local events (often cycling to the start) plus they had cycled to the National and the International rally in the Czech Republic! What a fantastic effort! (unfortunately Michelle wasn't able to attend that day but Richard came on his solo and returned home to Minehead in the dark!) Who will win the award next year?
 

22/11/2015

James and ‘stand-in’ Stoker Andy led the November ride which started from Darts Farm near Topsham. Now what were the best bits…..

Firstly - as always with the Taunton group - Great Company.  We talked about ‘Strictly’ (my money’s on Helen), being a good Grandparent, knitting patterns…oh and next year’s International Rally which most of us are going to.

Secondly - The cakes.  Considering that both Otterton Mill at lunchtime and Darts Farm were full of people buying Christmas landfill, we did pretty well.  Nigel’s Lemon Meringue Tart from Darts Farm deserves a special mention.

Thirdly - The weather.  What do you expect in Mid-November?  Well it was a lot better than that.  Nigel, again, wore shorts!

Fourthly - The cycling.  5½  tandems,  25 miles, 1,300 m ascent (or was that feet),  average speed 7.8 mph.  Well…..it was 50% traffic free and had lots of staggered gates and loose dogs and mud and at least that average speed shows we are not taking drugs!

The worst bit - it’ll be a whole month before we do it again.

07/11/2015
The Club Shop has a special offer on cottered bottom bracket axles. Useful if you are restoring an older tandem.
05/11/2015

Nigel and Mercedes led the September ride which started from Barnstaple on a very sunny September Saturday morning. We started with a cup of coffee at the Bike Shed some cafe which was perfect. This also proved to be an opportunity to stock up on any cycling essentials which had been forgotten. The first task was to gain from sea level some height (800 feet) over approximately five miles to Shirwell. This height did not have to be regained during the ride. Subsequently, gloriously quiet country lanes were enjoyed to Berry Down Cross where the A3123 is joined. This road, although busier was still relatively quiet since was outside the school holidays. To our right there were clear views across to South Wales. Straight ahead Lundy was clearly visible. It was at this point that our one and only puncture was encountered. This led to a division of labour along gender stereotype lines, the four male cyclists doing a combination of careful inspection and violent wrestling with the offending wheel to fix the problem. We were soon on our way again but the offending tandem riders suffering from a mild dose of P.P.A. (post puncture anxiety). However this did soon pass.

At Turnpike Cross we turned off on to another quiet lane and descended into Georgeham and particularly the 'Rock public house where we had an excellent lunch. We then continued on our way down into the popular coastal village of Croyde and subsequently on to Braunton via the scenic and flat lanes of Braunton Burrows. It was at this point that the Tarka Tail was joined. The gates were negotiated very expertly by all tandems with hardly a foot down at any point. We continued along the north bank of the Taw estuary and were very much flattered by being greeted by a marching band as we reached Barnstaple. It was actually because of the town carnival which was soon to start though! A refreshing cup of tea at Tea in the Taw' seemed appropriate. This 'retro' cafe is strategically positioned on the cycle path itself. At this point we were almost back at our starling point which is the Barnstaple 'park and ride'. In total it was 37 miles with 1400 feet of climbing, the vast majority of which is gained in the first 7 miles with a single steady climb.

05/11/2015

Richard and Michelle led this month’s ride which started from Wiveliscombe where 7 tandems and riders met at the White Hart for coffee before heading south towards Langford Budville.  This section held the first mechanical problem of the ride.  Richard was trying to identify a strange whistling bird when we realised that it was Carl trying to attract our attention. They had a broken chain. 6 men then looked on, offering advice and parts, until eventually the chain was repaired. The ladies of the party dutifully held the tandems and had a good chat!

Problem solved, our route joined the Sustran's route towards Bampton and it wasn’t long before problem number 2 occurred. While descending a narrow lane a loud bang was heard and Nigel and Mercedes suffered a blow out - hopefully this will not be a regular occurrence as they had also punctured on the previous ride!

Aware that things happen in 3's, we tentatively continued towards Bampton enjoying quiet lanes with lovely autumnal colours and views. Lunch was at The Swan, where we arrived about an hour late, but they were very understanding and we enjoyed an excellent lunch. Here we discovered the third problem - a lost phone, but fortunately it was found where it had been left at the White Hart!

The return along the B3227 had a few hills but we also enjoyed some long and fast descents.

04/11/2015

The Taunton Group’s April ride was slightly different in two ways. Firstly it was organised on the spur of the moment and, with the help of the internet, still attracted 5 tandems and I solo, Secondly, the ride from Creech St. Michael did not take in ”13 bend hill” up to North Curry!

Instead we had a 30 mile loop around Taunton, through Orchard Portman and Pitminster to The Worlds End pub at Bradford-on-Tone. After lunch (too much choice on the menu!) we went through Bishops Lydeard (past the Steam Railway) to Hestercombe House for a tea stop. General comment was that we always seemed to be going downhill (the gradient not the quality of the ride!)

04/11/2015

From Exeter we cycled through the Marsh Barton Estate to Alphington then stopped at the newly opened Twisted Oak in Ide for an enjoyable lunch. 4 couples then braved the climb to Haldon Belvedere - a mere 800' at the top! The road was very undulating to Dunchideock, typical Devon hills, and then the more serious climb started. The steeper part defeated 2 couples, with one stoker getting a lift from a farmer who felt sorry for her!

We regrouped, with jelly babies for all, and continued to the top of Haldon Ridge. We were rewarded with fantastic views, seeing Dartmoor on one side and across to Exeter and Exmouth to East Devon on the other. From here all flat along the top and then just past the top of Telegraph Hill, all downhill for 4 miles, back into Starcross. It was a ride of contrasts. The weather was kind and hopefully riding in the Devon hills hasn't put people off.

04/11/2015

Nick and Rachel organised the June ride which started at Hestercombe Gardens, just North of Taunton, and covered 33 miles. 6 tandems set off with cheerful optimism into the rain which we soon left behind as we headed West. The route took us along narrow country lanes (see Photo) and followed the River Tone upstream crossing it 4 times.  We headed through Wellington where we attracted attention from the local Paparazzi then, just to work up an appetite, took on a couple of climbs. The Martlet Inn Langford Budville happened to be at the top of the final hill, and the sun came out as we enjoyed a refreshing lunch in the pub garden.  Then it was downhill all the way, apart from when it wasn’t the wind behind us and the sun on our backs.

04/11/2015

Malcolm and Grace organised the July ride with an invitation to both Taunton and West Country group members. The ride,  based near the border of the two regions,  saw 12 tandems in total with 10 starting from Puxton Park and 2 others joining us from the morning coffee stop. Heading out through Banwell, Sandford, Wrington and then into Congresbury where we stopped at Heathers to enjoy homemade cakes and coffee. Shortly after leaving coffee we arrive at the scene of a broken down car on a narrow stretch of busy road causing quite long queues and tailbacks. Already being attended to by a solo cyclist we soon had the car shoved off the road and out of our way! A broken clutch apparently. The remaining morning ride into Clevedon and onto the sea front was uneventful and we all settled down to a nice pub lunch overlooking the Severn Estuary. (Photo shows the group outside of the pub refreshed and ready for the ride home.)  Afternoon ride back into Yatton where we joined the Strawberry Line through to Congresbury and Sandford returning back to Puxton village where we stopped to view the Church of St Saviour a medieval church with a heavily leaning tower which is now redundant but still maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust. The final leg was back along to Puxton Park where afternoon tea and cakes were enjoyed by many of the riders. So....36 miles, 24 riders, 12 tandems, lots of sunshine and most importantly new friends for all.

04/11/2015

Paul and Nina organised the August ride which started at the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury. The previous day was wet (really wet) but joy of joys, the sun shone, the wind blew in helpful directions and two tandems from the Taunton Group, two tandems from the West Country Group, two tandems from the Wessex group AND a tandem from Kent (Graham and Sally) arrived at the rendezvous and all set off for the Polden Hills and beyond.

The ride was advertised as flat, but going out over the Moors would have meant a ride into the wind and despite their name The Poldens aren't really too hilly, as one member said  " just lumpy" and once we had reached Cossington it was all downhill and then level until we reached Burnham. We picnicked in a recently renovated park called Marine Cove where numerous self-timed photos were taken, the best of which is published here!  Then 6 tandems took the flat and wind assisted route home across the levels, while the seventh tandem couple continued up the coast to their home, having cycled that morning to the ride start.

No one got lost, no one fell off, (despite a good attempt by a white pick-up driver on one of the narrow sections) and we had a very enjoyable and social time. And the couple from Kent? - for their first ride out with a Tandem Club section, they had cycled to our ride from their campsite in Cheddar, and they rode back to Glastonbury with us all despite the fact that they could have shortened their journey home considerably.

24/07/2015

Hi folks,

 

Firstly I'm terribly sorry for the lack of activity on this page. I have been struggling with computer issues and finding it difficult to access e-mails and the website. Secondly I've had health issues that are preventing me from riding this year.

I  just wanted to draw attention to an upcoming ride in the area, organised by Liz and Andrew Charles. The venue will be near Darlington, Barton. Date 20/09/15.

 

Dan.

08/05/2015
Yesterday Dominic Irvine and Charlie Mitchell smashed the 50 years old tandem record of cycling non stop from Lands End to John O'Groats, setting a time of 45 hrs 11 mins and 2 seconds. Beating the original record by 5 hours. They completed this amazing achievement on an Orbit tandem supplied by JD Tandems.
14/01/2015

It was an overcast & drizzly November morning as we prepared to lead the Three Counties Ride out from Cheltenham. A late change of plan meant we’d be skipping elevenses and riding straight to an early lunch, so with no complaints about that (cyclists are always hungry) we set on our way, the rain abating bang on cue. Snaking our way across Cheltenham via quiet roads, the park and secluded cycle paths, local hard man of the road Howard shouted “Well, I never knew you could cycle down this way”. What a compliment I thought – it’s always a challenge to find new routes, especially for locals! 

Soon enough we were out into the countryside, where the challenge of Churchdown Hill (on the otherwise flat landscape) loomed. To be honest there was no good reason to make the ascent other than (a) it is there & (b) it’s a marvellous view from the top. But when an anxious voice behind me whispered “oh no, not that way surely?”, I was forced to take stock and consider my responsibilities. Common sense prevailed: in the interest of matrimonial harmony and the sniff of the early lunch, I heaved the bike to the right and away from the hill. Soon into the countryside once more, we stopped briefly at a pretty church with a nearby well. It was one of those places so close to home that we had invariably passed it by without a glance, but there we all spent a few minutes of quiet contemplation before heading on. Despite never being far from the bustle of  Christmas shoppers in town, the roads remained peaceful as we headed onto our lunchtime destination, “the Gloucester Old Spot”. 

After an excellent lunch (the present owner has pulled the place up by its bootstraps in recent times to become one of the best eateries around) clearing blue skies and bright sunshine blessed us as we headed north, then east and south to arrive back in Cheltenham well before sunset. Plenty of time then for the cuppa and cake we has missed out on earlier. Many thanks to Martin, Jenny G, Howard, Jenny M & Helen for their company & commiserations to those unable to attend.

24/09/2014

Hi all,

I thought this might be the best place to introduce myself as the new regional organiser for Darlington.

I'm a 40 ish year old chap with a lifelong interest in all things cycling. From downhill racing, through to time-trialling and unicycling, and a fair bit of audax riding too, I've had a go at most things. I came to tandem riding as a means of spending more time on the bikes with my wife. Following a brief test ride we were hooked, and have since progressed to a 2 tandem household.

I'll be looking to contact current members in my area in the next few weeks, with the aim of planning a few rides. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me regarding cycling in the area. Please don't be alarmed if e-mail responses are a little slow....I much prefer tinkering in the shed or riding than sitting at a computer. E-mails are usually checked once or twice a week. 

I look forward to meeting fellow enthusiasts in the future.

 

Dan.

20/09/2014
We have changed the membership login to use the main website login boxes on the left hand side. For more info please see: /files/members.html
05/07/2014

It was possibly the hottest day of the year when six tandemists and one recumbent rider forgathered in Stroud for Eddie and Heather’s run  to the river and back. We had tacked ourselves on to the Stroud Valleys Project sponsored bike ride but we saw no crowds of Blokes on Bikes on our route.

We sped off down the hill out of Stroud and coffee was taken somewhat late at the Black Barn on the Sharpness canal where boats floated serenely by and then, it was onwards to Purton Hulks for lunch. . The hulks are 2nd World War barges which were sunk on the embankment of the Severn Estuary to prevent erosion. We sat and burnt in the strong sunshine and identified a few birds and took in the majestic sweep of the river and tried not to think of Berkeley nuclear power station a couple of miles downstream, de-commissioned or not.

As anyone knows, what goes down must climb back up, and so it was. Our return route inevitably involved a climb or two and a tea break at Frocester was well earned. Altogether, nearly 40 miles of unvarying interest were covered and a feeling of satisfaction was engendered in the riders at the end.

07/06/2014
09/05/2014

The North East Group will be hosting the 2016 National Rally at Kirkley Hall in Northumberland. Offers of help welcome.

25/03/2014
To find out what the Wessex region is doing, please go to www.cyclingnewforest.org/wessex-tandem-club.html
01/03/2014
The range of Club clothing is now complete and members will get a 10% discount for a limited period. 
Bike It have offered a 15% discount to members of the Tandem Club.
Details of this and  the Cotswold Outdoor discounts are in the Member's Area of the website.
19/01/2014

Date

Start

Time

Coffee

Lunch

Miles

Leaders

9th February

The Square, Milnthorpe

9.00am for 9.30am

The Heron cafe Arnside

Carnforth Station

30m

Paul & Jeannette Rodman 07768 647745

9th March

First layby on left on A65 heading North of junction 36 M6.

9.00am for 9.30am

Beetham Post Office cafe.

Kirkby Lonsdale

35m

Steve & Jeanette Webb 07940 372433

13th April

Leaders Home  160, Warley Road, Blackpool

9.00am for 9.30am

Lytham

The Plough at Eves

45m

Anne & John Hall 01253 592136

May BH weekend 3rd-5th May

Long weekend away Kirkcudbright camp, Caravan or b & b.

 

 

 

 

Jack & Ann Hill 01557 330157

11th May

High Newton

9.00am for 9.30am

Old Hall Farm Bouth

Conishead Priory Ulverston

45m

Mike & Helen Nott 015242 61566

8th June

Dunsop Bridge cafe

9.00am for 9.30am

Bolton by Bowland

Waddington

41m

Simon & Hayley Brown 01253 732782

13th July

Priest Hutton

9.00 for 9.30am

Beetham Garden Centre

Grange Over Sands

40m

Dave & Lynne Wilson 07889 680781

10th August

Appleby Station

9.00 for 9.30am

Culgaith garden centre

Melmerby

 

45m

John & Alison Wild 01524 421671

14th September

First layby on left on A65 heading North of junction 36 M6.

9.00am for 9.30am

Wilf’s cafe Staveley

Levens Hall

43m

Steve & Jeanette Webb 07940 372433

12th October

Kendal Leisure Centre

9.00am for 9.30am

Kirkby Lonsdale

Carnforth Station

45m

Paul & Jeannette Rodman 07768 647745

9th November

Cafe de Lune near Glasson Dock

9.00am for 9.30am

Barton Grange garden centre

Chipping

45m

Paul & Jeannette Rodman 07768 647745

14th December

Club Dinner details to follow-short ride in morning

1.00pm

 

 

 

Paul & Jeannette Rodman 07768 647745

9th January 2015

Runs Meeting to decide rides for 2015

12.00am

1, Cumberland Drive,Kendal, LA9 7JS.

 

 

Paul & Jeannette Rodman 07768 647745

30/11/2013
Do you have a Regional Officer in your area?  If not, why not offer to be one?

Regional Officers act as a local point of contact for the area, welcome new members to the Club and circulate details of rides in the Region.  They do not necessarily lead rides.
List of current Regional Officers.  If your postcode is not represented and you would like further details about becoming the Regional Officer, please contact the Regional Officer Co-ordinator, Roger McNae
17/07/2013
Recently formed group covering all Cornwall and offering sociable not speedy rides!  If you would like to join us,  suggest or organise rides, please contact John & Judith Skinner on 01726 816613 or by e-mail at jondith.skinner@talktalk.net.
16/06/2013
The Tandem Club National rally was held at Lympsham, Zummerzet 10 - 17 August. Around 250 tandemists enjoyed the Sunny Somerset venue. Report and pictures.
15/06/2013
Wanted - Tandem Club treasurer. Our current treasurer would like to retire due to other commitments and we are seeking a replacement. Details of what is involved can be found below.
Details of the Club Treasurer's Job
12/05/2013
The 25th. International Tandem Rally took place at Gennes (49) France at the end of May. Everyone had a good time with a great last night party. A report on the rally can be viewed here and photographs can be found in the Showcase.
29/04/2013

Things may not be working fully yet, Please contact us at: the Tandem Club Web Group with any problems.

28/04/2013

Documents Page

We're looking for ideas on how best to use the Lancashire area of the Tandem Club website.  One suggestion is for members to create Word/pdf documents of rides they have been on and would recommend to other members of the Tandem Club. 
We will create a Word template that can be used as an outline and create an example document - the rest as they say, is up to you!
23/02/2013

GROUP RIDE REPORTS

March Ride Report - Click Here

February Ride Report - Click here

December Ride Report - Click here

November Ride Report - Click here - Click here for video

October Ride Report - Click here

September Ride Report - Click here

August Ride Report - Click here

July Ride Report - Click here

June Ride Report - Click here

May Ride Report - Click here

April Ride Report - Click here

March Ride Report - Click here

February Ride Report - Click here - Click here for video

 

 

 

What's On

22/10/2017 Derbyshire
Contact: John & Margaret Trewick Tel: 01623470728
26/10/2017 West Country
Last thursday Social at the Codrington Arms, North Road, Yate. BS37 7LG
Contact: Nigel Tel: 07836 642121 Email: nshires@hotmail.com
29/10/2017 Milton Keynes
Ride from the leader's house into the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryshire. Contact: Kevin Woodland Tel: 01908282485 Email: kevin906@btinternet.com

Ride Reports.html