We have planned a ride to watch The Tour of Britain pass through Melmerby on Friday. It's an out and back route from Appleby. We will aim to leave the bridge at Appleby by 10:30 and cycle the 15 miles to Melmerby, getting there around midday. See the What's On for details.
Two rides to look forward to in Wessex this autumn: Sunday 26th September from Southbourne via the sandbanks ferry to Swanage, and Saturday October 30th from Chandlers Ford into the New Forest. See rides list for details.
The next ride of the Lancashire and Cumbria Group is on Sunday 10 October 2021 starting from the Park and Ride car park adjacent to Junction 34 of the M6.
Route: The route heads west along the cycle way through Lancaster and on to Sunderland Point. Then we head to Heysham for our coffee stop. After coffee we head along Morecambe Prom to Hest Bank, Nether Kellet and through Carnforth to Leighton Moss for our lunch stop. From there it's on to Yealand Redmayne, Priest Hutton, Borwick and Nether Kellet to cross the Lune at Halton to return to the start along the Lune Cycle Path.. Stats: 40 miles, 1800 ft climbing
Another great ride out yesterday, to the above location for a late Brunch. weather better than forecast, in fact, it became warmer as the day went on. A nice steady pace, made for a very social affair indeed, leading to a full day out on the bike.
For anyone wishing to know where the name 'Byards leap' came from. Its the legend of a horse by the same name, leaping 60ft in the air as the rider slayed a local witch! There is a commemorative plaque nearby.
For the September ride 7 tandems departed Audlem in the sunshine for a 31 mile ride. We had to change our lunch arrangements late on Saturday afternoon due to the original stop cancelling our booking due to the lack of chef, but the Olde Jack Inn in Calverhall rescued the day, managing to fit all 14 of us in for a lovely lunch at very short notice. It was good to see some of our newer riders and welcome back some old friends and we also wish Ian and Phil a swift recovery from the man flu which prevented them and their partners from joining us on the ride.
if you live in Derbyshire or South Yorkshire please contact Alan Steward on 01246 823865 or 07523 342291 for a list of both rides and events.
You'll note that I've added upcoming ride dates, will add detail as I build and check the rides.
The Taunton Tandem Group's September ride followed the Taunton Cycle Trail, which is a route devised and promoted by the Taunton Area Cycling Campaign ('TACC'). TACC works hard to promote safer cycling and the interests of cyclists in the Taunton area. The route circumnavigates Taunton, mostly on quiet country lanes. 7 tandems and 3 solos joined the ride which started with coffee at Hestercombe Gardens and then stopped for lunch at The World's End at Bradford-on-Tone. We had pre-ordered our lunches and did not have to wait long before the food arrived. We were soon suitably nourished to continue our ride back to Hestercombe.
It was good to be back cycling as a larger group and meeting people who we had not seen for months! The weather was good and there were no incidents that affected us. We crossed over the M5 twice - the first time the north bound traffic was at a standstill apparently due to a shunt involving several vehicles. Re-crossing a couple of hours later the traffic was still backed up - tandem travel is far less stressful!
After 39 miles we arrived back at Hestercombe but then had a long wait for tea and cake due to staff shortages! However, sitting together and chatting in the sun made it all worthwhile.
Richard and Michelle Miles
Georgeand Marian Dryden have a Cannondale tandem in very good condition for sale. If interested please email email@example.com or phone 01913892492 good confor slae
Twenty-four riders, (including the youngest rider, five-year-old Matilda Warren, with her dad James) on eleven tandems and two “half bikes” met at Barleymow’s Farm Shop, Chard for the Taunton Tandem Group's October ride. After a quick coffee and pre-ride chat the group set off down the lanes on the north eastern side of Chard, via the hamlet of Nimmer ending up in Peasmarsh. A brief section of NCR 33 towards Ilminster, before climbing up to Kingstone then via Seavington St.Mary, South Petherton and out to the Somerset Levels. Passing the old River Parrett pumping station, we headed for a coffee stop at Yandle’s Café on the edge of Martock. Some members had a look around the craft centre and the gift shop during the wait for refreshment. By the time we finished our teas, coffees and cakes the grey clouds had cleared and the sun came out to enhance the return leg.
Suitably refreshed, the group re-traced the route back towards South Petherton, turning off to pass through East and West Lambrook and passing Compton Durville. Heading back via Seavington St.Mary and Kingstone to the lunch stop at the traditional country pub, the New Inn in Dowlish Wake. We were a bit late arriving for our pre-ordered lunch, but the owners and staff were brilliant coping with such a large number of people all wanting drinks, the bar area had been reserved exclusively for our group. Dowlish Wake is a typical Somerset village with ham-stone cottages and thatched roofs as well as the home of Perry’s cider .
There was a very pleasant lunch with David and Janet, Katherine and Bill Barnes joining the group as non-riders. As we left David, who joined us for lunch took some photos, as did one of the local residents, who was genuinely interested in who we were and where we had been and going next. At this point Nic and Jane Bard from Chard left the group having enjoyed the ride.
Somewhat heavier than when we arrived, we set off towards Knowle St. Giles, before turning down to Dowlish Ford and Sea back to Peasmarsh , where we picked up National Cycle Route 33 to take us back through Chard. This cycle route follows the old Taunton to Chard Junction railway line into Chard. It was also “fortified” during World War Two as the Stop Line Way, a line of fortification from Seaton to Burnham-on-Sea. (You can still see gun emplacements in the field and anti-tank obstacles along the route). No sooner had we got onto the cycle track than Mark and Liz had a puncture, ably assisted by James and Nick, “supervised” by Ian and Andy the puncture was soon sorted, but the first part of the group had gone on, so we finished as two groups.
From Chard it was all uphill, in a couple of steep climbs and then a series of more gradual climbs back to the top of Snowden Hill ( 210m above sea-level) to the farm shop. By the time the second group got back the sun was beginning to set on what had been a very pleasant day.
For October's ride, 4 tandems set off from Wem on a 28 mile circular route with lunch at Moor Farm, Baschurch. It should have been 5 tandems but Ian and Carolyn succumbed to a nasty cold the day before. The weather did not look promising when we woke up to heavy rain but for once the forecast was correct and it had cleared up by the time we set out for Wem and we even saw some sunshine during the ride.
FROM THE CHAIR
It was a great rally at Nottingham wasn’t it? A wide choice of routes through lovely countryside; an interesting city to explore; the mass start of 90+ tandems around the National Watersports lake in the sunshine; cream teas and prosecco. Even the local BBC and Radio Nottingham came along to find out about the magic appeal of tandems. And how nice to meet up with friends again and ride together after what seems like a long two years. Phil and Julie Harmer and Colin and Rosy Gray organised it all. Thanks for a wonderful week.
As I mentioned last time, plans are under way for a full programme of rallies in 2022 including of course the National Rally at Corsham, Wilts, 28 May – 4 June, when we will celebrate the Club’s 50th anniversary. Please keep Wed 1 June 2022 free. All Members of the Club will be invited to the Club birthday party that afternoon when we hope to have a large turnout to mark the occasion.
If you have been following the history of the Club in recent issues you will be aware of the wide variety of activities that Club Members get up to. Many of these have been organised by Members rather than official Club activities. I sometimes think of the Club as being a kind of umbrella group covering all tandemists whatever their interests. An example is the Club birthday ride that Jonathan and Tessa Cox organised recently at Charlbury, 50 years since 9 Oct 1971, starting and finishing where it all began.
If you are a longstanding Member and you have any old tandem stories or photos, do please send them in to the Editor and/or post them on the website. We all enjoy looking back and learning about the history of the Club.
With the easing of the Covid restrictions, it’s great to see local Group rides going on again in many areas of the country. Few cycling clubs have a strong regional structure as we do, and local Groups in my view are an important benefit of membership. If your tandem is pining for a ride in company then check to see what your local Group is up to!
Looking ahead, at the Club AGM at Easter next year we will need some new people to fill positions coming vacant on the Committee:
- Club Secretary
- Regional Officer Co-Ordinator
- Technical Adviser
- Sales Officer (Technical and Non-technical Sales)
- Web Content Editor
If you can do one of these roles and you care about the Club please contact me. A younger Member comfortable with the web and social media? Looking to build your CV in marketing? Coming up to or recently retired? None of these roles are demanding or time-consuming. They all have a job description and I can help you learn the ropes. Please do give this some thought. We need more volunteers to help run the Club and in particular I would love to see some newer Members on the Committee.
You may remember that, about a year ago, the Club sought the views of Members for a submission to a government consultation on the Highway Code on behalf of all tandemists. In July the government published its response setting out a number of proposed changes. Important ones for us are:
- introducing a hierarchy of road users so those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others
- guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists
- Ensuring that cyclists have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead.
There are several other changes proposed to the “Rules for cyclists” chapter in the Highway Code, and also some changes for other road users when they meet or pass cyclists. (For example, the so-called “Dutch Reach” to look behind when opening a car door.) We made a few tandem-specific suggestions but these have not been taken up in the response. Nevertheless I believe the Club should support the changes and encourage the government to implement them.
Finally, as always, a warm welcome to all new Members of the Club. Contact your local Regional Organiser and suggest your favourite local ride. Stories and photos are welcome on the Club website and Facebook Group and here in the Journal. Experts or beginners, whatever kind of tandeming you do or wherever you live, we want to hear from you.
If you have questions, suggestions or comments on any aspect of the Club you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and happy tandeming.
Peter Weeks, Chair
Wessex Tandem Club October ride Chandlers Ford -> Minstead (New Forest) -> Chandlers Ford 36 miles, 420m elevation Woke to the sound of heavy rain, so we postponed departure by an hour to allow rain to cease and puddles to recede. 4 tandems including 1 Hase Pino departed from Chandlers Ford in bright autumn sunshine with a slight head wind. We picked up another tandem in North Baddesley and another en-route to the New Forest. This was the first Tandem Club ride for 3 couples out of the 6 tandems, who had discovered the joys of Tandems during the pandemic. The route meandered along the River Test, and then bridges over the M27 and A31 before reaching the tranquillity of the New Forest. We stopped at the Rufus Stone, allegedly the site where King William II was fatally wounded with an arrow, to ‘bag’ one of the Hampshire BCQ answers. Lunch was on the Village Green at Minstead. Interesting (and soggy) spot – the local church is where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is buried – if you can’t find the gravestone, the pipe and magnifying glass might be clues! Refreshments at Minstead were plentiful – with a pub and adjacent Community Shop (coffee and Dorset Apple Cake recommended!) The New Forest was lovely in the sunshine although some roads were covered in leaves, twigs and puddles. There were two bridleway sections, the Test Way being gravel and a forest track with a muddy underpass. All tandems declined to go through the Ford as water+++ but fortunately an alternative crossing was available. We all arrived safely back to our various starting points and all agreed that we were so lucky with the weather!
Our next ride is on Sunday 14th November from Beetham to Grange Over Sands. Hope to catch the last of the autumn colours. For details see the What's On page.
The preparation for the 2022 International Rally at Regenbogen Tecklenburg, Germany is well underway. If you want to stay on a camping/caravan pitch, you can book these via the TC event webpage, when TC bookings open on 1st February 2022.
Meanwhile if you want to stay in a Holli cabin on the campsite, these are best booked directly with the campsite ASAP as we have no discount on these and they will be booked quickly. We have just been told by the campsite company that their bookings system will open on Saturday 13th November 2021.
Four units and a solo out for a lovely Autumn ride. some of us arrived early at the meeting point for breakfast and stayed on after the ride for lunch at the King Fisher Lodge, Sibthorpe. The day started fresh and somewhat misty, but developed into a sunny day, allowing the autumn colours to really glow. We stopped for a quick group photo at Scarrington, having the worlds largest pile of horse shoes! suitably adorned for the day. Coffee stop was at Hickling Wharf, where we had tables reserved. From there, the roads were super quiet all the way back to the start. Another great day out!
Please email/phone yout lunch time meals selection for the ride on Sunday November 21st to the organisers. See the What's On information for menu and contact details.
A mixture of tandems and solos met at the Avalon Marshes Hub for coffee and bacon sandwiches on a fine November morning before a 30 mile meander around the Somerset Levels and Polden Chain.
Because the levels can be wet and muddy at this time of year, Rex rode the route the day before to check.
Upon arriving at the Shapwick Church turning, our memory was jogged about Remembrance Sunday. We cycled to the next village – Catcott and reached the war Memorial at 10.55 to pay our respects at the given hour.
We zig zagged across the levels spotting plenty of birdlife and passing the main pumping station on the Polden Levels called Gold Corner. We were amazed as Malcolm pointed out the sign recording the level of the highest spring tide on the side of this building.
We made steady progress to arrive at the allotted time for Rich’s Cider Farm and a fulsome lunch.
It was a gentle ride back on full tummies to the Hub.
Special thanks go to Malcolm for plotting the route on gpx, Garmin for us.