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Date PublishedCategoryGroupTitleDescription
17/04/2018 TauntonApril 2018 Report
50 hardy riders braved the heavy rain and breezy conditions to join the joint Taunton and West Country group ride for April organised by Malcolm and Grace. With 24 Tandems and 2 solos the group had to split into two so as to avoid causing traffic congestion. Group 1 assembled in an orderly manner and were dispatched 10 mins before group 2 who had to be constrained from the desire to chase group 1 and catch them A ride along Burnham on Sea promenade then through Highbridge arriving at Rich’s Cider Farm for morning coffee. This popular restaurant was keen to see we were served and on our way in time for their very popular carvery lunch customers. The two group system continued as we cycled our way in the rain to Cheddar. The Riverside Inn was well prepared to serve us even though some last minute additions were made. 50 servings all delivered in a timely and professional manner. After lunch the rain was even heavier and looked like it was determined to ensure we were going to ride the final 9 miles back in the wet but then the sun came out and began to dry our wet cycling clothes. A final steep climb back into the village of Bleadon and we were home, 35 miles mostly wet but with 50 riders having a very enjoyable and social ride.
16/04/2018 TandemClub2018 York Rally
23 - 24 June. Early Bird prices end on 1st. May. A number of Tandem Couples have already booked and if you would like to camp tigether please let the organisers know by 1st. June. As usual a tandem specific ride is planned. Details.
14/03/2018 EastLondonKen Saunders - In Memoriam

It is with regret that I have to pass on the news of Ken Saunders death.  He, together with his wife Margaret, were founder Regional Officers for the North Essex, South Suffolk area of the Tandem Club. He passed away on Tuesday 6th March after a return of his throat cancer. They had a tandem trike and were often to be seen out in the byways of Suffolk and farther afield, with their dog Lulu in a carrier behind. Ken was a great character, very friendly and with a good sense of humour, he will be sadly missed.

01/03/2018 TandemClubEmail with link to Journal in audio MP3 form
You can now get an email sent to you with a link to the journal in audio MP3 form sent to you once Eifion has done his magic. Email webgroup@tandem-club.org.uk to set this up for you or you can set it up the next time you renew, there is a checkbox on the membership form.
01/03/2018 TauntonFebruary 2018 Report
Taunton Tandem Group has become so successful that even in the middle of February 13½ tandems turned up for this months ride organised by Richard and Michelle.  The newly adopted policy of splitting into two groups, following the same route but with staggered start times, worked well.  We met at the Willow & Wetlands Centre at Stoke St Gregory before heading to Langport for lunch, following quiet lanes through the pretty villages of North Curry, Barrington and Kingsbury Episcopi.  The ‘A Team’, ably led by Nick and Rachel, arrived for lunch intact and without incident.  The ‘B Team’ was less successful suffering a broken gear cable (which Steve managed to fix with a cable tie, although he and Maggie then had to complete the ride in one gear) and, more seriously, a broken bottom bracket on Mark and Liz’s tandem.  Fortunately, some friendly locals took pity on them and gave them a lift to Langport.  Mark then teamed up with John to go and fetch the van, whilst the ladies enjoyed more coffee and cake!  The Bow Wharf Café did a great job in serving 27 pre-ordered lunches.  A brief rain shower failed to dampen spirits on the short ride back to Stoke St Gregory.
31/01/2018 TandemClubNew For Sale System
We have implemented a new For Sale system. This allows members and non members to post adverts on the TC website. This is free for items under £100 and there is a small credit/debit card charge for items above this. Why not have a clear out of some of those old tandem bits lying around ?
See the system and more information at: /forSale.
31/01/2018 TandemClubNew Discussion and Wanted Forums
We have created a new forum system. The old one was outdated and probably had some security flaws. We have copied all of the old forum information into the new system To post messages to it you will need a website account and login. See here for more information on how to use it. The website's top menu provides access to the discussions and wanted items under the "Boards" heading.
21/01/2018 TauntonJanuary 2018 Report

James and Liz organised the January ride where ten tandems and 5 solos met at Combwich just outside Bridgwater.

It’s rather fitting that the attached photo is taken in the pub - it was only a short ride and the weather wasn’t really on our side, but the majority of the ride was spent in the pub as the food took for ever to arrive!  Lovely people, as always, and an interesting part of Somerset to explore but maybe the constant inhalation of fumes from Hinkley Point Power Station slows the cooking somehow.  And they ran out of peas!

07/01/2018 TauntonDecember 2017 Report

The Taunton Group had a short ride planned for the day of their Christmas meal which was organised by Ian and Lisa but the weather was so bad that it was shortened to just three and a half miles! Only 3 couples agreed to tackle the challenge – a ride up the hill to Peter Merson’s house where he kindly supplied coffee and a slide show of his early tandeming years. We also saw Peter and Jenny’s pictures of Salviac.

The Christmas meal for 39 Tandemists at the Walnut Tree was up to the usual standard and the Christmas quiz was followed by the prize for the best fancy dress – awarded this year to Nick and Rachel. The trophy for the couple who had attended the most rides was awarded to John and Judy. Nick then led us in song to the ‘French’ version of the Tandemists anthem ‘Daisy Daisy’ which the Taunton Group had sung previously in Salviac. 

Lisa and Ian were thanked for their work as ROs and presented with a bottle of wine and flowers.

 

29/12/2017 TandemClub2018 Tandem Rally News - Updated
Bookings are now open for the 2018 International Rally.
Chalets should be booked direct with the campsite as soon as possible.
Future Rally News and Past rally News and Photos
15/12/2017 TandemClubGerman Tandem Rally
The rally is being held in Bensheim, a small town in the south of Hessen, about 30k north of Heidelberg.The dates are 9/5/18-13/5/18. Arrival on the 9th and departure on the 13th with rides on the 10th, 11th and 12th. Participants can choose a long ride (80-100k), medium 60-80k or short 40-60k)  The base is at the Allee Hotel :- alleehotel@alleehotel.de A double Europa room costs €540 for 4 nights inclusive of breakfast and the evening meal. Bookings are to be made direct to the hotel quoting Tandemtreffen 2018 The rally is being organised by Reiner and Marion Bünger and their email is :- TT2018@fam-buenger.de The German rallies are very social affairs and we thoroughly enjoyed last years, we have already booked for this one. E-mail Jane Taylor for more information.
15/12/2017 TandemClubRenewal e-mails failing
Orange have discontinued their ‘freeserve’ and ‘fsnet’ email service so renewal reminders are not being delivered. If you had a freeserve or fsnet e-mail address which has been discontinued please let the renewals secretary know your new e-mail address. e-mail: renewals@tandem-club.org.uk
29/11/2017 TandemClubTandem Club on Twitter
The Tandem Club Twitter feed is now live. (from Friday 1 December)
The official Twitter "handle" or name for our account is:
@thetandemclubuk
So you need to go into your Twitter feed and search for that handle and then hit the "follow" button!
Include the hashtag '#tandem' in tweets - then you will be ale to see them immediately by searching for #tandem in the search bar and hitting latest on the menu bar
 And if you're not yet on Twitter then here is a link to a simple guide to signing up. It really is easy and you get to choose who you want to follow so you won't be swamped with messages you don't want.   https://support.twitter.com/articles/100990
19/11/2017 TauntonNovember 2017 Report

Nick and Rachel organised a glorious November ride with coffee to start and then a mixture of gentle and more aggressive undulations over 22 miles. There were 27 of us and, had we laid our tandems end to end, it looked like nearly a furlong's worth! We went west from Taunton and strung out across the lanes of Taunton Vale to descend into Milverton. A Somerset local who on another day might have had a smock and a wisp of straw in his mouth asked us what we were doing clogging up his village, and encouraged all those on the back of tandems to rise up against their oppressors on the front. Then we went east back to Taunton and shared some good beer and delicious food at the Vivary Arms. It was then back to Nick and Rachel’s for a very generous afternoon tea and cakes spread

26/10/2017 TauntonOctober 2017 Report

John and Judy organised the October ride with the Taunton Group starting from the Bocabar Café in Glastonbury. A beautiful autumnal Sunday drew a record-breaking 16 tandems and 3 solos out to cycle the Somerset levels on a 30 mile circular route from Glastonbury to Castle Cary, riding twice past (but not up) iconic local landmark Glastonbury Tor.

A delicious lunch in Castle Cary was followed by an impressive group photo outside the historic Market House.

24/08/2017 TauntonAugust 2017 Report

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 TauntonJuly 2017 Report

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 TauntonJune 2017 Report

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 TandemClubBBC Radio Scotland - Tandem Riding
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 TauntonMay 2017 Report

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!!