|19/02/2017|| ||Taunton||February 2017 Report|
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.
|07/02/2017|| ||TandemClub||Rally News|
Bookings are now open for the 2017 Tandem Club Easter and National Rallies.
|22/01/2017|| ||Taunton||January 2017 Report|
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.
|13/01/2017|| ||TandemClub||2018 International Tandem Rally|
Yes it really does say 2018! We have an option on a number of chalets and mobile homes at the 2018 International Rally Venue. These are very popular and likely to be booked early. If you are likely to be interested then there is more information on the 2018 Rally page.
Camping pitches are not affected - we have plenty of those.
|12/01/2017|| ||EastLondon||March Ride|
The March Ride will be a week later on Sunday 19th March 2017 (third Sunday)
|12/01/2017|| ||TandemClub||Club Shop|
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|| ||Taunton||December 2016 Report|
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|| ||Taunton||November 2016 Report|
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|| ||EastLondon||Local Cafes|
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.
|16/10/2016|| ||Taunton||October 2016 Report|
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|| ||Taunton||September 2016 Report|
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|| ||Taunton||August 2016 Report|
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|| ||Taunton||July 2016 Report|
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|| ||Taunton||June 2016 Report|
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|| ||Taunton||May 2016 Report|
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|| ||Derbyshire||Next Meeting|
The date & Time for the next meeting will be 12th Oct @ 19:30 at the Cliff Inn Crich. Hope to see you all there.
|24/04/2016|| ||Taunton||April 2016 Report|
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|| ||TandemClub||Audio version of Tandem Club Journal|
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|| ||Taunton||March 2016 Report|
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|| ||Taunton||February 2016 Report|
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.