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Date PublishedCategoryGroupTitleDescription
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!!

25/05/2017 TandemClubImportant! Withdrawal of Members 3rd. Party Insurance
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 DerbyshireAll Welcome
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 TauntonMarch 2017 Report
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 TauntonFebruary 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 TandemClubRally News
22/01/2017 TauntonJanuary 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 TandemClub2018 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 TandemClubClub 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 TauntonDecember 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 TauntonNovember 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 EastLondonLocal 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.

Vivienne Woodroffe

16/10/2016 TauntonOctober 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 TauntonSeptember 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 TauntonAugust 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 TauntonJuly 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 TauntonJune 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.