Family Cycle Club Update


Due to that orrible weekend it seems a while since our last Family Ride out.  Just a reminder that our next ride is on the 26th Feb.  Starting at the White House pub at 1400.  The ride is about 4 miles all off road so no cars to worry about.  Below is a map of the starting point.  Below that part of the route as the google wont plot the whole thing as the footpath back is not map-able, but basically it just cuts right across back to the start for a pint.  Hope to see ya’ll there.

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Family Cycle Club Moorings to The Shears Ride 29th Jan

The next ride is a real flat route, so if you have been umming and ahhring about getting on your bike this will be a good one to ‘cut your teeth’ and to get you started.

Meeting at the Moorings car park at 1400.  We will ride the canal towards Halifax.  This section is mainly tarmac and the destination is the The Shears Inn at Paris Gates.

The route is 3.6 miles to The Shears where we can enjoy some liquid refreshment before heading back.  3.6 miles back and we will have covered over 7 miles.

Non-drivers can take advantage of another refreshment stop at the end 🙂 If you wanted a real easy Sunday you have the local businesses in Sowerby Bridge to collect a take away and bottle of wine to reward yourself once you get home and get the fire on.

If you want to attend join our group on Strava and click ‘I’m In’ 🙂

Family Cycle Club Advice Ride for Longdendale Trail on the 15th Jan

Some Guidance Advice

To see images of the trail please read my previous post.
  • Getting there is going to take about an hour, so allow enough time to get there for 1400.
  • Use the google map link below and your phone/sat nav should give you a better idea on where the carpark is located.

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  • The path is flat but does have some gradients that are shallow and short.
  • The path is very sandy so be prepared for lots of grating and grinding noises coming from your bikes and spray on your clothes.
  • The weather tomorrow is meant to be very wet.  Wrap up to keep warm and dry!
  • Halfway at the turning point we are stopping for tea/coffee/sweets from our van but feel free to bring as much food/drink and bribery food you think your family needs 🙂
  • As you will be getting very sandy/muddy/wet I would suggest bringing a change of clothes.
  • After we have finished the ride and got back to the cars we are going to drive back over Holme Moss and stop at The Fleece Inn for a drink if anyone would care to join us you will be more that welcome.

See you on Sunday 15th January at 1400.

Day 36: Canada to Mexico

Day 36:  Cycling Canada to Mexico
From Long Beach to San Clemente
48 miles
When we got to our warm showers host last night we had our showers, washed our clothes and because we had the house to ourselves and we did not want to go routing through cupboards we used our stoves on the garden table to cook our tea.
Because of the heat you really feel like you get that beautiful sleepy tiredness that only comes when you have spent a good day in the great outdoors.  Because of this we were ready for bed at about 2100.  
We were sort of turning in for the night when Karen came home and it was nice to make our introductions that night.  
Karen showed us some videos that her partner Carl had made on his trips.  He is currently touring round all the grass green bowling clubs in the USA.  He has a few more weeks to go before he is back home.  Carl is not that up on technology so Karen updates his blog and documents his trip from home.
In the morning we tucked into some beautiful food that Karen had brought home the night before, she introduced the lads to Vegimite.  Now these lads are self confessed hunan trash cans, but I think they even found their limit with the Vegimite 😉
We completed the journal for Karen and Carl and we were guest numbers 37, 38 and 39.  WOW!  Thank you so much guys!
We had our photo taken with the statue outside, it is of a 50’s health guru, I forget his name now, Jack  his is first name……..
We set off and it was hot beaches all day long, beautiful.  We went through Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and Capistrano Beach before arriving in San Clemente.  We had our lunch at a burger place in Newport it was really nice.
When we got to the campsite we set up and I had to start using up some of the food I have left because this is the last night of camping.  So I had pasta with pesto and tuna,  but with dried fruit and nuts.  It was bloody gorgeous!
We walked down to the beach to see the sunset.  Now I know we will probably see the sunset in San Deigo before we all part ways, but this one was nice.  It was just me Eugene and Gab on a rock in this small town called San Clemente.  We just stood and watched all the different colours unfold before our eyes.  I could not help think how this is just as beautiful to witness as the Northern Lights but we take it for granted because everyday the sun comes up and goes down.  We stood there not saying anything for quite a while.  Then Gab started wondering if he was dreaming because it felt so peaceful.  Then we started taking about the trip and how it seems like it is a new way of lfe.  When I think back to the first day, leaving Vancouver in the rain, wondering what the hell I was doing, that seems like about five years ago, it feels like it was a different person that set off that day.

On the way to watch the sunset Eugene asked me if I was feeling nostalgic about the trip.  I said I would probably start to feel sentimental on the last day or when I am flying home on the plane.  We made our way back to the tents over some sand dunes.  Getting into my tent Eugene is playing soothing chords on his guitar.  I turn to him and say, “Eugene now it feels nostalgic!”.  

Day 35 Canada to Mexico

Day 35:  Canada to Mexico

Leo Corillo to Long Beach

70 miles / 1500ft Assent

Well can I say “Long Beach, Baby!”

Today we set off knowing that we were going to be back to the 60-70 mile mark having done a few easy days to make sure Carl was in LA to meet his flight without having to hang around.

There were quite a few hills at first and the assent is above the virtual flat that we had been on the last few days, still nothing to trouble someone that cycles around Yorkshire.  But the heat, it was hot hot hot right from the off today, you defo know you are in California now!!!

We went through Venice Beach and people had told us about the unusual sights and they were correct, there is a right mix of people in this area.

We stopped to get some things at a supermarket for our lunch and to make tea later.  This is when Carl left us to get a bike box and head back to the hotel he had booked.

Me and the lads stopped at a beautiful beach and made our sarnies, nothing can beat food on on the road, it just tastes so damn good.  The pasta with tuna and tinned veg that I make most nights is just amazing.  And I always look forward to my porridge with dried fruit and dark chocolate in the morning.

If you look at the photos I am always impressed by how quiet the beaches appear to be.  It was obvious that would be tha case up the coast but since Santa Barbara there has always been a city right up to the beach and yet they are not packed at all and it is a Saturday and bloody hot.

We have a warmshower host for tonight in Long Beach.  Her name is Karen I met her partner, Carl, on the road and he told me I should make contact and if Karen is free she may host us.  She is busy so she told me where the key would be hidden.  She left instructions for the washing machine, WiFi etc and told us to make ourselves at home.  I will repeat, a total stranger has given us the key to their beautiful house in Long Beach and we have been provided with the luxury of clean clothes, showers and a nice relaxing place to sleep.  Murdock said that he would have to do the same as well because he is a fireman he might have to be called away, so he said he would let people in his house if he was not there.  Can you believe the trust and kindness that is in the cycle touring community, it blows my mind away.  Thank you Karen and Carl and all the other hosts I have stopped with along the route.  You are all inspirational and make me want to help others out in a similar fashion.

Tomorrow we ride to 50 miles or so to camp at San Clemente State Beach Park, more camping on the coast 🙂 then we have another 55 miles to a warmshower host called Julie in San Diego, then the trip is complete.  I will blast down to the border on my own whilst Eugune and Gab are sorting their bikes and I will meet back up with them when I return from the border to have a final meal before we all depart between the 26th and the 28th.  Gab is going back home to Uni, Eugene is going to ride further in to South America hopefully going to Costa Rica and me back to Halifax.

Five days left.  Lets enjoy and savour every moment and look at the beauty there is in everything!!!!

Canada to Mexico Day 7

Miles Today = 56
Total Miles = 316

It nearly had my bloody leg that damn dog!!

I got up at about 0730 to make sure I caught Noreen before she went to work I had to say a big thank you for hosting me.  The food she cooked was lovely, I had my clothes washed and dried and the guest room was so comfy I had the best nights sleep I can remember in a long time.  I suppose the setting of the house all went to make it a peaceful experience.  Bob made me a super breakfast, oatmeal, pastries and coffee, fruit for the journey.  I wrote in the journal they keep of all the people they host for.  We went outside for final photographs then I was on my way.  I am meeting so many lovely people through this experience, if the world was full of people like this we would not have any problems as all.  I have got a host for the next two nights then I am camping for about seven nights.

It was one of those days which was all about getting you head down and turning the pedals. The weather was not good again, which means the wind was also blowing from the south (against me) which was a bit annoying.  All the forecasts are saying that it is going to start to get much nicer which means the wind should blow the way it is meant to at this time of year.

Everybody though is talking about the weeks of 90 degree heat they have had to endure so they were quite grateful for this bit of rain they have had.  Everybody is also telling me about the scenery I am going to see on the next part of the trip.  “Blow my mind” they say.  I say “it has already been blown”. 

I have come across a few barking dogs, but normally they stop at the end of their drive or garden. As I was going past this one drive there were two huge dogs. They were not even barking, but I caught the eye of one of them and it started to chase and bark. Luckily I was in the correct gear and I got my legs a spinning.  Sometimes, even on the flat, to give my arse a rest I might get into a harder gear so I can stand up for a minute of so, if I had been doing that at that point the dog would of had my leg, if I had been going up an hill the dog would have had my leg, if the dog was coming out of a drive on my side of the road he would of had my leg.  He meant business!  But I managed to get up to full speed quickly and I seas impressed that I could out sprint it with my luggage, but I was worried about which one of us was going to get tired first.  He lost that one 🙂

I got to my new hosts in Centralia and met David and his partner Ardeth. They have been really nice. I got a shower and they made a nice meal.  Looking around the house I spotted a picture of a bear and I was told that it is a photo their neighbour took of a bear that keeps on pestering the trash can……. umm, nice to know, but I keep on getting told about the other stuff that is going to me more of a pain, particularly, down south, the cocky racoons that will go through your bags and every else to get what they want.  David is going to sort me out with some breakfast at about 0700 in the morning because I have a long day tomorrow, it is going to be an 80 miler with a fully stacked bike.  Not many pictures today, as stated above, this was just a day about ‘getting there’.  

The nice weather and the vistas are just around the corner.

Canada to Mexico Day 6

Miles today = 56
Total miles = 260
It feels all squidgy.  I got a flat tyre today.  To tell the truth two flat tyres.  
I left Seattle very early this morning to catch the ferry back to Bremerton.  I had to sneak out because the rest of the household were still sleeping.  I got my stuff outside and the heavens opened.  It was pretty much like that all day and after the few beers I had the night before and the rain, you could say I was not as perky as I normally am in the morning.
I bought my ferry ticket $9 and went to get a protein box and a soya milk hazelnut latte from the Starbucks across the street.
As I waited for the ferry people were ducking for cover from the rain,  but I thought as I am going to be in this all day I might as well get used to it.
On the ferry it looked spectacular, again the mountains with snow on top just looked stunning and the little islands covered in fog were really erie.  The fog looked like it was trying to break free from the grasp of the forests.
Ducks were flying alongside the ferry, well a lot faster that the ferry and they were just a couple of inches above the water.  They looked so cute, they made me smile.  As I stood on the deck looking and the ducks and the islands with the beautiful houses.  It made me think that it looks so perfect it all looked like a model, the type of model that someone who has model railways would make.  It was peaceful.
Got of the ferry and it was still raining.  Plodding on I got to this forest and I had a thought, it would be really crappy to breakdown here in the middle of nowhere in this rain.  Hey presto, just as I had that thought a puncture.  Now when your bike is fully loaded up with gear a puncture is a pain.  You have to take all your gear off etc etc.  I did not have anywhere to lean the bike against so I was taking all the gear of and trying to hold the bike up as well.  Anyway, I got it fixed and went on my way.  I stopped for some flapjack and a coffee about 30 minutes later when I passed a little store. 
I carried on my travels up this hill which I was told by the guy is 27% in places and I believed him when I saw it.  Luckily it was short.  At the top though I thought I would just stick a bit more air in the tyre.  I like to travel at 120 psi.  It is just a mental thing that I want as little rolling resistance as possible.  But as I bent down with the pump I heard the hissing.  I found the lump of glass, removed it, peeled back the tyre and just stuck a patch on this time.
On my way once more.  I was travelling over some big hills and when I looked to the side.  I saw some more mountains with snow on top.  I did not expect it to look like this at all, they are everywhere and they are big.  I hit the city/town of Shelton and took cover I had a coffee whilst I waited for my host to arrive home from work.  I would still have another 16 miles to go to get to their house.
My hosts for this evening are Bob and Noreen.  I got to their house and it is beautiful, when I say beautiful I mean gorgeous.  It is right on the water.  They are so cool, done so much stuff including sailing, they have their own boat.  They have been so cool, the guest room is lovely, had a beautiful shower.  Had a beautiful tea and had my clothes washed and dried.  Cannot thank them enough!!!!

So despite the rain I am having a ball.  Noreen has showed me some pictures and given me tips of what it will be like further down on the trip and that is all the motivation you need!!

Day 3: Canada to Mexico

Miles Today = 64
Total Miles = 80

Well got up early feeling a bit rough from my beer session the evening before but just had to get up and get on with it.

I packed my stuff and loaded Lucile.  This was the first time I put all my stuff on her and she weighs a ton.  A lot more than what she weighed in France.  The problem is I have not brought hardly any clothing items, but I have brought the laptop, additional cameras and all the leads.  The bike is not that bad without that stuff each pannier is very light.  But get the rucksack across the top with the expensive gear in and it is shocking.  When I just put the pack on my back it weighs we down.  It is that heavy I would not even go walking with it on my back.  So next tour I have a few ideas to help this situation.

  • Idea Number 1:  Get one of those BOB trailers.  If I have the cash left at the end of the trip I might get one over here and bring it back cause they are about 200 notes cheaper.
  • Idea Number 2:  Don’t bring a laptop instead bring a iPad or a macbook air.  And maybe one less camera.
  • Get some different forks that allow you to have panniers on the front wheel as well to help distribute the weight. 

I think I like the trailer idea the best as when I get somewhere I can simply unhook and blast around, but then there is the problem of moving it in small places and getting through doors etc.  More thinking might be required.  

Anyway it was raining this morning when I set off and I have my fancy Pacific Coast top on.  Think I wont where this one again until the sun is shining.

I thought I was going to be in Canada for a few days, shows how much attention I pay to my own planning 🙂  but the USA boarder crept up on me and took me into Blaine.  The guy on the border was a bit of a tool.  Asking loads of questions how long have I taken to plan it?  Why am I doing it on my own?  etc.  I know this sounds like he was being friendly but he was asking in that way, but I suppose he has a job to do. But if I wanted to illegally get lost in his country I would have found an easier way.

Once I was nearly at Bellingham, about 30 miles away I just wanted to do an experiment to see how much longer the scenic way following the Adventure Cycling Maps would be over the bike friendly suggestions from the Garmin.  Basically what would have taken 20 miles direct took about 30-35 miles following the maps.  Glad I did though and I am going to follow them the best I can because they take you through some beautiful areas.  I am sure after looking at peoples blogs they set off with good intentions but then get fed up of looking at the maps the whole time and just end up going a direct way.  I am here to see the beauty so will stick to them.  

In the UK I ride with unpadded lycra, but I bought some new lycra for the trip with padding.  I always think it is going to be more comfortable but all it does if give me numb nuts.  

I did have to ask directions a few times but it was not too much trouble.  I am going to plan my routes each night though to take me straight to some digs because this is a night when I don’t have a planned.  So I went in to Starbucks to sort one out.  For some reason it won’t connect to the wifi, even though it is open.  So I asked people for accommodations recommendations and they where all very unhelpful.  I used the Garmin and there are a few campsites but it would mean riding for another 15 miles and I have had it for today.  So from now on plan to get to a campsite or a the night before.  So that will be my job once I have finished here.

Tomorrow I ride from Bellingham to Oak Harbor  where I believe I have a warmshower.Org planned.  Should be interesting 🙂

Day 2: Canada to Mexico

Miles Today = 16 (Sight seeing Vancouver)
Total Miles = 16

Well got up quite early and got ready.  Set the co-ordinates in the GPS for both MET the outdoor shop and Stanley Park.  Then set off.  The first time on Canadian roads.  Back home I am a confident cyclist and traffic does not intimidate me.  I have to admit I was not like that here until about half way through the day.  To start with there is this big highway running right outside the hotel and I did not even know if I was legal to ride on it, turns out it was fine and I can ride on anything that has a speed limit of up to 80kph.  Obviously want to avoid anything like that, but it is good to know.

Once I had been on the highway about 10 minutes I took a turn and came across a sign bragging about how the city is made for cyclist and it showed how to get around using road and off road trails.  That was all I needed to see to own the road again.  

The weather was not good, very cloudy.  I stopped off for a breakfast and everything and I am trying it hard to find anything unhealthy on any menu I have seen.  I went for this protein box which consisted of boiled egg, oat bread, peanut butter, grapes, apple cheddar cheese. Umm lovely my kinda breakie!

I found the outdoor store MET, it is my ideal shop!  It has everything!  I was trying to find a reason why I would need to dragged an inflatable kayak around in a cycle trailer.  Surprising common sense prevailed and I kept the credit card in its holster, now if you know me let me repeat that….. I demonstrated normal behaviour, common sense, crazy!

I bought my sleeping bag about £100 for a duck down, less that 1kg and volume size of 5L.  You got a bag with it but it did not compress it so I had to buy a compression sack as well.  All the cycling stuff was amazingly cheap and could of got well and truly kitted out to look like Darran Jugroop on my bike 🙂

He fixed my bend rotor for 10 dollars and I went up to Stanley Park had a ride around the trails.  It is a lovely park saw a few signs saying ‘Rabies Alert’ got to watch out for those darn Racoons.  Got me thinking though, were I meant to have shots before coming here?  

Then I felt like I wanted a beer.  Only the one.  I wanted a nice water front bistro type of place and I asked people for that requirement.  They directed me to this street that was like Blackpool, no thanks.  I gave it a miss and headed off back to the hotel.  Whilst on the water front I saw a restaurant and people were sat out having a beer.  So just like last year in France it is the restaurants where it all happens.

The one pint turned into more, but you get served a pint of water for every pint of beer, I like that idea.  Whilst I was sat outside I saw lots of cyclists.  I need to get used to this tipping thing over here.  When I was sat at the bar the waitress who was very beautiful said those words every single bloke wants to hear.  “I get off in ten minutes so” ………………. shit I thought what do I do?  We have been nicely chatting, but I did not know it had come to this, did I read it wrong?  But then came the put down …………. “So do you want me to transfer your tab?”  I did not understand this transfer the tab, but it is all down to their tips.  I should of cleared my bill, given her a tip and then started a new tab, or thats what I think I should of done.  But I did not, I said “Yes transfer it please”. To be given a weird look, it was at that point that I realised I should of done the other.  Or just given her a tip, but I did not have any hard cash on me.  All a learning curve!

There is a big cycle scene happening over here.  A group turned up that had to wear an item of bright clothing to be in their gang, they were a group of drinking cyclists, they just stick to the cycle trails.  That is a group for Robbo and Jeerve and the way today is panning out ME.

I left the bar and on the way back I got a view of the mountains with some attractive cloud cover.  I needed picture so I went chasing them.  Got my pictures, but on the way I found the kind of bar I was after, so I popped in and had a couple more.  I was riding back on a trail so everything was safe. 

I got back to the hotel, dumped my stuff and went to the food place next door for my tea.  

Realisations Of The Day (ROTT)

  1. This city love their dogs, they are walking them everywhere
  2. The bigger the guy the smaller the dog
  3. I love this city it is really cool
  4. Once you are sat somewhere looking at the view, doing as you please.  Trust me it all becomes very clear.  I love cycle touring and if you are interested you need to jump on board the touring train!  It is a really cool experience not having any plans just the open road to chew on!  
So tomorrow I set off.  Looking forward to it now.  Today was just what I needed to get used to the roads.