Cycle Budda Life Ep3

Ryburn Valley High School Two Day Mini Tour

This month a school in Calderdale, Ryburn Valley High School required my assistance in leading a two day mountain bike tour.  The students were from Year 7 and Year 8 and are part of the Ryburn Adventure Tour Cycle Club that Mr Duffy has set up at the school.

The students set off from their school Friday afternoon and stopped at the Vandals Rugby Club House.  The rides were about 20 miles in length each day and included some very big hills.

The kids were amazing and supported each other through the whole event.  You can see the two routes here Day 1 / Day 2.  The weather was amazing for  the whole trip.  A few images below.

 

North Halifax Grammar School Coast to Coast Ride

We are in the third year of running our coast 2 coast school fund raising ride.  Each year so far we have raised over £10,000 for the school.  This year we are doing the Way of the Roses route which is 170 miles in length.  The students carry their own gear and cook their own food on single burner stoves.  If you would like to support their ride in the way of a donation please click on the link to the money giving website.  Please share the link with like minded souls.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C3

Cycle Budda Life Ep2

Commuting

After the high winds and freezing temperatures of last week we had a bit of a mixture of weather this week as you can see from the pictures.

My Surly commuter bike needed some work and was not rideable because of the amount of salt that had gone down on the roads.  It had stiffened up the cables and it was not changing gear.  I do try to give the bikes a swill down after a commute but it is sometimes a bit difficult.  The bolt on the Rohloff cable guide had snapped so that is with keep pedalling in Manchester getting some TLC.  If you are after a really nice bike for touring, commuting, adventure and messing about in the mud and snow these guys have a good selection and sound advice.

As the Surly was not playing out I had to use the carbon Tarmac and when it was snowing I thought it might be a bit of trouble, but it just rode as normal.  Whilst or the cars were slipping and sliding around my 23mm slicks just rode straight on by without a single worrying moment.  Just makes you think that people pay thousands of pounds on 4×4 cars just to have the same snow capability of a £500 bicycle.  Strange World!got a

Project Bike

I have a Cannodale CADDX that had got a bit scruffy from riding back from Spain and a few Coast 2 Coast rides so it got a new paint job and it is coming on.  Purple frame.  SOMA Sparrow bars and Brooks saddle.  It is going look really good when complete.  The bars came this week.  £34 off eBay.

Coast to Coast

I have arranged for forty two students to ride the coast to coast from Morecambe to Bridlington.  They are carrying their own gear and cooling their own food.  They are raising money for their school.  Last year and the year before they rasied over 10k each ride.  That is a massive amount of money for a bike ride to raise but we would love to do better this year.  If you would like to donate please click on this link.  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C3.

Here to Help

I may be able to assist you in the following ways:

  1. You want to dust off your old bike and commute to work but want to build up some confidence.
  2. You would like a guided tour around Calderdale/Yorkshire.
  3. You want help setting up a local cycle club.
  4. You want to set up and host a cycle fund raising activities/event.

e-mail me at djugroop@gmail.com and we can talk about your cycling requirements.  No harm in asking to see what we can do!

Cycle Budda Life Ep1

Diary of a Lifestyle Cyclist and Tourer

I have several bikes in my shed, bedroom, cellar and conservatory.  All very different.  A carbon race bike that does not get much use.  A fatbike gets more use than the carbon bike.  A steel utility tourer with Rohloff hub and a cross bike in bits.

This morning I jumped on the steel steed and with all the snowy weather we have had recently a lot of salt has been put down on the roads.  When I jumped on it this morning I knew something was not right.  The Rohloff had spun around and the wheel was twisted.  How? I do not know, it was running fine the last time I got off it!  One thing for sure all the salt put down to combat the snow has not helped, even though I did give it a quick rinse before I put it away a few days ago.  I had to hot foot it back to the shed.  Choices, fatbike, no not this time, people might think I was riding it because of the snow and that had all gone.  Cross bike in pieces, Carbon bike, it will have to be even though I really did not want to.  I justified the decision with the fact carbon can’t rust as far as I am aware.  Now, the race bike had been serviced a few months ago and not been ridden since….. Chain Snap eh oh that is easy to fix.

My point…. I came across the saying the number of bikes you should own is n+1, with n being the current number of bikes you already have.

Now I love this.  I constantly look at bike websites and wish I had most of them.  I am not into slick race bikes anymore so I can give or take them.  But any sexy utility, tourer and everyday bike I am all over it!  But due to space I have been on a mission to find the perfect one bike!  Let me tell you I don’t think it can exist if only for the reason you need another bike to jump on to when your current one fails between your legs.  It is a bit like having an AA membership if you own a car.  You need a conveyor belt of bikes to go through in turn.  One you are riding, one in the workshop and two in ready in the shed waiting to go.  So if you are a lifestyle cyclist that needs a bike for commute, shopping and fun I will put a number on five bikes minimum.

Current Bike Project

The Cannondale cross bike that I have has been to battle with cycle touring and was showing the scars from a couple of coast to coasts and the excellent ride back from Spain on the Velodyssey route.  It was an amazing trip.  My partner her nine year old and myself all the way on the coastal route if you want to see beautiful things and jump in the sea then it is a must do tour.  You can see how we got on in previous posts.  Anyway the bike did an amazing job.  The only problem is that the paint work got a bit tatty.  So I have jazzed it up with a metallic purple powercoat which looks cool.

IMG_20180224_131323

It is also getting built up in a different style.  I am going for SOMA Sparrow bars.  MTB 1×11 shifting and Hydro disc brakes.  Brooks saddle.  It will look the bee’s knee’s when it is built up.  Some stuff is just starting to trickle through, so the tools are coming out.

So far the brakes and BB have come.  The handlebars should be here in the next week.  By the end of next week we should of seen some progress that I will share with you.

 

NHGS Cycle Fundrasier

Starting on the 15th July forty two teenage students are cycling the Way of the Roses route, coast to coast from Morecambe to Bridlington.  It is 170 miles over some tough hills in the Yorkshire Dales.  The really cool thing is they are carrying their own gear and cooking their own meals.  Being completely independent and showing grit and resilience.  It is the third time the school has done a coast to coast ride to raise money and the student manage to get about £10,000 each time the ride has run.  Please show your support to the students and donate on their Money Giving Page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C3 Please share this link with as many people as you can, the students will really appreciate it.

Eyewear

If you are in need of sport eyewear that has removable lens and can be made prescription please consider these specs from Sunwise.

IMG_0713

The profit, around £15 for each pair will go towards the C2C ride above.  Please contact:  Stewart Mitchell (Eyecare) LLP, 81 Godwin Street, Bradford, BD1 2SH, Call 01274 723362, http://sidneyfraser.co.uk/

Here to Help

I may be able to assist you in the following ways:

  1. You want to dust off your old bike and commute to work but want to build up some confidence.
  2. You would like a guided tour around Calderdale/Yorkshire.
  3. You want help setting up a local cycle club.
  4. You want to set up and host a cycle fund raising activities/event.

e-mail me at djugroop@gmail.com and we can talk about your cycling requirements.  No harm in asking to see what we can do!

Upcoming Rides, Tours and Fundraising

The next few cycling escapades in order of completion include:

April 3rd – April 5th:  I will be undertaking my Advanced Mountain Bike Leader Award.  I already hold the Multi Day Tour Leader Award which is suitable for long tours on the road.  Being able to confidently take groups off the tarmac and into some beautiful, peaceful countryside is the main advantage and incentive of holding the Advanced MTB Award.  Both awards have been led and organised by Cycling UK (CTC).   https://www.cyclinguk.org/courses-and-training.

training

May 26th 2018 – May 29th 2018:  Coast to Coast ride (Way of the Roses) with a small group of teenagers.  This will be about twenty young kids tackling the 170 miles from Morecambe to Bridlington.

July 15th 2018 – July 18th 2018:  Coast to Coast ride (Way of the Roses) with NHGS.  Forty one students will be riding to raise money for their school.  Please donate here  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C3.  For information on the route click this link:  http://wayoftheroses.info/route.

July 21st 2018 – July 23rd 2018:  I will be doing the 98 mile off road West Highland Way.  For this trip I will be travelling light and doing some proper bikepack bivvying 🙂  You can find information from the official site here.  https://www.westhighlandway.org/.

image

July 28th 2018 – August 13th 2018:  Cycle tour of the first half of the river Danube.  Starting in the Black Forest of Germany and ending 1300km later in Budapest, Hungary.  This is the offical site for the route.  https://www.danube-cycle-path.com/.

dan

As I do the routes I will be blogging more frequently to inform you of the cycling to inspire ideas and trips of your own.

 

 

 

 

C2C2: The Full Story

9th July 2017

On the 9th of July six teachers set off to meet thirty six students in St Bee’s.  The students were in Year 9 to Year 10 and five students from Year 11.  Their mission was to cycle from coast to coast.  A handful of students had cycled with us last year when we did the Way of the Roses coast to coast route, but to many this was all new.  All of them had the extra challenge of carrying their gear and food and cooking their own meals on this trip.  As we got to St Bee’s school we started to unload the bus and the students started to rock up just a couple of minutes later.  Everyone was allocated a tent and they got in their sleeping groups and started to put up their tents and some parents stopped to help them out which was great.  The images below shows us setting up at the school, which they so graciously let us use for free. 




After they had set up the tents we ran through the safety of using the stoves and the students made their tea.  They had kept their meals simple and some even had to ask how to cook Super Noodles, but this was soon to change once their knowledge and confidence grew.  After they had made tea we took a one mile practice trip down to the coast to dip our toe, as in the morning we could then just set off from the school.


After we got back from our little trip to the coast it was time for a brief about the ride and the students used the stoves again to make hot drinks.


10th July 2017

When we woke the weather was horrible.  Wet and cold.  We found some shelter by the tennis courts and made our breakfast we then dropped our tents and loaded up our bikes ready to go.


When we were ready we posed for some group photos.


This day was going to be some hard riding.  We had the Winlatter climb to do which takes you through some beautiful places.  In the first couple of miles we had a few tears due to a lack of confidence and some self doubt about what they had taken on but once we settled the nerves we could crack on and prove there was nothing to worry about.


We went past some stone circles at the top of a steep climb and I told the kids to choose a stone and choose a pose.


We got to our first campsite which was Gill Head Farm.  It was lovely and after the mileage we had done a shower was most welcome.


As soon as the tents has been erected we started with our cooking and the food they were concocting was getting more and more adventurous. The students bought supplies everyday at the final stop which we always ensured was a supermarket.



As you can see from the image above one of the 6th form students had packed away a small pizza oven which was used to create a whole manner of meals.  Mr Robinson took advantage and heated up a rump steak.

11th July 2017

In the morning we woke up and got ready for the day ahead.  It was a students birthday and her dad had given us a cake so we could celebrate the occasion before we set off.


Today we were making our way to Crossfells Campsite in Penrith.  We stopped off at a cycle friendly cafe in Greystoke called the Quirky Cafe.  They had laid out table and had a few quirky little chickens walking around.

When we got to the site the students got into campsite routine and put up their tents.  There was never any complaining the whole trip about their routine each day, they just got stuck in and worked as a team to get the mission complete.

12th July 2017

The students woke up to sun after going through rain and cold each morning.  This was a lovely surprise but they did need to get up Hartside today, so this new heat would add greater difficulty.


The students got into cooking breakfast once more and it was getting a slicker and slicker process each day.

The students worked hard and the pace was just right to get them to the top where they could stuff their faces in the cafe at the top to replace the lost calories.


In the evening we were to stop at a lovely campsite called Haggs Bank in Alston.  This site had showers and we needed one after tackling Hartside in the sun.

As it got darker the midges started to come out and there were loads of them, a thick cloud of biting insects. Again, the students handled it and got in their tents after hot drinks.

13th July 2017

In the morning the midges were still vicious but we needed to put up with it, get our breakfast and set off.  Today we would do a few climbs and one of them, the final one of the whole trip is a steep hill out of Stanhope.


Some beautiful cloud formations in the morning.  Hopefully meaning good weather.


We stopped off in Allenheads for some snacks.


During the course of this ride the students rode through two counties within about the space of two hours.


We had lunch in Stanhope and did the steep climb out.  When we got to the railway track at the top, the students were told by Mr Robinson that they had just completed the last climb of the trip.  This resulted in a big cheer.



We rode into Consett which was our final nights accommodation.  The rugby club were letting us use their facilities which was very kind of them.  The club is very well managed and it was a nice place to put up a tent, but I have to admit the urban environment took a bit of getting used to.  The students did have the pitch to kick around on, but it did start to rain which cut short the evening.


14th July 2017 – Final Day

We woke up wet and cold, but the rain had stopped.  We packed up and made simple breakfasts as we needed to get rolling by 0800 to be on target to meet the parents between 1200 and 1300. We had realised over the last few days that our morning turn around time is two hours so we got up at 0600.


As we were riding the day just got warmer and warmer so we had to strip layers off as we took breaks.

As soon as we got into Newcastle by the Tyne it was time to start to take pictures.


We stopped in a cafe called The Cycle Hub, it is on the Tyne about 11 miles from the finish.  At this location we gave awards and speeches to the students that had really stood out over the week.  Everybody did an amazing job, but there were some students that had really become part of the team and realised that there was a bigger plan that needed to be finished and these students were rightly recognised for their effort.  It was a brilliant location for the awards as we had outside seating all together in the courtyard.


The finish was getting close and like last year I picked some students to lead the team to the finish.  On this ride the team were the Year 11’s as they had done both C2C rides and I really believe they love the lifestyle and zen of cycle touring.  About 500 meters from the end I stopped the group and shook their hands.  I could see parents in the distance.  The Year 11’s took over and rode us in in style.  As the students had to ride as part of a touring team they have to ride to the pace of the leader which is slower than they would like to ride.  This is so we keep as a group, but also a pace to get them from one end of the country to the other in one piece and in a condition to enable them to ride again day after day. So at the finish I told the students to “unleash the beast” that had been tamed during the rest of the ride and they sprinted to the finish. 


Summary

This was an amazing experience for the students.  They were self sufficient and were trusted to look after their meals and to think about other people before thinking of themselves.  The students returned that trust by behaving brilliantly.  I was told by cafe owners how well behaved the students were and I was told by other cycle tourers how organised the students were to work together on the road to make an incredible team.  I have always believed, but it highlighted to me how silly our modern ideas are.  We blame, protect and restrict at all the wrong times and narrow the experiences and enjoyment of ourselves and our students.  We need to be out and enjoy the world more and stop the fixation with man made systems within every sector of our world.  Within education these are targets and qualifications, if they are enjoying what they are doing the rest will come automatically.

I need to thank a few people.  Firstly the parents for allowing your children to undertake this task.  Thank you for all the effort you put into fund raising and buying plus setting up bikes and gear.  Your trust is greatly appreciated and I hope they have had a good time.

The students for responding to advice, working as a team and keeping us all safe on the road.  I told the students at every opportunity, cycle touring is all about being professional from start to finish.  We can’t just ride care free as a big group.  We need to be organised and look out for each other.  The students followed that advice and that is how we came over the line as one pack of fully trained cyclists, everyone that started, finished.

I would like to thank the leadership team at school that allowed the trip to go ahead.  The finance team have been great keeping a track of the fund raising efforts and Debbie in the kitchen was brill getting her supplier to gives us some spare food for the journey.

The staff team Kirsty, Nic, Robbo, Andrew and Sue.  Thank you for your effort, thank you for believing in the principles of a cycle trip.  Your professionalism and zen is why this trip can go ahead.

A ‘normal’ bicycle does not need recharging and it does not prompt you for an update.  With a simple bit of knowledge you can fix most breakages or get to some where to get it fixed.  It saves our planet, saves our resources and can take you places you only dreamed of.  So my advice would be don’t dream, ride bikes, have fun and see the world and empower yourself with the knowledge it is all done by you!  

C2C2 Starting Today

We are finally here!  After a successful week at Year 9 Camp we are now taking 36 NHGS students are riding coast 2 coast from St Bee’s to Tynemouth to raise money to kit out their sports hall with fitness equipment. They have raised £7800 so far and would really like your help.  The link is at the bottom of the post if you wish to donate.

The students are carrying their own gear and cooking their own food.  A marvellous effort for 13-16 year olds!

Bikes should be getting loaded as we post!

To the participants.  Excellent effort with your fundraising, the school is very proud of you.  Here’s to a good week ahead and I will see you in St Bee’s at 1600 this evening 🙂

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C2

NHGS C2C2

North Halifax Grammar School Coast to Coast II

Hello,

Just had the last meeting up at Craggies with the parents of students that are riding the Coast 2 Coast in aid of their school.

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C2

The support is unbelievable.  These parents have been kitting their kids out with panniers and racks etc.  So they can ride the C2C route, but they have also been busy fund raising as well.  Thank you so much!

Just to provide answers to a few questions that were raised in the meetings:

When you drop your kids off on the Sunday make sure they have food for their tea that evening and their breakfast the following day.  They will have access to a single burner stove so anything that can be heated up will be fine.  Also, staff will have extra food items in case they make the wrong food selection. No one will go hungry!

Each afternoon we will stop and buy things for our tea that evening and our breakfast the following morning, so they don’t need to carry loads of food.  Also staff members will provide guidance in the shop about what is nutritious and what they can easily cook on a single burner.  Students will need about £10 – £15 each day to buy tea, breakfast, energy and lunch.

If students are using a water bottle and pack wisely each day (keeping waterproofs, energy food etc to the top of their panniers) they do not need a day pack. If students are using a hydration pack, they could use this bag for small, light items, but you may want to keep daily items in your panniers also.

Finally, meeting you has been lovely.  I am looking forward to the ride and we are all going to have a really amazing time!!!!

See you on the 9th July in St Bee’s!

Parent Support Amazing!

It is only about seven weeks now until thirty six NHGS students cycle 158 miles from St Bee’s on the west coast to Tynemouth on the east.

I have been spending the last couple of weekends meeting parents and students at Craggies Farm Shop to discuss kit and perform a bike suitability check.  I have one more weekend left to do but I have been overwhelmed by the support and the efforts of parents and students.

Firstly, the parents and students have had to support this ride with a minimum participation fee, but they also needed to buy pannier racks and other gear so the students, their sons and daughters could take part in relative comfort.  Not only have families paid a minimum fee but they have also gone far and away above that by collecting additional sponsorship money as well.  The students have been impressing me with their ideas and commitment to fund raising. Students have been selling tickets to host dinner parties for family and friends, been working for neighbours and selling bits and bats to make money.  Not only that, they are just so excited for the ride!  The students are going to be self sufficient carrying and cooking their own food. This trip is building independence, skills and resilience.  Really impressed guys.  Thank you so much!

If you would like to show your support please donate on the NHGS managed link below.  Last year over £11400 went to the school, we are trying really hard to beat this and we are 32% into our £10000 target.

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NHGSC2C2

When they start the ride on the 9th of July you can follow their antics on www.cyclebudda.co.uk.

Image of last years group at the finish in Bridlington when they completed the Way of the Roses C2C route

Messages parents had left at the finish.

C2C Review

Six teaching staff members plus a friend we set off to to the Coast 2 Coast from St Bee’s to Tynemouth.  I have previously done the Way of the Roses C2C route before, once with my family and the other time was with 28 students that were raising money for a new sports hall.  I was hoping that this trip could provide as much challenge, beautiful scenery and enjoyment.  Plus it is always good when the route is sign posted, especially as this is the recce for when myself and some more teaching staff take 40 students on the route in July to again raise money for the sports hall that will be complete this year.  If you would like to donate to spur the kids along please click on this link.
So we met at Georges Square, Halifax at 0900 on the 9th of April.  I had booked a Whitehill minibus to take us and the bikes to St Bee’s and I arranged for them to pick us up from Tynemouth on Wednesday the 13th April at about 1700.  I knew the last day would be easy and it would only take us a couple of hours to complete the ride but I wanted to ensure we had time to account for a mechanical issue with the bikes etc.  We had six people travelling out and as we were meeting one of our party in St Bee’s we would have seven people travelling back.  Getting the six bikes and six people in was a bit of a squash and there was concern about our return journey, but I knew if we took both wheels off we should be able to get all seven bikes and people in the bus.
As soon as we got to St Bee’s it was a case of setting off to our first digs which was The Herdwick Inn situated just before Penrith.  Even though the whole route could be done in one day if you wanted a tougher ride I planned this to take three nights and four days as for this trip I wanted it to be more of a cycling holiday than a cycling endurance challenge.
The rooms and food at the Herdwick Inn were lovely and worth the slight detour off route to get there.  The whole trip was well signposted and the roads were really, really quiet.  There were only a couple of sections where I think a couple of cars might of come past us.  Also it worth noting that if you are on a bike that has wider tyres there are quite a few off road alternative sections that are also signposted.  The Sustrans cycling charity responsible for created routes up and done the country have done a very good job maintaining the route.







I hope you enjoy the images above…. And hopefully it will inspire you to get out on your bikes and have some adventurous fun.  You can also go to the google album by clicking on this link .

C2C Staff Ride

On the 9th of April until the 13th of April the staff at NHGS route are doing a recce of the C2C route we will be undertaking with forty students in July.  Every Easter we always go off on a mini tour.  In the past we have hiked the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, but we cycled between them.  We have done a couple of Tour d Yorkshire routes and also cycled to Belgium to take in some cobbled classics.  For this trip we thought we might as well kill two birds with one stone have fun and also do a H&S plan for the route with the kids.  As we normally like to do quite a few miles to keep us from the refreshments until a suitable time of day we have also prepared some extra loops just in case we get to the digs too early.  I have also included the extra loops we will be doing below as well.
On Day One this is our route.
This is the extra route if we need it.
This is Day Two.
This is the extra for Day Two.
This is Day Three.
The extra loop for Day Three.
And our final day!
Please donate to our NHGS Sports Hall fund. Forty teenagers riding Coast 2 Coast in July. The link is below.