Confidence Course – 30/09/2017

Description:  Cycling is an activity that can improve you physical and mental health, save the planet and improve our towns and cities.  Plus it is just so much fun. More and more people are taking up cycling for many different reasons and now you want to become part of that community.

Who is the course for:  People that own a bike and want to try riding on the road but feel a bit intimidated by the cars.  People that have cycled in the past but feel that the roads have become more congested and require some practice to get the feel for it again.  Parents that want to take up an activity with their children but don’t have the confidence to ride on the road.  There are many reasons why you feel the roads are too intimidating, whatever they are we can help.

Format:  Meet at Craggies and discuss the needs, requirements and objectives of the group.  Assessment of bike and riding skills away from the traffic.  Group will move to various locations and practice riding and signalling skills on different types of road.  The main objective is you leave the morning feeling that you can ride on the road feeling confident, in control and safe.  We will be moving you and your bike to specific and planned locations using a van so there are only five places available on this course.

Where:  Craggies Deli and Farmshop, Country Business Park, New Rd, Cragg, Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge HX7 5TT.

When:  Saturday 30th September meeting at 1000 – 1200.

Cost: £30 per person

Booking:  e-mail djugroop@gmail.com or call 07702785923

Note:  Please make sure your bike has been checked by a mechanic before attending the course.  If your bike is deemed unfit for road use you will not be able to participate in the course and could be charged for £15 for taking a place.

Santander to UK: In to Rochefort

We got up at a normal time and the weather was saying 33 degrees today. We have only had a couple of days like that heat. They have mainly been about 24 degrees which is good for cycling. Today has been too hot. My Garmin was saying it was 34 degrees. It is meant to be sunny but cooler again tomorrow.

The route on this part of the trip has been mainly canal banks which have provided a bit of shade in places.

We met a family that were going the route in the other direction with two small children and their dog.

I have put on loads of weight even though we are doing many miles. I do over compensate because the food is so nice!!! soI made a plan last night that all my meals choices will be healthy….. So this morning I had a butter croissant, an almond pastry, for lunch I had apple tart and a can of Coke. Umm, maybe I need to start my good intentions tomorrow!!

Santander to UK: Day 5

Last night we had a good feed on pizza and I could not resist a few extra beers cause the ride was hard, hardest I have done. Until today, and when I look at the stats tomorrow is going to be the hardest!! When we set off from Bilbao this morning it was hot hot hot. We found a nice cycle path to get us out of the city. Then it was back on to the road. We ate up some miles today by taking advantage of steady gradients but it was a long day. We stopped off at a Lidl and got some things to eat for lunch at a later time. When we did stop off we had to endure about five cats because Eva was throwing all her food at them, they were cute though!

The miles and the heat kept on coming and the maps were showing a little 2km 8% kicker. Being from Yorkshire I thought it would be a breeze but with nine stone of baggage and 28 degree heat, I was a wreck, Rachael and Eva just kept on going though, these are super tough gals!

We finally made it to our hotel which is lovely and then went out for tea and had the best food of the trip so far. In the restaurant we bumped into three other cycle tourers that we met on the ferry, now this is crazy. They are doing a completely different route, going to a completely different final destination, but we still ended up at the same hotel on one of hundreds of roads going in that direction that has hotels! It was good having a catch up and also good sharing the stories – this is what touring is about. Hearing their tales of the views and the road and the people is just lovely. And when you hear people beeping their horns and giving you the thumbs up on the route and random people giving you iced water when you need it most, you know you are doing something that you will remember and hopefully make you a better person. So many people have commented about the experience Eva must be having and how it is going to benefit her life. So I think it’s keep on doing things differently, do things you think are hard, cause in reality, it is just life!

Santander to UK: Day 4

Hardest ride of my life. I have done five of the biggest climbs in the Alps in one day covering 165km it is called the La Marmot route or something like that. But that was a piece of cake compared to dragging a trailer up these coastal passes.

The day started wet and orrible, spirits were a bit low, we wanted it overcast but not wet.

The views were spectacular thought mountain tops covered with cloud.

Rachael just keeps on plugging away. Eva jumps on the Norbit (the tandem) whenever I need a turbo boost!

We stopped for some snacks at about 12, then at about 1500 we were getting ready for more calories and stopped off for a meal. At this point the sun came out and in normal circumstances you would be grateful, but we had some big climbs to do, do I was a tad concerned. And they were not unfounded as it was tough, tough, tough. I love the mountains, but dragging 9 stone extra is blooming difficult! At the top of the first climb we got some good pics and then it was head down to the digs. Rachael and Eva just amaze me more everyday as the only cycling they have done like this is when I dragged them C2C, but even that does not compare. I for one can’t wait till we get to the flat route in France, but you gotta feel so good about yourself when you get to the digs when you have challenged yourself like this!

Santander to UK: Day 3

We woke about 0930 on the ferry and got ready for breakfast. I made sure I filled up the best I could as I knew we were in for a lumpy ride today, it is going to be lumpy for the next two days until we get to the French border and we follow the Velo 1 route right up the west coast of France.

The weather was overcast and about 23 degrees. Perfect for us to acclimatise to riding in Spain as my last experience it was about 35 degrees, way too hot for us Brits 😉

I always get a bit nervous on the bicycle when arriving in another country trying to navigate your way out of the city, it is just stop and start, but getting out of Santander was not too much trouble, you always feel better when you know you are on a nice long stretch of road and you can forget about the directions.

Our aim for the next couple of days is just getting to France so we can get on the Velo 1 route. So today, as we did not get off the ferry till 1230 it was just a case of riding with purpose. But Rachael and Eva are brilliant. Rachael does not do any cycling or exercise but she loads up her bike with panniers and just rides! And like I say this was thirty off very hilly miles and it does not seem to bother her. She is a super star!!!

My Garmin was telling me we had about five miles to go and I was running low on energy at that point so I was pleased as that meant about 30 mins riding. When it got to 1.5 miles to go I was like phew, but then we went around the corner and for the last 0.5 miles we had a vertical wall to get over. It went on and on and on, but we did it and after the hotel locked our bikes away and showed a us to our rooms we rewarded ourselves with some very large beers.

After a shower it was straight back down to the bar for tea.

As I write my blog, Eva is reading to Rachael on the bed next to me and we will get to sleep in a bit to prepare ourselves for all the treats a cycle tour day can throw at us tomorrow.