Archive for the ‘Road cycling’ Category

Scottish Islands Part 1 – Arran Easter

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

14 of us headed to Arran for Easter – camping at Lochranza.  The ferries from Ardrossan were all booked up well in advance so whilst some of us went over that way – others headed in from the North from Kintyre.

The campsite grew rather wet and squelchy over the course of the weekend – with a few tents requiring shifting to higher ground.  However, Sunday was the only wash out day (with various low level walks undertaken).  The other days were fine for trips into the mountains and ridges.  Due to the reversal to more wintry conditions it turned into more of a walking and cycling rather than climbing trip (so much for third time lucky!).

Annie and Pete E cycled around the island over 2 outings on road bikes.  Jamie and Esther also cycled on one of the days.  Most of us went up Goatfell at some point.  Karl went on a backpacking adventure testing out his new kit.  Paul and Jamie were the only ones to get some rock-climbing inclimbing at the crag above the campsite on Monday.

Great trip despite the lack of climbing – plenty of good walking/scrambling instead.

Winter adventure talks series 2017

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

In the winter months of 2017, the club ran a monthly ‘adventure talks’ social evening at the Falcon tap pub in Micklegate, York. The idea being that we have a couple of short talks by members or visiting speakers about a trip they’ve been on, and get a chance to have a drink with friends, meet new members and find out more about what people have been up to, hopefully getting inspired for the coming year at the same time!

We’ve had some great talks this year, starting in January when Dave told us about his trekking and mountaineering trip through Peru and Bolivia, and Peter described his adventures horse riding and trekking in Kyrgyzstan.

February took us to New England with Carmen and Simon to see the fall colours and of course do some walking and climbing, and then over to Northern Sweden with Donal for a multi day hut-to-hut walk along the Kungsleden or ‘King’s trail’.

Finally, in March we got on our bikes with Chris who competed in the transcontinental cycle race from Belgium to Istanbul (everyone was exhausted just listening!), and then Rob gave an introduction to lightweight backpacking (with props!) along the Haute Route Pyrenees.

Many thanks to all the speakers for giving their time to put a talk together and present it, and to all those members who came along to support, hopefully have some fun and learn about somewhere new. Looking forward to more adventure talks next year!

Fat Lad

Monday, November 17th, 2014

I (Pete E) have recently returned from a road cycling tour of the north of Ireland.

350 miles visiting every county in the north of Ireland using a variety of Sustrans routes.

The journey started with the overnight ferry from Birkenhead to Belfast.

Saturday, 5.30am alarm call to vacate cabin by 6.00am.

Rode from ferry terminal to Belfast along side of River Lagan.

Cafe stop for breakfast – Oscars Champagne Cafe, Chichester Road, Belfast

Then to Europa Bus Station to catch bus to Enniskillen.

Would I be able to get my bike on the bus/coach, I could not get a straight answer when I asked the question in Britain. It turns out I would be able to if there was still space in the boot after other passengers had put there suitcases in, there was room but only just, especially when we changed to a smaller bus in Dungannon.

Got to Enniskillen and started first proper riding via Boho and a cave to Derrygonelly in County Fermanagh. I was the only person spending the night at Tir Navar Field Studies Centre which also acts as a Youth Hostel.

Sunday, to Omagh, via Enniskillen, the north of Ireland is a bit like Spain in that not all roads are on maps and I became directionally challenged in Enniskillen with a new bypass.

Last four miles of forty-nine uphill to B & B.

Very nice B & B, Golden Hill Guest House, Tattykeel Road.

Superb Lamb Shank for tea.

Monday, after breakfast back down hill to Omagh.

Teastop at Cafe Horizon in Alley Theatre, Strabane, fellow diners thought I was very brave cycling round the province on my own.

Then onward to (London)Derry via the Republic of Ireland (Donegal) and a near collision when a car cut me up in Lifford. Superb traffic free riding by side of River Foyle to Derry.

Stayed at Hostel Connect in Derry, my dormitory was called Rock and Roll other dormitories were called after more recent musical trends such as Hip Hop.

Excellent Burritos at Guapo, Strand Road, Derry.

Declined a tour of the areas of the city associated with the troubles, but did walk all round the city walls and saw some of the sights.

Tuesday, to Coleraine on the north coast by a very long straight down hill to Downhill, the fastest I have ever been on a bike.

No Cafe stop that day, but stopped for provisions in Park and Foreglen.

B & B at Glenleary Farm near Coleraine, another excellent massive breakfast.

Wednesday, a rest day only thirty miles or so riding, met some cyclists from Bann Wheelers in Lilley’s Cafe, Bushmills. Went to have a look at the nearby Giant's Causeway and was a bit underwhelmed by it. Don't know what the hoards of foreign tourists made of it.

North coast from Downhill to Giant's Causeway was most scenic part of the ride.

Spent the night on my own in a Youth Hostel for the second time, this occasion Bushmills.

Thursday, sixty-seven miles to Magherafelt by mid afternoon.

Tea stop Rose's Cafe Portglenone

Clearwater House B & B near Magherafelt, big Irish breakfast.

Fish and Chips in Jonty's Diner Magherafelt.

Friday, Magherafelt to Portadown, weather today the same as all the other days, cold and misty until mid-morning then unseasonally warm and dry.

Late tea stop at Gaynor's Restaurant, Church Lane, Portadown.

B & B, Redbrick near the infamous Drumcree Parish Church.

Saturday, Portadown to Belfast.

Tea stop, Oxford Island on the shore of Lough Neath.

Disaster after Lisburn, pedal crank came loose, no spanner to fix it. Got to Belfast, bike shop closed.

Spent night at Belfast Youth Hostel, which is very close to a very Protestant area of the city, a fortified Police Station just down the road.

Tea at Darcy's, if you are there before 7pm they charge £7.77 for a main course.

Up early Sunday for final cycle back to ferry terminal.

Sleep a lot of the journey back to Birkenhead.

Would I go again, not sure some of the scenery is quite samey. The Sustrans routes involve lots of turnings, some signs are missing or buried in hedges. Might try the far North West or the Mourn Mountains if I go again. Liked the out of town hostels and B&B's, not so much the city hostels.

Why Fat Lad?

(F)ermanagh
(A)rmagh
(T)yrone

((L)ondon)derry
(A)ntrim
(D)own

Gower

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

GowerAs usual, due to holidays, family commitments etc, the August Bank Holiday meet was rather short on numbers – just 4 of us (Peter, Annie, Carmen and me) made the drive down to South Wales.

ThrutchingAfter overnight rain, Saturday turned out to be a good sunny day, so we all headed to Fall Bay for some climbing. I was meant to be spectating having cracked a rib a week earlier, due to over-enthusiastic thrutching at Brimham. But of course my will power failed and I ended up following Carmen up an HVS and a couple of VSs, as well as leading a Diff myself (and backing off a severe). Peter led Annie up an awkward Severe gully, followed by a Diff and an HS.

White EdgeMore overnight rain was again replaced with sunshine. Peter and Annie went for a cycle around the peninsular (on road bikes for a change). Carmen and I did some more climbing. Highlight for me was leading White Edge (VDiff), a striking line up a hugely exposed arete, marred only by some loose rock. Carmen led another VS, I led an improbable looking Severe. We then finished off with Cave Traverse, a fine HS 4a which climbs a crack before traversing above lots of thin air for a scary finish; we then abbed back into the cave (by now cut off by the tide) to get our gear, and climbed out by a nice little Diff.

Cave TraverseMore sun on Monday, and while Peter and Annie went for a walk, it was more climbing for Carmen and me. We started at Paviland, where Carmen nicked the lead of East Gully Grooves (HVS) from me (well it was her birthday). Brilliant route, but horribly overgrown until half height. I led a fine VDiff slab, and we finished with a couple of routes at the scenic but crumbly Horses Cliff.

An excellent weekend, well worth the drive. The Gower's a good place to go, not quite as dramatic as Pembroke to the west, but more friendly, with most crags accessed by walking rather than abseils, and loads of fine climbs starting on sandy beaches. The club last went there 9 years ago – we'll try not to leave it so long before our next visit.

More photos here