Starting from scratch

I have been going out a few times this week. Wet, grey, windy and cold, but its good to be back on the bike.


The great thing about cycling in Yorkshire is that you can be greeted by cyclists going the otherway with:

“Ey up”

It beats ‘hi’ anytime. There is always a bit of debate about the cycling etiquette of acknowledging fellow riders going the other way. In the days when cycling was a minority sport, the rarity of the occasion made it easier to do. Nowadays it would be hard work to greet every cyclist on the road. Maybe when I go back down south I will try greeting every cyclist with ‘Ey Up’ and see how it goes down.

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Scenic views – more touring than training


The road to Burnsall.

I’ve found a new feature on my camera which takes panorama shots (click to enlarge). It’s also that time of the year, where I’m in the mood for being a touring cyclist rather than cycle-racer.


The weather is great, but the Yorkshire Dales roads are much busier now it’s the summer holidays. I remember why I like riding in spring and autumn so much now.


The road to Langbar. Be careful of sheep.

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Dog House Lane and Widdop Moor

Unfortunately I didn’t make the national 100. The shoulders wouldn’t have survived 4 hours on TT bike, but despite injury, I didn’t feel too dissappointed, I had also lost a little motivation for time trials on flat dual carriageways. I race from Feb to October, so it’s perhaps good to have a mid season break. They say a change is as good as a rest, so after fixing broken rear mech hanger and getting a new derailleur, I’ve been riding up the steep hills of West Yorkshire.


Today I went to Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Widdop Moor and Trawden. It was just short of 3,000m of climbing in 70 miles. A strange kind of rest, though it was good to find some new climbs and new roads – not too far from Menston.


You wouldn’t choose West Yorkshire for a cycling holiday, but I’ve grown to really like these valleys and moors. Going from dense conurbations to quiet roads and moors, within a few miles. There are many moor roads, where you can see the packed terrace houses of towns down below and green moors above.

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Bowland Knotts and beyond

Bikes on the Leeds to Morecambe train.

The weather forecast for today was sun and westerley wind. I thought I would be clever and get a train from Bingley to Clapham and avoid a long slog into a headwind. It partly worked out because the wind was strong, but ‘light occasional showers’ obviously means something very different west of Settle.bowland-knotts-moor

First up was a new climb south from Clapham towards the Trough of Bowland called Bowland Knotts. It is a climb from 100 climbs, and I probably wouldn’t have thought of taking this road without a desire to tick off a few more climbs in the book. The road was certainly very isolated and quiet. In a long ascent and descent, I think I only saw one car, four people and a dog. It’s not mid-summer, but if you’re looking for traffic free roads, this is as good as it gets.


The climb is a long drag of 4 miles plus – averaging only 4%, but with a strong side wind, it was tough going, though some great views partly compensated. Looking back down the hill, it reminded me somewhat of the bleak open climb of the Stang in North Yorkshire. Though this climb has no 17% gradient to start off with.

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Dealing with the cold (photos)

My never-ending cold has come to an end. Rather appropriately the weather is now really cold (by UK standards) so another potential excuse to give training a miss. Still, I’ve been cycling into town quite a bit. Ten miles is better than nothing.


Wrapping up against the cold


When it’s minus two degrees and everyone is wrapped up in innumerable layers, you always get one person who rocks up in shorts, t-shirts, and no gloves. It really messes with my mind. I didn’t get a photo this morning, but, it was even colder and I overtook a bloke in shorts (0 degrees) You also often see people cycling along trying to put on gloves whilst on the move, but really struggling.


Standing out from grey morning.

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Different types of cyclists


Different cyclists  share the road- The family vehicle, the lone range Brompton and the bike for doing tricks.

The properly dressed cyclists


Ladies from Wantage, Oxfordshire in the Nineteenth Century.



Black and white cyclists and spectators in the road.


Off to exam

The not properly dressed

strippy-top-dick-morris-500x383Cycling off to play rugby.

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Anti-gravity specialists


When I reviewed Corinthian Endeavour last week, it wasn’t quite officially published, so just in case you weren’t able to buy, it is now properly available at:

or if you prefer to support, law abiding, tax-paying, bricks and mortar proper shops, you can order through:

It’s currently the flat time trialling season. 100 miles with nothing more than 100 feet of climbing for four hours work. It has it’s own charm and attraction, but I think the hill climb season gives more photogenic opportunities than bashing up and down the A14.

So I’ll take this as opportunity to post some random photos of anti-gravity specialists.

Jackson Bridge. Photo Alan Jones

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Cycling to exams in subfusc



It’s not all CdA and lightweight components at Cycling Uphill. I do get a lot of joy seeing students in sub-fusc riding to their exams. Perhaps because:

A) It reminds me of the stress of doing my own exams, but now I have the luxury of being an old man who can sit by the side of the road knowing that exam results don’t really matter than much. (Not for my career path anyway…)

B) Riding in sub-fusc at 8mph down Oxford High Street is about as far removed as you can get from timetrialling along a dual carriageway at 30mph. It’s all very sedate. And that’s cycling

riders exams
Cyclists off to exams by Weston Library (old New Bodleian)


You’re not allowed to wear you hat until you’ve passed your exams, but you have to carry it in. Brilliant It’s like in the old days, you used to have to have a bell on your bicycle to start RTTC events, but you could ditch it after the first mile (like John Woodburn used to)

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