Cycling Holidays In The Limousin

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Catherine and Jim who live in France. They invited me to visit their place in the Limousin but, alas, circumstances are not going to allow me to take them up on their offer. However, I did say that I would be more than happy to publish a little information about their cycling venture here on

French_Entree_Photo_1-300“Launching this year are Cycling holidays in the Limousin, a relatively undiscovered part of France with easy links from the UK to provide an excellent short cycling break. Staying at Grue Demoiselle you will have your bikes arranged for your arrival, great en-suite rooms, good food and a homely feeling.  Then it’s down to you to explore the area, although routes are suggested the area offers something for all abilities from long stretches of roads with gentle inclines to windy hill climbs or great off road tracks. 

With packages available for families or individuals and well marked routes it’s a great all round destination yet to be explored

It’s very competitively priced too.  Le Tour de France is passing through our village in July so they must think we are worthy of pedal power, come and try it yourself!

Catherine and Jim offer self catering holidays and some activity holidays at their place in Rancon, and have been talking about offering cycling holidays for the last two years, with Bike Hire Direct moving very close to them it was just the push needed to get this put together and now just need bums on saddles (good name there!)   Many places here in France offer the usual broken bicycle, a dubious variety which have been holed up in the wood shed from one year to the next and with a groan would reluctantly get them out and hand over a bicycle pump and wave off some poor adventurous soul, hell bent on exploring by bike, but not any more, our own bikes are retired or have been re-homed and well maintained bikes with all necessary equipment are available on demand.. hoorah!

It’s a great area, very rural with lots of trees, landscapes and lakes, known at the French Lake District, there are also standing stones and prehistoric burial tombs dotted around with a convenient French bar or cafe nearby to refresh oneself en-route.  Clean and quiet roads, with great vistas so be sure to bring your camera.”

Contact details:

Tel 0033 555 602419

Catherine & Jim Jamieson

Leeds Bicycle Film Club: The Kid With A Bike

From Ian Street of the Leeds Bicycle Film Club:

Our February screening on 15 Feb will be the award winning The Kid With A Bike:

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, the deeply moving film by the Dardenne brothers delves into the emotional life of troubled 11-year-old Cyril (Thomas Doret). When his father (Jérémie Renier) abandons him, Cyril obsessively searches for his bicycle – placing his last bit of hope in this symbol of their relationship. Almost by accident, he becomes the ward of a kind hairdresser (Cécile de France), who seems surprised to find herself so determined to help him. With his wild, unpredictable behavior and his disastrous search for father figures, Cyril risks losing her – though she refuses to give up without a fight.

Date: 15 February

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street Leeds LS2 7PN GB

Tickets: £4.10 (plus Eventbrite booking fee) in advance via Eventbrite.


The 35 Degrees: Tarifa to Nordkapp on a Bike Called Reggie

It’s taken a while to get started but start I have; The 35 Degrees: Tarifa to Nordkapp on a Bike Called Reggie is now in production and here’s an exclusive sneak preview of the very first chapter of the upcoming book…

“It may not have required great feats of physical effort, but in many senses a long journey had just finished. It was Thursday 9th April 2015 and I was standing on the blustery edge of the Isla de la Palomas less than a kilometre to the south of the surfing mecca that is Tarifa in southern Spain. My body was, for a few minutes at least, in the unique position of being host to the southernmost beating human heart on the continental mainland of Europe. I dare say there were probably a few rodents and perhaps even a snake or two scurrying around in the rocky undergrowth that separated me from the sea, but as far as homo sapiens go, I was Europe’s most southerly man. (Or woman.) Had I chosen to wade out a few metres into the Strait of Gibraltar I would have been floating at a point precisely 36 degrees north of the equator. The plan was to cycle from this southernmost point of Europe to the northernmost point at Nordkapp in Norway, a position on the planet that is precisely 71°10’21” (that’s degrees, minutes and seconds for those of you who never paid attention in Geography lessons at school) north of the equator. Give or take a few minutes (and unless I myself wasn’t paying attention in Maths), that’s a journey of 35°. Or 35 degrees, hence the title of this book. I’m glad we’ve got that sorted out at such an early stage.”

My uncle has been in touch regarding the use of Homo sapiens… Here’s an update:


Blazing Saddles Is Rising…

I had Reggie serviced after last summer’s Tarifa to Nordkapp cycle at my new local bike shop here in the Calder Valley, Blazing Saddles in Hebden Bridge. Alas, along with many other businesses in the valley towns of Elland, Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge, Blazing Saddles was washed out by the Boxing Day floods. I was in Hebden Bridge last week and many shops – including Blazing Saddles – remain closed for drying out, repair and restocking… But Calderdale is indeed rising! If you in the area, here’s one way in which you can help out:New Special Event

“A Big Thursday Treat – many people have had a tough time since Christmas, and there’s not been that much to smile about, so we thought you definitely deserved a night out!  Join us for delicious local beer and be inspired and motivated by incredible athletes whose resilience and determination in times of great challenge are an example to everyone. Come and help us make it a memorable evening.  The Very Special Event will be held in the shop – it’s been empty too long now and we’re looking forward to filling the space with people having a good time.  There will also be a Cycling Themed Auction with some very desirable donated Goodies. (Not the 70s comedians) Tickets are £5 and advance ticket proceeds will go to Calderdale Rising.”

Tickets are available from Eventbite – here’s the link.

More details (from the Calderdale Cycle Hub Facebook page):

A Very Special Event

Kicking off at 7:00pm with local Bridestones beers, hand-pulled by our friend Martin from ‘Drink?’
It’s really hard to find words to describe the Very Special Guests who are coming to tell their tales. They’ve offered their time to show their support for us all, and if you’ve ever felt at all demotivated, this is the event for you.
Steve has sent very short bios of the guys so if you want a eads up before the event, please take a look. We’d like to fill the shop with people so if you’re free, please come and support us. And Please Share! ‪#‎stpremier‬Calderdale Cycle Hub Welcome to Yorkshire

The Bios

David Smith MBE – The Balance Between Passion and Obsession

David has spent his whole life with the dream of representing Great Britain at an Olympic level. For the London Games 2012 David got his opportunity in the Para mixed coxed fours rowing boat. Winning a Gold medal he certainly made his opportunely count! However hearing David’s story of his road to the games and the health problems he faces will simply leave you in awe of this great athlete.

Jon Gildea – Being 100%

Jon is no stranger to the valley. Spending plenty of time hammering down the trails on his Mountain Bike. A former junior rider for Team Kona and Great Britain Jon had both success on the Mountain and Cross bike however in a mountain bike accident left Jon with serve nerve damage in his left leg and was told he would never ride a bike again. Jon is the current Para-Cycling C5 National TT Champion and has won numerous medals on the track and road.

Adam Duggleby – A Life in the Saddle

From a young age Adam has shown promise as a talented road and track rider. He was a member of the junior Great Britain Team Pursuit Squad which included Ed Clancy and Mark Cavendish. Adam chose to leave cycling heading to university and a career in accounting. Adam was recalled by British Cycling 3 years ago to pilot a tandem for visually impaired rider Steve Bate. Adam is a elite road racer and one of the top Time Trial riders in the country.

Steve Bate – Clear Vision

Steve has aways loved the outdoors and was following his dream of becoming a highly qualified Climbing instructor until the diagnosis of a an eye condition took away his drivers licence and dream. Steve was told he could be blind in 5 years so he set his goals on solo climbing El Capitan a 3000ft rock face in Yosemite valley, California. Taking 6 days he became the first visually impaired person to achieve this. Steve’s next goal is the Rio Paralympic Games riding a tandem with pilot Adam Duggleby.

Jaco VanGass – From Poles to Pedals

A young war veteran Jaco came close to death as a Para Trooper in Afghanistan. After 11 operations and a long rehab Jaco has run marathons, completed an iron man, walking to the North Pole and climbed some of the highest mountains in the world despite losing his left arm and having lost most of the muscle from his left leg. Jaco is a double gold Invectus Games medalist, C4 National Road and Time Trail Champion and a huge inspiration to all he meets.

Henry Worsley

I heard this guy being interviewed on the radio last week and was struck by his quest to walk solo to the South Pole. A tragedy that he has died. When I was in Oslo last year I visited the The Fram Museum, an institution that tells the story of polar explorers from around the World. Henry Worsley deserves a mention… Read more about him here.ReMark_homepage_banner_2400x450_ShackletonSolo-2400x450.png

Cycling… Japan

This caught my eye today. The maker of the video below – a chap called Jacob Laukaitis – emailed me earlier today with the link. For those of you who were paying attention last year, I did mention at some point after having cycled Tarifa to Nordkapp that the next big trip (whenever that is) will have to be somewhere that isn’t in Europe. New Zealand? Japan? They seemed the most tempting places in terms of length and my willingness to slum it. Well Jacob has cycled 160km across six Japanese islands. Not the greatest adventure in the world but it does give a quirky glimpse into what it might be like to cycle in Japan. Misty? Quiet? Decent cycling facilities? Here’s the video:

Still ‘Hot’!

It’s good to know that after all this time, Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie and Along The Med on a Bike Called Reggie  are still ‘hot’ in the eyes of Apple… We are in good company: Bryson, Palin, Beaumont, Kennedy, Orwell, Clarkson… Hopefully The 35 Degrees* will knock them for six later in the year!! (*Publisher still required…)Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 09.58.54