Phew! What a scorcher! It was predictable that, with horizon-to-horizon sun forecast for the first time in weeks, the cyclists would be out in force. And they were, especially in the few kilometres north of Skipton. As were, alas, hoards of drivers so, when the opportunity arose, escaping the main road from Skipton to Grassington came as welcome relief.
If you live in the north of England, you don’t have to travel far to get to Route 66. The other Route 66 that is; the cycling one. In my part of the north – West Yorkshire – it’s the Calder Valley Cycleway and follows the Rochdale Canal. With friend Craig, I spent much of today cycling in a loop from home to Ripponden, up the hill to Batings Reservoir and then down the other side of the Pennines to Littleborough where we hooked up with the Rochdale Canal.
The Cycling Europe Podcast: Episode 034 – Steve Silk – The Great North Road / Laurence Warren – Austria
One hundred years ago, the Great North Road closed and the A1 opened, heralding a century of domination by the motor car. The Cycling Europe Podcast meets BBC journalist (and one-time San Franciscan cycle courier) Steve Silk who set off on his bicycle to cycle from London to Edinburgh to rediscover what remains of the old road, its stories, milestones and coaching inns. Steve’s book – The Great North Road – is published by Summersdale on July 8th. Plus: cycling in Austria with local resident Laurence Warren. Is there more to this Alpine country than just big hills?
The Humber Bridge is the longest bridge in the world that you can cross on a bicycle… or it was until recently when the authorities. for ‘security reasons’, decided to prevent access to the bridge by cyclists and pedestrians. A (very!) long detour was suddenly required to cross the Humber Estuary. Not great.
…And on the subject of maps. I’ve just stumbled upon something that’s not only rather good but, dare I say, useful! (It’s not the list mentioned in a few moments although that is of interest too – keep reading). I received an email this week about a list (there you go…) of the UK’s ‘best cycling staycations’. It’s sponsored by Raleigh and is worthy of visual meander. Their list includes some familiar and not-so-familiar locations.
Despite the headlines on today’s newspapers that are screaming that we will be able to travel out of the UK this summer, I suspect that for the majority of us, it’s more likely to be another year of staycationing. So the arrival of a new map of Britain on my doorstep yesterday was welcome. But it’s not just any old map… MarvellousMaps.com make a series of these detailed themed maps of the country…
Since purchasing the drone about a month ago, I’ve been continuing to take small steps towards making a film that involves some cycling. Although not quite there yet, this new film does tell the story of my 72 km ride yesterday along the Calder Valley and back with friend Craig. Hopefully the next film will involve some drone footage of a cyclist actually cycling. The cyclists featured here are all static; admiring the view, operating said drone or pumping up a tyre. It was a glorious day for a bike ride with barely any wind; it’s amazing to note how little wind is required to keep those turbines rotating. One day I’ll return up there with the drone and try to fly it through the turbines as they spin. Perhaps…
Cycling festivals – and here I’m talking about ‘festivals’ in the sense of Glastonbury or Reading where people head off to spend a few days in a particular place at a particular time – are few and far between. I’ve been involved with the Cycle Touring Festival in Clitheroe for quite a few years now. It’s a relatively small scale event, very informal where just as much time is spent watching the world go by or chatting with fellow cycle tourists as it is in formal sit-down-and-listen events. That’s perhaps one end of the cycling festival spectrum. At the other end? Well, how about this?